Albany councillors will consider whether they wish to end a nine-year-long sister-city-type relationship with the Chinese city Linyi when they meet next week. The debate will be brought on by a motion set to be tabled by Cr Thomas Brough calling for actions to be carried out so the civic affiliation can “respectfully conclude” before the end of October. It comes after a meeting between City of Albany representatives, councillors and the representatives of China’s WA consulates, including consul-general Long Dingbin, in June. At the June council meeting, Cr Brough outlined concerns the meeting had taken place based on the affiliation the City has with Linyi and foreshadowed “further work in this area”. In recent weeks, he has circulated a 28-page report entitled “Sibling Rivalry” to councillors in which he further outlined his concerns and put forward the case supporting the motion he plans to table at next week’s council meeting. In the report, he states the Chinese Community Party “has a comprehensive strategy to target Australian political elites” which includes using the sister-city relationship to influence national governments and lobbying local governments to suppress views critical of the People’s Republic of China government. A civic affiliation with Linyi is one of five endorsed by the City of Albany in its Civic Affiliations Policy and was the most recent to be signed in 2014. The policy outlines the affiliation as one based on “actively promoting economic and trade cooperation in accordance with the principles of mutual benefit in the fields of trade, investment, technology and environmental protection”. Other affiliations include two with the Japanese cities of Nichinan and Tomika, as well as with Gallipoli, Turkey and Peronne, France, which share Albany’s connection to the Anzac story. In his report, Cr Brough said he had confirmed that “not a single interaction between Linyi and Albany occurred since the inception of the sister city agreement”. “The relationship lay dormant until 2023, when the WA consul-general of China approached the City of Albany seeking to rejuvenate the relationship under auspices of friendship and trade, with inducements of overseas travel opportunities to elected members,” he said. “Rejuvenation of this relationship will result in unwanted CCP influence and interference in the affairs of the City of Albany and create additional pressures to sovereign integrity.” The Civic Affiliation Policy outlines the council’s desire to maintain “a small number of active relationships” and those relationships can be fostered to “one visit to each endorsed affiliate in every four-year Mayoral term”. The most recent delegation sent to an affiliated occurred in 2018 when Mayor Dennis Wellington led a visit to Peronne. Before that, delegations travelled to Gallipoli in 2015, Linyi in 2014 to sign the initial agreement and Tomioka in 2004 and in 2010 a delegation from Nichinan visited Albany. The motion is expected to be tabled by Cr Brough at council on Tuesday, July 25.