Let­ter voices China con­cern

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWSFRONT -

“It is im­por­tant Ho­bart vot­ers un­der­stand that Chi­nese can­di­date Yong­bei Tang does not rep­re­sent the ma­jor­ity of the Chi­nese com­mu­nity in Ho­bart.

“We, the un­der­signed, do not en­dorse … her hid­ing of ti­tles of many or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing her as­so­ci­a­tion with the Chi­nese govern­ment.”

Ms Tang, an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen and Tas­ma­nian res­i­dent of 20 years, has re­peat­edly de­nied she has links to the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party, de­spite her former and ap­par­ent cur­rent mem­ber­ship of sev­eral party or Chi­nese govern­ment-linked groups. This in­cluded a stint on the board of the Tas­ma­nian branch of the Aus­tralian Coun­cil for the Pro­mo­tion of the Peace­ful Re­uni­fi­ca­tion of China, which, ac­cord­ing to its reg­is­tra­tion, “in­sists on the one China prin­ci­ple [and] op­poses all words and ac­tions of split­ting the land and sovereignty of China”.

Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia Chi­nese stud­ies se­nior lec­turer Mark Har­ri­son said the group’s po­si­tion was in line with the Chi­nese govern­ment’s stance on Tai­wan but at odds with the Aus­tralian Govern­ment’s one China pol­icy. Ms Tang has pre­vi­ously said she quit the board be­cause she re­alised it was trou­ble­some.

Ms Tang yes­ter­day pointed out she was the pres­i­dent of the Chi­nese Cul­tural So­ci­ety of Tas­ma­nia “which has ex­isted for more than 10 years”.

“I am also a writer and write on my so­cial me­dia ev­ery day,” Ms Tang said.

An ar­ti­cle at­tached to Ms Tang’s mag­a­zine, Chi­nese News Tas­ma­nia, pub­lished last month ac­cused Tas­ma­nian me­dia of “throw­ing mud” at the would-be al­der­man be­cause it was scared of a rise in the Chi­nese com­mu­nity.

“We need to put a nail in Tas­ma­nia’s pol­i­tics and add an­other one four years later,” that ar­ti­cle said.

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