Australia battles Chinese political influence

WHEN Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, urged China earlier this month to respect “the sovereignty of others”, many took it as criticism of China’s expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea. But the comment might just as easily have been a reference to Australia’s political parties. All of them face questions about donations from businessmen linked to China’s government. A parliamentary inquiry in March called for a ban on political donations from foreign sources. Mr Turnbull has endorsed the idea, as has Labor, the main opposition.

Yet on June 5th, three days after Mr Turnbull’s speech, a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reinflamed the controversy. Two years ago both Labor and the Liberal-National alliance, which Mr Turnbull heads, are said to have ignored a warning from the domestic spy agency against accepting donations from two Chinese property developers: Chau Chak Wing and Huang Xiangmo. Mr Chau is an Australian citizen and Mr...Continue reading

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