Forbes reported that Australian Billionaire Andrew Forrest openly supported the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the coronavirus period and, as a result, saw his fortune shrink by close to $900 million.
During the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. and Australian governments demanded an investigation into how the virus started in Wuhan. However, Forrest defended China’s alleged role in concealing the possible cause of the virus outbreak.
Even the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said Forrest’s comments about the virus possibly originating outside China were nonsense. Morrison said, “I don’t think anybody is in any fantasyland about where it started. It started in China.”
Forrest also invited the Chinese consul-general in the State of Victoria, Long Zhou, to speak at a media conference organized by the Australian Health Minister, Greg Hunt. The Australian, a national morning newspaper, published a critical editorial on Long Zhou’s gate-crashing the Minister’s event at Forrest’s invitation. It stated, “Business must not dictate the nation’s foreign policy.”
A prominent radio talk show host, Alan Jones, described Forrest as a “Beijing propaganda sock puppet.”
Forrest’s wealth, estimated by Forbes at $8.8 billion, is based largely on a 30 percent stake in the iron ore mining company, Fortescue Metals, which sells most of its ore to Chinese steel mills.
The effect on the stock market of Forrest’s championing the CCP was severe. On May 4, while most mining companies suffered a price correction with leaders such as BHP and Rio Tinto down about 7 percent from their highs on April 30, Fortescue Metals fell 12 percent, resulting in Forrest losing about $900 million in his stake.
Related posting on Chinascope:
Source: Forbes, May 4, 2020