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Morning News: ASIO boss aware of suspected China spy's alleged plot to infiltrate Federal Parliament

The new director-general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Mike Burgess is seen during a press conference in Brisbane. Source: AAP

The head of ASIO says he is aware of an alleged plot by China to infiltrate parliament by recruiting a businessman to stand as a Liberal Party candidate.

 Australia's intelligence agencies are reportedly facing their first major review in five years. (AAP)
ASIO website
AAP Image/Dan Peled

ASIO says it was aware and "has been actively investigating" allegations that a Melbourne car dealer was cultivated by the Chinese government in a bid to infiltrate Australia's parliament.

Nine's 60 Minutes program aired the claims on Sunday, citing sources with knowledge of the plot, where Melbourne car dealer "Nick" Zhao, 32, was allegedly cultivated by Beijing to run as a Liberal Party candidate.


Mr Zhao allegedly told ASIO about the deal. He was then reportedly found dead in a Melbourne hotel room in March.

ASIO director-general Mike Burgess later confirmed in a statement the agency was aware of the claims but would not comment further.

"Australians can be reassured that ASIO was previously aware of matters that were reported today, and has been actively investigating them," he said.


Parliament breakfast prayer
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese at the prayer breakfast at Parliament.
AAP


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