Welcome to the Great Australian Income Depression

FROM the comments …

– I said to a friend 18 months ago, to watch what happened with the Chinese money pouring into real estate, and what happened in Canada and Ireland with their bubbles. He looked at me blankly, because he didn’t really know what happened in Canada and Ireland, and only heard whispers about the Chinese Laundry.

About a month ago, he told me he now sees what has happened and what may be just around the corner.


Anti money laundering legislation shelved

black money

Proxy Buyers

real estate gatekeepers exempted

visa workers; visa manipulation

FATF and Transparency International

THE SOLUTION …. LABOR Oppose the cheap foreign labour to support capital and … persist with your Policy to implement the second tranche of the Anti-money Laundering Legislation

Welcome to the Great Australian Income Depression

By Houses and Holes in Australian EconomyFeatured Article

November 13, 2019 | 83 comments

Yeh. The elite will tell you that you’re a whinger or a racist. To suck it up and move on. But you aren’t. What has happened to Australian income is not only abnormal. It is historic. Worse, it is only half over.

The OECD describes real net income per capita * (RNNPC) in the following way:

While money may not buy happiness, it is an important means to achieving higher living standards and thus greater well-being. Higher economic wealth may also improve access to quality education, health care and housing.

Household net adjusted disposable income is the amount of money that a household earns, or gains, each year after taxes and transfers. It represents the money available to a household for spending on goods or services.

In other words, it is the best measure of per capita living standards in the national accounts.

*Why is that you didn’t know that? Why are you plied with GDP and other useless gauges instead?

Simple. GDP is easy to generate for politicians. You just need more inputs for more outputs. The challenge is to get more from the same number of inputs, that brings home the bacon in the form of rising living standards.

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg

International real GDP Growth Comparisons: Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

Pollies hate *RNNPC.

It means tough decisions and sectional losers for collective gain. It means they have to actually lead rather than lie, something our current scum are incapable of.

So, instead we’re stuck with GDP as a measure of your living standards even though it is so manipulated these days that it is not only misleading, it is actively hiding an historic crash in your living standards on a par with the Great Depression.

How can I say something so preposterous? It’s a simple fact:

*In terms of the best measure of living standard that we possess, real net disposable income per capita, post-GFC Australia has its nose just in front of the US Great Depression and it’s about to fall behind.

Welcome to the Great Australian Income Depression

Yeh, that’s right. All of those sepia stained photos of shabby men in trench coats lined up at soup kitchens and in the dole queue. That’s you.

How can that possibly be? How can you not know it?

It’s because the structure of economic slack is today different than it was in the 1930s. The “output gap”a ratio of excess supply over demand – that drives high unemployment is more hidden.

In the 1930s, if an industrial economy ground to a halt then mass layoffs of blue collar workers would result. It was obvious what was happening to all. *

These days it is very different.

*Our jobs are much more in the services industries which can limit hours more easily without doing layoffs.

It can also slash or steal wages more easily, another effectively hidden job cut. As well, if you are unfortunate enough to lose your job then you can work for Uber. Sure, your living standards collapse but you’re not some obvious problem for everybody else.

*And so we have The Great Australian Income Depression hidden in plain sight.

What’s caused it then? How can be addressed so that living standards rise again? Who is to blame.

*It began with the GFC. That was the first signal that the pretend economy that Western nations had created would crash as they outsourced their real economy to China. *

For a short while Australia was protected from that owing to its massive mining boom. But when that went belly up in 2011 the real trouble began. The crash was expressed through a terms of trade shock that didn’t end until 2016.

Falling iron ore and coking prices represented a massive national pay cut that, over time, was distributed nation wide in falling profits and wages.

But that was four years ago and those same commodity prices have boomed ever since so why hasn’t the income depression ended, I hear you ask? There are a number of reasons but the most important is captured in the following chart:

*Australia has carried a massive output gap – that is, too much supply – ever since the GFC but much more so since 2011 as the twin growth drivers of mining and houshold debt-funded consumption both stalled.

*As you can see, before 2008, as a nation we always allowed immigration to fall when the output gap appeared, to prevent too much competition in the labour market.  But afterwards, we did the opposite and ramped up immigration.

Worse, the sources of immigration deteriorated radically from highly paid, skilled workers into desperate and cheap warm bodies from anywhere in the Third World.

*Under this macroeconomic regime, any and every time that economic slack appears it will always land on the labour market in the form of weak wages. 

*The rest is history: a permanent income depression for workers as every time the output gap closes, more cheap foreign labour floods in to widen it again, despite the demand that they also bring.

*So, what began as an external shock under Labor, which was too idiotic to cut immigration lest it be labelled racist, has since morphed into a worker-devouring Kracken of permenent Coalition policy that today has Australia rivaling Great Depression USA for falling living standards.*

Don’t be fooled into thinking that it had to be this way. It didn’t. Although there was always going to be some adjustment after the mining boom as national competitinvess was repaired, the use of mass immigration to hide the correction has ensured that certain sectors are protected while other suffer more than they should.

Households and tradable sectors have born the brunt of the adjustment while property, banking and retail (until recently) were protected.

*This happened instead of the far better national interest policies of productivity reform, competitiveness reform and crashing one’s own currency.

Alas, the same policy bastardry it is still happening and the income depression is therefore not over.

*Ahead, the Chinese economy is going to slow to a virtual standstill and the second leg in the falling commosity price story will transpire, denuding the nation of huge slabs of income once again.

With the Coalition determined to pump in cheap foreign labour to support capital, while Labor inexplicably cheers it on, that will again direct all of the adjustment onto labor as Australia’s Great Income Depression runs for another lost decade.

Leaving you far worse off in terms of the magnitude of drop in your living standards than those sorry gents in the faded pictures of 1940.

Annual wage growth has slipped to its slowest rate in more than a year and is increasingly distant from Reserve Bank and federal Treasury forecasts.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/11/welcome-to-the-great-australian-income-depression/





Chinese cultural influence over Australia felt in Perth by expats in academia and media

WHY are we not surprised?

AFTERALL we have been witnessing China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) … its expansion … and its impact on poor Nations …

AND as Professor Clive Hamilton reminded us …

“The best way to understand this is through the lens of [former Chinese leader] Mao Zedong’s tactic of:

‘use the countryside to surround the city‘”

WITH the FIRB it appears has facilitated the growth of the Diaspora throughout Australia buying up our Real Estate … our Sovereignty!

The silent invasion of our Universities … the data breach of the ANU …

and at the three levels of government …




Chinese cultural influence over Australia felt in Perth by expats in academia and media

By Eliza Borrello

11 NOVEMBER 2019

A man stands in a corridor holding a mobile phone.

PHOTO: James Jing has been frustrated in his efforts to get support to research Chinese social media influence. (ABC News: Eliza Borrello)

RELATED STORY: China’s actions ‘inconsistent’ with Australian values, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says

Born in China, James Jing moved to Australia in his early 20s, seeking to continue his tertiary education and secure work.

*Now aged 39, he believes his academic career is over, bottoming out as a casual Chinese Studies academic at Perth’s Curtin University.

For that, he blames the influence of Beijing.

“I wouldn’t imagine that the tentacle could be extended so far over the oceans,” he said.

Mr Jing has been teaching at Curtin for 12 years but said he had been frustrated in his efforts to secure support for a PhD.

A man holds a mobile phone with Chinese writing on it.

PHOTO: James Jing was hoping to research Chinese influence on social media platform WeChat. (ABC News: Eliza Borrello)

*He said he had spent years unsuccessfully trying to convince more senior members of Curtin’s academic staff, in the faculties of Education and Media, to supervise his research into censorship and the Chinese social media platform WeChat.

*WeChat is owned by the Chinese tech giant Tencent, which sponsors events and programs at Curtin.

A professional and personal toll

Mr Jing said he had never formally received a rejection letter from Curtin for his PhD proposal, but he believed it has been cast aside by professors from the School of Media out of fear supporting it could upset Tencent.

Mr Jing said the School of Education also believed his proposal was too controversial.

“The censorship and self-censorship here at Curtin is reaching to a point where I think it’s limiting a lot of potentials for the Chinese diaspora scholars at Curtin,” Mr Jing said.

“So it’s not really delivering the quality a research institute is expected to deliver.

“I do hope that Curtin can do something about this.

Can China’s rise be ‘peaceful’?
Beijing has long maintained its rise will be “peaceful”, yet its exceptional growth as a power is commonly referred to as a “threat”, with experts calling its foreign policy “menancing”.

A Curtin University spokeswoman said Mr Jing’s PhD proposal was considered by two professors in the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry and the School of Education.

The spokeswoman said Mr Jing had also sought advice from an Associate Professor in Curtin’s Centre for Culture and Technology.

“After consideration, all three had determined that the proposal Mr Jing had presented fell outside their areas of expertise and therefore they did not believe that they had the required disciplinary expertise for supervision of a PhD-level topic in the area proposed,” she said.

“Curtin University rejects any suggestion of censorship or self-censorship regarding PhD proposals or any other research projects.”

A man holds a mobile phone with Chinese writing on it.

