Commentary on Political Economy

Friday, 26 June 2020


NSW Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane staffer John Zhang raided in foreign interference probe

Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane’s staffer John Zhang.
Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane’s staffer John Zhang.
National security officials have raided the home and business of a staff member to NSW Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane, who is being questioned by federal agents this afternoon over an ongoing investigation into foreign interference. 
The home of John Zhang, a part-time staffer to Mr Moselmane, was raided by federal police and officers attached to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation this morning. Mr Zhang’s business in Sydney was also the subject of a search warrant.
Mr Moselmane is currently being interviewed by federal officials in a conference room at NSW Parliament, located metres away from his office, which is also being searched.


The Australian understands the investigation is centred on the activities of Mr Zhang, though Mr Moselmane remains a person of interest to officials.
NSW Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane leaves the Parliament of New South Wales on Friday night.
NSW Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane leaves the Parliament of New South Wales on Friday night.
Both the AFP and ASIO have confirmed the raids form part of an “ongoing investigation”, which is believed to be probing allegations of foreign interference by the Chinese government.
Mr Moselmane, whose controversial commentary on China has prompted rebukes from colleagues in the past, was suspended from the NSW Labor Party this morning as news of the investigation became public.
READ MORE:Raids on Labor MP over China link show threat is real: PM
“It’s the right thing to do,” NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay told reporters. “He will no longer sit in the caucus. He will no longer be a Labor Party member. His membership is being suspended as we speak.”

Labor MP raided as part of counter-espionage investigation 

A major investigation has been launched into allegations Chinese government agents have infiltrated the political office of a NSW Labor MP. The Australian Federal Police thi...
NSW Police Minister David Elliot told The Australian that Ms McKay should demand Mr Moselmane’s resignation.
“I’ve demanded he resign from parliament today, and if he doesn’t, Jodi should stand down as leader because she has allowed all this to happen on her watch,” said Mr Elliott.
“Allegations that he conspired with a foreign power just metres away from the office of the premier, police minister and minister for counter terrorism are frightening.”
Mr Moselmane has made no secret of his support for the Chinese government. In April he resigned as assistant president of the NSW upper house for praising China’s response to the novel coronavirus crisis and lauding President Xi Jinping’s “unswerving leadership”.
In a 2018 speech he declared that the only way for China to “reach its potential” would be to “force a change to the rules and create a new world order”. That year he also moved a motion in parliament noting the work of several Chinese nationals, including Professor Xiangmo Huang, a political donor who was expelled by the Australian government over allegations of foreign interference.
Mr Moselmane has visited China nine times since entering parliament in 2009. According to filings, he is the honorary chair of the Australian Shanghainese Association and a founding member and past senior vice president of the Australian Chinese Association, both of which have been cited by academics as organisations closely linked to the Chinese Government.
Mr Zhang is listed on his LinkedIn page as the honorary chairman of the Australian Shanghainese Association.

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