China’s Campuses By James Reed

     There is only a slight murmur about the issue of the infiltration of China into the university sector in Australia, Australia being hyper-colonised and the intellectual elites being long seduced by the cult of Asianisation. But America is not so numb: 

“China’s massive foreign influence campaign in the United States takes a long view, sowing seeds in American institutions meant to blossom over years or even decades. That’s why the problem of Chinese financial infusions into U.S. higher education is so difficult to grasp and so crucial to combat.

At last, the community of U.S. officials, lawmakers and academics focused on resisting Chinese efforts to subvert free societies is beginning to respond to Beijing’s presence on America’s campuses. One part of that is compelling public and private universities to reconsider hosting Confucius Institutes, the Chinese government-sponsored outposts of culture and language training.

With more than 100 universities in the United States now in direct partnership with the Chinese government through Confucius Institutes, the U.S. intelligence community is warning about their potential as spying outposts. But the more important challenge is the threat the institutes pose to the ability of the next generation of American leaders to learn, think and speak about realities in China and the true nature of the Communist Party regime.”

     That is all true, for no doubt, the various institutions set up on campuses by the communist Chinese government are not purely altruistic, but serve their interests, and that involves spying. However, the real issue of concern, which comes from Asianisation, relates to the sheer number of Chinese in this country, most in strategic positions. The same applies to the United States. This includes all research institutes.

     Here is some material about a new book, which we must get and review by Clive Hamilton about Chinese influence in Australia. Unsurprisingly, Hamilton, who is well published, had trouble getting the book published:

“Hamilton tells The Australian that the Turnbull government’s proposed new law to counter foreign influence is “vital if Australia is to begin pushing back against China’s penetration of Australian institutions. Until now, we have been just watching it happen, ¬essentially defenceless. “We have to unite on this, including, importantly, those Chinese Australians who don’t want the CCP to extend its tentacles in this part of the world. We who believe in democracy are all in the same boat, and we’re all threatened by the same great wave.”

The Turnbull government has drafted the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill to ¬address the issues of overseas powers in general. And the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is reporting on its consultations into the bill on March 23. Hamilton and his researcher, Alex Joske, presented a 49-page submission to the joint committee on the influence of the Chinese party-state in particular.

In it, they say that while the planned legislation does not name any particular source of threat, “not all foreign principals are equal”.
“A one-party state that accepts and propagates anti-democratic values and practices — where little diversity of opinion is permitted, where the judiciary serves the ruling party, and where neither a free press nor a vibrant civil society are permitted — represents a far greater threat to Australia’s interests than a nation whose values and political structure are similar to our own.

“(And) as long as the People’s Republic of China remains as it is,” they say, “claims that Australia should treat it the same as other countries create a false -equivalence.”

Since embarking on his research for the book, Hamilton says, he has the distinct feeling that some of the people he would usually gravitate towards at a party — fellow political progressives — are wondering: “What has happened to Clive? Is he shifting to the right? Why is he doing this?”

He was quizzed about this during a public hearing of the parliamentary joint committee inquiry: why would someone who was a Greens candidate in 2009 pursue such an issue, strongly denouncing communists?

“Let’s remember,” he says, “the left ought to be the fiercest defender of free speech and human rights. If it’s going to be an apologist for an extremely authoritarian regime that suppresses such rights ruthlessly, then what does it stand for?”
     It is good to see a man of the Left defending free speech. The last time in Australia there was anything like this from the Left was from Ted Wheelwright (a great man of the old Left) and Abe David, The Third Wave (1989), a critique of Asian capitalism. After that, there was a bit of activity from a few Australian writers, then they were all silenced by economic starvation, the system’s ultimate weapon, short of outright murder, which I suppose they do next.



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Tuesday, 16 July 2024

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