A prominent Chinese billionaire suspected of making political donations to further Communist Party influence in Australia has been stripped of his residency in the country and barred from returning.
Huang Xiangmo – a property developer who has donated millions to Australia’s two main political parties – has been at the centre of a spate of political interference concerns.
On Wednesday, he was left stranded outside the country after the Home Affairs office cancelled his permanent residency and turned down his application for Australian citizenship, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Quoting unnamed sources, the paper said Mr Huang had his application for an Australian passport blocked for a range of reasons, including what the paper said were “character grounds” and concerns over the “reliability” of information he had supplied in interviews.
Australia’s spy agency has long voiced concerns that China was interfering in Australian institutions and using the political donations system to gain access.
It reportedly warned the country’s political elite about taking donations from Huang, and a fellow billionaire property developer, Chau Chak Wing.
In 2017 disgraced Australian senator – and one-time opposition Labor powerbroker – Sam Dastyari quit politics over his links to China.
The Sydney Morning Herald said Mr Dastyari had repeatedly contacted immigration personally to check on Mr Huang’s case. Previous reports have said he also warned Mr Huang that his telephone had been tapped by Australian intelligence.