A Chinese billionaire who has been prevented from returning to Australia has asked political parties to return the millions of dollars in donations he’s made.
Huang Xiangmo quickly rose to become a leading pro-China lobbyist, courting politicians and donating at least $2 million to Australian political parties directly and through his companies.
But a decision from the Home Affairs Department to strip him of permanent residency and reject his citizenship application, made while Mr Huang was offshore, leaves him unable to re-enter the country.
Security agencies have raised concerns about Mr Huang’s possible links to the Chinese Communist Party and the motivation behind his generous donations.
A joint ABC-Fairfax investigation in 2017 revealed his bid for an Australian passport had stalled due to those concerns.
In a statement issued today, Mr Huang said he had been treated unfairly by the Australian Government and had not broken any Australian laws.
“It is profoundly disappointing to be treated in such a grotesquely unfair manner,” Mr Huang’s said.
“The decision of visa cancellation was made based on unfounded speculations that are prejudiced and groundless.
“This is not the Australia that I believe in, the Australia of freedom, democracy, rule-of-law and fairness, but I keep my faith in law and justice.”
The ABC understands the decision to ban Mr Huang from Australia was delivered months ago.
Mr Huang, who is contesting the decision, said all his donations had been made in strict adherence to Australian law.
“If any of the past donations I made was deemed inappropriate by any political party or political figure, I again propose the option for them to duly return the amount donated without the need to pay any interest,” Mr Huang’s statement said.
“The returned money will be then donated to Australian charitable organisations accordingly.”