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Fear of spying: Australia removes Chinese security cameras

Concerns about Chinese espionage are growing: Australia wants to remove Chinese surveillance cameras from its military installations and several ministries. Defense Secretary Richard Marles told Australian broadcaster ABC. The inquiry, commissioned by opposition politician and shadow cyber security minister James Patterson, found at least 913 Chinese-made cameras, intercoms and video recording devices – in almost all ministries.

“Where these cameras are found, they will be removed,” Marles explained. The reason behind the decision was concerns that Beijing could access data on the devices. Manufacturers Hikvision and Dahua are partially owned by the Communist Party.

Australia joins the United States and Great Britain, which already banned the installation of devices from some Chinese companies in November. The reason: they pose an “unacceptable risk to national security,” it said at the time.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs described Australia’s decision as biased. Spokesman Mao Ning spoke of “illegal practices”. More recently, the two countries have really come closer again, especially in terms of trade relations.

After the US military shot down a suspected spy balloon from China last week, other countries are now also concerned about possible Chinese espionage activities. A balloon was found in Latin America on Friday, and the government in Beijing acknowledged it. However, according to his description, it was a civilian airship that had definitely left.

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