Australian Politician’s Home Raided in Chinese Influence Inquiry

By Damien Cave | The New York Times |

Federal officers entering the home of Shaoquett Moselmane in the Rockdale suburb of Sydney, Australia, on Friday.Credit…Bianca De Marchi/Australian Associated Press

SYDNEY, Australia — The Australian authorities raided the home and office of a federal lawmaker on Friday as part of a sweeping investigation into allegations of a Chinese government plot to manipulate the politics and policy of Parliament.

Shaoquett Moselmane, a Labor politician from a Sydney suburb, recently praised China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, a message sharply at odds with the Australian government’s subsequent call for a global inquiry into the outbreak’s origins.

Australia’s national security agency confirmed that a search warrant had been executed as part of an ongoing investigation, and Labor Party leaders quickly announced that Mr. Moselmane’s membership would be suspended. The authorities have not made public any evidence of illegal activities by Mr. Moselmane, who could not be reached for comment.

The case is the first high-profile criminal investigation of Chinese influence peddling to be made public since Australia passed a suite of foreign interference and espionage laws two years ago. The measures were aimed directly at Beijing’s attempt to shape the country’s politics through donations, promises and pressure on politicians at every level of government.

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About Cholo Brooks 14907 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.