Huang Xiangmo: China billionaire mocks 'giant baby' Australia


13th February, 2019 01:34:46 printer

Huang Xiangmo: China billionaire mocks 'giant baby' Australia


A Chinese billionaire and political donor Huang Xiangmo has dubbed Australia a "giant baby" after he lost residency rights.


The property developer has lived in Sydney since 2011 and has donated millions to major political parties.


But he was stranded overseas when the government rejected his citizenship bid and cancelled his permanent residency.


The Sydney Morning Herald first reported the visa denial earlier this month, describing Mr Huang as "Beijing's former top lobbyist in Australia".


He reportedly has links with the Chinese Communist Party, and Australia's national security agency has warned politicians not to accept money from him.


It comes amid a row over Chinese influence in Australia which has strained relations between the two nations.


Who is Mr Huang?


The billionaire has reportedly donated about A$2.7 million ($1.91m; £1.49m) to both major parties.


Mr Huang said these donations came from his desire to "promote Chinese people's legal involvement in politics".


He was linked with Sam Dastyari, a Labor party politician who announced his resignation in 2017 after making pro-Beijing remarks over the South China Sea dispute.


Mr Dastyari reportedly told Mr Huang he may be under surveillance - something the senator denies.


Why are relations strained between China and Australia?

Australia has been increasingly vocal about what it sees as growing Chinese influence in recent years.


Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urged a crackdown on "covert, coercive" activities by foreign governments in 2017, noting "disturbing reports" of Chinese influence while stressing the rules were not targeted at any one country.


That same year Chinese students complained about teaching materials at Australian universities - drawing fears that China was exerting pressure on campuses.


Last November, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new multi-billion dollar fund for Pacific island nations, seemingly to counter Chinese influence in the area.