The mystery country that managed to get an Australian politician to turn around and ‘sell out’ his own nation has been identified.
China has been revealed to be the country behind what ASIO CEO Mike Burgess called the ‘A team’ spying on Australia.
Burgess revealed for the first time on Wednesday night that a former politician had been caught in a spy ring, but remained tight-lipped about his identity.
He also declined to name the country involved, but Nine The newspapers reported that they had independently confirmed that a division of China’s Ministry of State Security dedicated to Australia was responsible.
in a 60 minutes In an interview on Sunday night, Burgess again defended his decision not to name the country involved, despite publicly naming China last October for its “unprecedented” theft of Western intellectual property.
The mystery country that made an Australian politician turn around and ‘sell out’ his own nation has been identified (file image)
A former politician who ASIO director general Mike Burgess (pictured) said “sold out Australia” has been named as the nation he was involved with.
‘It is a complex, challenging and changing security environment. The world is complex, it is not just one country,’ he stated.
“I don’t think the fact that I don’t mention their name emboldens them, they know who they are.”
Without going into details, Burgess gave some insight into what might lead a politician to betray his or her own country, including the fact that money or coercion might be involved.
‘It could be money, it could be political beliefs. “It could be that for years a foreign intelligence service has cultivated a relationship with you, created a feeling of indebtedness that makes you feel like you owe someone something,” she said. S.B.S..
‘It could be coercion, it could be some blackmail. There are various reasons why these things happen in general, but in particular cases, and even in the case I have shared, I will not go into details.’
Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said Australia should take a “tough” stance over the spying revelations.
The Nationals leader said the federal government needed to tackle the “glaring threat” of foreign espionage as soon as possible.
“There is a spy active or has been within our government and what we do know is that China is behind it,” he told Today.
“Australia (must be) as strong as possible as quickly as possible.”
Burgess said the former politician was asked to help select and invite people to attend an all-expenses-paid overseas conference organized by members of a foreign intelligence service.
Those spies then planned to pose as “bureaucrats” who would use the event to establish relationships with people who had access to confidential information.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese criticized speculation from some quarters about the person’s identity as “incredibly irresponsible”, while Labor leader Jason Clare said the revelation was proof that spying was a real threat.
“The point is that here is evidence from the head of ASIO saying that another country has interfered in Australian politics, contacting a politician,” he told Sky News.
“This is not a game of guess who, this is about keeping the country safe – the fact that this happened in the first place is tremendously serious.”
Burgess said the former politician was no longer a threat to Australia’s security but they “knew what they were doing”.
‘They let their country down, absolutely… They sold out Australia. The law is the law, and in this case, that is a reality. It’s already been resolved.’
Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce (pictured) said Australia should take a “tough” stance over spy revelations.
In an interview on Sunday night, Burgess again defended his decision not to name the country involved, despite publicly naming China last October for its “unprecedented” theft of Western intellectual property. Pictured is Parliament House in Canberra.
Asked on 60 Minutes whether naming the politician would override current national security concerns, Burgess said: “This is slightly different, it’s not access to classified information.”
“These are clandestine and deceptive actions by a nation-state and an individual who supports them so that they can be recruited,” he said.
«The good thing, however, is that this behavior stopped. The damage is reduced.”
He added that “foreign interference against the political system occurs at all levels of government in this country.”