Alan Tudge targeted by CCP
Cabinet Minister Alan Tudge was the target of an alleged foreign influence plot by a CCP front group in 2020.
An organisation linked to the Chinese Communist Party was behind an alleged plot to target Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge, it has been revealed.
Population Minister Alan Tudge says Australia has recently experienced foreign interference at levels not seen since World War II, as the government launches its counter-strike against Chinese aggression. It has been revealed that China was behind the alleged plot to target the Victorian-based federal minister.
A 65-year-old man, Di Sanh Duong, also known as Sunny Duong, was charged in November 2020 with preparing an act of foreign interference within Australia.
Mr Duong, who has lived in Melbourne for decades, was the first person to be charged under laws which went through the Federal Parliament in 2018, and which carry a maximum 10-year jail term.
The charges do not allege an actual interference attempt, but rather a plan to attempt to influence Mr Tudge, by an organisation linked ultimately to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Mr Duong has said he has done nothing wrong.
Mr Tudge’s office declined to comment, citing the Australian Federal Police investigation. There is no suggestion the Minister was influenced, or had any knowledge of any alleged plan to target him.
Mr Tudge, the member for Aston in Melbourne’s outer east, is the Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure minister. He has been Acting Immigration Minister since David Coleman took personal leave more than a year ago. His portfolios bring him into regular contact with community leaders from multicultural groups across the country.
He sits in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Cabinet.
In June 2020, the minister appeared at a charity event where Mr Duong handed over a $37,000 cheque to the Royal Melbourne Hospital on behalf of the Oceania Federation of Chinese Organisations from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Inc, described by Mr Tudge as a “terrific community organisation.”
Security sources believe the federation is linked to the United Front Work Department, the Chinese Communist Party’s overseas influence arm.
The charges against Mr Duong came after a year-long investigation by the Counter Foreign Interference Taskforce, which is led by the Australian Federal Police and the domestic spy agency ASIO.
Mr Duong, a community leader and long-time member of the Liberal Party who stood unsuccessfully in the state seat of Richmond in 1996, resigned from the party days after the charges were laid.
He was also stood down from his role as the deputy chair of the Museum of Chinese Australian History in Melbourne, pending the outcome of the court case.
Sources told News Corp Mr Duong was well known in the Liberal Party in Victoria and had for many years been active as a community leader in ethnic Chinese organisations, particularly in Melbourne’s southern and eastern suburbs.
Mr Duong has also been alleged to have been associated with Ryan Smith MP.