Now Carr is in it up to his neck….
An afternoon tea paid for by Bob Carr’s Australia-China Relations Institute and hosted by Labor senator Sam Dastyari was held at the commonwealth parliamentary offices in Sydney, giving a visiting Chinese official access to other federal MPs.
As the senator comes under increasing pressure over his links to Chinese donors, who have paid a $40,000 legal bill for him and $1670 in staff travel costs, further details are emerging about his links to the former Labor foreign minister’s China think tank.
The revelation comes as analysis by The Australian shows Senator Dastyari’s campaign to win over Chinese voters by expressing support for Beijing’s stand on the South China Sea may have boosted his election result, with his primary vote highest in electorates with large numbers of Chinese Australians.
A spokesman for ACRI — the China-Australia institute sponsored by Chinese developers — told The Daily Telegraph that Senator Dastyari had hosted an afternoon tea for China’s former ambassador to Australia and the head of China’s annual economic summit, the Boao Forum. “The planning of the event was largely undertaken by the parliamentary hosts and the event was held at the commonwealth parliamentary office premises in One Bligh (Street),” the spokesman said. “In the circumstances, ACRI wanted to pay for the catering. This was the most efficient way of enabling MPs to meet the man in charge of an important annual event.”
Chinese property developer Yuhu Group is a sponsor of ACRI. Its director Haung Xiangmo is the donor who paid Senator Dastyari’s legal fees. Former NSW Labor treasurer Eric Roozendaal is vice-chairman of Yuhu Property (Australia).
According to reports in The Daily Telegraph, Senator Dastyari organised and co-hosted Wenzhong Zhou, the former Chinese ambassador to Australia and the US, in the commonwealth parliamentary offices in 2014. The event was also hosted by David Coleman, the Liberal MP for the seat of Banks, who has not declared the catering on his register of interests.
Mr Carr told The Australian there was nothing unusual about the event. “This is exactly comparable to the US Studies Centre paying for an afternoon tea that enabled members of parliament to meet a visiting American diplomat,” he said.
Speaking at the G20 in China yesterday, Malcolm Turnbull said the Labor senator had undermined Australia’s foreign policy by expressing a position on the South China Sea contrary to that of both major parties. “I’m standing up for Australia. Back home, Bill Shorten is standing up for Sam Dastyari’s right to take cash from a company associated with a foreign government,” the Prime Minister said. Bob Carr link to Sam Dastyari’s China tea