Australian universities are being exposed as the greatest sources of threat to our national security via their association with Chinese students and research partnerships.
Monday night’s Four Corners turned the lens on our major universities and claims that research conducted under partnership and grants is aiding the Communist Chinese regime.
Beijing’s impregnation of our universities is none more apparent than at the University of Queensland, which might as well be named Beijing University’s Qld Campus.
On the program, entitled Red Flags, University of Queensland was revealed to have provided $2.6 million in taxpayer funding (as in YOUR money) to a Chinese-heritage professor. He went on to set up a tech company in China that specialised in security systems that are now used to spy on an ethnic minority.
However, the real rub was that once in Beijing this joker was promptly promoted in the Chinese military’s drone swarm program.
While we couldn’t give a rat’s about some ethnic minority in China, the unavoidable concern is that Australian research-grant money is being used on technology that can be used against Australia in surveillance and military programs.
Alex Joske is a China analyst from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. He told Four Corners, “It’s clearly not in Australia’s interest to be recklessly training scientists who will go on to develop technologies that could be used against our military and against our country.”
This is stating the obvious, but we are glad he said it. It has become apparent that through programs with broad areas of research, what might seem harmless often has dual purposes in military and security which Beijing is quick to exploit.
Another cautious voice echoing Joske’s reservations about how freely universities are partnering with Beijing-connected individuals and firms is Professor John Fitzgerald, a security expert. He chaired the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) Australia-China Council. He said, “Australia’s science and technology priorities are being set by the Chinese Government because we enter into collaborations that have really been designed to support China’s goals, not ours.
“Many universities are very happy to proceed with whatever it is because of the money and prestige involved.”
Ah yes, the money, which is why nearly a quarter of university students at one university – our most prestigious, Sydney University – are Chinese. They even have their own campus student party which displays an open and jolly homage to Beijing and President Xi Jinping.
Pity, though, at the last elections ‘Panda’ was disqualified for breaking such rules as standing over other students and basically lying through their big front teeth. But it is those students and their affiliation with Beijing via money channelled directly from the Chinese embassy which is the flip side of the open data-mining taking place in the form of these bogus ‘collaborations’ with shady Beijing data firms and tech corporations.
Following protests by supporters of Hong Kong’s democracy activists, nationalist Chinese student groups led violent counter-demonstrations in Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland.
As always, they got something of a no-arrest treatment by our police because they are these supposed golden geese of the education sector. But there is nothing golden about these geese, and the “money” generated by international students should be replaced by government money and used to educate Australians in research that benefits Australia.
The universities are so shameless in their coveting of overseas students and the riches they imagine they bring that they become liars and apologists for a system that is now enhancing China’s military with our intellectual property.
One of the most treacherous appeasers is the Australian National University’s (ANU) non-Australian born vice-chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt.
The ANU is one of those universities most contaminated by Chinese infiltration. It’s as obvious as the silly nose on a clown’s face. But when interviewed by Four Corners Schmidt was adamant that the Chinese Government was “manifestly not running an interference campaign” at the ANU campus. Pull the other one, Proff, it’s got flippers on.
The extent of research being conducted with Beijing-connected entities is huge. There is even research being done directly in line with the PLA, which is the most vexing thing of all. Because any drone or robot that is created with Aussie brainpower may well be used against us when Xi Jinping gives the green light to invade us.
Naturally, the Chinese ambassador refused to speak to Four Corners. So, he sent a flunky that, through the usual grim mask of Chinese inscrutability, told those who hold concerns that it’s just anti-China propaganda and xenophobia.
China is, after all, just a developing country and there’s nothing to worry about because they have cute pandas and a president who resembles Winnie The Pooh, although you better not tell him that.