Chinese billionaire blasts ‘giant baby’ Australia’s anti-China agenda in rare interview

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February 12, 2019 13:46:39

Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo has slammed Australia’s “anti-China agenda” and said the rejection of his citizenship application was “groundless”, in an interview with Chinese state media outlet Global Times.

Key points:

  • Chinese businessman donated $2 million to Australian political parties
  • He was rejected citizenship and stripped of his permanent residency
  • He told state media he was “punished” and “smeared” on “groundless accusations”

The more than 3,000-word long interview was published a week after the Department of Home Affairs stripped the prominent political donor of his permanent residency while he was out of the country, making it impossible for him to return to Australia.

“What I did not expect is that a system that boasts democracy and rule of law would allow some people from its intelligence agency to punish a permanent resident with groundless accusations,” Mr Huang told the Global Times.

He said Australian media outlets had conspired against him.

“It’s not that the Australian side has scepticisms about my political donations, but some media are co-ordinately smearing me in an odd way,” he said.

“I estimate that behind some media’s bizarre collaborative reports and bold claims of obtaining intelligence secrets that should not be obtained, there seems to be some strange power operating in a dark place outside the law. It will take time to gradually reveal the secret.”

Mr Huang’s links to the Chinese Communist Party sparked concerns of foreign interference in Australia’s political system and prompted spy agency ASIO to warn the major political parties about accepting donations from him.

“I cannot figure out the logic of ASIO in regard to my efforts in promoting the reunification of China as threatening the national security of Australia,” he said.

“After all, my words and actions are fully in accordance with Australia’s foreign policies and laws.”

Mr Huang rejected an ABC request for interview on Friday. He was again approached for an interview today following the Global Times story, but declined.

‘Giant baby Australia still has a long way to go’: Huang

In 2017, Mr Huang denied having a relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.

When asked to respond to Mr Huang’s claims, the Department of Home Affairs said it does not comment on individual cases.

The Global Times sits under the auspices of the People’s Daily, and China experts say it has actively interjected itself into Australian foreign policy disputes in the past.

Mr Huang said only two reasons were clearly stated for his rejection — he was president of the Australian Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China — a Communist Party-aligned body charged with promoting its interests — and is also chairman of the Oceanic Alliance of Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China.

He described those reasons as “ridiculous”.

The property developer has donated at least $2 million to Australian political parties directly and through his companies, including a $150,000 donation to the NSW branch of the ALP while Sam Dastyari was party secretary.

Mr Dastyari’s links to Mr Huang and China, including his defence of China’s stance on the South China Sea, ultimately led to his downfall, ending his career as a senator last year.

Among Mr Huang’s donations made through his various companies are $50,000 to the Liberal Party in Victoria in 2014, $55,000 to dine with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in 2015, and $20,000 each to the campaigns of Liberal Senator Mathias Cormann and former Tasmanian Liberal MP Andrew Nikolic in 2016.

Along with associates, he donated $50,000 to former Trade Minister Andrew Robb’s campaign financing vehicle, the Bayside Forum, in 2014.

Last week Mr Huang asked political parties to pay back his donations if they were deemed inappropriate.

Mr Huang said Australia’s history was shaped by “the innate characteristics of a giant baby”.

“This is an objective fact and it does not mean Australia has to feel inferior. The growth of a giant baby takes time, and Australia still has a long way to go,” he said.

He added that Australia’s “so-called anti-Communism is merely an excuse to of their anti-China agenda” and that he wanted to “avoid the country’s return to the White Australia policy and far-right populism”.

He nonetheless described Australia as a beautiful country where anti-China sentiment was limited to a handful of people, but said the decision to strip his residency had a devasting personal impact.

Topics:

government-and-politics,

world-politics,

immigration,

china,

australia,

hong-kong



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