PHOTO: Tencent, a sponsor of Curtin University, is one of China’s biggest technology companies. (ABC News: Eliza Borrello)

The university also rejected the assertion that it had been influenced by commercial partnerships like the one with Tencent.

“Curtin, like every other university, has a range of partnerships and relationships with business and industry and a robust system for maintaining the integrity of research and research proposals,” the spokeswoman said.

“Curtin University absolutely supports academic freedom and has well-established policies and guidelines to ensure the intellectual freedom of staff and students.”

“Any influence by companies, Chinese or otherwise, is counter to the policies, guidelines and values of our University.”

Mr Jing said not being able to complete a PhD had taken a toll on him personally.

A man sits at a desk holding a mobile phone.

PHOTO: James Jing’s career has suffered and he says he has been marginalised. (ABC News: Eliza Borrello)

“I feel like I have been marginalised and ostracised,” he said.

“I haven’t been able to maintain a steady income for my family to raise my kids.”

He also acknowledged speaking out would have consequences, “but at the same time my conscience told me this is against [how] you have been brought up”.

“[I] have stepped onto the soil of Australia and become an Australian citizen and you have your pledge to the host, Advance Australia Fair, all these kinds of values.”

Advertisers steer clear of non-Communist newspaper

Fears of Chinese influence in Western Australia extend beyond the field of academia.

*From a modest Perth office, Wade Zhong edits the local edition of the Epoch Times, a Chinese-language newspaper that is not aligned with the Communist Party.

A man in a suit reads a newspaper outside the Epoch Times office.

PHOTO: Epoch Times editor Wade Zhong says Chinese influence has scared away advertisers. (ABC News: Hugh Sando)

He estimates it has a readership of up to 30,000 people in Western Australia.

Mr Zhong said he established the newspaper to counter the anti-Falun Gong narrative being pushed in other Chinese media.

Falun Gong is a spiritual group to which Mr Zhong belongs whose practices are outlawed in China.

Earlier this year an independent tribunal found what it said was “clear evidence” China had been murdering Falun Gong members and harvesting their organs, accusations Beijing has repeatedly denied.

Is China harvesting organs?
What is the Falun Gong, why has China branded them an “evil cult”, and are their organs really being harvested? Vicky Xiuzhong Xu and Bang Xiao explain.

Mr Zhong said would-be advertisers shied away from his paper because of pressure from afar

“A lot of people like to read our newspapers but still they are too afraid of doing business with us,” he said.

“We don’t have any direct evidence, of course this is hard to find, and definitely we know that is from the Chinese Government or its agents.”

Chinese pressure in Australia ‘total nonsense’

*China’s top diplomat in WA, Consul General Dong Zhihua, said she was unaware of the context of the men’s grievances but dismissed the suggestion Beijing’s influence could reach so far.

“It is totally nonsense that the Chinese Government or the Consulate General here is exerting any kind of pressure to anybody about speaking anything,” she said. *


A headshot of a woman in a blue shirt and cream jacket.

PHOTO: China Consul General in Perth Dong Zhihua denies claims of influence from Beijing. (ABC News: Hugh Sando)

*But retired academic and independent China researcher Wai Ling Yeung said the public needed to be aware of China’s agenda.

“It is important not to look at China as an enemy, because China’s not an enemy to us or to Western Australia or to Australians, China’s one of the trading partners,” she said.

*“But at the same time we have to understand what motivates the Chinese communist party.”

“I think China’s looking at, through improving relations with Western Australia, to undermine our Federal Government’s alliance with the United States.”

A headshot of a woman in a suit in front of some trees.

PHOTO: Wai Ling Yeung argues the public needs to be aware of China’s agenda. (ABC News: Hugh Sando)

Ms Dong rejected this theory, saying it was a mutually beneficial relationship.

“It’s a bit exaggeration … I think it’s not only a matter of WA’s dependence or reliance on China, it’s a mutually beneficial cooperation,” she said.

China benefited a lot, we also depend on Australia in a way in terms of our resource security, the critical resources, the iron ore, the other mineral resources that is very important for our industrialisation and our urbanisation.”

WA’s China vulnerability
The West Australian Government is walking a fine line in navigating the state’s economic reliance on China in the midst of a trade war with the US.

Ms Dong also lamented what she described as constant “suspicions” of attempted Chinese interference as she went about her diplomatic work.

“I always want to be treated like any other consul general,” she said.

*But Mr Zhong said Australian companies and politicians had a responsibility to protect what he saw as the core values of western countries.

“That’s freedom … and democracy,” he said.

“If they don’t fight for that [it] will be eroded … more and more from the Chinese Communist Party,” he said,

“They just push — they push, push, push and we don’t know what’s the limit, where it ends.” *

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-11/chinese-cultural-influence-over-australia-felt-in-perth/11670654





Firm involved in $80m water deal now funding Huang Xiangmo-linked development

THIS is huge … and this is indicative of how much ‘investment’ … OWNERSHIP one Foreign Investor has gained …

What about Dahua, Country Garden, Greenland …. the list is long … Landbridge and the Darwin Port, mines, power, healthcare, large tracts of farmlands … the ‘BLACK MONEY’ awash in our Residential Real Estate …

READ this report in conjunction with:

‘How have economic ties been tightened?’



‘Barnaby Joyce, Angus Taylor, Australia and the Caribbean’

And for more about …

WATERGATE, Angus Taylor, Barnaby Joyce …

THEN search for more articles concerning …

Sydney lawyer Sevag Chalabian, Zhang Bo, real estate company Evergrande,

Firm involved in $80m water deal now funding Huang Xiangmo-linked development

Hong Kong private equity firm Pacific Alliance Group, which invested in controversial water sale, is now funding troubled redevelopment

The One Circular Quay development, linked to the exiled billionaire Huang Xiangmo.
The One Circular Quay development, linked to the exiled billionaire Huang Xiangmo. Photograph: Jessica Hromas/The Guardian

A Hong Kong private equity group that manages billions of dollars, Pacific Alliance Group, is financing the troubled One Circular Quay luxury apartment building spearheaded by exiled businessman Huang Xiangmo.

*A mortgage over the prime slice of Sydney land is held by a British Virgin Islands company called Global Enterprise Opportunity VIII, which the Guardian has established is a vehicle through which one of Pacific Alliance Group’s investment funds has funnelled money into the development.

*Pacific Alliance Group, or PAG, denies that Global Enterprise Opportunity VIII is in any way affiliated with Huang or his family.

*PAG is perhaps best known for its investment in Eastern Australia Agriculture and a controversial water deal that netted investors $80m.

Not only was the deal done without tender, but it soon emerged that the energy minister, Angus Taylor, had been a director of EAA and its Cayman’s based parent, Eastern Australian Irrigation, before entering parliament.

Founded by Taylor’s friend from Oxford Chris Gradel, who is chief investment officer, PAG and the other investors were able to realise a $52m gain on the water rights sold in the EAA deal.

Another investor, EF Realisation fund, which held 9.6% of the Cayman’s based fund, told the London stock exchange it was the highest price ever paid for water by the Australian government.

Taylor faced questions in parliament over what became known as “watergate”, but he has repeatedly said he resigned his directorships before entering parliament in 2013, and that he did not benefit from the water deal.

Huang Xiangmo: mystery of the $11m property payout, the middleman and his 81-year-old mother

Read more

Sydney’s most expensive dirt

The uncertain fate of One Circular Quay, which remains nothing more than a hole in some of Sydney’s most expensive dirt, is among a series of controversies surrounding Huang.

Huang’s Australian residency was cancelled on character grounds in December and he is now believed to be living in Hong Kong, from where he has mounted a blistering attack on the Australian Taxation Office after it obtained a $140m freezing order against him.

On Twitter, the exiled billionaire has also called for an investigation into an $11m fee he paid to Sydney lawyer Sevag Chalabian, who used to represent the Obeid family.

The money, paid in connection with the purchase by Huang’s Yuhu group of a retail and commercial property development, has been described by seller Seph Glew as an “introduction fee”.

One Circular Quay, which when completed is to contain more than 300 luxury apartments and a hotel complex in two towers located on the corner of George Street and Alfred streets, has changed hands several times, and is now apparently in the hands of a fourth developer, elusive Chinese-born businessman Zhang Bo, a Huang associate who bought the company that owns the site from Yuhu in late 2018.

Huang is reported to have retained the development rights, although a property industry source said the financial scaffolding behind the development has recently been restructured.

Even the City of Sydney Council, which approved the redevelopment in conjunction with the state government is unsure about who owns it. The council continues to deal with the same team of architects and planners who were employed by the Dalian Wanda group, which secured the approval.

*Zhang’s sudden emergence as a key building developer in Australia has come after Huang’s residency was revoked and his assets frozen.

Evergrande enters the deal

Zhang has previously been linked to the world’s most valuable real estate company Evergrande, which raises the question about whether it is now in control of the prime site.

But there are few answers about what is happening at One Circular Quay, fronting the shores of Sydney Harbour between the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and with views across the water to Kirribilli and Admiralty Houses.

