No Reason to Ban TikTok: Aust
Australian intelligence agencies have found no evidence that TikTok users’ data has been misused, Scott Morrison says.
But the Australian Prime Minister has encouraged social media users to exercise their own judgment about the platform.
In a virtual address to the Aspen Security Forum, Mr Morrison said “people should know that the line connects right back into China”.
“There is no evidence for us to suggest … that there is any misuse of any people’s data that has occurred, at least from an Australian perspective,” he said.
“There’s nothing at this point that would suggest to us that security interests have been compromised or Australian citizens have been compromised.” Mr Morrison said there was no reason to restrict the application “at this point”, adding intelligence agencies would continue to monitor the situation.
“They (Australians) should exercise their own judgment about whether I should participate in those things or not,” he said. As tensions between China and the US grow, Mr Morrison was asked about instability in the Indo-Pacific region.
“What we want is peace and stability in the region,” he said. “What we want is trade with China and all countries in our region to continue to grow and develop.
“We just don’t want to see that growth translate into any global instability in the region because we believe that will undermine prosperity in the region.” Mr Morrison said the great difficulty nations in the region faced was that every action was only seen through the lens of that “strategic competition” between China and the US.
He said although Australia had a good trading relationship with China, it was not “hostage” to it. “It is a two-way mutually beneficial relationship for Australia and China and we want to see that preserved, but it can’t be preserved in an imbalanced way,” he said.
Mr Morrison also defended the fact he had not spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping since the G20 last year, saying “there hasn’t been an opportunity to do so”.
“I don’t get hung up on these things,” he said.
“The phone is there, it works.”