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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Australian Student Activist Faces Expulsion After Criticism From Chinese Diplomat

    An Australian student is facing expulsion by the University of Queensland after he publicly questioned the school's close relationship with China and was termed an "anti-China separatist" by a Chinese diplomat with close ties to the school.


    The university is taking disciplinary action against conservative student activist Drew Pavlou, who has repeatedly criticized the university's close ties with the Chinese Communist Party.


    The university has accused Pavlou, 20, of harming its reputation, engaging in intimidating and disrespectful conduct and disrupting the running of the university, among other charges.


    Pavlou -- who has said he suffers from depression -- faces 11 allegations of misconduct, including activities that the authorities say breached its integrity and harassment policies and the student charter, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.


    The authorities have presented as "evidence" of his alleged misconduct social media comments he made regarding the pro democracy movement in Hong Kong, in which he claimed to be speaking "on behalf of the university" following his election as student representative to the university senate.


    On the petition website Change.org, more than 11,000 people had signed a petition calling for the disciplinary procedure against Pavlou to be dropped by 17.45 GMT on Thursday.


    Pavlou has also reported being physically attacked by Chinese Communist Party supporters during a campus brawl at UQ sparked by Chinese students' opposition to a Hong Kong protest-related activity.


    According to UQ, Pavlou also allegedly placed a sign on the UQ Confucius Institute -- a cultural organization embedded in campuses around the world and directly staffed and controlled by the Chinese government -- in March, declaring it was a "biohazard" amid the coronavirus epidemic, according to a post he made on Facebook.


    Critic of UQ's China ties


    Pavlou has said he is being singled out because of his specific criticisms of UQ's relationship with China.


    A UQ spokeswoman denied this on Wednesday. "The university rejects Mr Pavlou’s statement that the university’s process is an attempt to penalize him for airing his political beliefs," she told RFA.


    Xu Jie, the Chinese Consul General in Brisbane, has previously accused Pavlou of engaging in "anti-China separatist activities." China's Global Times tabloid newspaper, published by Communist Party paper the People's Daily, has made similar claims.


    Xu was awarded the post of visiting professor by UQ vice president Peter Hoj on July 12, 2019, a move which also drew criticism from Pavlou at the time.


    Feng Chongyi, a political researcher at the University of Technology in Sydney, said UQ is very likely retaliating against Pavlou's criticisms of China.


    "It is totally unacceptable for somebody to be [disciplined] over their [political] speech in Australia," Feng said. "It is unacceptable that UQ has no hesitation in breaching someone's human rights because of the benefits of their China deals."


    "The university is exactly like the Chinese Communist Party ... targeting him for his speech and then saying it's for other reasons."


    Feng said China has supporters and agents throughout public life in Australia, including politics, business and higher education.


    Wu Lebao, an international student at the Australian National University, said UQ could easily go along with claims by Little Pink Chinese nationalists that criticism of China is racist in making charges against Pavlou.


    Solidarity with Hong Kong, Tibet and the Uyghurs


    He said the Little Pinks carry out monitoring operations to keep track of anyone taking part in events showing solidarity with Hong Kong, Tibet or the Uyghurs, and taking Beijing's propaganda war to streets and campuses around the world.


    Wu cited the intimidation and disruption of Hong Kong students and their supporters on UQ campus last July.


    "Instead of punishing them, they are going along with the Chinese Communist Party's wishes, which are to punish opponents of Beijing," he said. "This incompatible with freedom of speech here in Australia."


    "Western governments and universities are reluctant to risk the accusation that they are persecuting so-called minority groups," Wu said. "But these Little Pink students have direct connections to the Chinese embassy and act as thugs for a totalitarian regime. They don't represent an ethnic minority."


    U.S.-based legal scholar Teng Biao agreed.


    "[This is] about revenge against Pavlou for his long-term human rights activism," Teng said. "It is also the latest example of the overseas influence of the Chinese Communist Party and of self-censorship by Western universities to pander to Beijing."


    "If this attempt succeeds, it will be a serious infringement of Australian citizens' freedom of speech, and will have a chilling effect, meaning that fewer people will dare to criticize the Chinese Communist Party," he said.


