The intervention of West Australian billionaires Andrew Forrest and Kerry Stokes in the China debate has been savaged by security experts.

Mr Forrest said he had developed a very strong relationship with the Health Minister, who he said was very prepared to invest alongside entrepreneurial philanthropists in these areas.
Mr Stokes used a front-page interview with the newspaper he controls, The West Australian, to urge Mr Morrison to patch up the relationship with Beijing.
Tensions erupted following a warning by China’s ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, in an interview with The Australian Financial Review, of a potential consumer boycott of Australian universities, tourism, wine and beef if the government persisted with its push for an inquiry.
If were going to go into the biggest debt weve had in our life and then simultaneously poke our biggest provider of income in the eye its not necessarily the smartest thing you can do,” Mr Stokes was quoted as saying.
Intervention in the China debate by Mr Forrest and Mr Stokes among Australia’s best-connected businessmen with China was slammed by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute chief and former senior Defence Department official Peter Jennings.
The Chinese are not going to stop eating and they are not going to stop buying Australian products.
Michael Wadley, Shanghai-based lawyer
“They have to understand the national interest is more important than a handful of wealthy businessmen continuing to make themselves rich dealing with an authoritarian China,” Mr Jennings said.
In response to a question about whether BHP needed to diversify from China, BHP chief Mike Henry said Chinese companies had been great business partners for decades and the trade relationship remained strong.
“We continue to have constructive dialogue through the [coronavirus] crisis, they have been very supportive and focused on ensuring they can meet their offtake and supply commitments to BHP and I expect that is going to continue,” he said.
Asked at Fortescue’s quarterly results update whether Chinese customers and suppliers had pushed back in the wake of the latest diplomatic tension, chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said the relationship remained strong.
“It is fair to say most of them are leaving the politics to the politicians and we are trading with them under our long-standing trading relationships,” she said.
Some Australian executives in China did not believe the political spat would hurt business.
“Now is the time to double down if you want to be trading with China,” Michael Wadley, a Shanghai-based lawyer and business adviser to Australian exporters.
“The Chinese are not going to stop eating and they are not going to stop buying Australian products.”