An aerial view of the Circular Quay with the former Goldfields House on the lower right.
An aerial view of the Circular Quay with the former Goldfields House on the bottom right. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

The development has endured a troubled recent history. The site, which was once home to Gold Fields House, was owned by US investment firm Blackstone, which sold it to Dalian Wanda Group in 2015 for $415m.

Late in that year, the project was approved by the City of Sydney, with a 57-storey 184-apartment residential tower and a 179-room hotel on the 4,040sqm site. Final approval was granted in 2017.

But Dalian Wanda Group, its expansion driven by highly-leveraged acquisitions, was placed on a watchlist by Chinese regulators in 2017, part of a Chinese government drive against private-sector debt hurting the country’s financial system.

How Huang Xiangmo swooped

*When Dalian Wanda, headed by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin came under pressure from the Chinese government, the Yuhu Group – then run by Huang Xiangmo – was part of a consortium that swooped, picking up the Sydney project, and the Gold Coast Jewel development at Surfers Paradise, for $1.13bn.

*The other actor in that purchase was Zhang Bo. His new company Dachang Australia, took a half share for $565m. Huang’s Yuhu took the other half.

Huang Xiangmo, who has been prevented from re-entering the country.
Huang Xiangmo, who has been prevented from re-entering the country. Photograph: Yuhu

But company records show Yuhu Group sold the site in 2018 and now appears to have exited the company behind the development, AWH Investment Group.

*AWH is now controlled by two companies Cuilam and Dachang, both controlled by Zhang.

Huang’s family members are no longer directors, with his son, Jimmy, resigning as a director of AWH in May 2019. Huang and other family members resigned during 2018.Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo ordered to declare worldwide assets by Australian court Read more

The transaction was several months old before the tax office hit Huang with a freezing order on all of his assets in Australia and around the world, pursuing him for $140m in an allegedly unpaid tax bill, penalties, and interest.

Zhang is not only linked to Huang through the One Circular Quay deal, but has a history with Evergrande, one of the largest property developers in the world.

Cuilam Investments, Zhang’s company, acquired Evergrande’s dairy products business for about $60m in 2016. Cuilam continues to maintain ties with Evergrande after the sale. It has extensive investments in New Zealand.

Evergrande’s chairman, Xu Jianyin, is best known in Australia after he was given 90 days in 2015 to sell a $39m Point Piper mansion by then treasurer Joe Hockey, after the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) found it had been purchased illegally. The property was purchased by the mysterious Lola Wang-Li, an Australian citizen, who lives in a Pyrmont apartment.

The Australian Financial Review, in investigating Zhang, found he spent $37m over the past two years buying six houses in Sydney’s Beauty Point, on the lower north shore of Sydney harbour.

Zhang has declined interview requests from the media. It’s not known if he is currently in Australia.

Huang has not responded to detailed questions from The Guardian about the status of One Circular Quay and his role in it.

SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/10/firm-involved-in-80m-water-deal-now-funding-huang-xiangmo-linked-development





Deputy Mayor hid $13M Stash of Property

IS this a case of guilt by association? It appears so.

FURTHER, it seems Huang has departed our shores, and if this is so most of those with the smallest amount of desire to see justice done will be wondering how much real effort is being put into getting these people to face up in an Australian court where incidentally justice is also real, or will it be yet another one of those cases of ‘nevermind we tried’

LET’s hope at the very least official seizure of assets has or will take place.

WHY should we allow bad behaviour and lies to be rewarded?

LOOKS like public opinion is being shaped to ignore the truth … those wracking in benefits hoping it will all go away …others in the deep Egyptian River … and the really bad ones among us trying their very best to hide it and other revelations …


Deputy mayor hid $13m stash of property

Neil ChenowethAngus Grigg and Edmund Tadros

Nov 8, 2019

The deputy mayor of a Sydney council, who has already been referred to the NSW corruption watchdog, failed to declare nearly $13 million of property-related transactions during his first year in office.

Simon Zhou, who is facing a no-confidence vote at Ryde City Council, also failed to disclose his links with property developers and an ongoing interest in gold trading in breach of his obligations as a councillor.

Simon Zhou, left, with disgraced Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo.  

The Australian Financial Review has previously reported Mr Zhou’s failure to declare a $4 million financial connection with disgraced Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo.

It can also be revealed that Mr Zhou and his mother owned nearly $13 million of assets, in addition to shares in 12 companies, which were not declared on his pecuniary interest statements to Ryde Council.

Mr Zhou, an independent who previously worked for the ALP, declared his only income as the council’s $25,000-a-year stipend.

Mr Zhou’s failure to declare his $4 million link with Mr Huang, via a Sydney office park, has been referred to the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption. ICAC has not announced if it will investigate.

Ryde mayor Jerome Laxale is facing a vote to keep his job next week.  Jeremy Piper

Mr Zhou failed to declare this financial link when Ryde councillors supported a $376 million redevelopment proposal for the Eastwood Plaza, owned by Mr Huang’s Yuhu group.

Mr Huang stood to make a $135 million profit from the planning decision. Mr Zhou did not personally stand to profit from the council decision and absented himself from the vote.

There is no evidence Mr Zhou misused his position on Ryde Council to benefit his property holdings.

Ryde councillors have called an emergency meeting next week to force Mr Zhou and the Labor mayor, Jerome Laxale, to resign following the revelations.

“The rule is, if in doubt, shout,” said Professor Roberta Ryan of the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at the University of Technology Sydney in relation to disclosure.

“If there’s any doubt, you need to declare it.”

Deals concealed

Mr Zhou was required to file a pecuniary interest form after his election to Ryde Council in September 2017.

The form covers the full year to June 2018 and lists his only assets as a half share of the family home in Sydney’s Oatlands, purchased with his wife in October 2016 for $2.2 million, and 20 per cent of a former gold venture, AGSX Trading.

The Financial Review has identified five property assets that Mr Zhou failed to declare. These include a six-bedroom house in Dural that he bought in March 2015 for $2.15 million.

He also failed to disclose the Granville apartment he bought in May 2017 for $675,000, according to the liquidator of his company, Australian Gold Exchange.

Mr Zhou said on his pecuniary interest statement to the council that he had no debt, no other income beyond his council stipend and had not sold any property.

In fact, title records show that two weeks after being elected Mr Zhou sold his only property holding within the Ryde Council area, on Avondale Way in Eastwood, for $1.65 million.

In June 2017, before running for council, Mr Zhou set up a new company with other investors, Dural Pty Ltd, which was operated out of his Oatlands home.

His mother, who lives at the same address, held 50.5 per cent of the new venture through her company ZW Holding.

In December 2017, this new company paid $3.25 million for a 2.4 hectare property in Dural. It then hired surveyors and planners to file a new Deposited Plan for the site, a key step in any subdivision.

The property was sold in August 2018 for $3.7 million, weeks after filing the new plan.

Mr Zhou left blank a Yes/No question in the 2018-19 Pecuniary Interest form which required councillors to declare if they acted as property developers or were a “close associate” of a property developer.


Huang Xiangmo’s mystery $1.2b man

Mr Zhou’s $4 million stake in Mr Huang’s Pymble Corporate Centre, on Sydney’s north shore, was held through a company called Zwymble.

The Zwymble shares were originally in Mr Zhou’s name but in August 2017, three weeks before the council election, ASIC was told the shares had been transferred to his mother’s company four months earlier.

But the $4 million stake still had to be declared under disclosure laws, which extend to family members including parents.

The Zwymble shares were transferred from Mr Zhou’s mother to a business associate, Chris Wang, in December 2017.

“It was just a change of mind,” Mr Zhou told the Financial Review in a telephone interview last month. “It was supposed to be an investment company but I was too busy to do it.”

Since 2017, Mr Zhou’s mother has taken stakes in at least 10 companies linked to her son, but in the phone interview he described an ongoing decision-making role with several of these companies.

“I have to support myself, you know,” he said.

Gold interests

Along with failing to declare his directorships and property interests, Mr Zhou is under scrutiny from the collapse of his Australian Gold Exchange, which called in a liquidator in May 2017 owing $2.7 million to the Tax Office.

The ATO later replaced the liquidator with Vaughan Strawbridge of Deloitte, who noted $28 million in cash withdrawals from the company’s bank accounts over nearly three years were recorded as petty cash to pay suppliers and other creditors.

Mr Strawbridge said he was investigating possible recovery actions for “unfair preference payments, insolvent trading, uncommercial transactions and … unreasonable director-related transactions”.

After his election win in September 2017, Mr Zhou told The Sydney Morning Herald, “I’m no longer in the gold industry business”.

“When I decided to run for council, I decided to commit my time to my local work.”

This wasn’t entirely accurate. In June 2017 he had set up a new bullion trading company, ACX Gold. His mother owned 70 per cent, with the rest held by his long-time employee Leigh Prosser, who herself ran unsuccessfully for council on Mr Zhou’s ticket.

Mr Zhou didn’t disclose stakes his mother held in other gold companies including AGSX, Zhou Py Ltd, the former Zhou Group, the former AGSX Investables and Gold Barossa.

“I don’t manage or operate any of those businesses [but] I am keeping an open door to business opportunity,” Mr Zhou said.

