The new and radically less friendly Communist Party of China has occupied Aussie universities. Via the ABC:
Punches have been thrown at the University of Queensland as students clashed over their views on China and pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
The ABC understands pro-Chinese activists gate-crashed a protest by fellow Chinese students showing solidarity for persecuted minorities in their homeland.
Hundreds of students gathered in the university’s Great Court to express their views.
Pro-China students clashed with the other group as they played nationalistic songs and chanted “China is great”.The four-hour standoff ended when police convinced both groups to go home.
No arrests have been made.
But for some time, pro-Chinese activists continued to stand their ground in the court even as others left the area.
Student Union president Georgia Milroy said the angry scenes were quite frightening.
“I think there were a lot of impassioned students feeling very strongly on both sides … to be honest at times it was quite scary,” she said.
“There was some violence that did occur.
“I think the students that started it were the Hong Kong students — not violent … the Hong Kong students started a peaceful protest which escalated quite quickly.
“It became borderline nationalist with the playing of the national anthem and I think that’s when things started to become very inflamed.
“I think it is something that we’ve never really seen before at UQ, this degree of nationalism, and I think there was a bit of concern from the Chinese students and why they were allowed.
In a statement, UQ said it expected staff and students to “express their views in a lawful and respectful manner, and in accordance with the policies and values of the university”.
“Earlier today, in response to safety concerns resulting from a student-initiated protest on campus, the University requested police support,” the UQ statement said.
“On the advice of police, protestors were requested to move on. The safety of all students is paramount to the university.”
Student Union president Georgia Milroy described the scenes as “frightening”
— Nilsson Jones (@nilssonjones_) July 24, 2019
One wonders why UQ didn’t take a stronger stand. Perhaps this is why, via Domain:
Australian universities hosting Chinese government-funded education centres have signed agreements explicitly stating they must comply with Beijing’s decision-making authority over teaching at the facilities.
Eleven previously undisclosed contracts between the universities and Hanban, the Beijing-based headquarters that funds and oversees the global network of Confucius Institutes, shed light on the different approaches taken to safeguarding academic freedom and autonomy under the lucrative arrangements.
Agreements signed by the University of Queensland, Griffith University, La Trobe University and Charles Darwin University state in identical clauses that they “must accept the assessment of the [Confucius Institute] Headquarters on the teaching quality” at their centres.
What is the Confusciun Institute view of crushing democracy in Hong Kong I wonder?
“The journey with a 1000 miles begins with one step.”