On political donation laws

Martin Gordon writes: Re. “Parties like foreign donation laws just the way they are, thanks” (yesterday). Bernard has long had an interest in the area of political donations, whilst many can be dressed up to pass any requirements (such as through a local subsidiary). The problem with Chinese government associated companies is that they are acting to secure favour for Chinese government policy (which virtually by definition is inimical to Australia’s and most other Asian nations interests, our friends and/or allies).

Where Dastyari has erred is to sound like ‘Beijing’s echo’. In fact, if you unaware of who had made the statement he did about the South China Sea you would have thought it had come from a Chinese government spokesman. The recent determination about the South China Sea was a comprehensive and well-deserved legal smack down for China’s position. China having lost in that forum will try further to win at sea. China will seek to obtain supporters wherever it can, I had imagined that Dastyari was not silly enough to be amongst them. I seem to have been wrong.


Peter Fray

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