China’s Big Brother state is watching, even in Australia

Caption: Keep an eye on that one in the library. He’s watching PragerU videos.

Many years ago, I worked with a Chinese national who was a long-term resident in Australia. After a few years, Chen, as we?ll call him, landed a new job with a company wanting to expand into mainland China.

Before he left to take up his new job ?back home?, Chen made sure to finally take up Australian citizenship.

Leaving aside the morality of what was obviously citizenship-of-convenience, Chen?s decision made good sense from a purely mercenary point of view. Australian citizenship was an insurance policy.

As many Chinese students in Australia are finding out, leaving China doesn?t mean that it will leave you. Quote:

Chinese students at the University of Adelaide have been threatened with being reported to the Chinese embassy in Canberra for allegedly campaigning against communism during student elections.

It has been alleged that some Chinese students who ran on an International Voice ticket for board positions of the Adelaide University Union threatened and intimidated other students from China who were campaigning for the rival Progress party. End of quote.

When the Ramsay Centre sought to establish a Centre for Western Civilization at the Australian National University, leftist academics and their student acolytes lost their minds, gibbering about ?structural racism? and ?colonialism?, and ?academic independence?. That the same universities accept millions from Saudi Arabia and Turkey to run ?Islamic studies centres? was completely ignored.

Australia?s universities also host lavishly Chinese state-funded ?Confucius centres?. Stories of Chinese interference in teaching content have been common, but cries about ?academic independence? have been oddly muted. Quote:

Correspondence between frightened international students and the university, obtained by The Australian, details a range of allegations stemming from last month?s elections, and warns of Chinese students ?all freaking out and very concerned about the consequences after being seen as ?anti-communism? ?.

Social media also highlighted the issue, with the ?Adelaide University Liberal Club posting on its Facebook page of ?deep concern ? that Chinese students are being threatened and ?intimidated on the basis of participating in free and fair student elections at the University of Adelaide?.

?This conduct is evidence of troubling foreign interference in our universities, as well as a serious breach of academic freedom that has been a cornerstone of Western universities for hundreds of years,? the post said. End of quote.

But now the interference is growing more sinister. Quote:

A key complaint was that a threatening message was circulated among Chinese students at the university via the messaging platform WeChat.

The message targeted students who were promoting a banner for Progress that said ?Jobs not Socialism?. The WeChat message claimed the banner was ?openly against socialism and communism? and warned details of this and information of the participators had been reported to the Chinese embassy?

Adelaide University Liberal Club campaigns vice-president Hugh Sutton?said there was ?threatening and intimidating behaviour? involving students from China during the election campaign. ?This goes against practically everything this university stands for,? he said.

Oscar Ong, a Malaysian Chinese aerospace engineering student at the university, yesterday said he was among those who were threatened ?openly during campaigning ? that they have reported my details to the China embassy?.

?They were saying we are anti-China, that they were from the China embassy so students should vote for them, and also threatening (other) Chinese students,? he said. End of quote.

So, what are they so afraid of?

Maybe this: Quote:

China?s highest-earning actress…is presumed to have been secretly detained by the authorities. She broke her silence by posting a letter on social media in which she admitted wrongdoing and promised to ?overcome all difficulties and raise funds? to repay what she owes, thereby avoiding criminal charges?It is thought that she was held under what is known as ?state surveillance at a designated place? in the eastern province of Jiangsu. End of quote.

If the fifth-highest earning actress in the world is not safe from being disappeared by the Communists, what hope does a mere student, even one in Australia, have? Quote:

The government is engaged in a widening clampdown on dissent against anyone deemed a threat to the establishment…Her unexplained disappearance showed that fame offers no protection against an increasingly assertive state.

Her family, powerless to help, were not told where she was being held?It is unclear where [she] is now?

?It?s a tremendous torture for family members. It?s even worse than having their loved ones sentenced, because there?s no word on their conditions. The uncertainty is terrifying.? End of quote.