Aussie student’s anti-CCP freedom fighting goes global

It’s so very rare these days to see an Aussie with balls but Drew Pavlou has ’em. He’s now taken his fight against the CCP takeover of the Univerity of Queensland to the front page of the Financial Times:

Drew Pavlou is an unlikely threat to the Chinese Communist party. The 20-year-old arts student at Australia’s University of Queensland has never even been to the country. But his decision to organise a campus demonstration in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters has sparked a diplomatic incident between Canberra and Beijing and put him on a collision course with the Chinese authorities.

The July 24 protest turned violent, with clashes between pro- and anti-Beijing students. The organisers were subsequently accused by China’s consul-general in Brisbane, Xu Jie, of being “separatists” and “anti-China activists”.

Mr Pavlou has lodged a police complaint against Mr Xu alleging that the consul-general’s statement exposed the young student to death threats. It claims that the statement is evidence of efforts by Beijing and its network of foreign representatives to silence critics and limit freedom of speech on campuses.

The arts student is also urging the university to close its Confucius Institute, a Chinese language and cultural centre on campus funded by Beijing, and reverse its decision to appoint Mr Xu as an adjunct professor.

A separate legal action lodged by Mr Pavlou against Mr Xu will be heard on November 22 at Brisbane Magistrates Court. The student has asked the court to issue a form of restraining order against Mr Xu that would require him to stop any activity that threatens to cause harm to Mr Pavlou. But the senior Chinese official has not yet said whether he will attend court or defend the action.

…“Australian academic independence is being bought by the Chinese government,” says Mr Pavlou. “Beijing exercises so much financial leverage over our universities that it can stifle all criticism of the Chinese government on campus.”

It is expected to issue guidelines by the end of November on how to strengthen cyber security on campuses, reduce the risk of sensitive military and dual-use intellectual property being obtained by the Chinese government or military, and safeguard academic freedom at colleges.

…“This is a wake-up call for all of us, whether it be government, the university sector or business,” says Dan Tehan, Australia’s education minister. “We need to understand the best way we can deal with the threat [of foreign interference].”

And in a nod to their concerns over Beijing, the UK House of Commons foreign affairs committee last week recommended that the government “engages in dialogue with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US to explore ways to protect universities from attempts by autocracies to use their financial muscle to leverage influence through the withdrawal of funding”.

…Many Chinese students who spoke to the FT said the Australian concerns about Beijing’s influence are misplaced and risk ostracising their community.

“The Chinese government and consulate have absolutely no role in the university. It just isn’t happening,” says Jacky He, president of the students’ union at the University of Sydney, who moved to Australia from China with his parents aged 10. “It is important to realise that Chinese students are not all CCP members and their views are not monolithic.”

…“The debate over Chinese interference at universities has become exaggerated to such an extent by some commentators that it risks stoking racism, even if that is not the intent,” says James Laurenceson, acting director of the Australian-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney.

He blames Australia’s fear of abandonment by its main strategic ally, the US, as one reason for the campaign against “Chinese interference” by some politicians and conservative media outlets.

Of course not all ethnic Chinese kiddies are spies. Probably none of them are. They are brainwashed, intimidated and surveiled. That’s why if you get too many of them then the CCP piggy backs that community for sharp power.

We had better mention that James Laurenceson’s Australian-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney was funded into existence by the now exiled, alleged CCP bagman Huang Xiangmo, who is in more corruption trouble today. And that UTS resaerch collaborations stand accused of profiting from the suppression of Uighers. A bastion of freedom and liberalism it is.

Still, it can’t compete with UQ, which so completely jumped the shark on Chinese students that it handed the Confuscious Institute power over the curriculum and invited CCP officials to become professors:

Hooray Mr Pavlou. Boo Mr Laurenceson.

Houses and Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

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Comments

  1. Why would a Chinese kid, come to Aust to study, to put up with people Sht canning his country?
    maybe they too want to get the fk out of the place

  2. “He blames Australia’s fear of abandonment by its main strategic ally, the US”

    F*ckwit, if anything its the other way around, we’ve moved to abandon them.

    We’ve been the disgraceful ally in recent times, a marked turn around from the time when the deputy sheriff of Benelong was in charge

  3. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    Chinese love playing the race card, but travel through chyna and you’ll find racism is a national sport

    • Bingo. And every single one of them is under the implicit threat of what will happen to their relatives back in the motherland if they step out of line.

      • use to be the same years ago with the Iranian students. It instils a constant level of fear, like socialist East Europe.

        • That’s so true and a really apt comment. Still, china has a bit more clout Globaly but both cultures have Neo Fundamentalism. That plus Social Surveillancebook… The perceptions of the you can be twisted, readily and cheaply. Joseph Goebbels would have loved Social Surveillance. Now we just think its the new normal.

  4. Laurenceson: if you protest against the CCP corruption of Australian Universities – which it has been suggested that I and my institute benefit from – then I will use my media megaphone to call you racist.

    Interestingly, this threat is failing. Fading is perhaps a better way to put it. The Laurenceson types have over-egged the pudding and the protests are now going to happen regardless.

