Hong Kong international students terrified to return home

Over the past month, Hong Kong international students studying at Australia’s universities have endured growing threats and intimidation from both Chinese international students and the Chinese Government.

The issue came to a head last month at the University of Queensland, when peaceful Hong Kong students protesting in favour of independence were physically attacked by a mob of angry Chinese nationalists.

In the weeks that have followed, Hong Kong students have been subjected to ongoing harassment both on and off Australian university campuses. Pro-Hong Kong Lennon boards, which offer messages of support in favour of independence, have been repeatedly torn down. And the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has paid visits to some families of Hong Kong students identified via facial recognition technologies, warning them of dire consequences from political dissent.

With this background in mind, SBS News has published a report on the many Hong Kong students studying in Australia that are now living in fear that they may not be able to return home:

The fallout following the altercation [at the University of Queensland] saw reports that the Hong Kong students’ political activity would be documented and sent to the Chinese government.

Fearing for her own safety, [Hong Kong international student] Phoebe is now protesting from behind a cleaning mask.

“We just found out our photos have been spread over the Chinese internet,” she told The Feed.

I’m worried that if the Hong Kong government or the Chinese government find out who I am, then I may not be able to go home, “I do feel like I have to protect my identity in order to keep standing with the Hong Kong people.”

Some students have also been reportedly doxed online…

Students from Hong Kong have emphasised that their issues lie not with mainland Chinese students who hold conflicting views, but with those wanting to silence them from voicing their own opinions.

“I feel I’m restricted,” Phoebe says from behind her mask.

“I feel like I have to censor myself before saying anything otherwise they will be triggered and then they will destroy our stuff.”

She says she plans to return to Hong Kong one day.

“I want to say thank you to all the Hong Kongers that are fighting so hard for our freedom, for our values, for the place we love.”

According to the Department of Education’s international student enrolment data, Chinese students outnumber Hong Kong students by nearly 20-to-one at Australia’s universities:

That is, there were 136,000 Chinese international student enrolments as at March 2019, versus just 8,000 Hong Kong international students.

This imbalance must certainly be intimidating for Hong Kong students, particularly in light of China’s growing dominance of student political bodies, alongside the proliferation of CCP-backed Confucius Institutes operating on Australian university campuses.

The dilemma facing Australia’s policy makers is clear: do they put the lucrative Chinese international student trade at risk by standing up for free speech and democracy? Or do they continue selling-out to the Chinese in order to maintain student flows and profits?

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  1. Standing up for the free speech of HK students? These guys won’t even stand up for local people becoming homeless.
    We are wholly owned by China.

  2. Seems to me that on coming weeks the idea that honk Kong students won’t be safe to return will be all over the media incesently. This works for them because they don’t want to go back to Hong Kong. They were always after Australian resident status and they are hoping the coming violence in Hong Kong will convince the government to do what Hawke did and grant them indefinite visas. There is more than one angle at play here. And there are no saints.

    • There are plenty of saints. The kids who demonstrate knowing the consequences are brave. The girl in the cleaning mask is one of them.

      • ‘Brave Hong Kong student’ – in Australia in a cleaning mask protecting the Hong Kong democracy & morality against the juggernaut Chinese fascist communists, anhafraid to return to Hong Kong so wants a PR’

        Or yet another parasite Hong Kong Chinese not here for an education but to work & live illegally & secure the PR who now joins the chorus wanting the ‘Bob Hawke moment to get granted protection in the form of permanent residency’.

        When the Hong Kong Chinese peasantry moved into the vacuum of the departing British/ex pats, they spent the last 22 years corrupting the previous British modelled judiciary and police force & used the transition legislative loophole to become even more corrupt.
        In essence the already corrupt Hong Kong Chinese were joined by Chinese mainland criminals in also using Hong Kong as ‘safe haven legislative loophole’ to hide from China corruption crackdown.

        Hong Kong has many extradition treaties.

        China also has 42 extradition treaties including with many European & OECD countries.
        But not one with each other.
        Why – because the mainland communist criminal elite stopped that so Hong Kong could be their safe haven.

        But then China started to get serious about corruption and tried to clean up the dirty stinking corrupt little outpost of Hong Kong in both Hong Kong & mainland criminals using Hong Kong in black money outflow. laundering & the drug trade.

        So the Hong Kong criminal mafia & Chinese criminals in Hong Kong then successfully manipulated the gullible students & latent racism and hatred the Hong Kong and other Chinese have against their own kind.
        North hate the south. The East hate the west.

        This ‘brave little Hong Kong student’ – fetishing a Western Democracy value she will never apply or understand, once she has that PR she will never be an Australian citizen but will just suck up our welfare & Medicare mindlessly gullible, posturing that Hong Kong people have a tradition of democracy, morality & ethics.

    • Only about 1/7th of international students stay in Australia & for HK students this is much lower. But yes it will increase after the events in HK, I know of two who have now decided they will study here (maybe UK) next year “just in case” and a business partner who is thinking of returning after 15yrs who had previously said he would not. Though the Anglo Aussies I know are staying.

  3. reusachtigeMEMBER

    The government and the scholar centres must do everything they can to protect profits. In saying that we should also offer permanent residency to all HK nationals who put a deposit in a house here.

  4. darklydrawlMEMBER

    “do they put the lucrative Chinese international student trade at risk by standing up for free speech and democracy? Or do they continue selling-out to the Chinese in order to maintain student flows and profits?”

    Plan B of course. It’s the Aussie way. Go for ‘gold’!!

  5. St JacquesMEMBER

    Last week I was sarcastically suggesting we bring the protestors to Australia and offer them PRs to boost our national security. Looks like it might happen after all to some degree. I guess we’ll also have to offer PR to their families too. This could really piss off our number one customer. What a dilemma for our traitor class.

    • Lenny Hayes for PMMEMBER

      Isn’t that what Bob Hawke did after Tiananmen ?.

      Got a few more than expected I think…..