The newest gold trading company is 1100 Degrees, which Ms Prosser set up in April 2018 with Chris Wang and Mr Zhou’s mother.

“I was with her in another company, and there was some stock left over,” said Mr Zhou. “It was a very kind offer from her to allocate some shares from her company.”

SOURCE: https://www.afr.com/politics/deputy-mayor-hid-13m-stash-of-property-20191107-p538d3





Half a billion shoppers expected to participate in Singles Day 2019 — here’s what you need to know

HAVE the Chinese people been conned to believe this online therapy is all worth it?

THAT life is all about consumption, and it’s the road to happiness?

IN the meantime …

-the masses stay preoccupied with acquiring things they don’t need

DO these people think it will lead to better lives?

ARE their minds distracted from the concerns that should be in the forefront of their minds like …

.freedom of expression
.fair judicial system
.freedom of the press
.human rights

AND so on … and we keep on saying it’s all ok, trade on!

IS this real, will we find out when it’s too late?

Half a billion shoppers expected to participate in Singles Day 2019 — here’s what you need to know

By Max Walden

10 NOVEMBER 2019

A graphic on Singles Day, showing some facts about its sales, and the countries of origin for popular imported goods.

PHOTO: China’s Singles Day, or Double 11, is the biggest sales event in the world. (ABC News: Jarrod Fankhauser)RELATED STORY: China’s richest man steps down as boss of retail giantRELATED STORY: Australian business not worried about trade war, says HSBCRELATED STORY: Facial recognition, apps and robots the future of shopping, Alibaba bosses say

It’s the world’s largest single-day sale.

Key points:

  • Double 11, or Singles Day, dwarfs all other online sales events worldwide
  • The ongoing trade war could see Chinese consumers avoid US products
  • Australian products are expected to be in hot demand during the event

Held annually on November 11, China’s so-called 11.11 Global Shopping Festival is now larger than US equivalents Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. This is its 11th year.

It was originally known as Singles Day because 11.11 resembles four “single sticks” — a Chinese term used to refer to bachelors.

While the obscure tradition of Bachelors Day began in 1993 at Nanjing University in Beijing, e-commerce behemoth Alibaba turned it into a shopping festival in 2009 on its Taobao website.

Double 11 is now marked across all of China’s major e-commerce platforms including Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao, and their competitor JD.com.

2019 expected to be the biggest year yet

A couple sits on a bed. Subtitle reads "we will both be up and ready".

PHOTO: Consumers will stack their carts before the sale begins at midnight. (Supplied: Alibaba)

Festival shoppers typically stack their carts during the evening on November 10, and begin checking out as the clock strikes midnight.

However, presales are also an option — and if they’re any indication, this year could see the biggest sales day yet.

Chinese state media reported this week that 64 brands had already sold more than $20 million worth of goods in presales each.


Sales of craft beer in first 30 min of 11/1 on JD were 11x same period last year #SinglesDay #double11105:25 PM – Nov 1, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee JD.com’s other Tweets

Last year’s event smashed previous records, seeing $2 billion worth of purchases in the first two minutes, and total sales of $42.5 billion over the 24-hour period.

Alibaba expects 500 million consumers will participate this year, a whopping 100 million more than last year.

Experts say it’s a potent sign of the growing affluence across China.

Clothing, beauty products and lifestyle electronics like mobile phones are generally the most popular items.

Fresh food is also on offer. JD claims that 300,000 eggs were sold in the first half-hour of last year’s event.

Property developers will also be seeking to flog real estate on Singles Day, with thousands of heavily discounted homes on sale in 2019.

Some people have been known to get carried away with the excitement.

One punter on social media last year said he had woken up in a drunken haze to discover he’d purchased a discounted pig, giant salamander and peacock.

Deliverymen wearing red work among parcels beside a road in Beijing, China.

PHOTO: Alibaba predicts 500 million shoppers will participate in 2019. (Reuters: Jason Lee)

Australian businesses will cash in

Australia has consistently appeared among the top five source countries for goods bought by 11.11 shoppers, alongside Japan, the United States and South Korea.

A billion-dollar industry

A billion-dollar industry

Whether it’s parents furious over baby formula shortages or military personnel loading boxes onto Chinese warships — chances are you’ve crossed paths with a trading phenomenon that’s shaken businesses around the country.

“China is a major market for all industries in Australia,” said Hans Hendrischke, a professor of Chinese business at the University of Sydney, arguing that other industries are often overshadowed by the resources sector.

“[But] 40 per cent of Australia’s agricultural exports go to China,” he said.

Purchases of Australian lamb rose by an astounding 775 per cent in the first hour of last year’s sales compared with 2017.

Australian supplements, cosmetics and baby products are among the most in-demand products for import to China during Singles Day.

Major Australian brands including A2, Bellamy's, bubs, Swisse, and Blackmores.

PHOTO: Australian supplements and dairy products are popular with Chinese consumers. (ABC News)

The vitamin company Swisse, founded in Australia but now Chinese-owned, was China’s most imported brand in 2018. Its competitor Bio Island came in fifth overall.

“Chinese consumers want to buy what Australia excels in producing,” Professor James Laurenceson, head of the Australia-China Relations Institute, told the ABC.


Such is the demand for Australian products, Singles Day was blamed for creating a shortage of baby formula in Australian supermarkets in 2015.

Trade war, Hong Kong unrest may impact sales

Wang 'Crazy' Fang in a wine cellar with some red wine in a wine glass, ready to sample

PHOTO: For Australian winemakers, the Chinese market is booming. (ABC News)

Australian brands could also reap benefits from the trade war between Washington and Beijing during this year’s sales.

“Because of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, Australian wine now enters China tariff free,” Mr Laurenceson told the ABC.

“In contrast, Californian wine gets hit with a tariff of more than 50 per cent, up from 14 per cent before the trade war began.”

A survey by consulting firm AlixPartners recently found that eight in 10 respondents said they thought the US-China trade war could impact their spending patterns on Singles Day.

‘Every continent is suffering’

'Every continent is suffering'

A combination of the US-China trade war and Brexit has dragged global manufacturing into recession, according to market analysts.

*More than half cited “national loyalty” as the main reason for not buying American brands.

“US brands can expect some disruption because of the consequences of the US-China trade war on consumer sentiment,” the report concluded.

Mr Hendrischke said, however, that “boycotts don’t necessarily translate into practice”.

“If [Chinese consumers] have a choice between Nike sneakers and some other thing, they’ll probably still go for Nike.”

Many shoppers in Hong Kong, meanwhile, may boycott the sale altogether, amid anti-Beijing protests that have now lasted more than five months.

YOUTUBE: ‘Renovate, Decorate, Boycott’: Pro-Beijing businesses under attack in Hong Kong

Last year, Hong Kong was the largest destination outside mainland China for Singles Day purchases alongside Russia and the US.

But Hong Kong protesters have now taken to vandalising local businesses owned by Communist Party-affiliated entities, or those perceived to be pro-Beijing.

State media tabloid the Global Times reported some protesters in Hong Kong were considering a boycott of Alibaba, citing social media posts.

Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma is a member of the ruling Communist Party.

The newspaper dismissed a potential boycott as “ridiculous and unrealistic”.

‘A digital Belt and Road’

Nicole Kidman and Alibaba chairman Jack Ma on stage.

PHOTO: Celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Pharrell Williams have previously appeared at televised 11.11 events. (Reuters: Aly Song)

Celebrations will go off on the mainland, however.

“For the past 10 years, I have been stationed at our command centre … at the most intense moment, just before clock strikes midnight, I would take the stage to count down to the start of the event,” Alibaba chairman Daniel Zhang, who recently replaced Mr Ma, said in a statement.

“This year my most important responsibility is to shop and be a consumer.”

Taylor Swift may have cancelled her appearance at the Melbourne Cup, but won’t miss the opportunity to headline Alibaba’s televised countdown event for 11.11 in Shanghai.

Previous years’ events have featured stars like Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson, Mariah Carey and Pharrell Williams.

The real show is pulled off behind the scenes, however. The scale of the sales makes its execution an immense technological and logistical feat.

VIDEO: China attempts global dominance with One Belt One Road project (ABC News)

“China is bringing these technologies to scale that we don’t really see anywhere else,” Mr Hendrischke said, referring to the use of big data to ensure demand can be met, and that products are delivered quickly.

“Once we see these technologies perfected they would be transferable to other markets,” he added.

Mr Zhang told an event in Shanghai this week that massive merchandise volume was no longer Alibaba’s primary aim.

“Rather we are looking at strengthening data capabilities, cloud computing power, and logistics networks to weave a digital ‘Belt and Road’ for the welfare of more people,” he said.






How have economic ties been tightened?

A man and a woman in suits smile as they pose for photos in front of a red backdrop.

WA Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley and China Consul General in Perth

A timely warning … but is it largely falling on deaf ears?

