On Australian Policy Online, scholar John Fitzgerald argues that democracy matters in Australia's dealings with China:
Public discussion since the airing of allegations by First Secretary Chen Yonglin and former security officer Hao Fengjun that a large Chinese spy network operates in Australia has focused on the facts of the case, the reactions of federal government departments, the response of Chinese ambassador Fu Ying, and the lessons that might be drawn for Australia. Missing from the discussion so far is some understanding of the historical background to this affair one that offers clues to its resolution. That background is the struggle for democracy in China. This has been regarded as a Chinese domestic affair since the crackdown in 1989, but looms once again as a crucial issue in China's relations with Australia.