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Chinese state media condemns raids against Chinese journalists in Australia

A general view of an Australian flag was seen during a welcoming ceremony for then Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard outside the Great Hall of the People on April 9, 2013 in Beijing, China.

Feng Li | Getty Images

The raids on Chinese journalists living in Australia are “absolutely frightening”

; and damage relations between the two countries, state news agency Xinhua said.

Chinese state-backed tabloid Global Times reported earlier this week that Australian authorities raided the homes of four Chinese journalists residing in the country in June.

“This gross, imperious and unreasonable act was absolutely frightening. It completely exposes the Cold War mentality and political bias of some Australian departments and officials,” a spokesperson for Xinhua said, according to the agency.

“What they have done not only seriously damages the reputation and image of the Chinese media, but also seriously interferes with the normal interpersonal exchanges between China and Australia,” added the spokesperson, who was not identified.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Thursday that this action from Australia “blatantly violates the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese journalists and has caused serious damage to the physical and mental health of journalists and their families.”

Australia’s Commerce Minister responded to reports on Friday stating that security agencies have been acting in accordance with the law.

Relations between the two major trading partners have become increasingly tense and news of the raids coincided with the exit of two Australian journalists from China.

The two returned home with the help of consular officials after Chinese state security visited their residences in Beijing and Shanghai and questioned them.

Another Australian citizen, Chinese TV anchor Cheng Lei, was arrested by Chinese authorities in August.

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