Is Tony Abbott the Manchurian Candidate?

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 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.

Time to give all the money back. Or resign. Or both. Or just let politics take its natural course, via Domain today:

Internal Liberal Party polling is “diabolically bad” for Tony Abbott in Warringah, according to senior Liberal sources, with the former prime minister facing a 12 per cent swing that could sweep him out of his blue-ribbon seat.

Comments

  1. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Says it all about the new Straya when people turfed out of the Philippines for corruption can comfortably slip into manipulating the political system
    This country is in a spot of trouble

  2. GunnamattaMEMBER

    China agents interfered with Turnbull’s classified inquiry – Fairfax

    Blogger Yang Hengjun, who is currently detained in China, and Sydney academic-writer, Dr Feng Chongyi, were both targeted by Chinese authorities for information on John Garnaut, the China expert and former journalist who led the classified investigation.

    The revelations come as Mr Yang’s wife Xiaoliang Yuan broke her silence from China – risking potential blowback from the Chinese government – to call for Australia to fight harder for her husband’s release from the “residential detention” facility he’s been held in since travelling there in January.

    Liberal MP Andrew Hastie has joined Mr Yang’s wife to issue an impassioned plea for Australians to demand his release from Beijing detention.

    While some details of Mr Yang’s detention by Chinese intelligence officials in Beijing have filtered to the outside world, his questioning by Chinese agents in Sydney in March last year has never been made public.

    Mr Yang was allegedly intercepted and questioned just prior to a meeting with Mr Garnaut.

    Mr Garnaut has revealed to The Age, Herald and Four Corners that Mr Yang told him Chinese officials had questioned Mr Yang “about me, what was the nature of our relationship, what was I doing, what was I working on”.

    Mr Garnaut – an award-winning former China correspondent with The Age and Sydney Morning Herald who was handpicked by Mr Turnbull in 2016 to work with ASIO to assess Chinese government interference in Australia – had developed a friendship with Mr Yang after meeting him as a journalist in 2008.

  3. Time to worry very much about whether any branch of politics has remained immune from Chicom influence. Labor and the Greens? That would be a surprise.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Well the Greens are commies so I’d say they are 100% under China’s control. Labor at least 80% commie too. Thankfully only the Liberal Nationalist Party is hardly tainted so everyone is best to vote for them to keep some of our freedoms intact!

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Thing is they are not really Commies.
        They are an Authoritarian Capitalists regime that controls a massive and growing percentage of Global manufacturing capacity,
        Monopolizing entire sectors of the Global Capitalist economy.
        All aided and abetted by Western Capitalist institutions (coporations) that equally loath, and wish to subvert, Democracy.

      • President Xi is leader for life. This makes China a dictatorship, rather than authoritarian or communist.

    • In fact Cassie O’Conner, the Tasmanian greens leader is one of the best at calling out Chinese activities going on in Tasmania.

      In all seriousness, the CCP is not partisan. They seek influence via all means. Both parties have problems but the problems are FAR worse in Labor.

  4. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I’ve got no issue with our politicians working with any foreign government if it helps increase their profits. The only reason why I’d go into politics is for the profits I’d derive from my power. Good on Tony!

  5. It was only last week that we read how both Morrisson and Shorten were using Wechat and Weibo to connect with Chinese Australian voters. How long before Beijing seeks to censor, via these plaforms, the messages that our politicians communicate to Chinese Australians? Will they allow critizism of Beijing to be broadcast by Australians to Australians? These platforms are insidious and should be banned.

    • These platforms are closely monitored by the Chinese government, and anything said on them closely scrutinised.
      People l know use them to communicate with friends and family in China- they are aware and self censor everything they say( hence the use of Winnie the Pooh last year).
      The Chinese government probably knows exactly what our politicians are going to say- but they watch closely what anyone else says.
      Australians of many ethnic backgrounds have family/ friends living or working in China.
      And those re-education camps are spread throughout the country,not just in the Uighur region.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        They are so overtly monitored and censored by the Chinese government that the questions arise:-

        Are Australian politicians endorsing that censorship when they use WeChat and Weibo?
        Should there be limitations and/or security warnings for Australian users or these sites and/or people accessing those sites within Australia?

  6. Don’t be rediculous, Tony Abbott is not the Manchurian candidate. He is just trying to get enough money to stop the Liberal party going broke.

  7. Ajaydee73MEMBER

    Might have to vote for Clive Palmer. He’s the only one speaking out about the cop.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      As I mentioned on the weekend a huge yellow billboard …” Put Australia First “ has been erected on a building right on the pacific highway in …CHATSWOOD …China central ……courtesy of our Clive …….
      Will watch to see if it survives to Election Day ……would not be surprised if China operatives will be demanding that it be removed given it might be seen to be offensive to the many loyal CCP members that reside in that place

    • Clive is the dodgiest scummiest player out there. He was the one selling us out to the Chinese for $$$$$. He only hates them now because they cheated him…

      • He even lies in his scary ads. I can’t believe anyone hasn’t called him out for the bullsh1t. The one were he calls Cape Preston a deep water port is an outright lie. I used to fly over it regularly. They can’t even get the small iron ore ships into port, they anchor miles off the coast and they use barges to ship the ore out to them.

  8. the_bystander

    >Time to give all the money back. Or resign. Or both. Or just let politics take its natural course

    Abbott is like a cockroach in the sense that he seems able to survive a nuclear explosion if he has to. It doesn’t matter who else gets damaged in the fallout, he’s in it for himself first and foremost. I used to be astounded that his allies and friends didn’t see how much of a sociopath he was, but then Trump got elected and I realised that there are a lot of ‘smart’ people out there who are thick as bricks when it comes to judging character

  9. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    No individual MP should seriously be expected to be able to withstand the focused mobilization of large amounts of cash and vast numbers of operatives/fith columnist constantly applying pressure from behind the scenes.

    More Democratic oversight is the ONLY thing that’ll keep this Shyte in check.
    This mentality of handing more power to trusted “Great leaders” and/or “leadership teams” is part of the problem and Will ALWAYS lead to more corruption.
    If Citizens don’t take their Democratic responsibilities more seriously by joining up and demanding greater participation in the oversight, governance and Censure within the their own Party of choice,…then they should not be surprised by the corruption of our Democracy.

    Don’t like what’s going on?
    Then do something about it.
    https://www.alp.org.au/about/join-labor/

  10. It’s just not on and any pollie colluding needs to be booted. Public servants apparently can’t accept anything gifts/etc. why is ok for pollies? I say collusion as any funding comes with some promises for favours.

  11. – Is Tony Abbott that desparate to get back into politics that he accepts any (dodgy) donation ?

  12. This is the man that held an International Woman’s Day lunch at the all male Tattersalls Club in Brisbane when he was PM.

    You can’t expect good judgement from a bloke that offends 50% of the population.