Chinese-linked among political donations

Chinese-linked company Hong Kong Kingson Investment Limited was the second-largest disclosed political donor in 2015-16, the Australian Electoral Commission’s annual disclosure report reveals.
The company pledged $860,000 to Australian political parties, including more than $700,000 to the Liberal Party.

Hong Kong Kingson Investment Ltd is listed with a Hong Kong address and owned by billionaire Chau Chak Wing, an Australian citizen, who has poured millions into both Liberal and Labor party coffers over the past decade.

Luo Chuangxiong donated $50,000 to Labor in 2015-16, following on from a total of $200,000 in donations in 2013-

Mr Luo participated in the Chinese Business Leader roundtable meeting convened by former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell and facilitated by Huang Xiangmo of Yuhu in April 2014.
As an honorary chairman of the Chao Shan Association of Australia, Mr Luo is frequently involved in meeting and greeting senior political figures from China.
Hong Kong Kingston Investment Co. Ltd, headed by Chau Chak Wing, donated a total of $150,000 to Labor and $710,00 to the Liberal Party.
Mr Chau is linked to a partly state-backed newspaper, the Australian New Express Daily, launched by then NSW premier Bob Carr in 2004.
Mr Carr is also an honorary president of the Association of Australia China Friendship and Exchange, of which Mr Chau is president.
Top Education Institute donated more than $47,000 to the Liberal Party across eight separate donations and $23,500 to the Labor Party in the 2015-16 period.
Late last year, Sam Dastyari resigned from Labor’s frontbench after it was revealed that the Institute reimbursed the Commonwealth after the Senator blew his parliamentary travel budget.
Nimbin Hemp Embassy also donated $17,000 to the Help End Marijuana Prohibition Party.

The annual financial disclosure returns, released today, comes a day after Labor leader Bill Shorten promised to “clamp down” on foreign donations.
The US, UK and Canada have all banned foreign political pledges.

“If the Government continues to drag its feet, Labor will use parliament to crack the whip,” he told the National Press Club on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s widely speculated million-dollar-plus donation to the Liberal Party during last year’s election campaign will not be officially revealed to Australians for another 12 months.
The Australian Electoral Commission released financial disclosure returns for 2015-16 on Wednesday, however, any political donations made the day before, or after, the July 2 poll were not included.
This includes any donation by Mr Turnbull – which some speculated at being as high as $2 million – to prop up Liberal Party coffers during last year’s election campaign.


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