Over the past two decades the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been waging a massive influence campaign on Australia. Unfortunately it took a global pandemic to bring it to the forefront of the national conversation, but the good news is Australia is finally taking a stand.

Shaoquett Moselmane

Meet Shaoquett Moselmane. He’s was a member of the New South Wales (NSW) legislative council for the Labor Party, Australia’s main left-wing party, and NSW is Australia’s most populous state. Moselmane was recently at the centre of an international espionage investigation, being led by ASIO, Australia’s version of the FBI.

Why is ASIO looking into Moselmane? Well he’s been a very vocal supporter of the Chinese Communist Party, going as far as having said; “The only way for China to reach it’s full potential is for China to force a change to the rules, and create a new world order“.
At 6am, on June 26th, a dozen ASIO offices raided his suburban Sydney home, searching both his house and his cars. ASIO had strong reasons to believe Moselmane’s political office had been infiltrated by a foreign power – China.

Following the raid, he was suspended from the Labor Party. Moselmane has not yet been charged, but if he is, he will be the first under Australia’s new Foreign Interference law [PDF]. The law was passed in 2018, and at the time, China was not pleased, even though the new legislation didn’t name any one country in particular. Moselmane was a vocal critic of the new laws.

The reason new national security legislation was introduced was there were several high-profile cases of Australian politicians being influenced by Chinese money, and a lot of that money is tied to billionaire Huang Xiangmo, who has been linked to the United Front Work Department (UFWD), a branch of the Chinese Communist Party itself. Simply put; the UFWD’s job is to expand China’s influence overseas.

Huang Xiangmo and then Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull (The Monkey?)

Over four years, Huang Xiangmo gave almost $2.7 million AUD to Australian politics. For example, he gave $100,000 in cash to a senior Labor Party official, in breach of electoral funding laws. The same local party that Moselmane belonged too. At the time, political donations in NSW were capped at $5,700 per source, per year, so the money was funneled through $5,000 AUD cash donations from restaurant staff. The irregularity of restaurant staff making five thousand dollar donations was what started the scrutiny.

The commission inquiry alleges that Huang carried the money into Labor’s Sydney headquarters in an ALDI shopping bag, and gave it to the party’s NSW General Secretary, Jamie Clements. Investigations now show that Huang used Jamie Clements as an ‘apparatchik’ in Victoria’s Labor government to broker a “strategic partnership” with China’s Jiangxi province.

Although though both men denied the allegations, the ICAC recovered their text messages from April 7th as well as bank deposits from two days later. Records indicate that during the course of his 2015 gambling visit, Huang went on a $65 million gambling spree to ‘disguise’ his real motive: bribing government officials to gain influence.

Another New South Wales Labor party official, Eric Roozendaal, resigned in 2013 to take an executive job at a property occupancy owned by Huang. Three weeks later a friend of Mr Huang’s, Ernest Wong, was catapulted into Mr Roozendaal’s Upper House seat.

In 2019 Wong appeared before the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) public inquiry into allegations concerning political donations. Wong was accused of giving false evidence under oath to the inquiry, including details of how Labor received funds following a 2015 fundraising event.

People within Labor headquarters at the time say it was Sam Dastyari who was the architect of Wong’s promotion;

Where else in Australia would it be possible for a businessman to make significant contributions to a political party and then appoint to his own business somebody invited by his own party to step down?

John Fitzgerald.

Mr Huang’s permanent residency (PR) visa was revoked, backed by ASIO on suspicion he was a Chinese agent. This led him to demand Australian politicians — to whom Huang had donated millions of dollars — to “give back my money”.

Ernest Wong, Huang Xiangmo, Julia Gillard & Sam Dastyari

The upper house in Australia is the legislative council. The same one that Moselmane is a member of. In fact, Moselmane was appointed to his seat to replace Henry Tsang. Tsang, an upper house MP, had been dumped as a parliamentary secretary after revelations he failed to declare gifts and accommodation from Chinese-backed construction group Hightrade.

But wait, there’s more; Bob Carr is the former Labor Party Premier of NSW. After he left office in 2013 he founded a think tank, the Australia China Relations Institute (ACRI), with the help of a $1.8 million dollar donation from Huang Xiangmo. That think tank has been labeled a CCP propaganda arm. Which is why bob Carr is referred to as “Beijing Bob”.

