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Therapeutic Albanese went to Chinese Puppetmaster event - after ASIO warning

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Labor leader Anthony Albanese praised Chinese billionaire Dr Chau Chak Wing at a fancy dinner in Sydney in 2020 - weeks after ASIO warnings over foreign influence risks. Picture: Chau Chak Wing Foundation

Labor leader Anthony Albanese offered effusive praise for the Chinese billionaire Dr Chau Chak Wing at a dinner in Sydney in 2020 just weeks after ASIO warnings over foreign influence risks.

Dr Chau, who previously hit the headlines for spending $70 million on James Packer’s mega mansion, is the Chinese businessman named in Parliament this week as the “puppet master” ASIO was referring to in a major speech.

The businessman has slammed the claims as “reckless” and “baseless” and ASIO has refused to confirm or deny the allegations made under parliamentary privilege.

Despite previous warnings by ASIO to both the major parties about taking money from two Chinese donors including Dr Chau Chak Wing and the risk of foreign influence operations, Mr Albanese attended an event in his honour in November, 2020.

Government sources, that are trying to elevate the issue of China’s influence in the Labor Party ahead of the election, briefed journalists last night that the Prime Minister had declined the invitation on the basis of national security advice.

But Mr Albanese paid tribute to the billionaire’s generosity in his speech, offering effusive praise for the businessman who has donated an estimated $40 million to Australian universities.

“The Chau Chak Wing Museum has risen thanks to the generosity of the man whose name that it bears, but also along with the Ian Potter Foundation, the Nelson Meers Foundation and Penelope Seidler AM,’’ he said.

“Four great philanthropists. We should not take that for granted for their generosity.”