Minister says Australia’s issue is with the Communist Party of China, not the Chinese-Australian community

The home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, has launched a wide-ranging attack on the Chinese Communist party, accusing it of engineering a series of cyber-attacks on Australian targets, stealing intellectual property and muzzling free speech.

The comments prompted a sharp rebuke from the Chinese government overnight, with China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, telling reporters during a press conference that he hoped “Australia will reject the cold war mentality and bias, and work to advance bilateral relations and mutual trust”.

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