Daniel Andrews at a function organised by the Chinese Community Council of Australia formally apologising for racist policies aimed at Chinese miners 160 years ago (Image: AAP/Mal Fairclough)

Two young professional women appear to be wielding extraordinary influence over trade, investment and security matters in this country. But are they really?

If reports in The Australian are to be believed, Jean Dong and Nancy Yang between them enticed Victoria into becoming the sole sub-national jurisdiction on the planet to sign on to Xi Jinping’s strategic Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

Jean Dong has been the director and chief executive of the Australia-China Belt and Road Initiative (ACBRI) group since its founding five years ago, and is described by The Australian as “China’s Aussie influencer”. Nancy Yang is an electoral officer in the Andrews government, and also a board member of the Chinese Community Council of Australia Victoria (CCCAV), which The Australian calls “the foremost United Front organisation in Victoria”.