China is suspected of being behind a failed attempt to fund Labor candidates in the federal election.

The Chinese embassy is yet to comment on revelations it tried to interfere in the election

On Wednesday, ASIO director Mike Burgess warned that “several” foreign states were targeting all levels of government in Australia, indicating that the Chinese foreign influence campaign was underway.

ASIO has thwarted a Beijing-backed attempt to bankroll New South Wales Labor candidates in this year’s federal election.

According to the ABC, a corporate magnate in Australia with significant ties to China operated as a “puppeteer” to help fund possible federal Labor candidates in NSW who are pro-Beijing.

Both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have been briefed on the botched foreign mission. Labor leader Anthony Albanese stated that the Chinese-courted candidates were not ultimately chosen by his party, and that the foreign meddling attempt on Labor had failed.

Mr Albanese said on Friday, “I spoke with Mr Burgess today, and he confirmed that he has not raised any concerns about any of my candidates.”

Mr Burgess refused to publicly name the countries involved when he first released imprecise details of the foiled influence plot on Wednesday, claiming that attribution was not his responsibility.

Mr. Burgess further said that the political candidates who were targeted were unaware of the foreign plot. “Even if the plan had gone through, they’d have had no idea who was pulling the strings,” he claimed.

“The employee was used as a cut-out by the puppeteer. The case was moved into the area of foreign influence due to the purposeful deception and secrecy about the foreign government link.


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