In the middle of the stormy period for the Australian intelligence community, there is Andrew Hastie, a chairman of the Parliamentary joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, and Bo ‘Nick’ Zhao, a deceased young businessman. In March of this year, Zhao was found dead in a Melbourne hotel room. Chinese Intelligence could be the culprits in his death according to Australian media reports. Offering Zhao one million Australian dollars to become a spy, Chinese Intelligence were grooming Zhao to be elected to parliament and work as a mole for Beijing; however, Zhao wanted nothing to do with it. He reported it to Australian’s domestic intelligence agency. A coroner is investigating the situation, but for now, it appears that Beijing had killed him for treachery.
Studying history, politics and philosophy, Andrew Hastie is a graduate from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He went to a military college and joined the Army, and after 14 years of the military, he reached the rank of captain and joined Australian’s Special Air Service Regiment, modeled on Britain’s SAS. After retiring from the Army, he moved on to politics, and in 2015 he won a parliamentary seat for the Liberal (conservative) party. Now he is the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.
Australia is a target of unprecedented levels of espionage and foreign interference, particularly from the Chinese regime. Hastie is their uncompromising opponent. In 2018, two pieces of legislation were passed: the Espionage and Foreign Interference Act and the Security of Critical Infrastructure Bill. Through these bills, foreign telecommunications companies are banned from the country’s future 5G network. This puts China a step back in their plans; for the last two decades, they have poured billions of dollars into increasing its political, economic and military clout all over the world.
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