The Australian Security Intelligence Agency (ASIO) has begun investigating communist party members who worked for years at the Australian consulate in Shanghai after the list of 1.95 million who infiltrated various sectors of the communist Party around the world was leaked. Australian security experts have criticized the government for not paying attention to the issue of Chinese communist Party members working at the consulate.
An investigation by the Australian newspaper has found that at least 10 consulates in Shanghai employed Communist Party members as senior political experts, clerks, economic advisers and administrative assistants. According to British media, a Member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was working at the British Consulate downstairs from the MI6 spy unit, and could have exposed his identity as soon as he went upstairs.
According to the Australian on December 15, some sources familiar with the matter said the Australian Security Intelligence Agency had begun gathering intelligence to investigate the Chinese Communist Party’s infiltration of diplomatic missions through its Shanghai Foreign Agency Service.
“The AUSSIE uses a lot of sources for counter-intelligence and things like this don’t happen every day,” a source said.
Peter Jennings, director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), criticised the Australian government for making a “fundamental mistake” and putting the consulate at risk by failing to pay attention to the fact that its employees were Members of the Communist Party.
“Being a member of [the Communist Party] is not an easy thing. If you want to be a party member, this means that the Party will be able to ask you to do what they want you to do. If you work in a consulate, the Communist Party will surely know and expect members to report anything useful.” “He told the Australian.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union on China Policy (IPAC) obtained a list of 1.95 million Communist Party members and had it verified by experts, who then provided it to four media outlets in the UK, Australia, Belgium and Sweden.
Rex Patrick, an independent Senator from South Australia, asked the foreign minister to explain why the consulate used a staffing agency that hired Communist Party members.
He said the foreign minister must ensure that no Communist Party member inside the consulate has access to sensitive or classified information, and if not, he would call on the Senate to investigate. “The key question is: do those holding these positions have access to sensitive or confidential information? If that is the case, that is worrying.”
So far, Australia’s foreign minister has not responded.
Dave Sharma, a Liberal MP and former Australian ambassador to Israel, said it was’ a well known secret that certain countries target diplomatic missions’ and that the Australian embassy was’ operating with this in mind and a number of safeguards in place. ‘
“We need to be wary of those CCP members, but even those who are not CCP members are vulnerable to pressure and temptation from CCP members.” “He told the Australian.