Canberra [Australia], June 26 (ANI): Australian intelligence officers and police raided the home and office of an opposition politician on Friday as part of an investigation into alleged Chinese influenced operations, officials said.
Security agents searched the properties linked to New South Wales state legislator Shaoquett Moselmane, who had been the target of long-standing allegations of links to the ruling Chinese Communist Party, South China Morning Post reported.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) confirmed that the "search warrant activity is occurring in Sydney as part of an ongoing investigation".
They added that there was no "specific threat to the community".
Moselmane's pro-Beijing stance has long raised eyebrows even among colleagues in the Labor Party.
New South Wales Labor Party leader Jodi McKay told reporters she was informed about the operation on Moselmane's home and office and said she had begun the process of suspending his membership of the party.
"It's dreadfully concerning," she said.
"It's important that every MP focuses on the people in their state," McKay was quoted as saying.
Moselmane has publicly praised Xi Jinping's "unswerving" leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, contrasting it favourably with Australia's own response.
"President Xi stepped up and provided that leadership. He mustered the resources of the nation and together with the great people of China - fought it and contained it," Moselmane wrote on his personal website.
In 2018, he gave a speech suggesting a "new world order" would be needed if China was to fulfil its potential.
The local media also reported that Moselmane had hired a staffer who trained at Beijing's Chinese Academy of Governance, a school of party members going into public office.
The operation is another signal of Australian authorities' new willingness to tackle allegations of Chinese subversion of Australian politics.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison's government passed foreign interference legislation following revelations that wealthy Chinese businessmen with links to Beijing had been bankrolling local parties and candidates across the political spectrum. (ANI)