Here’s A Breakdown Of Bombshell Claims Of A Plot To “Plant” A Chinese Spy In Our Govt

Australia’s peak intelligence agency says it has been looking into explosive claims that the Chinese government attempted to install a candidate in Canberra, ending a weekend of bombshell allegations levelled against the nation’s Communist government.

There’s a bit going on here, but it’s a huge story. Well, two huge stories, really.

[jwplayer 667ibs5X]

In case you missed it, last night’s 60 Minutes aired extraordinary claims that Melbourne luxury car dealer Bo “Nick” Zhao was approached by an alleged Chinese spy ring to run for federal Parliament as a Liberal Party candidate.

Zhao reportedly told associates in early 2019 that he had referred the matter to ASIO. In March this year, Zhao was found dead in a Glen Waverley hotel room. His cause of death is yet to be determined.

In response to the broadcast, ASIO Director-General of Security, Mike Burgess, issued a late-night statement confirming the organisation was “previously aware of matters that have been reported today, and has been actively investigating them.”

Burgess said the agency would not add further comments while Zhao’s death is under coronial investigation, but said “Hostile foreign intelligence activity continues to pose a real threat to our nation and its security.”

Canberra is taking the matter seriously, too. Liberal MP Andrew Hastie called for a comprehensive investigation into Zhao’s death, and this morning, deputy Labor Party leader Richard Marles called for the establishment of a bipartisan panel to guide the Australian government’s future interactions with China.

Brian Chen, the Melbourne businessman Zhao reportedly said approached him with the offer, has denied ever meeting Zhao. There’s zero suggestion here that Chen was aware of, or was in any way involved in Zhao’s death.

Separately, the Australian intelligence community was recently rocked by the defection of Wang “William” Liqiang, who claims to have worked as a spy for the Chinese government to influence elections and pro-democracy movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Wang said he was involved in kidnapping a Hong Kong bookseller and transporting him to mainland China, along with efforts to influence Taiwan’s elections to promote candidates who’d serve Beijing’s interests.

He also alleged to have met a Chinese agent embedded in a company working in Australia’s energy sector.

Wang is currently seeking protection by the Australian government. Chinese authorities deny his claims, with Shanghai police alleging he is a fraudster wanted for pilfering nearly $1 million and left China using fake travel documents.

The joint investigation by The Age and 60 Minutes – both of which are properties of Nine, which also owns PEDESTRIAN.TV – appear to have fostered renewed interest in the Chinese government, as the nation continues to loom large over the Asia-Pacific region.

You can watch the full 60 Minutes report below.