UPDATE: 5 Eyes media have been amplifying the story. BBC quoted Sydney Morning Herald saying, “No allegations had been proven.” The New York Times, which rarely reports on Australia, ran a staff-written story, writes Joe Lauria.
By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a somber press conference on Friday to announce that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) had conducted a raid on a sitting member of the New South Wales parliament all because, so far, he’d said favorable things about China and had gone on junkets to the country.
The Murdoch-owned Australian newspaper reported that the office and Sydney home of NSW Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane had been raided because he “has repeatedly praised Beijing, even describing Chinese President Xi Jingping’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as ’emphatic’ and ‘decisive.’”
Moslemane was portrayed as an “extremely serious” threat because he had written about China: “Failure to contain the epidemic could mean thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives would be lost. The combined phenomenal effort of the state and the people in the fight to contain the virus was breathtaking.” The MP was also deemed a threat because, as The Australian reported:
“In April, Mr Moselmane resigned as Upper House assistant president after being caught on camera again praising President Xi’s handling of the virus, even as concerns arose that China had underplayed the severity of the crisis.
He has also said China needed to ‘force a change to the rules and create a new world order’. Mr Moselmane was the honorary chair of the Australian Shanghainese Association and a member of the Australian Chinese Association, both linked to Beijing’s secretive network of foreign influence operations known as the United Front.
In one 2015 trip to Shanghai, Mr Moselmane met with the chairwoman of the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference of Songjiang, Jie Ju. That organisation was described by the United States as ‘the highest ranking entity overseeing the United Front system’”