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Govt ups ante on "Shanghai Sam" Dastyari

AAP logoAAP 4/09/2016 Rashida Yosufzai

The federal government is doubling down on calls for Labor frontbencher Sam Dastyari's sacking, suggesting the senator under siege over controversial Chinese donations has broken ethical rules.

Senator Dastyari, who's been branded "sky-rocket Sam" and "Shanghai Sam" by senior government figures, is now under added pressure amid fresh revelations he failed to declare the "two bottles of wine'' he was given by big Chinese donors were worth $700 each.

That's on top of questions over his allowing a Chinese donor with close links to Beijing to pay an outstanding personal debt.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in China for the G20 summit, said Senator Dastyari had undermined Australia's foreign policy over his comments about the South China Sea.

"I'm standing up for Australia. Back home, Bill Shorten is standing up for Sam Dastyari's right to take cash from a company associated with a foreign government," he told reporters in Hangzhou.

Attorney-General George Brandis said there would forever be questions over who Senator Dastyari was speaking for, adding he'd been "compromised by a foreign government".

"He will never be able to give a speech ... without people asking well who wrote the script, how much did they pay you for that?"

Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne said while Chinese interest business donations were "absolutely, perfectly fine", other rules had been breached.

"The ethical rule of being compromised by Chinese business interests has definitely been broken."

Treasurer Scott Morrison branded the Labor frontbencher "Shanghai Sam" while acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce labelled him "sky-rocket Sam".

Labor leader Bill Shorten said the frontbencher has shown his contrition and promised never to do it again.

But he branded calls for Senator Dastyari's sacking as hyperventilation.

"Liberals calling for Labor MPs to be disciplined, that's hardly news, is it?

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