POLICY FORUM, 27.3.2018:
‘Australia’s debate on Chinese Communist Party influence is not motivated by racism, but it is valuable and necessary’
On Monday, Policy Forum published as an open letter a submission made to Australia’s parliamentary review of new national security legislation. The open letter was signed by a group of scholars of China and the Chinese diaspora.
We the undersigned are scholars of China, the Chinese diaspora, China-Australia relations and Australia’s relations with Asia. We are deeply concerned by a number of well-documented reports about the Chinese Communist Party’s interference in Australia. We strongly believe that an open debate on the activities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in this country is essential to intellectual freedom, democratic rights and national security. This debate is valuable and necessary.
We believe that some of the CCP’s activities constitute unacceptable interference in Australian society and politics. We believe these have in a number of instances sought to restrict personal freedoms, impede democratic processes and affect national security, with the potential to harm Australia’s interests and sovereignty. We recognise the need to consider seriously the extraordinary warnings about foreign interference from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. These warnings were certainly not made lightly.
Accordingly, the Australian government and civil society must remain vigilant against such activities as:
- Espionage and other unlawful operations by Chinese officials or their proxies on Australian soil
- Attempts to interfere in political elections
- Direct and indirect control of Chinese-language media in Australia
- Intimidation of Chinese Australians (both Australian citizens and permanent residents) for their political views and activities in Australia
- The use of political donations and agents of influence in attempts to change Australian government policies
- The takeover and co-opting of Chinese community groups to censor sensitive political discussions and increase the Chinese government’s presence in the community
- The establishment of Chinese government-backed organisations on university campuses used for monitoring Chinese students
- Interference in academic freedom
- The cultivation of prominent Australians in attempts to sway public and elite opinion
- The covert organisation of political rallies by the Chinese government.
Read full story HERE
From The Sunday Morning Herald