Sydney based developer Huang Xiangmo recently compared Tasmania with Taiwan, in congratulating the state on forming a branch of the Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China.
This proved his final important task as president of the council, a Beijing-modelled body from which he stepped down last weekend as president — having opened branches in every Australian state.
The council’s principal effective goal is to combat Taiwan independence, so Mr Huang said: “The heart-shaped island of Tasmania is separated from the Australian mainland by the Bass Strait, which is akin to the Taiwan Strait which separates Taiwan from the Chinese mainland.”
Thus Taiwan is no less part of China, he infers — despite its separate constitution, elected government, currency and armed services — than Tasmania is part of Australia.
Mr Huang said in his congratulatory message on the inauguration ceremony of the Tasmanian branch — at which the national anthem of China as well as of Australia was played — that all Australian states and territories now contain such councils.
He expressed the hope that the new Tasmanian branch would “become the bridge for communication … between Tasmania and the motherland,” and through “concrete actions” promote “the peaceful reunification of our motherland.”
The Australian council’s ultimate parent — linked through a global chain of similar councils and through official Chinese government websites including the United Front of the Chinese Communist Party and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs — is the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification, which was established in 1988.
The China Council’s chairman is Yu Zhengsheng, who retired during the recent communist party congress in Beijing as a member of China’s Politburo Standing Committee, and is expected to be replaced son by one of the new PSC members, probably Li Zhanshu.
The Jiangxi provincial branch in southeast China of this parent council wrote in congratulating its new Tasmanian cousin: “Together, we strive to realise the Chinese dream!”
Mr Huang wrote as chairman of the “Oceanic Alliance” of such councils, to the Tasmanian branch, under its president Wang Xinde, that “you will be able to play a positive role in agglomerating people and converging strengths through liaising with and uniting Chinese, especially local compatriots.”
The new branch also received the “enthusiastic congratulations” of Zhao Jian, the Chinese consul-general in Melbourne who has diplomatic oversight of Tasmania, who said: “We wish that your council will unite Chinese people both at home and abroad.”