Beijing Bob's Australia China Relations institute think tank
Beijing Bob’s Australia China Relations institute think tank

And then there’s Sam Dastyari (born in Iran to parents who had participated in the 1979 Islamic revolution), a former federal level MP, who’s known as “Shanghai Sam”. Huang Xiangmo gave Dastyari thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, and Dastyari also secured almost a million dollars for the Australian Labor Party from Huang. Shanghai Sam had a long history of deep financial ties and obligations to the CCP.

In 2017 Dastyari defended the CCP’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, which is at odds with his own party’s policy;

“The role that Australia should be playing as a friend is to know that we see several thousand years of history, thousands of years of history, where it is and isn’t our place to be involved,” he said in the recording. “And as a supporter of China, and a friend of China, the Australian Labor Party is playing an important role in maintaining that relationship.

Sam Dastyari

When Dastyari found out Huang Xiangmo was under surveillance by Australian security agencies, he personally went to Huang’s mansion, and warned him his phone was being tapped. So you can see why Australia suddenly became keen on having a new foreign interference law.

Dastyari, writing in The Daily Telegraph recently, said that the Commonwealth Government’s recently announced $270 billion defense boost is ‘money being pissed up the wall’. Hugh White, writing for the Financial Review, believes it’s not enough.

Now again, Moselmane has not been charged with a crime, it’s only so far that the federal authorities executed a warrant to search his house and cars. But there are concerns that he follows a very similar pattern to other Australian politicians who have fallen under Beijing’s influence. Moselmane has taken at least 10 trips to China, sometimes paid for by Chinese officials.

Besides his speech about how China must establish a new world order, he’s given interviews to Chinese state-run media, about how China and Australia must have cooperation. He said “China today is on the rise. That’s a fact. Some Australians have not as yet come to terms with this fact“.

He’s also praised China’s; “Unswerving leadership” in handling the CCP virus;

For the Peoples Republic of China, President Xi stepped up and provided that leadership. He mustered the resources of the nation and together with the great people of China – fought it and contained it,” Moselmane wrote.

Failure to contain the epidemic could mean thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives would be lost. The combined phenomenal effort of the state and the people in the fight to contain the virus was breath taking

Mr Moselmane drew a comparison between China and Australia’s leadership on the coronavirus pandemic, taking aim at “the slow, and at times baffling and confused messaging by the Morrison federal government“.

Shaoquett moselmane

I agree with Moselmane here, the CCP’s virus response was breathtaking in that the CCP foolishly tried to cover it up, resulting half a million deaths so far.

This isn’t Moselmane’s first Chinese influence rodeo though. He was in trouble again earlier this year for praising Xi, and again after it came out he had written an opinion piece published in China, in which he stated;

Shaoquett Moselmane

Moselmane also had his very own Huang Xiangmo, his name was John Zhang, and he has very clear links to the CCP’s United Front Work Department (UFWD). Moselmane hired Zhang as a staffer and speech writer. perhaps that’s why Moselmane had such positive things to say about the Chinese government.

Mr Zhang is listed as a vice-chairman of Australia China Economics, Trade and Culture Association (ACETCA) on the organisation’s now-defunct website, which some China experts say has become a leading Chinese Communist Party-aligned organisation in Australia.

In 2013 Mr Zhang participated in a training course organised by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, a branch within China’s State Council, the highest organ of state administration. It was held at the Chinese Academy of Governance – the same institution which trains senior cadres of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The Sydney Morning Herald

According to Chen Yonglin, a former Chinese consulate official who defected to Australia in 2005, that course isn’t for low-level people, “Not everyone can go. You must be a potential leader not simply a small pawn,” Mr Chen said. Daniel Andrews’s staffer Nancy Yang did the same Chinese Communist Party propaganda training course. More on her later.

Zhang was a chairman of the Australian Shanghainese Association. Moselmane was also made a member, serving as the honorary chair of the same association, and as a member of the Australian Chinese Association. According to Clive Hamilton, author of Silent Invasion; How China is Turning Australia into a puppet state; both of these organisations are viewed as ‘astroturfed‘ by Beijing as part of its secretive network of foreign influence operations known as the United Front Work Department (UFWD).

Why would Moselmane hire someone like John Zhang? Obviously we can’t know for sure, Zhang may have said he could help mobilize local Chinese constituents, and there are a lot of Chinese constituents in NSW, but for now Moselmane is trying to paint the investigation as a political witch hunt. He said at a press conference after the raid; “I’m aware that what might start as perhaps a police concern could quickly become a political witch hunt.”
After all, ‘scrutiny is mutiny’, according to the left.
Moselmane is also trying to re-frame the entire concern about Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia as racism against Chinese people.

