Conservatives call for China Royal Commission

September 19, 2018

Conservative Party founder, leader and senator Cory Bernardi, has asked a question in the Senate about the Chinese communist party's (CCP) influence in Australia. The questions concluded with the call for a Royal Commission into CCP influence - a call that leader of the government, Mathias Cormann, instantly rejected.

The Coalition's rejection of a Royal Commission comes despite Senator Bernardi noting the precedent of the Menzies Coalition government moving a Royal Commission into Soviet communist influence in 1954.

The Conservative Party is undeterred by today's rejection, noting the Coalition were rejecting calls for royal commissions into banks & financial services - and aged care - and are now running royal commissions on those important topics. 

As with those issues, public support and awareness will strengthen the case for a royal commission - to sign our petition, click here.

Events in the last 18 months have given firm reason to be concerned about CCP influence in politics (through donations), espionage & surveillance, subverting academic freedom and strategic land & infrastructure asset purchases against the Australian national interest.

Most recently, Senator Bernardi raised via The Australian newspaper an alarming 'snitching scandal' at the University of Adelaide in his home state of South Australia. Chinese-Australian students opposed to communism in student elections were allegedly reported by pro-CCP students to the Chinese embassy in Canberra.

In 2017 Senator Bernardi vigorously pursued now former Labor senator Sam Dastyari over allegations of connections to donors with significant CCP connections, and issued this statement in December 2017 when the then Turnbull Liberal government took steps to update espionage laws. A call for a Royal Commission was front and centre of that statement.

The Trump administration acknowledged in January the role Australia has taken in alerting the world about CCP influence. Clive Hamilton, in his book 'Silent Invasion', indicated that the CCP had identified Australia and New Zealand as susceptible targets for CCP influence in the West. Senator Bernardi had twice moved in the Senate to assist Mr Hamilton with publishing Silent Invasion, after he had raised concerns about publishers being dissuaded via CCP influence from publishing it.

Former Coalition adviser, Mr John Garnaut - extensively quoted in Silent Invasion - warned a US House Armed Services Committee in March that China has sought to tilt the Australian political and strategic landscape to its advantage.

The Conservative Party leader said in May that the Coalition government needed to be stronger in relation to CCP influence:

Conservative Party NSW senate candidate and military lawyer Sophie York named the CCP in June as one of three major threats to Australian civil society.

Then in July, Conservative Party SA senate candidate Rikki Lambert addressed an 'In the name of Confucius' forum in Adelaide about CCP influence through 'Confucius Institutes'. He addressed, in comments below, the extent of CCP influence in Australia. (click CC at the bottom of the Youtube screen for subtitles if the audio is hard to hear). 

In August the leading Anglosphere or 'Five Eyes' nations - the USA, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand - agreed that it was important to respond together to severe foreign interference.

Also in August, Senator Bernardi successfully moved in the Senate calling out the modern-day 're-education' camps and empowering Australians concerned about them in China to report them to the Australian Foreign Minister.

A Conservative Party motion moved the same week concerning Confucius Institutes was voted down by the major parties.

As part of its work strengthening civil society and appreciation of history, the Conservative Party has created Action Plans marking anniversaries of the Tiananmen Square massacre and the death of Chairman Mao Zedong.


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