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Question Raised about First Chinese Australian MP’s Relationship to Chinese Communist Party

Gladys Liu was born in Hong Kong in 1964. In May 2019, she became the first Chinese Australian woman to be elected to the Australian House of Representatives. . She went to Melbourne in 1985 and became an Australian citizen in 1992. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation disclosed on September 10th that the Chinese government website showed that from 2003 to 2015, she served as a council member of the Guangdong provincial chapter of the China Overseas Exchange Association. In 2010, Liu also served as a council member of the Shandong branch of the association. The association accepts business guidance from the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council. In 2018, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council was merged into the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party, an agency dedicated to expanding the political penetration and influence of the Party.

In the face of questioning from Sky News, Liu said, “I don’t remember . . .” However, shortly afterwards, she issued a statement acknowledging that she had held an honorary position in the Guangdong chapter of the China Overseas Exchange Association in 2011, but said that there had been no contact with the organization since then. According to Australian media, Liu supports the Hong Kong democracy movement, but she refuses to call Xi Jinping a “dictator” and refuses to condemn the Chinese government’s actions in the South China Sea as being illegal.

Professor Clive Hamilton, a China researcher at Charles Sturt University, told ABC, “I think Parliament itself must now ask whether she is in breach of section 44 of the constitution, which disqualifies any member who owes allegiance to a foreign power.”

In 2017, Labor senator Sam Dastyari resigned from the Senate after being accused of receiving funding from Chinese political donors to support China’s foreign policy interests.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 11, 2019