USYD Donor co-conspirator in UN Bribery scheme
WORDS BY NOAH VAZ
Dr Chau Chak Wing, USYD donor and controversial billionaire philanthropist with links to the Chinese Communist Party, has been revealed as a co-conspirator to a bribery scheme regarding the then President of the UN General Assembly, John Ashe. Chau, in 2015, donated 15 million dollars to the University of Sydney to fund a new Chau Chak Wing Museum, to be built opposite the iconic quadrangle.
This information comes in the context of a waiver of parliamentary privilege from Andrew Hastie, chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. Hastie further highlighted Chau’s links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), before speculating Chau’s involvement in a wider movement to “interfere with our media, our universities and also influence our political processes and public debates”. Last year, Chau, himself an Australian citizen, was involved in defamation proceedings regarding allegations made against him by a joint ABC and Four Corners investigation. This most recent accusation however, comes in the midst of continuing tensions between the PRC and Australia, exacerbated by Australia’s proposed Foreign Interference and Espionage laws and diplomatic freeze.
The proposed Chau Chak Wing Museum is to be constructed less than two kilometres from UTS’ Dr Chau Chak Wing building, and will be said to attract a number of tourists to the University of Sydney campus. In the announcement of the donation, the University stated:
The Chau Chak Wing Museum celebrates an outstanding Chinese-Australian resident and will contribute to positive relations between the two countries.
When questioned today about the recent accusations against Chau, and fears of academic influence, the University responded with the following statement issued to Pulp:
“Dr Chau Chak Wing’s $15 million donation to create the landmark Chau Chak Wing Museum will enrich the cultural life of the community and benefit the University’s teaching and research. An Australian citizen and entrepreneur, Dr Chau Chak Wing is known for his philanthropy to Australian institutions. He is one of more than 50,000 donors to the University of Sydney from over 40 countries. The University has no concerns that Dr Chau’s gift would ever be used to inappropriately influence any facet of the University’s operations.”