The Foreign Influence Transparency Program Act (FITS)

Since the bill passed in December 2018

Many Chinese and societies in Australia are beginning to worry

Is this bill aimed at yourself?

Behaviour of own association, participation in politics, business, etc.

Will it be affected?

Although the Australian Minister of Defence Industry Christopher Pyne

Denies that the law targets China or "any specific country"

But for the Chinese community in Australia

The bill still causes panic

It’s been almost 4 months since the bill came out

But many people still don’t understand

Own words and deeds

Own events

in the endDo I need to "register"?

To this end, the Australian Federal Department of Law

With Victoria Australia and China Community Council

Coming to Melbourne

Conduct a live answer

Let you know in Australia

What kind of words and deeds need to be registered

01

Registration is only required if all the "four major conditions" are met! What the Australian government requires is open and transparent information, and does not seek to prevent it from proceeding

At 3:21 pm on March XNUMX, the Australian Federal Department of Law and the Victorian Australian and Chinese Community Council held the first information presentation in Melbourne at the Ocean Arts Centre.

The attendees came from leaders of different associations in Melbourne, several Chinese media were present, representatives from the Chinese Student Union of Weta State University, and representatives from Confucius Institutes. The Chinese journalists of the Australian mainstream media ABC also paid attention to the event.

This time the keynote speakers Lucinda Atkinson and Jaan-Clare Witcombe stated at the beginning that they hope that everyone present can understand that for the Australian government, foreign influence is not entirely a bad thing, and this bill is not meant to stop these different countries. Communicate normally. I just hope that Australia's democracy can be maintained, and the exchange activities can be made transparent so that Australian politicians can have a basis and make more informed judgments.

But the problem is that Australian politics is still worried about being influenced by foreign powers, which is a very important thing for Australia. So I want to implement this bill without intending to harm the interests of any party.

This bill is not to make a blacklist

Not to stop everyone from doing what they want

Not to violate freedom of association

Even applying for registration will not affect the possibility of any activities and organization.The bill requires any organization or individual

Only if all four listed requirements are met

Just need to register

The on-site explanation video is as follows:

1

Represent any foreign entity that is not local to Australia.

2

Has the purpose of influencing Australian politics.

3

Engage in political lobbying, media activities, and economic expenditure activities with political purposes.

4

No immunity.

Need to meet all the above four requirements at the same time

Only need to apply for registration

If there is a need to hold any similar activities

Can apply for registration within 14 days after the event date

(There are also application services in Chinese)

02

Collect the eight questions that the Chinese community cares about in advance, and the Ministry of Law will answer them one by one on the spot

Before the start of this presentation, the Victorian Australian Chinese Community Council has conducted a survey of the Chinese communities in the Victorian area, sorted out the eight issues that everyone most cares about, and the most common doubts, and handed them to the representatives of the Department of Justice. , Come to the scene to answer.

What kind of behavior and activity will be considered as requiring registration?

Let's listen to the live statement

1

Q: What kind of person is considered a "foreign representative"? Will it be considered a "problem" to chat with an "Australian government official" on a social occasion? How does the Australian government ensure that the people's freedom of association is not affected by this law?


A: First of all, the definition of representative is that the organization of personal representative is an activity conducted in Australia under the leadership of a foreign government entity.

For example: For example, an international student group, in order to promote cultural exchanges between the two countries, they wrote to the relevant ministers. This is not assigned by the government or organization of another country, and such similar behavior does not require registration.

However, if they receive financial support from other countries, or other support, or are used to vote for voters, etc., to publish to the media and change the impression of voters, registration is required. However, the event will not be affected in any way after registration.


In addition, chatting with relevant members of the Australian government on social occasions, as long as it does not involve lobbying or affecting political purposes, there will be no problems. The Australian government will still ensure the freedom of association and speech for everyone.

2

Q: National Day celebrations: such as the National Day celebrations of the People’s Republic of China or other Southeast Asian countries. These celebrations are funded by the home country. Do these celebrations require registration?

