Australian politician’s house raided amid investigation into China ties

  • An Australian politician is being suspended from his party as security officials investigate alleged ties to the Chinese government.
  • Authorities raided the home of Shaoquett Moselmane, a state politician with the opposition Labor Party, on Friday.
  • The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Australia’s national security agency ASIO is conducting an extensive investigation into allegations that Chinese government agents have infiltrated Moselmane’s office.
  • The Labor leader said the allegations were “terribly troubling.”
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Australian officials are conducting a thorough investigation into allegations that Chinese government agents have infiltrated the office of an Australian politician, according to media reports.

Officials from the Australian Security Intelligence Agency (ASIO) raided the home of Shaoquett Moselmane, a state politician in the opposition Labor party, on Thursday. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, officers were looking for evidence to support allegations of a Chinese government plot on Australian soil.

ASIO is Australia’s anti-espionage and home security agency.

Jodi McKay, the Labor leader, has confirmed that Moselmane will be suspended from the party and said reports that the raids were related to allegations of interference from the Chinese government were “terribly concerning.”

If the allegations prove to be well founded, the Herald reported, the investigation could result in the world’s first prosecution for crimes of foreign interference stemming from a Chinese Communist Party’s covert plot to influence a foreign politician.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he could not comment on the investigation in detail, but said it “had been going on for some time.”

“The government is absolutely determined to ensure that no one interferes with Australia’s activities,” he said.

“We will face it. And we will take action, as demonstrated today.”

Greater threat ‘than at the height of the Cold War’

australia china


It comes amid growing concerns in Australia about China’s attempts to interfere and spy on the country.

One of the country’s top spy chiefs warned earlier this year that Australia was under an “unprecedented threat” from foreign espionage, saying that foreign agents were making concerted efforts to influence politicians, government officials and business leaders.

“The level of threat we face from foreign espionage and interference activities is currently unprecedented,” said Mike Burgess, ASIO’s chief executive officer in February, according to a Reuters report.

“It is higher now than at the height of the Cold War.”

An official told Reuters that Burgess had probably referred mainly to China in his comments.

Australia’s largest trading partner is China. Burgess said it is of particular interest to China because of its strategic location, as well as its alliances.

Your membership in the Five Eyes intelligence sharing community, which also encompasses the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand, can make you a particularly valuable target for hostile foreign espionage.