The United States has suggested China is harassing members of the minority Uighur community in Australia.
American ambassador to Australia Arthur Culvahouse said he was outraged by the levels of intimidation and argued there should be serious consequences.
“What is happening, and it’s unacceptable, is that Uighur who are lawfully in Australia, who are raised in Australia, working, paying taxes in Australia are being harassed by agents of a foreign power,” he told ABC News on Thursday.
“They’re being monitored. There’s police cars, fake police cars, that are with Chinese police logos parked outside their residences.
“They’re being profiled in Xinjiang back in China; are being punished for any time they express their concerns about how their community is being treated, and as a freedom-loving democracy, we are outraged.”
Asked if the Chinese government was responsible, Mr Culvahouse replied: “Yes, indeed.”
The ambassador said people would be rightly outraged if the US monitored the activities of Americans abroad.
“They would want my head on a stick,” he said.
“There should be serious consequences.”
Australia and the US have both raised concerns about China detaining more than one million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in prison-like camps in Xinjiang.