When the 2018 foreign interference bill was being passed, Australia’s former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull said;

Now I wan’t to be very clear; we are focused on the activities of foreign states and their agents in Australia, and NOT the loyalties of Australians who happen to be from another country.

Malcom Turnbull, former Australian prime minister

Which China’s foreign ministry spokesman said was very racist;

“We were shocked at what Turnbull had said. Such comments pander to certain irresponsible reports in Australia’n media – they are full of prejudice against China”.

geng shuang, foreign ministry spokesman [translated]

So it probably won’t surprise you that China is criticizing the investigation into Moselmane – a clear sign they have absolutely no relationship with him.

For some time some politicians in Australia seem to have been suffering from paranoia and fear of China. For some time, some people in the media in Australia have been passionately cooking up stories about Chinese espionage and infiltration without producing a dingle tangible piece of evidence.
In contrast, China has so much solid evidence of Australia spying on China.

Zhao Lijian, foreign ministry spokesman

Karl Marx: “Accuse Your Enemy Of What You Are Doing, As You Are Doing It To Create Confusion”. And so China is now accusing Australia of spying on China. I have to say, this is my favourite type of marxist propaganda – claiming to be the victim of the thing they’ve just been accused of.

So back to Moselmane, again, he’s the equivalent of a US state senator, so why did the CCP make such an effort to get him on their side? The party has learned over the years that no foreign government party official is to minor to influence. At the very least they can use them for pro-CCP propaganda, like Moselmane’s statements on the CCP virus.

Belt & Road

But there could be bigger benefits as well, like how the Australian state government of Victoria, under Labor premier Daniel Andrews, decided to sign onto China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), despite objections from the federal government.

What is China’s expansionist Belt & Road Initiative?
The BRI, or the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative, also sometimes referred to as the New Silk Road, was announced in 2013 by the General Secretary of the Communist Party and Chinese President, Xi Jinping.

It’s a project pushed by China, that claims a collaboration between China and foreign countries to build a ‘new silk road’ – new trade infrastructure over land, sea, and cable. To date, more than sixty countries have signed on to projects or indicated an interest in doing so. The BRI has been characterized as Xi’s signature foreign policy agenda to bankroll infrastructure around the world, which often primarily benefits Chinese firms, however since it’s inception the reality of the initiative has been very different from the pitch, resulting in debt diplomacy and a factor that is rarely mentioned; in the digital age it gives China ability to easily put a ‘backdoor’ into the systems supporting the infrastructure, and therefore complete control in the event of hostility.

Detractors have voiced concerns that developing countries may not be able to service BRI-related debt, that they might be left with stranded infrastructure, or be forced to sign control over to the CCP, as well as the harm that could be caused to local communities and the environment.
Worries have also been expressed that BRI’s “debt overhangs” will impede sound public investment and economic growth more broadly, and that debt problems could create a disadvantageous degree of dependency on China as a powerful creditor.

Take the Port of Sri Lanka as an example; criticisms have been expressed that by accepting Chinese investment, Sri Lanka risks being caught in a debt trap, with the example often being made of Hambantota Port, which didn’t attract the promised shipping commerce, sustained losses and was ultimately leased to China Merchant Port Holdings Company Limited for 99 years for US $1.12 billion in 2017.

Many other poor countries, especially those in Africa, have fallen for the CCP’s “debt diplomacy” — financial assistance now, with insurmountable debt repayments in the fine-print later. As soon as the ‘partner’ defaults, the infrastructure goes into Chinese control. As of late 2019, Sri Lanka has been looking to undo the default 99 year lease deal with China.

Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka

How does any of this relate to Australian politics? Well premier Dan Andrews, who many Australians have nicknamed “Comrade Dan An” due to his close ties to Beijing, signed onto the BRI agreement in Oct. 2018, in Beijing, in a manner that many are describing as secretive, in what is an initiative that would usually be brokered between nations. Asked why the memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreement needed to be secret, Mr Andrews said “that’s the way these things work”. Victoria, he said, would become “China’s gateway to Australia”.

Andrews courted some of China’s biggest Belt and Road Initiative companies while in Beijing, including one subsequently blacklisted by the US government, to help build Victoria’s huge pipeline of infrastructure projects including his signature Suburban Rail Loop.

