Chinese billionaire stripped of visa calls Australia ‘giant baby’
Beijing: A Chinese billionaire and political donor has called Australia a “giant baby” after it revoked his permanent residency amid concerns over Beijing’s growing foreign influence, the media reported on Tuesday.
Property developer Huang Xiangmo on Monday told the Chinese state-run Global Times daily that the incident had hugely impacted his personal life, CNN reported.
“Three generations of my family have lived in Australia for seven years,” he said.
“Apart from me, all those in the family is Australian citizens… Australia is their home.”
Australian media reported last week that the tycoon was refused permission to stay in the country partly due to concerns over his ties to the Chinese government.
In the scathing and lengthy Global Times interview, Huang said Australia had “the innate characteristics of a giant baby”.
“This is an objective fact and it does not mean Australia has to feel inferior. The growth of a giant baby takes time, and Australia still has a long way to go,” he said.
Since 2012, Huang has made donations to both of Australia’s main political parties. He has also been pictured with high-ranking politicians including former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
He said the idea that his donations in Australia and political connections in China were “threatening (Australia’s) national security” as “ridiculous”.
But the billionaire became a controversial figure in Australia in recent years, CNN said.
Former Labour senator Sam Dastyari was forced to resign in December 2017 over his close relationship with Huang.
Relations between Beijing and Canberra soured in December 2017 after the Australian government introduced a package of foreign interference laws, amid growing concerns over China’s influence on politics, academia and media in the country.