Julie Bishop’s attack on Labor over Chinese donations backfires

Julie Bishop’s attack on Labor over Chinese donations backfires, by Laura Tingle.

A parliamentary attack on Labor over foreign donations from Chinese supporters backfired badly on Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Wednesday when the opposition returned fire with questions about an entity called the “Julie Bishop Glorious Foundation”, set up by a wealthy Chinese supporter.

The issue of foreign donations to political parties has been brewing throughout the parliamentary sitting fortnight, following revelations from a joint investigation by Fairfax Media and the ABC about Chinese attempts to influence Australian politics.

The questions on Wednesday prompted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to reiterate that the government would introduce legislation in the spring sitting to outlaw foreign donations to both political parties and other groups including Get Up and trade unions.

The investigation revealed that Labor Senator Sam Dastyari had given a press conference for the Chinese media only last year rebutting the then Labor defence spokesman’s stance on contested islands in the South China Sea, the day after a Chinese donor had cancelled a massive donation to the Labor Party. …

Labor MP Matt Keogh then rose to ask Ms Bishop about her own Chinese links saying Chinese mining magnate Sally Zou, who is also a large financial supporter of Port Adelaide Football Club, had set up an entity called the “Julie Bishop Glorious Foundation” to help the deputy Liberal leader

A furious Ms Bishop denied any knowledge of the foundation until she had been asked questions about it by the media last week.

“At no time have I ever compromised government policy in relation to foreign affairs,” she said.