    Sulaiman Gu, a research student at the University of Georgia said he has long been concerned about Pavlou, who he said had received death threats last year.


    "The school is trying to expel the victim, and there is a political motive behind it," Gu said. "If an Australian citizen can be expelled from universities in their own country for criticizing China ... this will turn those universities into Beijing's party schools, just without the party committee."


    Australia feels the heat from Beijing


    Pavlou, who also criticized China's system of internment camps that hold as many as 1.8 million Uyghurs and force them to undergo political indoctrination, received sympathy from exile Uyghur intellectuals and groups, many of whom face harassment from Chinese agents in foreign countries.


    "It's disturbing that a student activist is on the verge of being expelled from an university in a democratic country for exercising his free speech. It's another example of CCP's nefarious influence that threatens fundamental freedoms of people in a democracy," U.S.-based Uyghur attorney and activist Nury Turkel told RFA’s Uyghur Service.


    "The University of Queensland should not cave into foreign influence to silence an Australian student who is exercising his freedom and constitutional rights to raise awareness on the human rights abuses, especially the arbitrary detention of millions of Uyghurs in China’s concentration camps," he added.


    Australian author and professor of public ethics Clive Hamilton’s book, Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia, was initially turned down by three publishers citing fears of reprisals from Beijing.


    Finally published in February 2018, Silent Invasion argues that Australia’s elites, and parts of the country’s large Chinese-Australian diaspora, have been mobilized by Beijing to gain access to politicians, limit academic freedom, intimidate critics, gather information for Chinese intelligence agencies, and organize protests against Australian government policy.


    According to Reuters, the Chinese Communist Party was behind a massive cyber attack on the Australian national parliament ahead of May's general election.


    The agency cited the country's cyber intelligence agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), as saying that Beijing was responsible for the attack on the parliament and the three largest political parties, and that originated with the Ministry of State Security in Beijing. The findings were initially kept secret to avoid damaging trade ties.


    Canberra last year said it would crack down on suspected Chinese Communist Party influencers in the country following the introduction of new laws targeting activities by lobbyists and agents of foreign governments in June 2018, and later denied a passport to a top Chinese businessman.


    In February 2019, the authorities rejected the citizenship application of a prominent Chinese billionaire and revoked his permanent residency there over concerns about his ties to Beijing.


    Huang Xiangmo had made donations of nearly U.S. $1.9 million to political parties in Australia over the five years prior to lodging his application.

    Australian Student Activist Faces Expulsion After Criticism From Chinese Diplomat

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Fucking chinkies at it again.

    And of course Aussie politicians are in their pocket.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat helge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    pocket.
    Money
    I was sad, when I realized that Aus was the 51st state of the US

    A southern one at that

  4. #4
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    Pavlou is an attention whore. He is no stranger to controversy, and presumably has learnt from his hero trump-

    July 1, 2019 - UQ Student Drew Pavlou was warned Friday afternoon that various disparaging online statements regarding a member of the UQ Academic Board would be subject to disciplinary action if repeated.

    The informal warning from the Academic Registrar Mark Erickson stated a student made a complaint against Mr Pavlou’s statements and referred him to the university’s student charter.

    “The University cannot ignore behaviour which is discourteous and disrespectful of other members of the University community,” the email read.


    The warning referred to statements made on Mr Pavlou’s Facebook page “Drew Pavlou, Undergraduate Representative for Academic Board”, which to date has 500 likes.


    Mr Pavlou is running for Academic Board at the next elections and is not currently elected.


    Posts on the page refer to the two Academic Board student representatives as “Crazy” Ian Trinh and “Loopy” Lachlan Hardie, and made jabs at UQ’s Vice Chancellor Peter Høj.


