Lawmaker’s Links to China Heighten Alarm Over Beijing’s Reach in Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia—An Australian lawmaker is facing a political backlash over her ties to Beijing-backed organizations, a sign of deepening sensitivities about perceived meddling by China in national affairs. Hong Kong-born Gladys Liu said in a statement that she once was a member of an organization linked to a Chinese Communist Party agency that seeks to rally support overseas for the party’s policies, having earlier said that she couldn’t recall any such links. Ms. Liu, who represents the electoral district of Chisholm, which includes leafy suburbs in eastern Melbourne, has lived…

Scott Morrison defends Gladys Liu on WeChat but stonewalls further questions | Australia news

Scott Morrison has brushed off questions about Gladys Liu, despite taking to Chinese social media platform WeChat to defend the embattled Liberal MP and to claim he stands up for “all Chinese-Australians”. On Friday the controversy around the member for Chisholm grew after the Herald Sun reported that Liu had not filed a return declaring a $39,675 donation to the Victorian Liberal party in 2015-16. Labor has targeted Liu for failing to disclose her membership of Chinese government-linked associations before her preselection to the Liberal party, which Morrison has labelled…

Scott Morrison says attacks on Gladys Liu have a ‘grubby undertone’ | Australia news

Scott Morrison has said accusations that the Chinese-born MP Gladys Liu has inappropriate links with the Chinese Communist party are a “grubby smear”, but has refused to confirm whether security agencies have ever raised concerns about her background. As Labor prepared to target the government for a second day over Liu’s background, the prime minister hit out at the opposition for what he called the suggestion that the member for Chisholm was “in cahoots” with the Chinese government. “It is a ridiculous suggestion and I think it is an insult…

Gladys Liu says she is a ‘proud Australian’ after questions raised about ties with China | Australia news

The Liberal MP Gladys Liu has said she “should have chosen her words better” in an interview that canvassed her views on China, as she came under pressure for refusing to criticise the regime of President Xi Jinping. The first Chinese-born Australian MP said on Wednesday she was cutting ties with various Chinese institutions with links to the Communist party, and was conducting an audit to make sure no organisations had made her an honorary member without her knowledge. “I am a proud Australian, passionately committed to serving the people…

Gladys Liu ‘a test of Scott Morrison’s leadership’, says Labor – politics live | Australia news

Of course, it’s not just Gerard Rennick who has people talking about the class of 2019. There is also Gladys Liu after her interview with Andrew Bolt on Sky News overnight, following up this ABC story. It opened with this: Bolt: Joining me is Liberal MP Gladys Liu. Gladys, thank you so much for your time. Can I just start, were you on the committee of two chapters of the China Overseas Guangdong Exchange Association, one in Guangdong from 2003-2015 and the other in Shandong? Liu: Well, good to be…

Liberal MP Gladys Liu refuses to say China’s actions in South China Sea unlawful | Australia news

Liberal MP Gladys Liu has refused to explicitly criticise China after questions about her connections to Chinese Communist Party propaganda organisations. The Chisholm MP also would not say China’s actions in the South China Sea are unlawful, despite an international tribunal finding otherwise. Liu appeared on Sky News’ The Bolt Report on Tuesday night after an ABC story claimed she was an office-holder with two organisations that were later rolled into China’s United Front propaganda arm. She said she could not recall whether she had been a council member for…

Asia Times | Why Australia and Vietnam can’t quite get together

Just weeks after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison made his first official visit to Hanoi, a diplomatic occasion for boosting trade and security ties, Vietnamese authorities moved to charge Australian citizen Van Kham Chau with terrorism. Ahead of Morrison’s high profile visit and before the two sides held a 16th human rights dialogue in Canberra, rights lobby group Human Rights Watch urged Australia to raise the case of Chau, who has been detained in Vietnam since January on anti-state charges. Unlike the United States (US) and European Union (EU), both…

No Way Mr. President: Australia Flat Out Rejected American Missiles Meant for China

So why isn’t Australia jumping at the opportunity to be a U.S. missile base? Some Australians might object to making Australia a bigger target in a potential U.S.-China conflict (bonus question: will these American missiles be capable of carrying nuclear warheads?).   Australia has a close defense relationship with America. But that doesn’t mean Oz wants to jeopardize its relations with China by allowing the United States to station missiles on its territory. Both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defense Minister Linda Reynolds have quashed the notion that American intermediate-range missiles—which…

China taking ‘revenge’ on Australia, experts warn

China’s formal arrest of Australian citizen Yang Hengjun on espionage charges is a form of “revenge” and “hostage diplomacy”, experts have warned. Dr Yang, a writer, pro-democracy activist and former Chinese diplomat, was detained in January and held for months without access to his lawyers or family. Yesterday we learned he had been charged with spying, an offence punishable by death in China. RELATED: China formally arrests Australian Yang Hengjun Foreign Minister Marise Payne reacted with a strongly worded statement that included references to “torture” and “inhumane treatment” — a…