A: No, as long as the event does not involve any agreement and policy making, registration is not required for pure celebrations. However, if certain agreements are reached or signed on the occasion, or have the purpose of influencing Australian politics, registration is required.

3

Q: Australia has many different multicultural associations. As an organization that aims to promote multiculturalism in Australia and is not funded by any foreign government, can it only recruit Australian citizens?

A: This bill applies to citizens, permanent residents, temporary residences, student visas, tourism and other people in Australia. Therefore, there will be no restrictions. As long as the conditions mentioned above are not involved, these multicultural activities will be strongly supported by the Australian government.

4

Q: It is mentioned in the bill that “when performing activities on behalf of foreign clients in Australia, registration is required based on the content of the activity and personal responsibilities.” However, in many cases, the activity may be organized by multiple organizations such as associations. Does this mean that every member of the association needs to be registered? Or just the person in charge needs to be registered?


A: Both individuals and organizations can register. In this case, only organization registration is required. If it is a particularly high-level political and former politician, you need to register as an individual.

5

Q: Can you give examples of "subjects related to foreign governments" and "individuals related to foreign governments"?

A: For example, there are currently 24 companies registered on the website, of which 67% of a company listed in Australia is the Norwegian government's shares, so that he is a subject related to a foreign government, or like PetroChina State-owned enterprises have also registered.

The personal part related to a foreign government, as long as you are a non-Australian national, non-PR, and fully employed by another country's government or related background organization, and any activities in Australia are included.

(Currently registered companies can be inquired on the official website)

6

Q: Can you give examples of the types of activities that currently require registration?

A: There are currently four types of activities that require registration.

The first is to conduct direct political lobbying on the federal government, such as meeting with federal members to lobby for policies. Those who participate in such meetings need to apply, but those who arrange the meetings do not. (As long as you are conducting political lobbying on behalf of a country, you must apply no matter how many times. )


The second type is general political lobbying. If you are representing a foreign government to write a letter to a federal congressman and suggest anything, you need to register. (Including federal candidates)


The third type is media activities. If it is to write articles and opinions for the media on behalf of foreign government entities, and the purpose of writing articles is to influence policies, registration is also required. If you just express your own opinions, there is no problem.

The fourth type is economic spending activities that affect Australian politics or government purposes.

7

Q: Many associations in Australia aim to connect with friends from the same country in China and Australia. Some of them are engaged in trade between China and Australia. The association will also have business information contacts with the local Chinese government. Does this kind of behavior require registration?

A: No, it's okay if the information exchanges are mainly commercial.

8

Q: When the chairman of an association is appointed as an overseas consultant of the Chinese government (mainly provincial or local governments), the main purpose is to serve as a bridge for social and cultural connections and exchanges. Does such a consultant/association need to be registered?


A: No,But if the overseas consultant is required to represent the local government to do any activities that meet the four necessary conditions, registration is required.

03

Q&A on the spot, do I need to register?

Of course, everyone’s doubts and worries about this bill may not be fully answered by these eight questions. Therefore, in the second half of the event, everyone present is also open to ask questions, and the representatives of the Ministry of Law also agree. Give an answer.

The following is the content of the question and answer:

Q
If my personal opinions are published and spread in the Australian community, but the opinions of foreign governments are the same, how should I judge this?

A
We will not prohibit personal speech and opinions, so as long as you do not meet the four conditions mentioned above, you do not need to register, but even if you register, it will not affect your freedom of speech and you can still publish.

Q
We Chinese will invite Australian politicians on many festivals, or invite former Australian politicians to participate, become consultants, and write congratulatory letters. Will these politicians need to register?

A
If you are simply attending an event or giving congratulations, you do not need to register.

Q
I support this law very much and I understand the Australian government's concerns. But everyone knows that this publicity event is mainly conducted for the Chinese community in Victoria, NSW, and Canberra. Do you think that these event arrangements are inappropriate?

Why not go to the communities where American immigrants? Why not go to the communities where Greek immigrants? Why not go to the communities where Italian immigrants speak?
Is the Australian government doubting the loyalty and sense of belonging of the Chinese ethnic group that has immigrated to Australia for 200 years to the federal government? Has the Australian government mistakenly transformed its fear of a big country into suspicion of its own citizens?