    Mr Pavlou described his page as “sober, well-reasoned and respectful,” but the silly appellations are part of a character that emulates stereotypical political messaging, particularly the Twitter feed of US President Donald Trump.
    Student cautioned for inflammatory online statements - Glass


    Exactly the same MO here- repeatedly provoke until there is a complaint, then loudly complain his freedom of speech is being violated, and it's all a conspiracy against him by the people he slandered. Like, Yawn.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Exactly the same MO here- repeatedly provoke until there is a complaint, then loudly complain his freedom of speech is being violated, and it's all a conspiracy against him by the people he slandered. Like, Yawn.
    But they get their more than 15 minutes of fame.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Saint Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    social media comments he made regarding the pro democracy movement in Hong Kong, in which he claimed to be speaking "on behalf of the university" following his election as student representative to the university senate.
    Sounds like a nutter, and of course he should face internal discipline for this nonsense.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKW View Post
    Sounds like a nutter, and of course he should face internal discipline for this nonsense.
    ..then, of course, he could claim persecution before prosecution: Fox "News" has taught these folks well...not least concerning the media skills needed for dogged persistence...

  8. #8
    Elite Mumbler
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    Sounds like most of the posters in this thread are okay with Chinese influence in Western Universities, so long as a Conservative is triggered.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickel View Post
    Sounds like most of the posters in this thread are okay with Chinese influence in Western Universities, so long as a Conservative is triggered.
    ...you might want to have your hearing checked...

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickel View Post
    Sounds like most of the posters in this thread are okay with Chinese influence in Western Universities, so long as a Conservative is triggered.
    Umm . . . to which posts or posters are you referring?

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat Saint Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    the UQ Confucius Institute -- a cultural organization embedded in campuses around the world and directly staffed and controlled by the Chinese government
    What's this all about then? Sounds a little strange to me.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Fucking chinkies at it again.

    And of course Aussie politicians are in their pocket.
    It's what they do, with impunity, driven by a powerful ideology, on thousands of fronts worldwide, by filling pockets with Chinese money.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKW View Post
    What's this all about then? Sounds a little strange to me.
    ...supposedly, a soft-power projection of the positive side of life under Communists...each "Institute" is funded by the Chinese government to the tune of hundreds of thousands of USD to promote Chinese culture, language and general superiority of Chinese values over those of western (and other eastern) societies. There are 3-4 of them operating at local unis here in the swamp...
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat Saint Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...supposedly, a soft-power projection of the positive side of life under Communists...each "Institute" is funded by the Chinese government to the tune of hundreds of thousands of USD to promote Chinese culture, language and general superiority of Chinese values over those of western (and other eastern) societies. There are 3-4 of them operating at local unis here in the swamp...
    I understand the concept, just a little surprised that an Australian University would allow such a place to be staffed by the Chinese government, as alleged by the article (Funding is one thing, staffing another).

  15. #15
    Elite Mumbler
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    ^
    It's a little easier to do when you expel the people that speak out against it.

  16. #16
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    ^^^, ^^

    Another ameristani regime fairytale brought to you by MK's RFA propaganda sewer.

    Similar to these types of organisations, show them, teach them, train them and

    taste the local "culture". :

    Something new in foreign aid: a Peace Corps.

    Australian Student Activist Faces Expulsion After Criticism From Chinese Diplomat-pc-jpg

    This article originally appeared in the March 13, 1961, edition of U.S. News & World Report.

    "President Kennedy set it up March 1 on a "temporary pilot basis," and asked Congress for legislation to make it permanent.

    ldea is to send thousands of Americans into underdeveloped nations. Who will go? What will they do? How much will it cost? Here are answers to questions people are asking.

    Just what is this Peace Corps that President Kennedy is creating?

    The President defines it as "a pool of trained American men and women" to be sent overseas to help foreign countries.

    Where will its members go?


    Principally to underdeveloped areas of the world, in such places as Africa, Asia, Latin America.




    Assessing a Legacy Still in Progress


    What will the Peace Corps do?

    The main job will be to teach—to train people in underdeveloped areas to do for themselves the necessary jobs to develop their countries.

    How large will the Peace Corps be?


    Mr. Kennedy says he hopes to have "500 or more" people in the field by the end of this year, and "several thousand" within a few years.

    Who will be in it?


    Mostly young people, just out of college. But membership will not be limited to the young, or to college graduates. Some will be women.

