Over the last three decades, Australia and China have established mutually beneficial economic ties. However, Australia’s decision to ask for an independent enquiry into the origins of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, has led to a backlash from China. Navdeep Suri, India's former High Commissioner to Australia explores some of the salient developments since 2015 that persuaded Australia to take measures aimed at protecting both its open economy and its democratic polity against China’s systematic campaign to expand its influence. He looks at specific examples including the attempts by the Chinese Communist Party to use Australia’s large Chinese community to support its foreign policy objectives, its attempts to secure strategic economic assets in Australia, and its efforts to use corrupt practices for recruiting politicians who would support its agenda. This could also be happening to other democracies - the US, UK, Canada... India?