Australia’s Defence Department removed all Chinese manufactured surveillance cameras after an audit detailed the number of Hikvision and Dahua devices installed in various government facilities.
In an impromptu interview on Friday, deputy prime minister and minister of defence Richard Marles revealed that all the relevant Chinese-manufactured Defence department cameras had been removed.
“We’ve done a database search of all those cameras. I’ve actually asked, in addition to that, for the Department to engage in a further audit, just to make sure we’ve not missed any. And if there are any, they will be removed,” said Marles.
He added that the Defence Department had been aware of the cameras’ origin since 2018.
The audit was initiated by senator and member of the opposition Liberal Party, James Paterson. The effort found over 900 made-in-China cameras used in in government agencies, spread out across over 250 sites.
“Our AUKUS partners and closest security allies, the United States and UK, announced in November 2022 that they were banning the devices from all government buildings because of the national security threat that they pose,” explained Paterson on Thursday, adding that a plan was needed to remove all affected devices from Australian government departments and agencies.
On Thursday, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said Beijing opposes “erroneous practices of over-stretching the concept of national security and abusing state power to discriminate against and suppress Chinese companies.”
“We hope the Australian side will provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory