I thought I'd keep yet another discussion about Aussie politics here...
Gladys Liu, Liberal MP for Chisholm, has said in the past that she's never-ever had links to the Chinese Communist Party at all being a Hong Kong born person and all. However not properly recalling membership of a CCP-backed organisation is really quite poor form. Also extremely poor form was ScoMo playing the race card in parliament today - pathetic in fact.
It should also be remembered that China has never been a democracy, it has always been an authoritarian State where centralized power has been the norm, occasionally interspersed with central collapse and a reversion to regional warlordism, until an effective central government re-emerged.
The CPC controlled People's Republic of China is the current iteration of this historical process, and it has been the effective government of China since 1949 when it defeated the blatantly corrupt and incompetent Kuomingtang Administration, which was also an authoritarian regime ( supported by Stalin ). ( It should also be pointed out that two KMT armies defected to the Reds after the outbreak of Civil War following Japan's collapse, which would seem to indicate that even they decided that the KMT was no longer a viable entity.
it should be appreciated that in any well organised totalitarian society, particularly, though not exclusively, Socialist/Communist Dictatorship, politics is all, irrespective of whether it is the corner Chess Club, the Community Gym, or the Business Round Table equivalents. From the perspective of the Party, politics is everything, and everything is political, and therefore the Party needs to have oversight and input.
It therefore follows that members of the organisation do not necessarily hold Party membership ( and one of Stalin's early reforms was to restrict Party membership to 1% of the adult population, and Party membership is by invitation only ( and subject to regular purges to maintain the desired 1% ). ( I understand this to be also the case in China. )
The CCP actively recruits the best and brightest ( and presumably regularly purges those who do not perform ). It therefore follows that encouraging, and having oversight of, all organisations, the Party ensures that it has influence and knowledge of what is happening.
With the passage of time, membership of all organisations change, the difference here is that the Party has oversight, and a veto power, which it will exercise, if it sees a need to do so.
Conversely, the mere fact that a person is a member of an organisation does not mean that they are a Party member ( they probably are not ) , nor does it necessarily mean that they are "controlled" by the Party.
What it does mean is that they have contacts, which may, or may not, prove useful at some future point. Therefore being a member of an organisation which, by default, will always have Party oversight, should not, of itself, be the sole criterion for judging current or former members.
The whole point of the United Front was originally to form coalitions of interest that would further the Party's interests. and to some extent, that view is still valid. In an entrepreneurial China, it is in the Party's interest to have non party members discussing and advising on policy issues, or commenting on future planning proposals, especially when non State owned enterprises are involved, it is a form of consultation that can be mutually beneficial.
In China, as elsewhere, there are doubtless many people who have little or no interest in either politics or in being a Party member ( you are invited to be a Party member, it is a privilege to be invited, and you can decline ), however they may be quite happy to be a member of a community group, which, from the Party's United Front perspective, means that the Party gets the benefit of their input, and the is perceived to be of mutual benefit.
I therefore think that immigrants who have previously had membership of United Front affiliates need to be judged on a wider criteria than just membership of a United Front related entity. After all, by default, all non party groups come within the purview of the United Front.
From a different perspective, the major parties in Australia all have members who have other representative roles, be they Trade Union or Corporate, and equally, our political Parties see a need to attract such people to assist them in their policy formulation. It is equally true that Australian State and Commonwealth Governments have various consultative organisations which are used to discuss, process and implement Government policies or recommendations, though our perception of what is political, and what is not, is quite different from that of the CPC.