Senin, 31 Agustus 2020

Australian universities’ secret ties to China to be investigated -

The Australian government has announced a far-reaching inquiry into Chinese Communist Party infiltration of the university sector.

It comes after an investigation by The Australian newspaper last week found dozens of country’s leading scientists had been recruited to China’s secretive “Thousand Talents” research program, which the FBI has described as an economic espionage and national security threat.

Academics who sign up to the research program are typically paid a salary of $150,000 in addition to other lucrative perks, but must agree to patent their inventions in China and abide by Chinese law.

The revelations raised fears Australian research was being misused to further China’s military advancement and even develop weapons.

The Australian reports Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Sunday wrote to the chair of the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security, Andrew Hastie, to outline the terms of reference of the inquiry into foreign interference in the university sector.

Mr Dutton has asked the PJCIS to examine “the nature and extent to which foreign actors are interfering in Australian universities, including staff and student bodies, publicly funded research agencies and competitive research grant agencies”.

Mr Hastie had last week described the disturbing reports as evidence Australian research and intellectual property was “being plundered by the CCP”.

According to the newspaper, the inquiry will examine whether knowledge and technology are being transferred to foreign powers against Australia’s national interest. It will also look beyond universities to encompass all publicly funded research and grants such as those handed out by the Australian Research Council.

“I wish to refer to the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security the matter of potential interference conducted by, or on behalf of, foreign actors, in Australian universities, publicly funded research agencies and competitive research grants agencies,” Mr Dutton said in the letter.

“Special focus should be given to options that reduce technological and knowledge transfer from Australia that may be detrimental to our national interests, while not undermining international productive research collaboration.”

ASIO, which has repeatedly warned universities of the potential risks of the Thousand Talents program, is expected to provide testimony along with the FBI and other security experts.

The inquiry will also look into the extent to which foreign actors threaten free speech at universities, and will likely hear from University of Queensland student Drew Pavlou.

The 21-year-old was banned from the university in May for alleged misconduct related to his on-campus anti-China activism, which last year saw a peaceful sit-in attacked by an estimated 200 Communist Party supporters.

“We need to make sure the national interest is being served through our ­research grants and that intellectual property is also being protected,” Mr Hastie told The Australian.

“We also need to ensure campus culture is not being shaped by foreign actors seeking to undermine the freedoms that make our universities places of learning and inquiry.”

Mr Pavlou on Monday lit a “victory cigar” outside the UQ campus to celebrate the announcement of the inquiry.

“(They) tried to remove me from the UQ Senate, so I’ve decided I’ll go to the big boy senate and testify in Canberra, where I’ll be explaining what I went through here,” Mr Pavlou said. “I’ve got a lot to say about what goes on in the UQ Senate, under parliamentary privilege. I have a lot of interesting things to say about UQ.”

Earlier today, China’s Ministry of Commerce announced a new investigation into Australia’s $1.1 billion wine export trade.

The investigation, which comes two weeks after China announced another investigation into whether Australian wine is being dumped in the Chinese market, will look at the range of subsidies available to the wine industry in Australia.

“The Chinese government has retaliated to our victory,” Mr Pavlou wrote on Twitter. “The CCP have announced a new ‘probe’ into Australia’s wine industry. Absolute sooks!”

Let's block ads! (Why?)

2020-08-31 05:55:57Z

Tidak ada komentar:

Posting Komentar