WHAT is amazing is the apparent indifference to the possibility that Australia and Australians are setting themselves up to …

-fail to see the warning signs
-if this encroachment continues our sovereignty will cease to be of any consequence


TIME is running out

SCOMO says it will not be acceptable to conduct business relationships based on perceived conflicts, that is secondary boycotts will be outlawed … he thinks he has a right to legislate where organisations can buy and invest

BUT he is choosing to ignore the inherent conflict this places upon his lot and their so-called traditions

THEN again it’s apt to remind ourselves it’s the ‘whatever it takes’ rule that applies to everything …


“The best way to understand this is through the lens of [former Chinese leader] Mao Zedong’s tactic of

‘use the countryside to surround the city‘”

WITH the FIRB allowing foreign investment/buy up of Australia … its property … residential, commercial and agricultural … it would appear it’s been that easy for China … and with a member of the CCP in our Parliament … and others in roles in local government, and state government …


By Eliza Borrello

10 NOVEMBER 2019

A crowd inside the Government House ballroom lit up with red lights.

PHOTO: The red carpet was rolled out at Government House in Perth to celebrate China’s National Day. (ABC News: Hugh Sando)

RELATED STORY: China’s actions ‘inconsistent’ with Australian values, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says

RELATED STORY: WA built its economy on the back of China. Now it faces a looming trade war

RELATED STORY: Satellite sleuths verify ‘chilling’ video of blindfolded Uyghurs at Chinese train station

It is a warm spring night and Government House in Perth is illuminated with a red, China themed glow.

Industry leaders, dignitaries and diplomats have been invited by the WA chapter of the Australia China Business Council to toast China’s National Day.

The mood is friendly as the state’s political, business and diplomatic elite rub shoulders over a spread of local produce, while Chinese music wafts through the crowd.

Government House lit up with red lights with a crowd outside.

PHOTO: The exterior of Government House, the Governor’s residence, was bathed in red to mark China’s National Day. (ABC News: Hugh Sando)

From the lectern, the WA Government’s Asian Engagement Minister, Peter Tinley, is eager to demonstrate just how engaged he is with China’s Consul General in Perth, Dong Zhihua.

*“Can I also thank Madam Dong and acknowledge her presence, thank you once again. I see you so often I think we’ll move in together at some point,” he jokes. *

A man and a woman in suits smile as they pose for photos in front of a red backdrop.

PHOTO: WA Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley and China Consul General in Perth Dong Zhihua have forged a close relationship. (ABC News: Hugh Sando)


The atmosphere is in stark contrast to the rebukes China has recently received from federal politicians, including the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who last month proclaimed the Chinese Communist Party had policies, “inconsistent with our own values”.

“We’re not going to allow university students to be unduly influenced, we’re not going to allow theft of intellectual property and we’re not going to allow our government bodies or non-government bodies to be hacked into,” he said.


VIDEO: Mr Dutton said the Communist Party of China’s policies were inconsistent with Australian values. (ABC News)

Economic dependence increases

Former WA Liberal premier Colin Barnett said if he was Prime Minister Scott Morrison he would have shut Mr Dutton down.

“I would have told him to be quiet,” he said.

*Mr Barnett signed big resource deals with China in his eight and a half years running the state during the mining construction boom from 2008–17.

But he said many east coast politicians did not understand the Asian superpower.

“I think there’s been a fair bit of jealousy because this was the big trade event and we won’t see in the future the sort of growth that we’ve seen over this decade,” he said.

While WA’s mining boom may be over, exports to China remain strong.

*Resources worth $81 billion head north from WA to China each year.

EMBED: Chart – China tops the list of WA’s biggest export destinations

*Unsurprisingly, iron ore exports make up the lion’s share, worth $62 billion.

Exports to China from WA dwarf those of other Australian states, revealing how dependent the state’s economy is on the country as a buyer.

EMBED: Chart – WA exports more than 60 per cent of Australia’s goods to China

*Chinese companies are also significant investors in WA’s mining industry.*

It controls eight of the state’s foreign-controlled mines, second only to the UK which is the controlling owner of 14.

China’s new ‘Silk Road’
The Chinese Government is inviting world leaders to Beijing to sell them its hugely ambitious, signature One Belt One Road project.

Fortescue Metals Group sells billions of dollars worth of iron ore mined in WA to China every year.

Australia’s trade relationship with China is one FMG’s founder and chairman Andrew Forrest was keen to preserve.

“I find them a tremendous people to work with, to engage with and to make very true friendships from,” he said.

Are we getting too close?

*But author, China researcher and Charles Sturt University public ethics professor Clive Hamilton warned some Australian businesses and state and territory governments had succumbed to intense lobbying by China and become too close.

*”The best way to understand this is through the lens of [former Chinese leader] Mao Zedong’s tactic of ‘use the countryside to surround the city‘,” he said.*

A satellite map of Australia covered by China and Australian flags.

PHOTO: China expert Clive Hamilton says WA is the state most economically dependent on Beijing. (ABC News/Google Earth)

“This was a tactic developed during the civil war against the nationalists in the 1920s and 30s — when the Communist Party could not defeat the nationalists in the city, they had to retreat to the countryside.

“They’re using the same principle all around the world, including in Australia. *

“When the environment in Canberra became more hostile or suspicious or vigilant, let’s say starting about three years ago, Beijing decided that they would focus a lot more effort on the countryside — that is on the outlying states Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, but also they’ve had these huge victories in Victoria.

“So they’ve been cultivating and building their political influence in Western Australia and other parts of the ‘countryside’ as a way of surrounding Canberra, as it were.” *

The huge victory Professor Hamilton cited was Victoria’s decision to sign up to China’s controversial Belt and Road initiative.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews at Tiananmen Square in China.

PHOTO: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews at Tiananmen Square in China. (Twitter: Lisa Tucker)

China’s most controversial win in the Top End came in 2015, when the Northern Territory Government agreed to lease the Port of Darwin to the Chinese company Landbridge.

*Over in Western Australia, the State Government signed a deal that will see the Chinese tech-giant Huawei build a new communications system for Perth’s metropolitan trains, despite the Federal Government blocking the company from Australia’s 5G network on security grounds.

VIDEO: China attempts global dominance with One Belt One Road project (ABC News)

Tensions on the federal level

But not everyone in the west is happy with Beijing.

WA Federal Liberal MP Andrew Hastie made headlines when he used an opinion piece in the Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers to compare the handling of China’s rise to the failure to contain the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

The comments were “deplored” by the Chinese Embassy in response.

Andrew Hastie stands in the House of Representatives. He is holding a piece of paper and gesturing with his other hand

PHOTO: Liberal MP Andrew Hastie has warned of the threat China poses to Australia. (ABC News: Matt Roberts)

Mr Hastie also called out China’s treatment of its Uyghur population — an ethnic Muslim minority, members of which Beijing authorities have locked up en masse.

“I am very troubled by the clear evidence of re-education camps, where one million Uyghurs have been forcibly detained and indoctrinated into communist thinking,” Mr Hastie told Federal Parliament last month.

Vision, posted anonymously online in September and verified as authentic by experts, showed freshly shaven and blindfolded Uyghurs during a mass transfer of people in China’s Xinjiang Province.

YOUTUBE: The video released by War on Fear.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne has also recently spoken out against the plight of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

“Turning a blind eye to all human rights violations means an acceptance of behaviour that undermines the foundations of international peace and stability,” she said.

“Where there is no challenge, there is no progress.”

But China’s Consul General in Perth, Dong Zhihua, argued the Uyghurs were being re-trained to prevent terrorism.

A headshot of a woman in a suit speaking at a lectern.

PHOTO: China Consul General in Perth Dong Zhihua has dismissed fears about her country’s human rights record. (ABC News: Hugh Sando)

“What we are actually doing is that we help those young people to learn practical skills so that they can find jobs … and avoid those young people being influenced by the extremist ideas,” she said.


WA political, business leaders remain tight-lipped

China’s human rights record was not something Mr Forrest wanted to discuss.

“You could be assured that Fortescue does not do its diplomacy through headlines,” he said

“We stand on our track record of [fighting] modern slavery, we stand on our track record of human rights.”

Australia is caught between two superpowers
American officials also worry that Australia’s economic dependence compromises its ability to stand up to China. And new polling shows many Australians feel the same, write Simon Jackman and Elliott Brennan.

WA Premier Mark McGowan also would not be drawn on criticism of China over the Uyghurs issue.

“I’m aware it’s a federal issue, I don’t really engage at that level,” he said.

“My role is to make sure that West Australians have jobs and opportunities, to make sure we have good relationships with the countries in our region.”

Pressed further, he declined to make a single criticism of China’s leadership or conduct in the world.

“Look I’m not going to get into that,” he said.

VIDEO: WA Premier Mark McGowan refuses to criticise China (ABC News)

“The Federal Government I think might have gone a bit overboard in their megaphone diplomacy.

“They should, if they have criticisms or they want to take issues up, you take them up in a more refined way, a more subtle way.”

Professor Hamilton said of all the states in Australia, WA was the one that was most under the influence of Chinese Communist Party bosses in Beijing.

“I think that over the last decade or two, political and business leaders in Western Australia have become so hooked on the money that’s flowing in that they’ve decided that they’re willing to trade off human rights and democracy,” he said.

