Both the Liberal and Labor parties have reportedly received millions of dollars in donations via a body seen as a front for the Chinese government.
According to a report in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, the Australian Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China is an “agent of the Chinese state” whose members are “covert conduits” to influence policy in Australia.
The newspaper says it has a confidential report showing the two major political parties have received almost $6 million from figures within the Australian Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China.
Parliamentary researchers uncovered the extent of donations made to the Liberal and Labor parties by pro-Beijing figures, the newspaper says.
The parliamentary report said: “It may be the case that the wealthy business members and affiliates provide all funding, with the businessmen considering such funding as part of their ‘patriotic duty’, and being rewarded with positions on Chinese bodies and possibly commercial opportunities in China.”
The Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China has previously been reported as a common link between major Chinese donors to politicians and parties in Australia.
In June this year, ASIO, Australia’s domestic intelligence agency, warned the major political parties about donations from Chinese interests.
A Four Corners-Fairfax investigation found that two major donors are property developers Huang Xiangmo and Dr Chau Chak Wing.
They, and associated entities, have donated around $6.7 million to the Liberal, Labor and National Parties over a decade, according to the ABC.
Xiangmo is named in the Herald Sun report as giving a combined $1.935 million to the Labor and Liberal parties.