The Andrews state government and DFAT seem to be at odds over the timeline of exactly when the Australian federal government was informed of Comrade Dan An’s actions, and whether his claims of secrecy being standard are in fact true.

“Daniel Andrews seems determined to ignore federal leadership in this area, which is mandated by the constitution. In not seeking federal advice he is choosing to be fully ignorant of Australian national security concerns,” Mr Jennings said.
“Ultimately BRI is a political strategy designed to further the aims and interests of the Chinese Communist Party.”
“One CCP aim is to increase the dependency of developing states on China. This objective runs counter to Australian interests and counter to the interests of developing countries. Australian companies should avoid being drawn into a CCP strategy.”

Peter Jennings, executive director at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute

John Blaxland, professor of international security and intelligence studies at the Australian National University, said the Victorian government’s decision not to show the draft agreement to DFAT was “quite extraordinary and almost adversarial“.

Daniel Andrews accepts a cheque for the Victorian Labor Party in 2014
Daniel Andrews accepts a cheque for the Victorian Labor Party in 2014

But wait, there’s more; it has recently come to light that Comrade An has a second staffer with direct ties to the CCP; Mr Andrews’ senior advisor, Marty Mei, who is on the board of the Hunan Business Association, helped secure the above pictured contribution in the lead up to the 2014 state election, according to sources with knowledge of the donation. He later became Mr Andrews’ multicultural adviser and worked on the Belt and Road deal.
The Hunan Business Association has links to the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department (UFWD).

Mr Mei travelled to Beijing with Mr Andrews for the first and second signing of the Belt and Road deal in 2017 and 2018. The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the board of the Australian and Victorian government funded BRI foundation was stacked with advisers with high-profile links to the Chinese Communist Party, including China’s Treasury – the National Development and Reform Commission.

Comrade Dan An in Beijing
Comrade Dan An in Beijing

Mr Mei, who came to Australia as an international student in 2006, rose through the ranks of the Victorian Labor Party after leaving Chinese state-run broadcaster CCTV. He joined Mr Andrews’ office following the 2014 election after working for former Labor MP Hong Lim.

Documents show while Mr Mei was the Premier’s multicultural adviser, he was also a special consultant to another UFWD-linked group, the Shenzhen Association. In 2018, Mr Mei offered state government co-operation to a golf association run by a former director of a Belt and Road-spruiking company, Prospect Time International Investment.

But there’s still more; Nancy Yang, a Victorian electorate officer for Labor MPs since 2013, has previously worked as a visa officer for the Chinese consulate in Melbourne. She is also on the committee of the Chinese Community Council of Australia (CCCA) along with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ senior adviser on China, Marty Mei.

In 2006, she founded a United Front-linked group called the Melbourne Chinese Youth United Association, serving as its chair until 2016. The association has a ‘propaganda department’ that seeks to ‘organise (members) to serve the motherland in various forms’, and Yang organised dozens of Chinese students to campaign for Labor in 2013, known as the red shirt scandal.

Author and China expert Clive Hamilton has described the CCCA (Victoria) as a front organisation for the United Front Work Department, which is the Chinese Communist Party’s primary overseas influence network.  

Hamilton, who is a professor at Charles Sturt University, and an expert on CCP influence, warns the Victorian Premier has followed European political leaders in “unconsciously reproducing the language and the concepts that have been implanted in them”. He said political leaders in Victoria, Italy and Eastern Europe had begun using similar language soon after signing up to the BRI;

“We see them talking about BRI as advancing openness, co-operation and inclusiveness and people-to-people exchanges and win-wins,” Hamilton told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
“These are all Chinese Communist Party propaganda terms and so it’s a sure sign that people have been influenced when they start to reproduce the language of the CCP.”
“Willful ignorance, and the influence of United Front agents at top levels of state government, help explain why the state of Victoria in Australia signed on to the Belt and Road Initiative, despite the federal government having expressly declined to do so, and the fact that the issue had been widely discussed in the media,” Hamilton and Ohlberg write in the book.

clive hamilton, author; Hidden Hand: Exposing how the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World

The Age reports; ‘Belt and Road advisory board was stacked with people linked to CCP; “The board members listed on a now-removed website include corporate governance expert Li Wei An, who receives a special government allowance from the Chinese State Council, Liu Jian Xing, a director at China’s National Development and Reform Commission, and Shuaihua Wallace Cheng, an economist at the Shanghai Municipal Government Development Research Centre.