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-10/the-iron-ties-that-bind-australia-states-to-china/11664730






China’s surveillance operations in Australia have spiked dramatically in recent years. Inq speaks to one dissident who spent a week being interrogated in a Chinese hotel room and says there is a network of informants operating on Australian soil.


China’s enemies of the state in Australia

China’s surveillance operations in Australia have spiked dramatically in recent years. Inq speaks to one dissident who spent a week being interrogated in a Chinese hotel room and says there is a network of informants operating on Australian soil.


OCT 09, 2019

Feng Chongyi works from a small, cramped office at Sydney’s University of Technology, where he is associate professor in China Studies.

Hanging on his wall is a photo of him, in 2006, sitting with top liberals and democrats within the Communist Party’s Central Committee. To his right is Zhu Houze, former head of the Central Propaganda Department, and further over on the left is Li Rui, former political secretary to Mao Zedong. 

In those days, Feng was one of China’s rising stars. He was the first student to be awarded a PhD in contemporary history in China.

Today, he is one of the most outspoken dissidents against the Chinese Communist Party. He has been under surveillance by the Chinese government since 1997 and was detained and interrogated by the secret police in China in 2017.

His sin? He wants China to become a constitutional democracy, incorporating elections, rule of law and protection of human rights. 

Feng came to Australia in 1993 as a visiting scholar, then became a permanent resident. “As soon as I accepted permanent residency I became a dissident,” he told Inq

*Before the 2008 financial crisis, the Chinese government cultivated good relationships with the West and signed on to human rights agreements.

In those days, Feng was invited to functions at the Chinese consulate in Sydney and even attended functions organised by the Chinese government’s United Front operations — a party vehicle for winning influential friends and destroying enemies. He was considered an “honourable member” of Australia’s Chinese community. 

*Everything changed following the rise of President Xi Jinping.

*According to Feng, the country returned to the authoritarian principles of Mao increasing social control and surveillance methods on the Chinese population in Australia and overseas. 

*In 2017, Feng went to China to talk with human rights lawyers and liberals within the government, as he had been doing for many years. He says he was used to being followed by the secret police and came to regard such surveillance as the cost of doing academic research. But this time he was detained for a week in his hotel room and interrogated. “Who pays you?” they asked him, warning that a long jail term was on the cards.  

*Throughout the week their interrogation revealed that not only was Feng under surveillance in Australia, but there were paid informants on the ground reporting on his movements and his meetings, including some with prominent non-Chinese Australians.

In one interrogation session, the police produced a letter from Australia. “I realised from the questions, they had people watching me in Sydney and Melbourne,”

*Feng said. “I was not surprised. They have always been suspicious of the Chinese democracy movement [in Australia], and they are known to have a lot of informants. Payment to informants is made into bank accounts in China to avoid scrutiny in Australia. These informants are permanent residents and Australian citizens. They are all willing informants, though they may be intimidated to do it. They think it’s their duty.”

*The secret police raised the name of another prominent Australian academic. They wanted to know as much about him as possible. They were also very interested in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and asked him about an Australian government adviser, John Garnaut, who worked under Malcolm Turnbull and later co-ordinated a confidential internal report on Chinese government, party influence and interference work in Australia.

In January this year, one of Feng’s former students, 54-year-old journalist and blogger Yang Hengjun, was arrested and charged with espionage in China. “They want to punish him,” said Feng. “I feel very bad. He’s in the criminal detention centre run by the secret police. The first six months [of detention] was a period of terrible, terrible torture. The so-called Residential Surveillance Designated Location is a facility for torture.”

Like Feng, his teacher, Yang abandoned his career as a communist cadre to fight for democracy. 

“I hope the Australian government will push harder. But it’s a political case, motivated by politics,” said Feng.

China's enemies of the state in Australia

SOURCE: https://www.crikey.com.au/2019/10/09/under-surveillance-china-enemies-state/






COULD the residential property sell out to our High Net Worth investor/buyers from our Big Neighbour to the North be opening the gates wide to come inside for even more ….

Surveillance … not only of those with Chinese heritage but … non-Chinese heritage people … ???


Chinese spying on dissidents in Australia reaches new levels

The Chinese government is not only spying on Chinese nationals in Australia, but on Australians themselves. 

Inq hears first-hand from those who believe they are being watched.


OCT 08, 2019

It is March 2017. A black van edges into a quiet suburban street in an Australian capital city and pulls up conspicuously outside the home of a well-informed Australia-based China critic. 

 He is being sent a clear message: be warned. 

The surveillance hasn’t stopped since. This year he says he was followed by four people in the city centre following the detention of prominent Chinese-Australian man. 

He believes people have been watching him in public venues. The surveillance is overt. The people doing it want to be seen. 

*It’s a new phase of physical intimidation in Australian cities and suburbs conducted by Chinese operatives who are believed to be part of China’s Ministry of State Security. 

Image courtesy of @badiucao

*Surveillance is occurring against anyone who is seen as an opponent of the Chinese state, or who has a relationship with Chinese dissidents. 

Being watched is nothing new for Chinese Australians who speak out against the Communist Party regime. Two high-profile Australian-Chinese dissidents have been detained while visiting China in the last 3 years; Professor Feng Chongyi, was held and interviewed by the secret police before being released and his former student Dr Yang Hengjun remains in China charged with espionage.  Authorities are increasingly concerned about his welfare. 

What’s new is that their non-Chinese associates are now also in the frame. 

In the past, Beijing has avoided subjecting non-Chinese heritage people to surveillance and harassment. That has now changed,” said Clive Hamilton, whose 2018 book, Silent Invasion: China’s influence in Australia, infuriated the Chinese government. 

Things haven’t been this bad between Australia and China in 30 years

Read more >

Hamilton, who is professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, believes he has “at times been under surveillance at cafes and restaurants” and says the Chinese embassy “has sent agents to surveil my workplace”. He also believes he has been “the frequent target of cyber intrusions” and has had to take “extensive counter-measures”.

Another former Chinese citizen, now Australian, who believes he is under constant Chinese government surveillance is Melbourne-based artist Badiucao. 

The subject of a recent documentary called China’s Artful Dissident, Badiucao has spent the last 10 years concealing his identity from Chinese authorities by wearing a ski mask in public wherever he goes. He finally unmasked himself in June, on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, when the documentary was released. 

“I have been under surveillance multiple times,” Badiucao told Inq. “I have been followed twice in Melbourne I am absolutely certain. I took a photo of them.” 

“I was on a bus and I was suddenly surrounded by four males of Asian background, and two of them had bluetooth earphones in their ears. Not an iPhone or iPod, more like professional gear. Two of the guys got off the bus and followed me to the Woolworths supermarket.” 

“I have also experienced strange cars parking outside my residence. It all happened very close to the release date of the documentary. It is organised for a purpose, to intimidate me, to send a message.” 


The artist believes the Chinese government regards anyone born in China “as property … even if you are an Australian citizen”. 

Badiucao moved to Australia in 2009. “I left China for a reason: I was seeking freedom and protection,” he said. “I can speak with my free will in my new country. I don’t want to have to find another home, so I am defending Australia from these attacks and maybe one day we can change China.” 

Image courtesy of @badiucao

The Australian filmmaker behind China’s Artful Dissident, Danny Ben-Moshe, also describes several incidents of surveillance in Melbourne, where he lives, including one occasion when a Chinese couple with a camera — apparently tourists — approached him in the street as he wound up filming. For Ben-Moshe it was too much of a coincidence given they had just dropped off Badiucao.

“I don’t want to tempt fate that I’m going to be abducted and disappeared and reappear in a gulag somewhere,” he said, “but that could happen to him [Badiucao]”.

“We have to ask the question: what are we doing to protect Chinese citizens from interference on the frontline?”

Both Badiucao and Danny Ben-Moshe also believe they have been the subject of cyber-attacks in Australia. Badiucao’s Australian internet provider has alerted him to these attacks and confirmed they were deliberate. 


In a further example of Chinese government surveillance of its critics, Inq understands that an Australian academic not of Chinese heritage, and also a friend of Professor Feng, was contacted recently by an Australian federal government agency because his name had been picked up in “chatter” between Chinese operatives at the Chinese consulate in Sydney. They had been given an “explicit order” to collect as much information on him as possible, he was told.

“This is new,” Feng told Inq.

“In the past, the Chinese government thought they were not strong enough to challenge everyone, but now they are much more confident and will intimidate anyone. Western democracies need to understand [the] world reality as it is — the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] is waging a cold war, a cold war that has never ended, even after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The party continues the cold war in fighting against democracies around the world.”

Dig Deeper: Further reading, watching, and listening.

