A political party in Australia is calling on the country’s domestic spy agency to run background checks on Members of Parliament (MPs) in Western Australia (WA) for links to organizations under Chinese Communist Party (CCP) control.
Two members from the One Nation Party—a nationalist, right-wing populist political party—recently expressed concerns following events in 2018 that raised questions about the CCP’s influence on Australia and WA.
The One Nation members called for the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) to conduct background checks for links to the CCP on all WA MPs, as well as on members of their own party who were born in China.
"One Nation WA are now proposing the need for ASIO to vet all members of the West Australian Parliament," he told SMH.
The Australian reported some members of the Labor Party in WA are worried about Yang’s rising influence. Since being elected to parliament Yang, 35, has recruited a record 500 new members to the WA division of the Labor Party’s total membership of about 7,000, with almost all of the recruited members being from his local ethnic Chinese community.
Foreign Political Donations ScrutinizedSmith also said the WA state government should question the nature of foreign political donations.
He told SMH, "The state and the whole country need to get the bottom of these unhealthy relationships, including political donations connected to foreign governments."
"Now I am also calling for a lifetime ban on former politicians lobbying for foreign governments."
Smith claimed One Nation had never accepted foreign political donations and the first Australian political party to call for their ban.
One Nation WA president Paul Filing, who was formerly the federal member for Moore in northern Perth, said people born in China who apply for party membership will need to pass a rigorous background check before being approved to join.
He said Tshung Chang, the party’s state secretary, would be vetting applicants.
"Mr Chang, who is our state secretary and has Chinese-Malay heritage, will be tasked to ensure each applicant is a bona fide West Australian loyalist with no ties to the Chinese Communist Party," Filing told SMH.