Coalition Manchurian Candidates circle wagons

Isn’t the LNP supposed to be strong on border protection and ANZUS? Via Domain:

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has suggested Malcolm Turnbull is among those “trying to create something out of nothing” regarding allegations of undue foreign influence levelled at Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

Mr Abbott said the assertion Mr Dutton had questions to answer for having lunch with Huang Xiangmo – a billionaire businessman linked to the Chinese Communist Party who has donated to both major parties – was absurd.

“Frankly it strikes me as a story in search of a scandal,” he said. “Nothing wrong has been done by anyone.”

Except for the largest conflict of interest in recent Australian history. Peter Dutton was having paid-up cosy lunches with Huang Xiangmo one minute and exiling the bloke for undue influence the next.

It was Peter Dutton himself that described Sam Dastayari as a Chinese “double agent” for taking Huang Xiangmo’s dough yet he granted access to the man for money as well (not for himself). So what do we call him?

The simple truth is that it should not be left to any individual or chance to decide. Dutton’s behaviour is spectacularly inappropriate for anyone with eyes and obviously demands a national interest inquiry to define exactly what it constitutes.

Just why renowned LNP hawk Tony Abbott is so lenient in this case is not all that hard to fathom. After all, he’s in it up to his neck, previously via the ABC:

Tony Abbott’s re-election campaign held a fundraising event at a private golf club run by a fugitive Chinese casino tycoon with deep ties to the Communist Party.

A joint investigation by Four Corners, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald can reveal that Mr Abbott attended the fundraiser at the Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in March last year.

The club is run by Jack Lam — who is wanted for bribery in the Philippines — and Tommy Jiang, who operates one of Australia’s largest pro-Beijing media organisations.

Interference

The Liberal Party’s federal wing has disclosed a $40,000 “other receipts” contribution from “Twin Creeks” to the party in the 2017/18 financial year.

A senior Liberal Party source said last night that the party was now reviewing the donations associated with Twin Creeks.

Mr Lam and Mr Jiang have close ties to the Communist Party and are involved in overseas influence organisations including the China Overseas Friendship Association.

Mr Lam and Mr Jiang have also been appointed to the Chinese Peoples’ Political Consultative Conference, a political organisation handpicked by the Chinese Communist Party.

Mr Lam fled the Philippines in 2016 after authorities raided his casino and arrested more than 1,300 Chinese nationals working illegally. In October 2017, Philippines anti-corruption authorities announced they would charge him with allegedly paying a $1.3 million bribe to senior immigration officials.

Four Corners can also reveal that Mr Abbott was a special guest at another event at the Twin Creeks club hosted by Mr Lam and Mr Jiang two weeks earlier.

Mr Abbott’s attendance at the Twin Creeks events raises questions over what level of scrutiny politicians are undertaking when it comes to attending fundraisers.

In 2015 when Mr Abbott was prime minister he was warned by ASIO that businessmen with links to the Communist Party were seeking to influence Australian politicians.

Abbott attended fundraiser ‘as a guest’

In response to questions about his attendance at the March Twin Creeks event, a spokesman for Mr Abbott said Liberal Party events are “a matter for the organisational wing of the Party”.

“Mr Abbott attended as a guest and had no involvement with arrangements surrounding the event in question,” the spokesman said.

“Mr Abbott had no reason to believe there was any concern around the venue’s ownership.”

At the March event, Mr Abbott said he was “very grateful” to attendees for taking time off to “support the Warringah Liberal Party.”

“[The] second thing I want to say is how much I admire the achievements of modern China,” Mr Abbott said.

“I’ve got to say I am no friend of communism … but, you have got to hand it to the Chinese people, and the Chinese Government, they have engineered the greatest advancement in human wellbeing of all times.

“I look forward to many visits to Twin Creeks,” he added.

John Garnaut, a former senior China adviser to now ex-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, said the decision to hold the fundraiser with Mr Jiang was surprising.

“If I was a politician, I wouldn’t be taking money from somebody who is involved in a foreign propaganda outlet. There’s at least the risk of the perception of conflict of interest, of being tainted,” Mr Garnaut said.

China censoring media within Australia

The joint investigation has found that Mr Jiang’s Australian radio stations are censoring content and disciplining broadcasters in line with directives issued by the Chinese Communist Party.

In a recording obtained by Four Corners, Mr Jiang can be heard disciplining veteran Melbourne broadcaster Xiao Lu off air last July for allowing talkback callers to criticise Beijing.

“I will have trouble with my business partners in Melbourne and other partners too,” Mr Jiang was recorded saying.

“You will also be in trouble. It has gone too far.

“You can’t just let them verbally abuse China and the Chinese Communist Party on air. Furthermore, their language is too vicious.”

Jiang hosted both Liberal and Labor fundraisers

Mr Jiang resigned from his directorships of his Australian media companies in February and March, but it is unclear why.

The success of Mr Jiang’s media business is due in part to his long-standing collaboration with the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda arm, the state-owned international broadcaster, China Radio International.