China’s Artful Dissident ABC iView

Silent Invasion Clive Hamilton

Australian Universities linked to Chinese Surveillance AM, ABC Radio

SOURCE: https://www.crikey.com.au/2019/10/08/chinese-spying-dissidents-australia/






IT’s as though Huang has never left Australia … not only his family continue to reside here but Zhang Bo, 32 … who was living at Wolli Creek with a mortgage … now mysteriously owns 6 Mosman properties worth $37M … and he is still buying property …

Zhang has risen without trace. He’s an Australian resident, which begs the question: where does his financial support come from?

a man with powerful friends including current and former executives of China’s second-largest property group, Evergrande

a billionaire without an office; various filings with Australia’s corporate regulator give several addresses all in Beauty Point

Zhang’s spending spree began 20 months after he bought his Wolli Creek apartment for $1.07 million, with a mortgage

Zhang allied with Yuhu Group last year to buy trophy Circular Quay and Gold Coast properties from Dalian Wanda for $1.18 billion

-he then bought out Yuhu’s half share this year after Huang’s Australian residency was cancelled on the advice of ASIO

-in October the Tax Office moved to freeze Huang’s assets over an unpaid bill for $140.9 million; much of that debt relates to a building project in Shenzhen, the Nanyou Mansion Refurbishment, which Huang sold to an Evergrande company in mid-2014


IT’s making the political donations … luxury gifts … overseas holidays … diamond jewellery … look paltry, doesn’t it? With the big neighbour to the north state-owned Golden Mile of Sydney …

Huang Xiangmo’s mystery $1.2b man

Two years ago, Zhang Bo, 32, was living at Wolli Creek with a view of the airport. Now he owns six houses in Sydney’s Mosman worth $37 million, but lives in none of them.

The view from Mosman’s Bay Street, where Bo Zhang, an associate of Huang Xiangmo, owns six properties. Sam Mooy

Neil ChenowethAngus Grigg and Edmund Tadros

Nov 2, 2019

Beauty Point marks the money line in Sydney’s lower north shore, where sculpted mansions offer panoramas across Middle Harbour to sailing boats, inlets and the lesser burghers living beyond the Spit Bridge.

They are houses which scream success for those with a solid seven figures at their disposal.

Zhang Bo, a 32-year-old born in China’s Guangdong Province, has six of these houses. He picked up his latest – and third on Bay Street – just 12 days ago, paying $3.075 million in cash. Who needs a mortgage?

But here’s the strange thing. In just over two years, Zhang has spent $37 million buying six houses around Beauty Point, but he doesn’t live in any of them.

It’s in the same neighbourhood as disgraced Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo, whose family lords over Bay Street with their own $12.8 million pile.

But Zhang is more than just a neighbour. He is Huang’s $1.2 billion man, having segued smoothly from key ally to become the property developer’s escape chute from Australia.

His role in Huang’s business empire can’t be understated.

*It was Zhang who allied with Huang’s Yuhu Group last year to buy trophy Circular Quay and Gold Coast properties from flailing Chinese developer Dalian Wanda for $1.18 billion, and who then bought out Yuhu’s half share this year after Huang’s Australian residency was cancelled on the advice of ASIO.

The mountain of money that Zhang’s companies have shelled out so far is just the beginning – building costs for Circular Quay and the Gold Coast will push the total outlay past $3 billion.

And he’s still buying houses.

Remarkable rise

It’s heady stuff for a man who just over two years ago was living in a $1 million apartment he bought with a mortgage out at Wolli Creek, a suburb with a view of Sydney Airport rather than Middle Harbour.

*Zhang has risen without trace. He’s an Australian resident, which begs the question: where does his financial support come from?

Media reports regularly describe him as having major assets in New Zealand, but AFR Weekend could find no evidence of this.

*He’s clearly a man with powerful friends, and AFR Weekend can reveal that these include current and former executives of China’s second-largest property group, Evergrande.

*While ubiquitous (everywhere) in Southern China, Evergrande is best known in Australia due to its chairman, Xu Jiayin, who was famously forced to sell a $39 million Point Piper mansion by then treasurer Joe Hockey in 2015 after he was deemed to have purchased it illegally.

Xu, China’s second-richest man with a fortune estimated at more than $50 billion, was given 90 days to offload the waterfront house in Sydney.

It left a black mark with the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and Evergrande has made no further investment applications.

Yuhu dismisses any link between Evergrande and either Huang or Zhang. It says Zhang’s backers are private investors who also have shareholdings in Evergrande. More on that later.

The mystery that surrounds Zhang begins with the basic question: where is he?

He’s a billionaire without an office. His various filings with Australia’s corporate regulator give several addresses for where he lives, but they’re all in Beauty Point. And that’s an area from which he seemed conspicuously absent this week.

There’s the $6.2 million house in Beauty Point Road that one of his companies bought in June 2017.

A tradesman working on the house was the only sign of life when AFR Weekend visited.

“The owner is here, maybe once a year,” the tradesman said during his lunch break.

The Euryalus Street mansion that another Zhang company bought in August 2017 for $8 million was also empty.

The painter working on site said, “I think Bo Zhang owns it but he does not live here.”

*Then there’s Tivoli Street. Zhang bought there for $5.3 million in January 2018 but it’s different from his other houses, all of which were bought for cash. This street is less prestigious, the title is under his own name, and he paid for it with a Westpac mortgage.

A young woman in pyjamas at the house says, “Maybe he owns the house but he does not live here.”

Across at Bay Street, where his company paid $7.65 million in October last year, the only resident is a young man of about 25.

“Most of the time it’s empty,” he said. “I’m a friend of a friend, staying for a few weeks.”

Four doors along, the house Zhang bought last May for $6.6 million is vacant with an empty garage and pile of uncollected mail.

Further along Bay Street is the little house Zhang bought from Huang Xiangmo’s daughter Carina on October 21 for $3.075 million. It’s empty as well.

Origin story

Zhang began his Beauty Point spending spree just 20 months after he bought that apartment at Wolli Creek for $1.07 million, with a mortgage.

Zhang didn’t respond to questions from AFR Weekend.

A Yuhu employee says people often ask if there are links between Yuhu and Evergrande, perhaps because they are both based in Shenzhen.

But the links go a little deeper than that.

*Last month the Tax Office moved to freeze Huang’s assets over an unpaid bill for $140.9 million. Much of that debt relates to a building project in Shenzhen, the Nanyou Mansion Refurbishment, which Huang sold to an Evergrande company in mid-2014.

But Yuhu did not announce this sale for at least six months. As the development approval was secured and the existing building demolished, there was no public sign that Evergrande was the ultimate owner.

Yuhu says government authorities were fully aware of the ownership status.

*It was shortly after the Nanyou sale, in October 2014, that Evergrande’s Xu Jiayin flew in to Sydney on the company’s Airbus A319 to make his ill-fated purchase of Villa del Mare in Point Piper, only to be a forced seller the following year.

Meanwhile, Huang was by 2016 looking at new property deals as Zhang busied himself setting up companies.

*In late 2016, Zhang set up two companies: Cuilam (Australia) and Cuilam (Australia) Investment.

*The names suggested both of Zhang’s new companies were linked to a New Zealand dairy group with connections to Evergrande in China.

In fact, that New Zealand company has no connection at all with Zhang’s Australian companies, which have been buying up development sites and Mosman property.

Zhang does, however, have Evergrande connections in Australia.

*Wang Zhongming, a vice-president of Evergrande’s Real Estate Group and chairman of its Shenzhen Construction Group, held 30 per cent of Cuilam (Australia) Investment before his shares were transferred to Zhang.

*It was this company, Cuilam (Australia) Investment, that took a 45 per cent stake in a deal Huang put together in late 2016 to buy the Pymble Corporate Centre on Sydney’s upper north shore for $82 million.

*Huang took 50 per cent, with another five per cent stake going to a company then owned by Simon Zhou, now the Deputy Mayor on Ryde Council in Sydney’s north-west.

*On Wednesday, The Australian Financial Review revealed that planning approval for Eastwood Plaza granted by the Ryde council is set to deliver Huang a potential $135 million windfall.

While the Ryde councillor, Zhou, did not directly benefit from the Eastwood decision, he didn’t declare his financial links with Huang, held through the Pymble Corporate Centre.

That is a potential breach of the Local Government Act, while the council’s decision to grant planning approval to Huang’s Yuhu Group has been referred to the NSW corruption watchdog.

Pymble shareholding aside, the Mosman home owner Zhang has no connection with the Ryde councillor Zhou.

^After Pymble, Huang’s next deal was to buy the Bakehouse Quarter, a retail site based around the old Arnott’s Biscuits factory in Sydney’s inner west, for $380 million.

*Evergrande’s Wang Zhongming was a director of the Huang company that was buying the Bakehouse precinct under a long-dated option deal.

*A 40 per cent stake in this company was held by a Hong Kong entity, which shares the same address that appears for the Evergrande executive, Wang Zhongming, in the Panama Papers.

Deals overshadowed

While not insignificant, the Bakehouse and Pymble deals were overshadowed by the 2017 crisis which engulfed Chinese developer, Dalian Wanda.

Xu Jiayin, chairman of Evergrande Group, was forced to sell his Port Piper mansion. Che Liang

*Yuhu was the public face of a deal in Australia which helped Wanda and its high-profile founder shed assets.

The crisis began when Chinese regulators put Wanda on a watch list due to its string of highly leveraged deals around the world. Wanda was forced to dump $US25 billion of assets and reduce a debt pile authorities in Beijing worried may become a systemic risk to the broader economy.

