In further evidence of growing Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia, The Australian today reports controversial West Australian Labor MP Pierre Yang has recruited a record 500 party members — almost all of them from his local ethnic Chinese community — since being elected to parliament 18 months ago.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has called for a royal commission into Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia.
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Some in the Labor Party are worried about the rising influence of Mr Yang — whose network of associates in Perth includes figures sympathetic to the Chinese Communist Party — across branches in Perth.
The WA division has about 7000 members in total, meaning Mr Yang has enlisted about one in 14 members of the party in the state. This gives him potential influence over party preselections and over policy matters at state and national conferences.
His 500 new members have brought in tens of thousands of dollars in annual membership fees for the party, Labor sources have confirmed.
The Australian revealed this week that Mr Yang had failed to disclose his membership of an association that is affiliated to the Chinese Communist Party and another group that strongly supports Beijing’s military build-up in the disputed South China Sea.
He was also named on a website as a member of the WA branch of the Australian Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China, the most prominent CCP-linked group in Australia.
Mr Yang denies ever being a member of the ACPPRC but is close to many key figures in the WA branch, including chairman Ben Pan and long-time member Edward Zhang.
The Australian revealed yesterday that Mr Yang was deployed on a Chinese government vessel in 2016 searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Security experts believe the vessel spent most of its time spying on the Australian military.
Security experts told The Australian at the time that the vessel would have likely gathered intelligence on Australian military activity in “target-rich” WA, which includes the Australian navy submarine base at HMAS Stirling and the Special Air Service Regiment in Perth.
Senator Bernardi has told Sky News a royal commission into Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia is the only way to clean this up.
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