It’s worth adding that Labor does not have a monopoly on CCP influence and infiltration. In mid 2018 the Turnbull Liberal Federal government refused to release the agreement it signed with China covering the controversial BRI infrastructure program on the grounds Beijing does not want it made public.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also refused to release the agreement under the Freedom of Information Act. Steven Ciobo, federal trade minister at the time, told Fairfax Media that “both parties are required to agree to release the text of the MOU and China has not agreed to do so“.

But of course, there’s still more. Mystery surrounds a BRI lobbyist who Andrews has worked closely with for several years; the founder of the Victorian-based Australia-China Belt and Road Initiative, Jean Dong.

Jean Dong - Dan Andrews - Malcolm Turnbull
Jean Dong, Dan Andrews, Malcolm Turnbull – Team BRI

Dong, 33, runs a company which was paid $36,850 AUD of taxpayer cash to consult Mr Andrews before he signed the October 2019 deal without approval from the federal government. Essentially he paid her to do what she had been lobbying him to do – sign on to the BRI. Mr Andrews is believed to have first become connected with Ms Dong through his former adviser, Mike Yang.

She was interviewed by the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper, Guangming Daily, on March 27, and described President Xi as a “global saviour” in his response to the CCP virus pandemic, The Australian reported. I am unable to find any information on Ms Dong’s current whereabouts, but an educated guess is she quietly returned to China once the scrutiny began.

Despite the bi-partisan backlash over the BRI deal, Mr Andrews indicated on July 7th that he is preparing to enter another agreement between Victoria and China on its $1.5 trillion global infrastructure program, saying he wanted his government’s ties with China to grow “even stronger” and would make as “many agreements as possible” to boost the state’s international trade.

The comments come as the opposition says Mr Andrews has now missed two deadlines to provide State Parliament with more details of who he met and what he talked about on trips to China.

“Why will Andrews not account for whom he met on his many trips to China?”

“Why will Andrews not come clean on the positions held by those he met with and the names of the organisations they represented?

“Why does Andrews continue to thumb his nose at the standing orders of the Victorian Parliament that require questions on notice to be answered within 30 days?”

President of the Legislative Council, Labor’s Shaun Leane

Mr Andrews’ office told The Age that Mr Davis would get answers but that they were unlikely to be different to those already supplied.

Overall relations between Australia and China continue to deteriorate, and the current lockdown of Victoria, Wuhan Dan’s handling of the virus–not that it appears to arrant anywhere near the measures he has implemented–as well as the Moselmane investigation aren’t helping. In fact, as Australia continues to investigate Chinese Communist Party espionage, the CCP has come up with clear evidence of dangerous Australian spies in China. You see, it’s actually China that’s the victim of spying.

My favourite state-run CCP media, The Global Times, has released this utterly damning picture, proving that there were Australian spies operating in China back in 2018, including a subway map of Shanghai, and a compass. If you’re an Australian citizen living in China, probably best to get out now. Especially if you own a map and/or a compass.

  • Intelligence funds, spy tools and maps recovered from Australian spies

On a more serious note, the CCP has gone as far as trying to install their own Manchurian candidate in Australian politics. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) launched an investigation into a suspected Chinese espionage ring that had offered a million dollars AUD to pay for a Melbourne luxury car dealer, Bo “Nick” Zhao, to run for a seat in Australia’s federal parliament.

Zhao approached ASIO and told them about the alleged approach from another Melbourne businessman about a year ago, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper said in the joint report with “60 Minutes” and The Age newspaper, citing Zhao’s associates and Western security sources.

After speaking with ASIO, the 32-year-old Zhao was found dead in March in a Melbourne motel room and police have been unable to conclude how he died, the newspaper said.

Media reports have identified the person who approached Zhao as Melbourne businessperson; Brian Chen Chunsheng. The Age has reported that Chen is flagged as a suspected senior Chinese intelligence operative by various Western security sources, and that Chen has posed for pictures in People’s Liberation Army military uniforms, in addition to posing as a journalist during certain international political summits.

Brian Chen Chunsheng
Brian Chen Chunsheng

Chen is known to have made political donations to Australia’s two major political parties, and his company is known to be promoting the Belt and Road Initiative, leading to accusations he is using the BRI as a cover to conduct intelligence operations.

