Rubbing shoulders: Chairman of Yuhu Group Mr Xiangmo Huang, Chinese Ambassador to Australia Mr Zhaoxu Ma and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Supplied Xiangmo Huang and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney. Photo: Fairfax Media
Nanjing Night Net

Huang Xiangmo with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Supplied Photo: Supplied

Beijing: The Chinese community in Australia shouldn’t let itself be viewed as little more than a “cash cow” by both federal parties it gives donations to, according to Huang Xiangmo, one of the country’s most prolific political donors.

Mr Huang, chairman of property developer Yuhu Group and a highly-influential figure in Australian-Chinese business circles, has attracted widespread media scrutiny after donating more than $1 million to both sides of politics since 2012, including contributions apparently directed at Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and former Trade Minister Andrew Robb.

He has done so juggling roles as chair of the Australia China Relations Institute at the University of Technology, Sydney, while simultaneously  heading “patriotic groups” with close links to the Communist Party. He has used his position as head of the Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China to urge local Chinese-Australians to advance Communist Party core interests, including the opposition of Taiwan and Tibetan independence.

“The Chinese community is still inexperienced when it comes to participating in politics, and in making political donations,” Mr Huang wrote in a commentary for the Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper on Monday, in his capacity as ACRI chairman. “We need to learn … how to have a more efficient combination between political requests and political donations, and how to use the media to push our political requests.

Mr Huang has become a frequent commentator on Australian politics, and his columns, which have included musings on the recent federal election and Kevin Rudd’s United Nations push, have appeared in popular Chinese-language online media outlet Sydney Today as well as the Global Times.

Mr Huang said the Chinese community was under-represented in Australian politics and that the media focus on “China-related” donations had overtones of “racial discrimination”, given no other ethnicities were singled out for scrutiny. “They still keep the bias of White Australia and hope Chinese community continue to be silent instead of having power of speech in politics.”

Without naming specific politicians, Mr Huang said Chinese Australians were often regarded as “cash cows” during an election campaign but after getting elected, they neglected the interests of the Chinese community.

Mr Huang donated $1.8 million to establish ACRI at UTS, which is headed by former foreign minister and NSW Premier Bob Carr. He has also made large contributions to the Children’s Medical Research Institute at Westmead and toward an Australia-China arts institute at Western Sydney University.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


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