Scott Morrison makes fresh play for influential Chinese vote

‘Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made a last-minute pitch to Chinese voters, swooping into Sydney’s Chinatown in a bid to shore up support for three candidates whose futures could hinge on the influential community.

Flanked by Immigration Minister David Coleman, Bennelong MP John Alexander and the Liberal Party’s candidate for the crucial seat of Reid Fiona Martin, Mr Morrison pitched a message of unity after years of diplomatic tension between Australia and the Chinese Communist Party last year culminated in Parliament passing laws to ban foreign donations and crackdown on foreign interference in domestic politics.’




THE foreign donor Ms Kim was asked for a favour to donate to the LNP Coalition just five days before the Coalition moved the second reading of the BILL banning foreign donations!

-under the law the Commonwealth Electoral Act offers no exemptions for foreigners who have companies in Australia, and who are not citizens or permanent residents




Scott Morrison campaigns in Sydney's Chinatown on Wednesday night.
Scott Morrison campaigns in Sydney’s Chinatown on Wednesday night. CREDIT:DOMINIC LORRIMER

*Mr Morrison appealed to the aspirations of Chinese families, tying in the Coalition’s central election theme of economic growth through business investment and perseverance.

*”I know of no community who is more passionate about what they want to leave to their children,” the Prime Minister said.


*”I know of no community who does not work harder, start more businesses, or apply themselves more to the education of their children.”

Mr Morrison has juggled local interests while urging calm amid fears of a potential $600 billion trade war between the US and China that could threaten Australia’s economy.

After describing the United States as a “friend” and China as a “customer” earlier this week, Mr Morrison clarified his position on Wednesday. He said he would continue to “enhance the relations with China” and that relationship was “very much co-dependent”.


“The linkages go well beyond the economics to the heritage that we share in common and that provides Australia with a unique opportunity to pursue this relationship,” Mr Morrison said from Chinatown’s Golden Century restaurant.

The Chinese diaspora in Mr Coleman’s electorate of Banks, as well as Reid in Sydney’s inner west, is set to have a significant impact on the election on Saturday.

Banks is held by only 1.4 per cent. Reid is held by 4.7 per cent but that margin is likely to be trimmed through the retirement of sitting Liberal MP Craig Laundy in the wake of the leadership spill that ousted former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Federal Liberal Candidate for Reid Fiona Martin, immigration Minister David Coleman and member for Bennelong John Alexander visit Golden Century Restaurant
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Federal Liberal Candidate for Reid Fiona Martin, immigration Minister David Coleman and member for Bennelong John Alexander visit Golden Century RestaurantCREDIT:DOMINIC LORRIMER


Mr Alexander is popular among the large Chinese community in Bennelong but still faces a threat from former Australian Medical Association president Brian Owler. Mr Owler has used the support of former prime minister and Mandarin speaker Kevin Rudd to target voters in the northern suburbs of Sydney.

Both parties have dedicated resources to courting 1.2 million Australian-Chinese voters by printing Chinese language ads, running TV commercials and posting direct messages to Chinese messaging site WeChat.

*Labor has scrambled to regain votes in the months since the then NSW Labor leader Michael Daley said “Asians with PhDs” were taking jobs from “our kids”.

*It has marshalled high-profile businessman Jason Yat-Sen Li to lead a campaign focused on lifting Chinese business people into leadership positions in the community.

Eryk Bagshaw is an economics correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.