Queensland LNP Candidate’s Call for Beijing to ‘Strike Hard’ Against Its Adversaries

October 29, 2020 Updated: October 29, 2020

A Chinese candidate in one of Brisbane’s most multiculturally diverse electorates has run advertising campaigns calling on Chinese-speakers to “vote for one of our own people” and has called on Beijing to “strike hard” against adversaries over the South China Sea.

Peter Zhuang, a 51-year-old property developer, is representing the Liberal National Party at the upcoming Queensland state election on Oct. 31.

He is running in the southern Brisbane seat of Stretton, which has the highest concentration of Mandarin-speakers in Queensland.

In one advertisement run in the Queensland Chinese Times, Zhuang’s campaign slogan reads: “Vote for one of our own people.”

Another ad run in the Asian Community News Weekly reads, “Same roots, same clan, same origin, it’s easier to communicate with our own people.”

Epoch Times Photo
Queensland LNP Candidate Peter Zhuang’s Chinese-language advertising campaign which states in the highlighted yellow banner: “Same Roots, Same Clan, Same Origin, it’s easier to communicate with our own people. The Chinese community should unite and select its own representative.” (Screenshot)

“The Chinese community should unite and select its own representative,” it continued.

Revelations have also emerged of a Facebook post by Zhuang in 2013 supporting Beijing’s claim to the South China Sea, according to the Daily Mail.

The post read: “I urge the Chinese government to follow the law and promote the ‘strike hard’ and ‘suppression’ overseas, starting with neighbouring countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan, and gradually spreading to the Americas, Europe and Australia, so that people of all ethnic groups will feel China’s presence.”

When questioned on the posts and advertising, Zhuang said “I had forgotten it,” he said. “I don’t think that’s what I said. I can’t remember. I don’t think it’s my post.”

A Liberal National Party (LNP) spokesperson told The Epoch Times, “He was referencing a satirical article by a Chinese comedian living in the United States which was written in early 2013 and shared by him in March 2013 about Chinese fighters participating in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.”

Epoch Times Photo
Art display in Sunnybank, the heart of the Asian community in Brisbane (The Epoch Times).

The spokesperson said there is no conflict with federal government policy towards Beijing and the South China Sea.

Zhuang also declined to condemn Beijing’s treatment of the persecuted Muslim Uighur minority, who have been detained in re-education camps.

In recent months, the government has pushed a swathe of initiatives which could curb Beijing’s influence and foreign interference activities, including revamping the citizenship test to place a greater emphasis on Australian values.

Revelations of the comments come as the Queensland LNP fights to maintain a presence in the Labor Party stronghold of metropolitan Brisbane.

In recent years, the number of Mainland Chinese migrants to Brisbane has increased, overtaking the population of the Taiwanese and Hong Kong communities.

The political views of the communities, however, are diverse, with some supporting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and many leaning towards democracy and having a more critical view of Beijing.

Outspoken democracy activists and independent Chinese-language press have also been subject to intimidation from CCP supporters and affiliates.

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese-language newspapers at a shopping centre in Sunnybank Hills, a suburb with one of the highest Mandarin-speaking populations in Queensland, Australia. (The Epoch Times)

Mike Burgess, director-general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) recently warned a Senate Estimates committee: “It is unacceptable that people in Australia are being intimidated simply for advocating for democratic reforms or criticising human rights abuses.”

While wariness of CCP influence in federal politics has become hot button issue in recent years, Professor Clive Hamilton, author of Silent Invasion, has warned that state and local level politics is still a breeding ground for interference.

At a recent inquiry into the Foreign Relations Bill, Hamilton told the committee that the CCP was circumventing federal-level politics and targeting more vulnerable, and less vigilant, sub-national governments and universities.

“One element of the Chinese Communist Party strategy is known as … ‘using the local to surround the centre,’ that is, using good relations with local actors to pressure national governments,” he told the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee on Oct. 12.