On March 27, The Epoch Times reported on a bill on foreign interference that was introduced in Australia on December 7. A week ago, a group of Chinese scholars demanded that the Australian government withdraw the bill. The group claimed that the bill is a “threat to academic freedom. … The statement that a foreign force would interfere in Australia is over-the-top and is racist. … It could create hostility toward the Chinese population.” In responding to the demand, a group of 27 scholars in Australia published an open letter stating that the fact that the Chinese Communist Party is exercising its influence in Australia is unacceptable and warned that (those making the demand) are using racism as an accusation to end the open debate about the activities that the Chinese Communist Party has been conducting in Australia. The open letter included a list of espionage activities that the Australian government needs to be aware of and stated, “In recent years the CCP’s efforts to influence and interfere in Australia have become increasingly bold, including an overt agenda to influence Chinese communities in Australia. … The CCP seeks to position itself as the protector of overseas Chinese and drive a wedge between Chinese communities and the rest of Australia. … This debate is valuable and necessary.”
The scholars who signed the response include James Leibold, Associate Professor of Politics and Asian Studies, La Trobe University; Feng, Chongyi, Associate Professor in China Studies, University of Technology, Sydney; and Kevin Carrico, Lecturer, Chinese Studies, Macquarie University.
Source: The Epoch Times & sbs.com.au, March 27, 2018