Chinese Spy (04:07)
In 2015, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization conducts a raid, looking for Sheri Yan. She had connections to powerful families in China and was married to a former intelligence officer. Classified documents found in their home revealed that many Australian political donors had connections to the Chinese Communist Party.
Chinese Business Donor (05:45)
AISO identified billionaire Chau Chak Wing as a political donor and Communist Party member. The businessman's charitable donations earned him connections to Australia's high society. Yan worked as a consultant for Chau in Australia.
Yan's Reputation (05:08)
Yan was known for her business and political networking skills in Australia, China, and the U.S. In 2015, She was arrested in New York for bribing United Nations General Assembly President John Ashe.
Chinese Interference (02:56)
Yan plead guilty; her case was one of many foreign interference AISO investigations. Which agencies can act on evidence of foreign influence was unclear, but concern over the problem grew among officials in the United States. In Australia, foreign political donations are allowed.
Chinese Students in Australia (06:44)
After recent political shakeups, Australia questions China's interests in the country. The Chinese Embassy monitors Chinese student organizations at colleges, like the University of Canberra. Student activist Anthony Chang believes the Chinese government continues to monitor him, despite fleeing the country three years ago.
Another Chinese Donor (06:43)
Billionaire business owner Huang Xiangmo was investigated by AISO in connection with Chau and Yan. His property development company donated millions to public projects, gaining him powerful connections in government. He donated to the campaigns of candidates who supported better trade and relations with China.
Chinese Influence in New South Wales (08:08)
Xiangmo is a strong supporter of unifying Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea under Chinese rule. He has helped Australian politicians with similar interests get into office in New South Wales. Xiangmo's political contacts help push through his application for Australian citizenship.
China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (04:04)
The agreement economically linked the two countries. A Chinese company with ties to the Communist Party signed a 59-year lease on the Port of Darwin. Many former Australian government officials went to work with Chinese companies in the country.
Credits: Power and Influence (04:02)
Credits: Power and Influence
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