  5. Look at the financial statement for University of Queensland should tell you the reason. In 2018, international students paid a total course fee of 618 million, which is more than the government grant (302 million) and HECS for local students (210 million) combined. In 2013 the international student fee revenue is only around 300 million. To double the revenue in 5 years, the university did everything possible to chase those Chinese students, even if it means kowtowing to the CCP.

    Now what did they do with those extra millions? Despite the increase in number of students, the number of staff have decreased, number of researcher have decreased, but there is a blowout in “Professional, consultant and admin services” so it’s now 135 million dollars per year. The Vice Chanceller’s salary is peanuts compared to how much those consultants are getting, and who knows, they may even be connected to the VC 😛

    • The very “professionals, administrators and consultants” who recommended sucking hard on the CCP teat, I’ll wager.

    • You’ll be happy to know that there’s another round of cuts coming for the central it services at said uni. A little birdie told me that there’s a request to boot at least 20 salary losses.

      Also, another little birdie told me that after the night of the long knives in 2016, the numbers swell back to the same level, but now with contractors and consultants.

  6. Jacky He’s comments about students not being spies or CCP members is a silly straw-man arguement: if it’s not happening officially, then it’s not happening, so be quiet…ridiculous notion, as you pointed out:

    “Of course not all ethnic Chinese kiddies are spies. Probably none of them are. They are brainwashed, intimidated and surveiled. That’s why if you get too many of them then the CCP piggy backs that community for sharp power.”

  7. Imagine being a Chinese student, and winning the lottery to go and study in Australia, thinking you get a brand new life in a free country. Then you come here and found out that the Australian universities are actually departments of the CCP. The despair would be enough to set yourself on fire!

  8. ‘Pro democracy’.
    Is it really?
    Or is this a battle between the Chinese Han communist & now national socialist racist regime (socialism with Chinese characteristics’ and the Han Chinese racist criminal elite that run Hong Kong.

    -> Pick your side & the type of ‘Chinese student’ you think should get into Australia via our broken & corrupted visa system.

    First some relevant facts.
    1. No Hong Kong Chinese has ever had ‘democracy’.

    Neither a vote or any form of electoral representation. Since 1841. Never promised by the British or the Chinese in handover.
    As the British governor stated “no point in giving the Chinese democracy or representation, it’s not in their nature, they wouldn’t know what to do with it”.
    The Chinese buy political influence. Aldi shopping bags of cash to corrupt party officials is the Chinese way.

    2. Hong Kong has never had an ‘independent or ethical judiciary’ either.
    Hong Kong was renowned for corruption as a colonial outpost disgraced or corrupt British judges & policemen were sent to.

    In the nearly two decades since handover, the corrupted Hong Kong criminal elite (97 tycoons own over 90% of Hong Kong wealth) have been joined y an influx of mainland Chinese criminals seeking safe haven from mainland extradition. And that highly corrupted Hong Kong judiciary was the criminal elite’s main defence against mainland China extradition.

    Meanwhile- trade, industry, factories, jobs has all shifted to the mainland Chinese cities.
    Hong Kong went from being 15% of China’s overall economy to under 1%.
    Salient facts driving the unrest.
    Hong Kong now has over 24% of the people in extreme poverty (China mainland 3%).
    Hong Kong has a massive housing bubble and affordability & homeless crisis.

    Caused by what?
    No jobs, no future, a destiny of being a hollowed our ex colony run by a criminal elite hiding behind a fabricated nonsense of ‘independence’.
    Compounded by the shutdown and then open theft of public housing by the Hong Kong criminal class in property speculation.

    A parallel world to what’s happening in Australia.

    In simple terms – the Hong Kong middle & lower class bifurcated into either a criminal elite (with Australian or other multiple passports or residency) or mostly a mass or poor & unemployed including hundreds of thousands of so called ‘students’ – useless mature age generation of Hong Kong misfits & unemployed.

    This Hong Kong rabble – orchestrated by the Hong Kong criminal elite (Jimmy Lai etc) to protest any extradition, forlornly wave their US & now UK flags hoping to be ‘rescued’ by their previous colonial masters & wind back the clock.

    A wishful hope they too can become a Chinese National Socialist Han Chinese only fascist & racist island dictatorship like say Singapore.

    No ‘pro democracy’ intention in any of that.
    Isn’t going to happen.

    So pick your side.
    🇨🇳The mainland born communist Chinese Hukou underclass -‘foreign students & partners’ sent here on pretext visas & fake nonsense education to work & libs illegally trying to secure the PR & be the anchor for entry of millions more of the Hukou internal illegals that China & their criminal syndicates are trafficking out.

    🇭🇰 The Hong Kong rabble, unemployed, misfits & useless (any HK with money will already have a Pr or foreign residency escape organised) – also here on a foreign student pretext visa – working & living illegal and who backing the Hong Kong criminal elitist cohort.

    Neither of the above would be the best option.

    • you got the essence of it again mike … backing one section of the evolution of Chinese power plays over another was always and will always remain a mugs game ….

  9. “The organisers were subsequently accused by China’s consul-general in Brisbane, Xu Jie, of being “separatists” ”

    Lol, the Chinese just assume they already own us.