This firesale included Wanda’s flagship sites on Sydney’s Circular Quay and the Gold Coast.

In an extended series of negotiations that lasted until May 2018, Huang agreed to buy both assets – in partnership with Zhang.

This time it was a new company, Dachang Australia, which would take a half share in the properties at a cost of $565 million, with Yuhu taking the other half.

Zhang owns 88 per cent of Dachang, with 12 per cent held by Weimin Wang (the New Zealand owner of Cuilam Industry, who has links to Evergrande as a director of one of its subsidiaries and through cross-shareholdings).

*Huang has been reported to say that neither he nor his son, Jimmy, were the actual buyers of the Wanda properties but were instead acting for others. The position isn’t clear.

*Whatever the arrangement was, the deal came unstuck last December when Huang’s Australian residency visa was cancelled on advice from ASIO, amid concerns about foreign interference in the Australian political system.

*The investors in the Bakehouse deal pulled out, leaving Huang’s son Jimmy as sole buyer when it finally settled last April.

At this point, the Circular Quay and Gold Coast assets had become too hard for Yuhu and Huang needed an escape strategy.

*While Yuhu says it will continue to oversee construction of both projects, on December 20, two weeks after Huang’s visa was revoked, it had agreed to transfer its half share.


Huang Xiangmo’s $135m planning windfall

*The buyer? Once again Zhang, the $1.2 billion man, stepped up.

*His companies ponied up another $565 million to buy out the Circular Quay and Gold Coast properties in a deal finalised on May 15.

That left Zhang free to keep doing what he does best – house shopping.

On May 24, a new Zhang company, GT Australia Investment – which has no FIRB problems because Zhang owns 81 per cent shelled out $6.6 million for a house in Bay Street, Mosman.

It was another cash sale. Sometimes you can’t get enough of those water views.

SOURCE: https://www.afr.com/property/residential/huang-xiangmo-s-mystery-1-2b-man-20191101-p536em?&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nc&eid=socialn%3Afac-14omn0053-optim-nnn%3Anonpaid-25%2F06%2F2014-social_traffic-all-organicpost-nnn-afr-o&campaign_code=nocode&promote_channel=social_facebook&fbclid=IwAR2sww9qoQ0dLY67DLmzYcLkwGFj3_u9pTAAmkVfjJY1kcZtMgpf1EIL_QQ





NSW GOVERNMENT urged to Hit PAUSE on Major Housing Development described as ‘LUNG CANCER FOR SYDNEY’

FIRSTLY, isn’t it amazing that in this article we are reading about a foreign company COUNTRY GARDEN aka RISLAND being heavily involved in our domestic Housing Industry?

… if that’s not bizarre … we don’t know what is!

Awful State to be in!

Will he ‘stoke’ the fire of destruction?

The appetite for more and more development is never satisfied.

A comprehensive plan for the SYDNEY BASIN is needed, and for the surrounding areas.

IT would need to take into account:

-existing use
-existing character
-environmental assets
-built environmental values
-enhancing recycling opportunities with existing footprints
-transport and access
-range of dwelling types including high, medium and low density, their locations, style, use and suitability
-energy and sustainability

AMONG other factors …

BUT … will this ever happen?

CHANGE along these lines will only occur when circumstances dictate it has to …

WILL it happen before it’s too late?

OR is it about PEDAGOGY, and preserving their positions of denial should it all go horribly wrong?

NSW Government urged to hit pause on major housing development described as ‘lung cancer for Sydney’

ABC Illawarra By Kelly Fuller

31 OCTOBER 2019

PHOTO: Planning Minister Rob Stokes is to face questions about a major housing expansion south of Sydney. (ABC Illawarra: Justin Huntsdale)

RELATED STORY: The suburb on Sydney’s doorstep where 33,000 new homes are planned

RELATED STORY: New national park proposed to protect NSW’s last chlamydia-free koala colony

RELATED STORY: Chlamydia-free koalas’ proposed national park under threat as housing gets green light

A Supreme Court decision has provided fascinating insight into the shambolic and costly planning issues being created by a major housing expansion that will funnel more than 90,000 people into the southern outskirts of Sydney.

Key points:

  • Wollondilly councillors and NSW opposition plead with the NSW Government to pause plans for major housing expansion south of Sydney
  • Supreme Court documents show developers are encountering planning problems due to the absence of state infrastructure
  • The documents show conservation planning, in core biodiversity sites ‘lacked finality’, endangering koala habitat

*The Greater MacArthur 2040 plan, unveiled in November 2018 outlined a vision for a new corridor of growth stretching from Camden through Menangle to Appin and Wilton.

*Councillors in some of the surrounding townships have expressed despair at the plan.

*South west of Sydney, Wollondilly councillor Noel Lowry said he believed the proposal was emblematic of a broken planning system.

Wollondilly Councillor Noel Lowry

PHOTO: Wollondilly Councillor Noel Lowry is warning the government the project will create a lung cancer for Sydney. (Supplied to ABC by Councillor Noel Lowry )

“Developing Wilton is creating a lung cancer for Sydney,” Mr Lowry said.

“Because we are the lungs of Sydney out here right on the side of the catchment areas or our water supply.

He has a desperate message for the new NSW Planning Minister, Rob Stokes.

“Please intervene!”

Six new precincts in zoning rush

Six new precincts have been created in the rezoning rush since the plan was revealed.

The government decided funding for infrastructure to support the expansion would be collected through a Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC) at ‘no cost to government’, putting a levy of more than $55,000 on each dwelling for developers.

VIDEO: A growing number of Australians are moving to the outer suburbs (7.30)

In its planning documents, the government said the SIC would provide $1.58 billion for key infrastructure.

But prior to the March 2019 NSW election, Wollondilly Shire Council said it had identified a $500 million shortfall in state infrastructure including basic emergency services, roads, health and education.

*Wollondilly Mayor Matthew Deeth had repeatedly urged the Government to pause the project until there is certainty on infrastructure.

Developers caught up in legal disputes in absence of infrastructure

This week, documents from a Supreme Court ruling have revealed some of the planning problems being encountered by developers, as they navigate the space absent of state infrastructure.

Wollondilly Mayor Matthew Deeth

PHOTO: Wollondilly Mayor Matthew Deeth warns a $500 million infrastructure funding shortfall in the the Greater MacArthur plan. (ABC Illawarra: Justin Huntsdale)

Chinese backed company Country Garden won its battle against Sydney based developer Bradcorp in a contractual dispute over the sale of the $297 million, 5,000 home master plan for one of the Greater MacArthur areas at North Wilton.

Bradcorp started the proceedings against Country Garden for not going ahead with the agreement to buy its North Wilton project.

Country Garden decided not to exercise the option to acquire the 870-hectare site because there were unfulfilled commercial conditions that would stop the land from being properly developed.

After a six day hearing, the Supreme court dismissed Bradcorps’s claim and ordered it pay costs.

The documents showed Bradcorp had failed to meet some rezoning requirements and was not able to provide access from its development to the Hume Motorway.

*In February 2019, Bradcorp wrote to neighbouring developer Lendlease offering to buy the off-ramp land, but Lendlease already had plans for more housing on the site.

“In this context, what was required was a zoning which would, in effect, dedicate the land to building the required road works, not a zoning where Lendlease would have a choice either to build the road works or to use it for building houses instead,” Justice Parker said. *

Bradcorp has said it will appeal the decision and is determined to forge ahead with the project.

*The court documents also highlighted environmental concerns and found conservation planning in general “lacked finality” and pointed to developers making decisions in “core biodiversity sites” based on the yet to be completed Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan.

*Environmentalists have also warned about the impact of the development will have on the region’s koala population and last week the NSW Environment Minister said he would talk to cabinet about establishing a national park for the local koala colony.

*Local Labor MP and Shadow Minister for Local Government, Greg Warren said the Supreme Court ruling was symbolic of the government’s failing on this project.

“When you have two developers going at it in the Supreme Court, that says more about a government and their failure to deliver the direction of leadership required for local communities, developers and councils.”

Calls to hit pause on the plan

“The Greater Macarthur plan is flawed, the reason it is flawed is there is not the outline of the services, infrastructure, the road, the rail, the hospitals the schools that these future residents will need to build have a sustainable community,” Mr Warren said.

“If it is good enough for this government to shovel thousands of new families into areas like MacArthur, then it is just as good for that government to provide the services and infrastructure.”

Mr Warren said the government must hit pause on the plan.

“They have to close the boom gate on this and then go and have another look because it is an absolute outrage that they have not planned what these future families will need.”

Minister Stokes was expected to face questions about the government’s Greater MacArthur plan in budget estimates today.

Greens MLC David Shoebridge said questions about the project would be front and centre of his focus.

“Clearly we want to know what the government’s plans are for infrastructure and in light of the obvious concerns even from the developers about the inadequacies of infrastructure, whether the government is going to review the targets and go back to the community and revisit the entire plan.”

Mr Shoebridge said there was an urgent need to pause the project.

The ABC had contacted Minister Stokes for comment.

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-31/greater-macarthur/11655520