    Said Mr. Kennedy: "All Americans who are qualified will be welcome to join this effort."

    The Details of John F. Kennedy'''s Peace Corps | National News | US News


    Universities UK International

    "UUKi is the international arm of Universities UK, representing UK universities and acting​ in their collective interests​ globally​.

    We​ actively promote universities abroad, provide trusted informa​tion for and about them, and create new opportunities for the sector"


    https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/international


    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    harming its lucrative income stream
    FIFY.

    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Change.org, more than 11,000
    0.0000014% of the worlds population.

    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    directly staffed and controlled by the Chinese government
    Hearsay is not factual.
    Last edited by OhOh; 18-04-2020 at 10:16 AM.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  17. #17
    Elite Mumbler
    pickel's Avatar
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    ^
    Get Mee Pooh's cock out of your mouth.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickel View Post
    Get Mee Pooh's cock out of your mouth.
    Can't as it's firmly lodged up his arse - OhOh is a perfect example of what goes on. Deflection, blame-shifting etc... I Oz and NZ it is particularly prevalent, bullying of o/s Chinese by mainland 'students'.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickel View Post
    Sounds like most of the posters in this thread are okay with Chinese influence in Western Universities, so long as a Conservative is triggered.
    They're mostly too stupid to see the message and not the messenger.

  20. #20
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    I never expected such a STRONG influence from China to manipulate High profile Australian Universities.......

    Screw the CCP, man.....

  21. #21
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxLee View Post
    I never expected such a STRONG influence from China to manipulate High profile Australian Universities.......
    You need to understand what make all universities succeed. To become the most over subscribed, a shoe in to lucrative positions, for their "crème de la crème" students and research grant income flow. We currently need a well respected "university" to provide accurate medical data. Which one to choose?

    All over the world universities have to fill their lecture halls/put bums on seats.

    They all charge foreign students 3 to 4 times what the locals pay. Most have foreign student quotas to fill and the senior professors, as part of their role, attend functions, have books published and maintain international "presence".

    For example:

    University of Oxford - Undergraduate.
    Course fees

    The course fees paid by matriculated students* are for the provision of tuition, supervision, academic services and facilities by the University (including your department or faculty) and the colleges, but do not include residential or other living costs'

    Home (UK) and EU students

    If you are a Home (UK) or EU student undertaking your first undergraduate degree, the course fee for 2020 will be £9,250 p.a..

    UK and EU students can access a tuition fee loan from the UK government for the full amount of your course fee and do not need to pay any fees upfront. The UK government has confirmed that EU students starting in the 2020/21 academic year will continue to be eligible for student loans for the duration of their course.

    Students from outside the EU

    If you are from outside the EU, you will be classed either as an ‘Overseas’ or 'Islands' student and you should be aware that you will not be eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government. If you are an Overseas student, you will be charged a significantly higher level of course fee, which will vary according to your programme of study (see the courses listing for full details).

    Fee status

    Annual course fees payable by student
    Overseas
    Between £25,740 and £36,065*
    Islands £9,250

    Course fees for 2020-entry | University of Oxford

    Which is why there are less places for UK students.

    I suspect the need to maintain:

    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    university's close ties with the Chinese
    and provision of such things as a:

    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Confucius Institute -- a cultural organization embedded in campuses around the world
    Are "requested". The university could say no! But then the AU$$$ overrides their reluctance.

    The university, places the foreign students fees higher on the scales/agenda, than a single trouble maker.

    They are, after all, for profit institutions.
    Last edited by OhOh; 23-04-2020 at 11:53 PM.

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    When they say

    The university has accused Pavlou, 20, of harming its reputation
    The scabby c u n t s who are prepared to sell out to chinky yuan have accused Pavlou of harming their reputation.

    Which frankly is fucking shit anyway.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickel View Post
    ^
    Get Mee Pooh's cock out of your mouth.

