Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Answers Question about Australian Strategic Policy Institute
2020/06/19
 
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on June 16, 2020

Beijing Daily: As the Australian tech website iTWire reveals on June 14, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) was the main force behind Twitter's removal of more than 20,000 "pro-China" accounts. This institute claims to be an independent think-tank, but in reality, is a lobby group among whose sponsors are big defense and tech firms including US defense contractor Lockheed Martin, US defense supplier Northrop Grumman, the Australian arm of American defense contractor Raytheon and MBDA Missile Systems. Arms dealers provided 57 percent of the institute's funds for the year 2018-19, with $4 million coming from the Federal Government. Besides, it also received a donation of over $440,000 from US State Department's Global Engagement Centre. In light of the above, the ASPI adopts a consistent anti-China position. Would you like to comment on this?
 
Zhao Lijian: This is not the first time that the media dug up ASPI's "independent" background. My colleagues have responded many times to the fact-distorting and ridiculous reports this institute churned out. The international community is the fair judge on whether such an institute has any academic credibility and independence to speak of.