Australian agents launch raids against politician suspected of China links

Part-time staffer attended propaganda course at institute for communist cadres in Beijing: Sydney Morning Herald

Shaoquett Moselmane (left) and John Zhang (screenshot from Facebook) 

Shaoquett Moselmane (left) and John Zhang (screenshot from Facebook) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Australian government agents raided the home and office of a local politician Friday (June 26) on the suspicion he might be involved in a Chinese plot to interfere with the country’s politics.

If enough evidence was found, the politician, Shaoquett Moselmane, could become the subject of a “world first,” a “prosecution for foreign interference offences arising from an alleged covert Chinese Communist Party plot to influence a serving politician,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Moselmane, an Australian Labor Party member of the legislature in the state of New South Wales, had drawn attention over the past few months for his praise of China’s handling of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, since being elected in 2009, the politician visited China nine times, with several of his trips funded by Chinese agencies.

Moselmane’s part-time assistant John Zhang attended a “propaganda training course” in Beijing in 2013 at the Chinese Academy of Governance, a body which trains senior communist officials, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

As news of the raids broke Friday, the Labor Party announced it was suspending Moselmane’s membership.