Today we heard that Clive Hamilton’s book on Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia has been pulled by its publisher, Allen & Unwin, for fear of legal action by the Chinese government or its proxies. The book, Silent Invasion: How China Is Turning Australia into a Puppet State, was all set to go. Allen & Unwin wanted to delay publication until matters before the courts have been settled; Dr Hamilton preferred to reclaim his rights over the book.
Dr Hamilton says he is ‘not aware of any other instance in Australian history where a foreign power has stopped publication of a book that criticises it … The reason they’ve decided not to publish this book is the very reason the book needs to be published.’ The book looks at evidence that Chinese Communist Party agencies want to extend Beijing’s influence in Australia to serve Chinese interests.
Dr Chau at the Memorial, September 2015 (AWM Annual Report 2015-16)
Among the individuals the book deals with is Chinese-Australian businessman Dr Chau Chak Wing, who is suing Fairfax for previous stories, and whose picture appears in today’s article by Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker. Dr Chau has been a big donor to Australian universities and has supported the Australian War Memorial. Honest History has twice written about him in this latter connection, in June and July. Dr Chau has been identified by ASIO for what Nick McKenzie described on the ABC’s Four Corners as Dr Chau’s ‘especially close ties to the Chinese Communist Party’.
Update 1 December 2017: Dr Chau hosts a policy conference in China, where speakers include President Xi. More on the Chau defamation case against Fairfax.
Dr Chau’s company Kingold has been a significant donor to the War Memorial. Kingold appears on the list of donors just inside the entrance of the Memorial and is in the Memorial’s 2015-16 annual report (Appendix 9) as a benefactor which has contributed over $250 000. In the 2016-17 report (page 92) Kingold appears on a list of supporters and partners, although the list this time is not categorised by amount of donation.
In September 2015, Dr Chau led a delegation to the Memorial to honour Chinese-Australian servicemen and to open the Memorial’s Kingold Education and Media Centre, a green screen studio with full facilities for broadcasting and recording. At the same time, Dr Chau was awarded an Australian War Memorial Fellowship and his name appears on the list of Fellows at the entrance to the Memorial.
Dr Chau gets his Australian War Memorial Fellowship, September 2015 (AWM Annual Report 2015-16)
Dr Chau is also known as Zhou Zerong. His doctorate is an honorary one from Keuka College in upstate New York. The FBI alleged that Ms Sheri Yan used Dr Chau’s money to bribe former United Nations General Assembly President, John Ashe. Dr Chau himself has never been charged or accused of wrongdoing. Ms Yan pleaded guilty and is in gaol.
13 November 2017 updated