Beijing Billy parties with Shanghai Sam

Caption: Now, on the count of three, everybody say: “Xi!”

The tentacles of Chinese influence in the Labor party slither ever-deeper. ?Shanghai Sam? Dastyari was forced to resign after being caught with a fistful of yuan in his pockets, and Chinese influencers have been turning up in Labor politics at a state level. Now, the NSW corruption watchdog is raiding the offices of the Labor party there.

Enter ?Beijing Billy?. Quote:

Bill Shorten was present with other senior party leaders at a Chinese Friends of Labor fundraising dinner in Sydney that is believed to be the focus of a raid on the NSW ALP?s headquarters by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Officials from the NSW corruption body swooped on the ALP Sussex Street offices early yesterday in search of financial records related to an investigation into allegedly undisclosed or illegal party donations in 2015. End of quote.

It?s a bit rich to railroad Shanghai Sam when some of the biggest names in Federal Labor are also lining up for those sweet, sweet Chinese dollars. Quote:

The organiser of the Chinese Friends of Labor dinner, attended by 650 people, was NSW Labor MP Ernest Wong. Another prominent attendee was Chinese property developer Huang Xiangmo, a NSW Labor donor who later came to public ?attention over his financial and personal links to disgraced former Labor senator Sam Dastyari.

A group photo from the fundraising dinner, held shortly before the NSW election in March 2015, shows Mr Shorten standing close to Mr Wong and Mr Huang, along with federal colleague Chris Bowen, then state party leader Luke Foley and state front bencher Adam Searle.

Among others in the photo are state MPs Chris Minns, Shaquette Moselman and Sophie Cotsis and party candidates Edwina Lloyd and Simon Zhou. End of quote.

Huang is the Chinese businessman whose citizenship application was blocked by ASIO over his alleged links to the Chinese communist government. Dastyari is also alleged to have warned Huang that his mobile was under surveillance, during a clandestine meeting.

But Dastyari wasn?t the only senior Labor figure to beat a path to the Chinese businessman?s door.

In 2016, Shorten made his obeisance, begging for election funds. This was months after ASIO had warned the party that Huang was tied to the communists. Quote:

The Australian last night sought comment from Mr Shorten about his dinner attendance, and whether he was aware of ?details of the ICAC investigation into the 2015 party donations that prompted the raid. His office did not respond?Disclosure details for the NSW ALP issued by the NSW Electoral Commission show the dinner held on March 12, 2015, was listed as ?Chinese community dinner to raise fund (sic) for state election ? 12/03/2015?. Officially it raised $88,930 on the night.

Seven months after the NSW election, in October 2015, Mr Huang paid $55,000 to have lunch with Mr Shorten. This sum was later disclosed to the Australian Electoral Commission as a political donation to the federal ALP. In March 2016, Mr Shorten visited Mr Huang at his Sydney mansion, reportedly to seek funds for Labor campaign ads for the coming federal election. End of quote.

Despite being warned for months about the security risk, it seemed that Shorten waited until the money was in the tin before acting. Quote:

After allegations were aired about Mr Huang?s possible links to Chinese government officials, and ASIO briefings to major parties about alleged Chinese government interference in Australian politics, Mr Shorten requested in mid-2017 that the ALP not accept any further funds from Mr Huang and some other donors. End of quote.

But it?s not just Labor who have questions to answer over Chinese money. Even though the depth of influence seems to be higher on the Labor side, the Chinese have been splashing money on both sides of politics. Maybe it?s time to compel every member of parliament to read Clive Hamilton?s Silent Invasion over the summer break.

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