Australia investigates alleged Chinese plot to install spy MP
The allegations – first aired by local network Nine – assert that a suspected Chinese espionage ring approached a Chinese-Australian man to run as an MP.
The Australian government has said it is taking the allegations seriously, following a rare public statement from the nation’s domestic spy agency.
China is yet to respond to the claims.
They allegedly offered him A$1m (£520,000; $680,000) to fund his run for a Melbourne seat as a candidate for the ruling Liberal Party, of which Mr Zhao was already a member.
Mr Zhao gave information about the alleged approach to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (Asio) last year, Nine reported.
There is an ongoing debate about Chinese influence in Australian politics and society.
Some politicians have accused Beijing of trying to infiltrate Canberra through donations and other means. Others, however, believe the allegations are fuelling xenophobia and harming relations between the two countries.
The allegations follow unrelated reports that a man claiming to be a Chinese spy has applied for asylum in Australia. source : bbc