Reuters: Australian politician’s staffer investigated for advancing China’s interests
Wed August, 2020, Age: 3 years
Australian federal police raided the home and office of John Zhang, a staffer for Australian Labor politician Shaoquett Moselmane, as part of a foreign interference investigation. John Zhang is accused of advancing “Chinese state interests,” according to court documents. The case is the first test of a 2018 foreign interference law introduced in response to a damning classified report on Chinese activity in Australia. The Australian government has taken an increasingly hard attitude towards Chinese agents following revelations about influence-seeking and corruption in recent years, and has tiffed repeatedly with the Chinese state, which consistently denies that it meddles in foreign politics. Most recently, Sino-Australian tensions were fanned after Australia’s call for an independent investigation into the origins of SARS-Cov2 and the Chinese government’s early mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.