Australian Lawmaker Ousted From Party After Report of China Links

A state lawmaker in Australia’s New South Wales will be suspended from his party amid a media report that intelligence officials are investigating alleged links to the Chinese Communist Party.

New South Wales Labor leader Jodi McKay told reporters in Sydney on Friday that search warrants had been executed on the home and office of the party’s lawmaker,Shaoquett Moselmane.

“It is dreadfully concerning, it is terrible,” McKay said. “I have asked the general secretary of the party to begin suspending his membership of the Labor Party.”

A call to Moselmane’s office wasn’t answered, and there was no immediate response to an email seeking comment.

The Australian Federal Police said in an emailed statement on Friday it could “confirm it is executing search warrants in Sydney this morning as part of an ongoing investigation.” It didn’t provide further details.

Earlier on Friday, the Sydney Morning Herald — citing “multiple sources aware of the foreign interference investigation” that it didn’t identify —reported that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation was conducting a sweeping investigation into allegations Chinese government agents have infiltrated the office of Moselmane.

Australia is in the midst of adiplomatic spat with its largest trading partner China after calling for an independent probe into the origins of the coronavirus. In 2018 it passed an anti-foreign interference law it said was aimed at stopping Beijing’s “meddling”’ in its governments, media and education sector.

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