Chinese real estate developer and billionaire Huang Xiangmo has finally told us what he really thinks after he had his permanent residency (PR) visa revoked in December.
That decision, backed by ASIO on suspicion he was a Chinese agent, led him to demand Australian politicians — to whom Huang had donated millions of dollars — to “give back my money”.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is now chasing him for $140 million and he’s been accused of making an illegal political donation of $100,000 cash to the NSW Labor Party. He maintains his innocence on both counts.
With Huang looking like he has little chance of returning to Australia, the private businessman has unleashed.
On Wednesday, he published an extraordinary new statement to his personal website titled ‘[The] ATO shall not be a despicable tool for political persecution’. In it, Huang decries in both English and Chinese what he believes is unfair treatment at the hands of Australian authorities.
These are the big takeaways.
Huang Xiangmo claims the ATO is being used as a “political suppression tool”
“The ATO is believed to be a professional government agency with some integrity but it really pains and saddens me that it has now surrendered itself to the pressure of some unknown dark forces, almost allowing itself to become a tool for political persecution against me.”
“It is immensely regrettable and saddening as ATO’s act has greatly damaged the professionalism and neutrality of the ATO and also established a vicious precedent for it as a political suppression tool that undermines the rule of law in Australia and its investment environment, causing profound and long-lasting damage to the country.”
“[The] ATO has been reduced to a despicable tool of political persecution.”
He maintains his absolute innocence
“I have been unable to return to Australia since my permanent residency was revoked by the Australian Intelligence Agency (ASIO) based on groundless allegations.”
“Throughout the years that the ATO and I were in communication, the ATO has failed to identify any ground for tax evasion on my part.”
“Over the years, some representatives of the ‘deep state’ in Australia have repeatedly accused me of being an ‘agent of influence’. Yet, despite years of stringent investigation on me, the ASIO had to eventually admit that there was not even a hair of evidence for such allegation.”
He compares his critics to white supremacists
“Are those Australian politicians and media outlets who bank on telling tales about China and the Chinese any different from the White Supremacists or the McCarthyites? The Australian democracy, freedom and rule of law – Are they for display only? The Chinese and all other ethnic groups – Were they blind to have chosen to live in Australia?”
He says Australia’s China policy is characterised by “greed”, “fear”, and “shamelessness”
“It was once reported that the then Prime Minister Tony Abbot described Australia’s China policy as driven by ‘fear and greed’. I admire his frankness and I agree with his choice of words. However, from my experience, when describing Australia’s China policy both in its diplomatic policy towards China and its domestic policy towards the Australian Chinese, there should be a third word to join ‘Fear’ and ‘Greed’: ‘Hypocrisy’. Or, to be more direct – It is outright ‘Shamelessness’.”
Huang is of the opinion “dark forces” in Australia are out to destroy him
“I cannot help but suspect that some of the decision-makers did not act for the purpose of tax collection but for using the disguised enforcement as a political tool to facilitate some dark forces in an attempt to ruin my reputation, cut off my business network and intimidate my business partners.”
“First to deprive me of my residency on groundless allegations, then a further attempt to seize my assets with unfounded claims – this is an egregious abuse of power that sends chills down my spine as I would never have expected it of Australia, a country ruled by law, supposedly.”
Huang believes it’s all part of a “deep state” conspiracy against him
“All allegations against me have been “groundless” in nature. Be it a political donation or an alleged tax burden, it all leads to fictional tales fabricated in a vacuum.”
“Even more shockingly, some government agencies have actually taken or attempted to take some “deep state-style” actions against me based on those “fictions”. This is the real woe of Australia and where the actual risk lies for the country.”
He believes the media are in on it
“Before I received any legal documents or knowledge of ATO’s sudden attack as a party involved, some media outlets in Australia had already been granted access to detailed information in advance and were able to produce unilateral and biased reports.”
“They attempted to associate the matter to the completely irrelevant ICAC hearing and the alleged “China Influence Infiltration”. This has signaled complicated political calculation and motivation lurking in the background.”
He urges ATO staff to resist these “dark forces” and believes one day his name will be cleared
“I hereby appeal to the ATO personnel involved in previous communication of the case that although you may not be able to resist the pressure of some dark forces as of yet, you may still retain the relevant evidence so as not to end up as scapegoats for the dark forces again.”
“The day will come and darkness will dissipate and I ask that you join me in upholding the faith that Australia’s rule of law and justice will eventually prevail.”
Read the full statement here.