Australia Defends Ties with Beijing, Calls Critics ‘Absurd’

Opposition politicians in Australia are questioning the propriety of the government’s ties to Beijing.  From the AP and AFP via Taipei Times:

Australia’s deputy prime minister defended the government yesterday against suggestions it is too close to Beijing, calling the opposition’s attacks “absurd.”

Last week, Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon admitted that he had failed to declare two trips to China that were paid for by businesswoman Helen Liu, a ­Chinese-Australian property developer who is also a long-standing friend, as he is required to do under parliamentary rules.

[…]“China has a vested interest in acquiring our at low prices,” [opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull] said. “The question is how much has Mr Fitzgibbon not told us.”