University of Adelaide students have raised with Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi concerns about threats students have made to fellow Chinese students that they will report them to the Chinese embassy in Canberra for campaigning against communism during student elections.
Senator Bernardi – a strident advocate against Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia – has called for snitching students to be suspended, expelled or removed from elected positions on campus.
The Australian reports it’s alleged that some Chinese students who ran on an International Voice ticket for board positions of the Adelaide University Union threatened and intimidated other students from China who were campaigning for the rival Progress party.
Correspondence between frightened international students and the university, given to Senator Bernardi, covers a range of strong-arm tactics used in last month’s student elections, and warns of Chinese students “freaking out and very concerned about the consequences of being seen as ‘anti-communism’ ”.
Social media also highlighted the issue, with the Adelaide University Liberal Club posting on its Facebook page of “deep concern … that Chinese students are being threatened and intimidated on the basis of participating in free and fair student elections at the University of Adelaide”.
Senator Cory Bernardi says this “snitching scandal plays into every fear that we have about Chinese Communist Party influence. It is reaching into our education system through so-called ‘Confucius’ Institutes, affecting our young people’s lives on campus, reaching into business dealings and ultimately corrupting our politics.”
“It is disgraceful that in modern Australia, a student would snitch on another student to their home country for supporting Western democracy. Were their family members visited by the Chinese secret police? Is it safe to go home to see family?” He said.
Senator Bernardi continued, “Australian universities are founded on the tradition of upholding freedom of speech, association, expression, belief and thought. It’s a key reason why modern university culture is so reactively socialist. It’s okay to be critical of them because being conservative is becoming the new counter-culture.”
“These Stasi-style informant tactics should be stamped out in modern Australia. Students dobbing in fellow nationals should be suspended or expelled, and stripped of elected positions. Tactics such as these smack of the tentacle-reach of an oppressive regime re-shaping Australian life. How was Australia so wise and energised by the Russian communist threat in the 1950s, but is embracing the Chinese communist infiltration today?” He said.
In a worrying footnote to the story, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that organised factions of Chinese international students are dominating elections at Australia’s major universities.
The Conservative Party’s South Australian Senate candidate Rikki Lambert has told Adelaide radio station FIVEaa the current Chinese influence being exerted in Australia is frighteningly reminiscent of George Orwell’s book, 1984.