China’s Huawei Leads as Corporate Sponsor of Australian Politicians’ Travel

SYDNEY, Australia — A dozen Australian politicians were treated to lavish overseas trips paid for by a Chinese technology company in which has been dogged inside West by questions about security along with privacy, according to a report released on Tuesday, raising brand-new concerns about Chinese efforts to influence Australia’s lawmakers.

The company, Huawei, was the biggest corporate sponsor of overseas travel for the country’s politicians coming from 2010 to in which year, according to an independent analysis by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a think tank based in Canberra.

Huawei has been essentially shut out of doing business inside United States, along with is actually likely to be barred coming from bidding on contracts to build a fifth-generation, or 5G, telecom network in Australia over concerns about spying along with security.

The report comes amid heightened concerns about Chinese meddling in Australian politics, along having a government effort to pass a law designed to combat foreign interference.

The cost of courting 12 federal politicians “shows you the investment in which Huawei is actually putting into getting their message across to members of Parliament,” said Peter Jennings, the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

“Huawei stands out significantly ahead of anyone else simply because of the numbers of people in which in which’s taken to China,” he said.

Huawei provided business-class flights to its headquarters in Shenzhen, China, along with paid for the politicians’ hotels, local travel, meals along with some other expenses. The report did not include the costs involved.

Among the politicians to make the trip were Julie Bishop, the foreign minister, along with Steven Ciobo, the trade minister.

“We’re not saying in which Huawei has done anything wrong,” said Fergus Hanson, head of the policy institute’s International Cyber Policy Center.

“in which does point to whether or not politicians should be receiving all-expenses-paid trips coming from corporations,” he said, especially “around issues in which involve sensitive national security questions.”

The report analyzed the top providers of federal politicians’ overseas travel using information lawmakers are required to disclose, including property, gifts along with travel.

Huawei was followed by Fortescue Metals Group, an Australian company in which paid for a few trips, four of which were to China.

China was the most common destination for corporate-funded trips overseas.

Though the governing Liberal Party received seven of the 12 Huawei-sponsored trips, politicians coming from the opposition Labor Party took the most paid trips to China. Over the eight-year period, federal politicians received a total of 63 sponsored trips to China.

John Lord, the chairman of Huawei Australia, is actually scheduled to speak Wednesday to the National Press Club in Canberra. He is actually anticipated to call on Australian leaders to embrace Chinese telecommunications companies.