Mr Jiang has previously said that he has organised fundraising for both the Liberal and Labor parties. In 2013, he hosted a fundraiser for Kevin Rudd that raised $260,000.

Ban on foreign donations

In January this year, foreign donations to political parties were banned after revelations surrounding billionaire Chinese donor Huang Xiangmo.

The Communist Party-aligned Sydney property developer donated millions to both parties after arriving in Australia in 2011.

Huang Xiangmo was recently banned from returning to Australia based on ASIO advice he posed a risk of foreign interference.

As we know, our Tony still hadn’t got the message this year. Previously via Domain:

Mr Abbott, fundraiser John Caputo and state MPs John Sidoti and Mark Coure, were all VIP guests at a Chinese New Year function attended by Beijing’s highest ranking United Front affiliates in Australia.

The United Front Work Department is a unique agency overseen by the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee and which leads the party’s United Front operations aimed at influencing overseas Chinese and Western elites, including politicians, to back Beijing’s aims.

When Mr Abbott was informed by The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald that associates of the United Front were at the event, he said: “If I knew [United Front groups were there], I wouldn’t have gone. The last thing I am is a patsy for the Chinese government.”

Then there was this, also previously at Domain:

Tony Abbott’s office helped a billionaire labelled an “agent of a foreign country” to donate to the Liberal Party, even though Mr Abbott had earlier been warned by ASIO about the donor’s links to the Chinese Communist Party.

In mid 2016, Mr Abbott’s office played a role in encouraging Australian-based Chinese property developer Huang Xiangmo to give thousands of dollars to at least one Liberal candidate in the lead up to the election.

The previous year, while Mr Abbott was prime minister, he had received specific warnings from ASIO about Mr Huang’s opaque connections to the Chinese Communist Party and how this may be linked to his donation activity.

Give us a royal commission into this stuff now.

Comments

    • I can only see the LNP supporting one that is limited to investigating the Labor party’s links to foreign peoples. Same thing, names switched for Labor to support one.

    • Unfortunately a RC will not address the systemic decay in public discourse and poor governance. Today, virtually everything that comes out of a politician’s yap is part of a public relations focused attempt to sway the electorate with lies, half-truth and ideologically based propaganda.

      The Westminster System is broken as the Minister no longer serves the public interest, instead the public sector serves the Minister’s political whims (it is not supposed to) and the Minister serves Big Money, Big Coal, Big China and Big Immigration. The definition of Public Interest changed to “the winner takes all” and say anything to stay in power.

      Addressing this requires a real penalty to be imposed by an Integrity Commission mechanism (loss of pension, loss of Ministerial role, prison time etc) or else it is just an endless game played by very average people in our political parties. We need to get donors out of politics and de-define treason in the age of “Globalisation”.

      We can no longer trust our politicians – and never should have to ‘trust’ them. Accountability and a mechanism to dismiss politicians and re-elect candidates is required.

      We are behind in all this because there are conversations that we are not allowed to have in Australia about the meaning of the Nation State and democracy. In part, that’s because the lunatic far Left thinks the very notion of a Nation State is racist, while the lunatic far Right want to keep the cash flowing and could not care less about anything else. Then you have the small number of morons and thugs wrapping themselves in the flag that distract from the utter decay of our democratic institutions. The small number of ultra-right idiots are really of little concern if our institutions functioned.

      Unless we reform the very basic idea of what the Australian nation and democracy is all about we will have Royal Commissions into everything until the Chinese cows come home. Because literally everything is corrupted if our democratic institutions have decayed and lost their way.

  1. SamscoutMEMBER

    Bill shorten and labor took 55k from the guy and bill also went to his wedding- this is going to get ugly for labor

    • Sam – what Bill Shorten or anyone else from Labor did with Mr Huang does not lessen the gravity of the Minister responsible for ASIO and the AFP holding a private meeting with Mr Huang and that quite possibly the Minister responsibe for defence industry, and the person leading the push for several major naval acquisition programs also holding a private meeting with Mr Huang. That Mr Huang was considered a national security risk is evidenced by ASIO’s action with regards his visa and his citizenship application.

      Of course it is of concern what Labor figures have been getting up to with Mr Huang but at least at the time of these interactions they were not responsible for our domestic security and defence. Dutto and the Poodle were.

  2. China really seems to be pushing it since poohbear took control. You have to wonder what his ultimate intentions are. Does he really think China will be the new world leader? His hubris seems to suggest yes.

    • Sorry mate, my first ex-wife is already first in line for an RC, and the second ex-wife is next.

      There’s just something special about ex-wives that makes you think things like “WTF was I thinking” and “That lame sex was was no way worth the huge price”.

  3. Arthur Schopenhauer

    @Timmeh Unfortunately, it’s very clear what what the intentions are.

    Germany and Japan in the 1930s. Napoleon in the 1800s. The Athenian domination of the Greek city states. Reading history, you look back and think, how the fu-k did people not see it coming. And yet here we are…