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Podcast Episode 34: All Things China (Again)! Defectors? Sleeper Agents? MP Visas & Hong Kong

02 Dec 2019
By Dr Darren Lim and Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA

Episode 34 of the Australia in the World Podcast looks at a Chinese defector, a former Australian PM, and an update on the Hong Kong situation.

It is simply impossible to ignore China-related news stories in Australia this week, and so Allan and Darren do their best to grapple with the twin bombshell stories of a Chinese defector and asylum seeker, Wang “William” Liqiang, who claims to have information on the activities of Chinese intelligence, and a (now-deceased) individual, Nick Zhao, who reported to ASIO that he was approached to run for the Australian federal parliament. Along the way, a recent speech by former Prime Minister Paul Keating is brought into the conversation, as well as the denial of visas to two Australian parliamentarians to visit China. The episode finishes with an update on the situation in Hong Kong.

As always, we invite our listeners to email us at this address: We welcome feedback, requests and suggestions. You can also contact Darren on twitter @limdarrenj

We thank AIIA intern James Hayne for his help with research and audio editing, and XC Chong also for research assistance and audio editing. As always, we’re grateful to Rory Stenning for composing our theme music.

This article is published under a Creative Commons Licence and may be republished with attribution.

Relevant links

60 Minutes, “Chinese spy spills secrets to expose Communist espionage”, 24 November 2019:

Nick McKenzie, Paul Sakkal and Grace Tobin, “The moment a Chinese spy decided to defect to Australia”, The Age, 23 November 2019:

“Chinese embassy says ‘self-proclaimed agent’ Wang Liqiang is convicted fraudster”, ABC News, 24 November 2019:

Nick McKenzie, Paul Sakkal and Grace Tobin, “China tried to plant its candidate in Federal Parliament, authorities believe”, The Age, 24 November 2019:

“Statement from the Director-General of Security, Mike Burgess – response to reporting on foreign interference”, 24 November 2019:

Paul Keating, “Speech delivered at the Australian Strategic Forum”, 18 November 2019:

Dewey Sim, “Hong Kong protesters’ five demands meant to ‘humiliate’ government, won’t solve city’s issues: Singapore PM”, South China Morning Post, 17 October 2019:

John Hawley, “Senator Hawley Delivers Floor Speech in Support of Hong Kong”, 23 October 2019:

Eryk Bagshaw, “Hong Kong’s use of emergency law sparks warning from Payne”, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 October 2019:

Senator Marise Payne, “Statement on Hong Kong”, 14 November 2019:

Scott Morrison, “Radio interview with Neil Mitchell – 3AW”, 22 November 2019:

Anthony Galloway, “Marise Payne welcomes Hong Kong elections results”, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 Novembet 2019:

Mick Herron, Slough House Series (Goodreads page):

China Neican newsletter: