Australias first Chinese-Australian member of Parliament Gladys Liu has criticised the Victorian state governments decision to be involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Speaking to the Age on May 31, the state Liberal representative said that there was a definite “lack of transparency” around Victorias Belt and Road agreement.
“Premier Andrews didnt talk to the federal government, so we didnt know about it,” Liu said.
Noting that the Commonwealth should be the judge of trade deals, Liu called on Victoria to work with the federal government.
Liu questioned which Australian companies are benefitting from it so far.
“The most important thing is, what are Victorians, what are Australians getting out of it? How many jobs have the projects been able to provide? What are these companies getting these projects? Have [the projects] been put up for public tender? Do they pay Australian tax? We dont know. If there is a benefit, then show us,” said Liu.
Born in Hong Kong, Liu was formerly the multicultural advisor to the Former Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu from 2007-2013 before she was elected to the national parliament in 2019 representing the electorate of Chisholm.
In 2019 Liu was embroiled in a political scandal over her previous ties to organisations linked to the Chinese Communist Party.
According to Liu, she had been involved with the United Chinese Commerce Association of Australia, the Australian Jiangmen General Commercial Association Inc, and the Guangdong Overseas Exchange Association which had ties to the Chinese Communist Partys United Front Work Department.
Liu has since resigned from all of these organisations and has been critical of the Chinese Communist Party.
In a media release on May 28, Liu expressed grave concern over the Hong Kong National Security legislation and called on the Chinese regime to respect the legally binding Joint Declaration of 1984 that ensured Hong Kong freedoms.
Victorias BRI Deal Still Going Forward Despite Delays
Speaking to the Epoch Times on June 1, a spokesperson for the Victorian government said that the Belt and Road Initiative would be “delayed because of the coronavirus.”
The spokesperson also said: “There will be a road map developed that will determine the way forward—but as the Premier has said any next steps will be focussed on Victorian jobs.”
According to the spokesperson, all building projects are done by Victorian workers and are publicly available.
The Victorian government has come under increasing scrutiny for its involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative and the Andrews governments ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
The prime minister said on May 26 that the federal government did not support the decision of the Victorian government to join the Belt and Road Initiative.
Continuing Morrison said: “Its always been the usual practice for states to respect and recognise the role of the Federal Government in setting foreign policy. And I think thats always been a good practice.”
The leader of the Nationals and the leader of the Liberal opposition in Victoria have _