Mystery behind Master Wang
thanks to Professor Clive Hamilton for opening up discussion on the Tasmanian Chinese Buddhist Academy and its leader Xin De Wang, known more widely around town as Master Wang.
Many people around Hobart have watched Master Wang and his Chinese Buddhism school become part of the fabric of Hobart, pouring millions of dollars generously into organisations (like Crime Stoppers) and many wellknown charities like the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council, Olympics and Paralympics fundraising.
Master Wang, who is the leader of the very wealthy Tantrayana Buddhism school that made Hobart home back in the 1990s, has strongly denied Professor Hamilton’s claims his role as president of the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Council for the Peaceful Reunification of China organisation has links to the Chinese Communist Party.
Prof Hamilton, who spoke at the University of Tasmania last week, said the organisation was a “united front organisation” at the heart of the Chinese Communist Party’s influence in Australia.
Not for Master Wang’s Chinese Buddhists followers taking the vows of poverty.
Hobart’s Chinese Buddhist organisations, in various forms, own one of Tasmania’s largest property portfolios, estimated between $40 to $60 million.
It stretches across Hobart and beyond — including some landmark city properties, residences in the posher suburbs and the multimillion-dollar Tasmanian Chinese Buddhist Temple and Cultural Park being built in Campania.
They turn up at major public events like the Christmas Parade, joining in the fun and adding to the colour with the dragon procession.
Prof Hamilton, a public ethics advocate who has written the book Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia, says the CCP aims to subtly win over politics, business and the broader Tasmanian society.
He claimed “red Buddhism” was the CCP using the ideology of Chinese Buddhism to push its influence and it was happening in Tasmania.
Master Wang rejected the claims as “baseless and false”, saying his group has no affiliation with the CCP.