Australia

Sam Dastyari says Gladys Liu should resign over alleged China links

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Sam Dastyari has said embattled MP Gladys Liu should quit parliament.

Former Labor Senator Sam Dastyari has told embattled MP Gladys Liu she should consider resigning over the controversy around her past links to China’s communist party.  

The Hong Kong-born Victorian MP has continued to resist calls to explain undeclared donations and previous connections with groups tied to the Chinese government in Parliament.

Mr Dastyari was forced to resign from the senate in 2017 after being accused of having his own links to China over donations made to his office.

Sam Dastyari responded to questions over the saga surrounding Liberal MP Gladys Liu.
Sam Dastyari responded to questions over the saga surrounding Liberal MP Gladys Liu.
ABC

He told the ABC’s Q&A on Monday Night, Ms Liu should quit Parliament - despite not wanting to compare her situation to his own personal saga.

“I think the best thing she can do for herself – for her causes that she believes in for her party - is to actually leave parliament. That’s my personal view.”

Mr Dastyari expressed sympathy for Ms Liu saying he had tried to contact the member for Chisholm directly.  

“I can only imagine what Gladys Liu is going through at the moment. Let’s not forget, there are real people at the end of this, real people.”

Liberal member for Chisholm Gladys Liu wipes away tears during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra.
Liberal member for Chisholm Gladys Liu wipes away tears during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra.
AAP

Labor sharpened its attempts to force Ms Liu to make a statement to Parliament on Monday, twice failing to suspend business in the lower house.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said Prime Minister Scott Morrison had effectively prevented Ms Liu from providing a "statement to parliament in her own words", by tabling a written statement prepared by the prime minister's office that was issued outside the chamber.

But during question time, Mr Morrison labelled the opposition leader's attack weak and lame and said Labor should look to its own ranks.

"The reason we have foreign interference laws in Australia is because of the former Senator (Sam) Dastyari and the Labor Party should well know that," he said.

"Their record on this issue is an absolute shambles ... and nor can they hide from what the Labor leader of NSW said, before the last state election, that Asians would take their jobs."

In her previous statement, Ms Liu declared she was conducting an audit of connections to community groups, possibly linked to the Chinese government.

Ms Liu is also double-checking donations she had helped raise for the party, according to federal government frontbencher Stuart Robert.

Liberal member for Chisholm Gladys Liu.
Liberal member for Chisholm Gladys Liu.
AAP

It comes as The New Daily reports Ms Liu was linked to a $105,000 donation to the Liberal Party for a dinner with then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that never happened.

In her previous statement, Ms Liu confirmed past ties to an organisation linked to China's foreign influence operations.

Ms Liu said she held an honorary position with the Guangdong Overseas Exchange Association but was no longer involved with this organisation.

Gladys Liu is yet to speak publicly over the controversy.
Gladys Liu is yet to speak publicly over the controversy.
AAP

"I am a proud Australian," she said in the statement.

"I do not wish my name to be used in any of these associations and I ask them to stop using my name."

Meanwhile, on Monday night, a crossbench senator's push for a parliamentary inquiry into Australia's relations with China failed for the second time in a week.

Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick's attempt came on the back of controversy around the Liberal MP's ties to Beijing and the government rejecting Labor's requests for briefings about China.

However, Labor did not support the push for a parliamentary inquiry.

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