From The Australian:
Senior ALP figures are disturbed that a Chinese-born Sydney man with high-level links to a pro-Beijing lobby group not only works for rising NSW Labor star Chris Minns as a political staffer but also runs a Chinese export business with Mr Minns’s wife.
James Zhou is employed full-time by Mr Minns, the state Labor frontbencher and member for Kogarah who was first elected in 2015. Supporters rate him a future party leader.
Since January last year Mr Zhou has concurrently served as a director of NoBorders Trading, a company that helps others sell Australian goods in China. The business is based in Mr Minns’s electorate and headed by his wife, Anna.
The Labor hierarchy in NSW has become increasingly worried about reports of China’s “soft power” influence in Australian politics, and how their party’s state branch is perceived as connected, more than any other, to local groups aligned with the Chinese Communist Party.
Mr Zhou, an Australian citizen, is executive vice-president of the Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification in China, a group that supports Taiwan becoming part of the communist-controlled mainland but most controversially backs Beijing’s territorial claims on the South China Sea.
The president of the ACPPRC is Xiangmo Huang, a Chinese citizen and billionaire property developer who, while donating large sums to both Labor and the Coalition since arriving in 2012, appears close to the ALP in NSW.
NSW ALP figures are most alarmed by comments such as those of independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie, who said after an ABC-Fairfax four corners report last week that “China has bought the NSW Labor Party”.
And the other side:
A key political fundraiser for former prime minister Tony Abbott has maintained contact with Chinese Communist Party-aligned businessman Huang Xiangmo, despite warnings from ASIO to Mr Abbott about the billionaire donor.
Mr Huang has sought to get Abbott confidant and Liberal party heavyweight, John Caputo, to intervene in his citizenship application, according to a well-placed source.
The revelation comes as the controversy over foreign interference in Australian affairs continues to grow, more than a week after a Fairfax Media and ABC investigation exposed efforts by China’s Communist Party to exert influence through political donations.
In a heated question time on Wednesday, the government and opposition traded blows over Chinese donations, with Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop urging Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to request a security briefing on the relationship between his senior frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon and his Chinese-Australian benefactor Helen Liu, after Fairfax Media revealed Ms Liu’s ties to a senior Chinese intelligence operative.
While I do not know what to make of this:
A CHINESE-only branch of the Liberal National Party has formed on the Gold Coast, dividing the party faithful.
The Gold Coast LNP Chinese Heritage Branch has just held its first meeting, with dozens of members joining several sitting MPs for the inauguration.
The new branch comes just weeks after the launch of a similar splinter group in the Brisbane suburb of Sunnybank, and is reminiscent of the influx of Chinese members to the party’s federal Ryan branch when Chinese Australian Michael Johnson was MP.
While LNP officials have embraced the enthusiasm of the new Chinese supporters, some rank-and-file party members are not impressed, questioning why they wouldn’t just join existing branches.
“We welcome Chinese members, or members of any racial background, but having their own branch is more like segregation than integration,” one member told The Sunday Mail.
“There’s a lot of people quite uncomfortable with it.”
Another Gold Coast member said it made more sense for immigrants who were passionate about politics to join a local branch rather than create their own.
“I don’t understand it,” the member said.
“It’s quite divisive.”
If you’re going to run an immigration-led business model amid rising Chinese influence in the world then then you would be an idiot to expect anything else.
None of this is an issue if you’re comfortable quietly sliding into the Chinese sphere of influence, the corruption of democracy, the embrace of an authoritarian hegemon and the end of ANZUS.
If not, then it’s a problem.