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Australia's demonization of Chinese students must end [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2019-8-31 10:53:17 |Display all floors
Editor's Note: Tom Fowdy is a British political and international relations analyst and a graduate of Durham and Oxford universities. He writes on topics pertaining to China, the DPRK, Britain, and the United States. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

Over the past few weeks, largely owing to the fallout of Hong Kong protests, the atmosphere toward China on an educational level in Australia has become overwhelmingly negative.

As a report by noted, "The Chinese Communist Party has a solid foothold on Australian university campuses," and as the report's content shows, students and programs such as Confucius institutes are now being openly demonized by academic communities and government officials.

Earlier this week, the state of New South Wales announced that it would be ending its partnership with Chinese sponsored Confucius institutes, accusing them of spreading propaganda and stifling freedom of speech.

Meanwhile, leading University of Sydney Professor Salvatore Babones and others have claimed that Australian universities are becoming over-reliant on Chinese students for revenue, while notorious anti-Chinese lecturers in the country such as Kevin Carrico claimed that "we should not let dictatorships teach our children."

Although the recent surge of paranoia and resentment of China in Australia is not new, it is now reaching a breaking point which seems to reflect classic "yellow peril" racism.

A great deal of the hysteria is rooted in locals being too quick to dismiss China's perspectives, rejecting reactions from students as mere state-sponsored "interference."

For a nation that relies heavily on economic incentives from China, it is going to become more and more difficult for Australia to adequately maintain stability in its relationship with Beijing, something which it cannot avoid as a pacific nation.

Australia has a long history of what we might call the"yellow peril" or an unfounded fear that the country would one day be overrun by a large number of Chinese who would be opposed and threatening to Western values.

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Post time 2019-8-31 10:53:41 |Display all floors
The fear of a Chinese "ethnic takeover" in Australia has embedded itself in the institutional racism of the early 20th century Australian state and contributed to the creation of the"White Australia" policy whereby discrimination and a preference for white-only settlers were rife.

Although this policy is long gone, as China's role in the world increases, Australia has found itself increasingly unable to tolerate closer interaction with Beijing on level terms.

The role of China has increasingly been branded as threatening, and in turn, the Chinese themselves have been increasingly scapegoated as a malign foreign influence having a perverse effect on the country. What has exacerbated these problems is the inability to understand the perspective of many Chinese students within the country and dismissing their views as mere directions of the state.

The events in Hong Kong have proved to be a boiling point for this, not helped by the media. It has been inconceivable to most in Australia, and of course the Western world as a whole, why Chinese students may feel angry and passionate against Hong Kong demonstrators and want to hold counter protests.

As liberal ideology typically dismisses opinions contrary to its own as inauthentic, the response was to brand these events as nothing more than state-orchestrated propaganda. While glorifying Hong Kong activism, the media sought to portray these demonstrations in the worst possible light to steer public discourse against them.

The result is that now Australian contempt for Chinese students is being sent off the charts, with all the aforementioned talk of "over-reliance" and "foreign influence."

The problem is, however, that Australia necessitates stable ties with China as part of its national economic platform and cannot avoid it. Also, with domestic student numbers low, universities would stand to lose up to a quarter of their income if the situation deteriorates.

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Post time 2019-8-31 10:54:17 |Display all floors

Thus, despite the unfavorable attitude toward China on an official level, politicians seem to acknowledge the importance of economic ties with Beijing, even disapproving of America's trade war.

In this case, while Australia will likely continue to have many cultural and ideological differences with China, Canberra must nevertheless pursue balance and levelheadedness in moving forward with Beijing.

The open hostility and demonization of Chinese students and other educational ties are wrong, counterproductive and dangerous. A red-scare or perhaps more suitably termed "yellow peril" campaign will ultimately prove more detrimental to the country's national interests in the long run.

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Post time 2019-8-31 11:47:22 |Display all floors
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Post time 2019-8-31 21:43:13 |Display all floors

Simply, it is useless lecturing politically swayed dead woods because :

1)  politicians and lecturers do not have a mindset of their own for longer term Aussie interests;

2)  Aussie PM Mr Morrison is well liked by US Trump as touted the great PM of Australia for reasons that the former obeys what his US boss tells him to do;

3)  Aussie lecturers have exhibited their naivety and stupidity about China and perhaps all of Asians in the Far East Asia or Asia who are not necessary Chinese people alone. So, why should Asians need Aussie lecturers to teach them while spending a great fortune of their money.

4)  US Customs had deported some returning Chinese scholars to complete their final semester in Arizona with no reason while Confucius institutes / schools in the USA have been told to close. Australia is echoing every word and following each step of the USA like a pariah parrot. So, what are these western values and democracies ?

5)  When US Trump visits Australia, he will ink a great trade deal with Morrison Australia. Thereafter, Aussie will sail to and fro the great ocean to the USA; and it will find no value with China's trades or Asian trades. Outcome is peace and happiness where China will find no value with Aussie land of racial prejudices.


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Post time 2019-9-1 06:57:18 |Display all floors
ceciliazhang Post time: 2019-8-31 10:53
The fear of a Chinese "ethnic takeover" in Australia has embedded itself in the institutional racism ...

"The fear of a Chinese "ethnic takeover" in Australia has embedded itself in the institutional racism of the early 20th century Australian state"  The Chinese fear of alien invasion is clearly marked by the building of the Great Wall to keep non- Han "laowei" / "gweilo" out of the Middle Kingdom. If BJ wants to make laws and govern Hong Kong as it wishes without external meddling then isn't Australia entitled to do exactly the same with its own domestic affairs ?

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Post time 2019-9-1 12:10:27 |Display all floors
Firstly channel 7 is a well known purveyor of hysteria, they were beating up the "black gangs" for months and there really wasn't that much of a problem.  China has been a favourite target of Ch 7 for many years.

While it's true that the local student protests are not that welcome I'd say the vast majority of people are far more worried about what Trump may drag us in to, either in an economic war or literal war.

It also needs to be understood that the vast majority of Chinese who live here are well regarded by the locals, however some of their business people are not well liked due to their avoidance of tax and refusal to pay the correct wages for example or the use of materials that do not meet local standards. This is seen as being highly reprehensible by most Australians.
Per Ardua Ad Astra

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