After ASIO learned of the link between Chen and Bo, he was questioned at the airport, insisting he was just a businessman. Mr Chen said he would return to Australia at Chinese new year on January 25, and he was “eager” to clarify his Australian affairs.
He has not since returned to Australia, and sources familiar with his case do not expect him to. Mr Chen’s local mobile phone became inactive around a fortnight ago after The Age and Herald called it several times.

Australia’s News.com reports; “china’s destabilization strategies show bold plan to attack democracies from within“.
The article describes how the CCP’s puts pressure on Australia through various channels, including political influence. It quotes a report stating that “Although China’s rising influence is felt all across the globe, perhaps no country has been as roiled politically by China’s growing influence and political ambitions as Australia has over the past several years,” writes Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) senior associate, Amy Searight.”

“First came revelations about large political donations from groups with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Then came concerns over Beijing’s growing sway over Australian universities. Fears about undue influence within Australian Chinese language media and civic groups soon followed.”
“Combined, it appeared to be a bold plan to attack democracy from within. Unofficial channels were being exploited. Interactions were secretive and manipulative.”

Amy Searight, senior associate, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

The methods the CCP has been using to subvert Australia are the same basic methods that it applies in many other parts of the world, including many of the same basic institutions.

If you talk to many Chinese dissidents they will point out something interesting; when the CCP wants to test programs to launch in the United States, Australia is the first testing ground. If they work in Australia they move into Canada, if they work in Canada they move them to the United States. Australia is the canary in the coal mine of what the CCP risks bringing to the United States, and many of the programs it’s pushing in Australia are again are things The US has been exposed to as well.

And so what’s going on right now; the Chinese Communist Party has been using this same basic model to subvert the democracies and the open systems of different countries, and the same model it’s using in the UK, the same model it’s using in Australia, is also being replicated in the United States.

The United Front Work Department (UFWD) – the main tool the CCP uses for this, among some of its sub-branches are the Confucius Institutes, the Chinese student and scholar associations, different front organizations, the triads, the Chinese mafia and different forms of political and business influence through their networks.

Another prominent former member of the Liberal Party (the Liberal Party in Australia is the main right-wing party) is foreign affairs minister, Alexander Downer, who was appointed a director of the controversial Chinese telecoms firm Huawei in 2011.

He defended the firm, despite years of U.S. intelligence warnings that it’s a tool of Chinese intelligence. He was a staunch advocate for Australia using Huawei infrastructure, even after the Australian government banned the Communist Party-linked company from the National Broadband Network (NBN), as they posed a significant national security risk.

alexander-downer -Huawei
Alexander Downer thinks “we’d be foolish” not to use Huawei

“We would be foolish to close ourselves off from that technology,” Downer said, according to IT News.

Downer utterly rejected criticism of Huawei at the time, saying in another 2012 interview that “this sort of whole concept of Huawei being involved in cyber warfare, presumably that would just be based on the fact that the company comes from China. This is just completely absurd.”
Well that didn’t age well.

Downer officially left the Huawei board in 2014, but seemed to have an on-going interest up until at least 2019. Downer is also implicated in the soft coup that was the Russian collusion hoax;

George Papadopoulos’ retrospective account of a meeting w/ Downer

As for China’s overall interest in Australian politics – a 2016 investigation by the ABC found Beijing is now the largest source of foreign-linked donations in this country. Businesses with connections to China invested more than $5.5 million AUD between 2013 and 2015, according to the report.

Sensible people in politics have been worried about this trend in growing corruption in Australia for quite some time, and worried about the appetite of some of their colleagues for chasing dollars from Chinese business interests, who are often indistinguishable from CCP government interests.

Everyone in Australian politics is chasing cash. It’s not just random or rogue activity. It’s everyone. The cost of that style of politics is the erosion of the very same political system’s integrity.

60 Minutes Australia produced an in-depth report in November, 2019, with the help of another Chinese spy, Wang “William” Liqian, who defected to Australia with a dossier of intelligence on China’s political operations in Hong Kong, Taiwan and elsewhere. His defection from CCP intelligence would be a world first.

Wang “William” Liqian is said to have disclosed the identities of China’s senior military intelligence officers in Hong Kong and provided details of how they funded and conducted operations in Hong Kong and Australia.

Wang is also said to have admitted that he was involved in infiltration and disruption operations in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia. He is said to have provides details on how Beijing stealthily controls listed companies to fund intelligence operations, including the surveillance and profiling of dissidents and the co-opting of media organisations.