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Student Groups at University of Queensland Clash over Hong Kong

According to Reuters, at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, students held a gathering last week in support of the protesters in Hong Kong. Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong opposed the amendment of the extradition bill out of concern that the amendment will increase Beijing’s influence and will endanger the city’s rule of law.

A pro-Beijing student group also showed up at the event. Some students played nationalist songs with the volume high and shouted “China is great.” Images from social media show that some students screamed loudly and had physical conflicts.

Xu Jie, the Chinese consul-general in Brisbane, praised the pro-Beijing students for confronting the pro-Hong Kong students. He called them “anti-Chinese separatists with ulterior motives.”

Australia’s foreign affairs minister Marise Payne issued a statement after the incident. Payne said the right to free speech and to peaceful and lawful protest was protected in Australia, even on contentious and sensitive issues. “The government would be particularly concerned if any foreign diplomatic mission were to act in ways that could undermine such rights, including by encouraging disruptive or potentially violent behaviour.”

Source: Central News Agency, July 27, 2019