The director of a Belt and Road Initiative lobby group in Victoria, Australia who worked closely with the state government has been found praising Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s handling of the CCP virus pandemic in an interview with a state-run national daily newspaper in China.
Australia-China Belt and Road Initiative (ACBRI) CEO Jean Dong’s praise came around the same that Australia was coming to grips with the news that two Chinese-backed companies had shipped tonnes of critical medical equipment from Australia to China.
Dong was commenting on a speech made by Xi at the G20’s Extraordinary Virtual Leaders’ Summit on COVID-19 held in March to address the global response to the pandemic.
She told the party mouthpiece Guangming Daily on March 27 that Xi’s speech at the summit “provided confidence and support for the global fight against the epidemic and the maintenance of economic growth.”
The article also reported Dong praising the Chinese regime’s presidency of the G20 summit when it was held in Hangzhou in 2016, saying “China put development issues at a prominent position in the global policy framework for the first time, providing valuable Chinese wisdom for improving global economic governance.”
Dong told the paper that the G7 meeting held on March 25 had “ultimately failed” and that it was “regrettable.”
“Therefore, countries around the world pay more attention to the G20 summit and the ‘four-point initiative’ proposed by [Chinese leader] Xi,” Dong said. “Which model is feasible and which country is solving the problem, everyone can see at a glance.”
Earlier this week, reports surrounding the activities of ACBRI came to light, as Victoria’s Belt and Road Initiative agreement comes under increasing scrutiny following the Chinese communist regime’s response to Australia’s call for an inquiry into the pandemic’s origins.
ACBRI, based in Melbourne, is a group focused on enabling “Australian and Chinese industry leaders to articulate clear business opportunities available through China’s Belt and Road Strategy.”
The group was found to have received $36,850 from the state government over a two-year period.
Its website (deleted on May 25) contained information on its board, presentations, and seminars. It also highlighted the involvement of key Australian political and business leaders including Mark Allison, CEO of Elders real estate; former Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner; and former ANZ Bank Chief Executive Mark Smith.
Andrew Robb, former Minister for Trade and Investment, was quoted on the ACBRI website saying: “The Chinese need us because we give credibility to the process (Belt and Road). We are needed and we have something very tangible to offer, but we have to build the initiative.”