A
I don't think I can answer these questions on behalf of me, but I can guarantee that this bill is fair to everyone regardless of race. I understand everyone's concerns, but I am only here to convey this message.

Q
There are many Chinese-run media in Australia, and sometimes there are some domestic advertisements that involve money transactions. Do we need to register for these contents?
A
If the content of Guanggu has nothing to do with Australia’s political influence, registration is not required, otherwise, registration is required

Q
If I am dissatisfied with the Australian political situation or political figures, and write articles to criticize or criticize, will it be considered as affecting the Australian political situation?

A
As long as you are not required to write these articles by other governments, you do not need to register.

Q
How do you choose the Chinese clubs you should target, and how do you allocate your attention to club activities of different races?

A
Once again, we have not established any position, we will not target any community, let alone a single race.

Q
I have seen that the penalties for violating this bill are very serious and may face criminal penalties of up to 7 years. Is this necessary?

A
Severe punishment is aimed at those who knowingly committed the crime, deliberately knowingly concealed, and we will transfer to another relevant department for processing if we have softly persuaded but ignored those.

04

According to an on-site interview on Australia.net, the public has criticized and praised the bill, which affects not only actual behavior, but also psychological aspects.

At the end of the event, a reporter from Australia.com also interviewed several friends at the scene and asked them their views on the information presentation.

Former Victorian Minister of Multiculturalism and Labour MP Lin Meifeng was also unable to conceal his dissatisfaction in an interview. He said that this bill is a great harm to Chinese Australians. This disturbing phenomenon has existed since the early days of Australian immigration. But it made a comeback.

he thinksThe Australian government is now blindly following in the footsteps of Trump of the United States. The United States says to jump, Australia asks how high it is to jump, the United States says to roll, and Australia asks how far to roll. This is really chilling.Australia would think that we are Chinese and would help the Chinese government to conquer Australia. This is ridiculous! On the other hand, the Chinese themselves are not united enough to gather together. Faced with the threat of this bill, no one has come forward and said This is wrong.

Ms. Sun Yanfang from the Green Party also saidMany Chinese immigrants come to Australia, they have abandoned a lot of Chinese things and live and develop in Australia with peace of mind. As a result, Australia now wants to link Chinese immigrants with China. This makes Chinese immigrants feel uncomfortable.

A Chinese lady from Ballarat said that as the fourth generation of Chinese immigrants,The main purpose of participating in the information seminar today is for my grandchildren. I hope that the future of the Chinese can be brighter.

Monash Chinese student representative also expressed helplessly in an interviewStudents come to Australia just to study hard. In fact, they don't have much interest in Australian politics, let alone influence Australian politics... That is too far away from students.

The interviewer, who declined to be named, said that the rules caused by the bill are an impact, but how local Australians and Australian politicians think about it is another matter. The need to register will make them more concerned about interaction with the Chinese community , This all needs to be considered.

One of the organizers, Zhang Li, chairman of the Victorian Australian Chinese Community Council, also said:

"When this proposal was discussed in Congress at the beginning of last year, our Australian Chinese Community Council was very worried. At that time, we wrote to the federal government and pointed out directly: "If this bill is passed, our Chinese community will be most affected. The Chinese community will be at a loss! "Unfortunately, the bill was finally passed. Now what we can do is to help the Chinese community understand and abide by this bill, and protect our community as much as possible. At the same time, we are not worried about continuing to express our uneasiness and concern as Chinese to the federal government. dissatisfied."

But on the other hand, there were also a few people at the event who thought this bill was very good. For Chinese in Australia, there is no need to worry about it.

At the end, Australia.com also attached the relevant website of the bill and the registration application channel

Friends who need more information can click to read the original text to watch

https://www.ag.gov.au/transparency

If you want to know if you and your group need to apply for registration

May wish to leave a comment so we can discuss together

Because after all this bill

With you, me and him, all Chinese living in Australia

All related, even

Is related to our children and their future