    That's Mr. Shithole to you. And Ohoh should know, he has his tongue up it.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat Saint Willy's Avatar
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    The Australian uni student China wanted to silence, whose simple protest sparked a ..

    unbelievable behaviour and overeach from the CCP in Australia be
    The Australian uni student China wanted to silence, whose simple protest sparked a living hell
    Without meaning to, Brisbane student Drew Pavlou sparked an international incident, becoming an enemy of China and expelled from uni.



    Scuffles have broken out at an anti-Chinese Communist Party protest at the University of Queensland.

    A student protest at a university campus is usually an unremarkable event.
    Some demonstrations make a bit of noise, a few generate news headlines if they’re especially rowdy, but none spark an international incident with a superpower.
    Twelve months ago, Drew Pavlou organised a sit-in attended by just 20 people to protest China’s anti-democracy activities in Hong Kong and its persecution of the Uighur minority, as well as to highlight concerns about The University of Queensland’s ties with Beijing.
    Since then, he’s copped death threats and near daily abuse, earned the fury of the Chinese Government, and been expelled as a student by a “kangaroo court”.
    This is the extraordinary tale of how a 20-year-old student from Brisbane’s eastern suburbs woke the angry Chinese dragon, and went to war with one of Australia’s most regarded unis.

    THE ACCIDENTAL ACTIVIST

    Media coverage of long-running protests in Hong Kong against growing attempts by mainland China to stifle free speech and democracy caught Mr Pavlou’s attention in early 2019.
    He watched with growing alarm as vision circulated on social media of student demonstrators – men and women his age – being attacked by police.
    Mr Pavlou began reading about China’s human rights record, particularly its treatment of the Uighur minority, who are subjected to brutal punishment.
    An estimated 1.5 million Uighurs are being held in concentration camps across China and a special independent tribunal in London last year detailed horrific accounts of forced organ harvesting, including on live prisoners.
    “I was appalled by these injustices,” Mr Pavlou said.



    Drew Pavlou didn’t consider himself an activist when he organised one simple, small protest at The University of Queensland. Picture: Lyndon MechielsenSource:News Corp Australia

    He also became concerned about UQ’s close ties with Beijing, including the Chinese Communist Party funded Confucius Institute on campus.
    Peter Hoj, the university’s Vice-Chancellor – a position akin to chief executive officer – was an unpaid senior consultant to the Confucius Institute Headquarters, known as Hanban, for four years, and a member of its powerful council.
    Mr Hoj ended his involvement in late 2018.
    In an interview with ABC program Four Cornerslast year, Mr Hoj insisted he was “very confident that I haven’t been influenced” by China and said the Confucius Institute had never been involved in the academic operation of the university.
    However, it emerged in 2019 that the Institute had funded four credited UQ courses about China, including an economics class that Mr Pavlou said was a serious cause for concern.
    “It was called Understanding China, and when it came to a discussion of the Uighur concentration camps, they were described as an anti-terror and re-education effort and that they’re supposed to address radical Islamic terrorism.
    “This is being taught in an Australian public university – justifying concentration camps.”
    News.com.au asked UQ whether any of its courses are still funded by bodies linked to the Chinese Communist Party, and a spokesperson said: “Due to current legal proceedings UQ is unable to comment.”


    Peter Hoj with Chinese Vice-Premier and Council of Confucius Institute Headquarters Chair, Madam Liu Yandong, receiving the Confucian award in December 2015 at the Confucius Institute’s Global Conference in Shanghai.Source:Supplied

    Confucius Institutes have sparked controversy recently for their links to the CCP’s United Front agency, which has been accused of foreign interference and espionage.
    Despite a focus on the university’s relationship with Hanban last year, including the Four Corners report, it signed a new five-year deal for the campus Confucius Institute.
    “UQ’s contract for the UQ Confucius Institute protects the university’s autonomy while delivering educational co-operation, particularly in Chinese languages,” the university said in a statement.
    Mr Pavlou believed UQ’s reliance on international students from China, Mr Hoj’s long association with Hanban and the Confucius Institute, and the blurred lines between academic independence and foreign interests, were inappropriate.
    “We were calling for our university to divest all of its ties to the Chinese Government while these atrocities were going on,” he said.
    “I felt like I needed to speak up. I didn’t want to look the other way because it was too inconvenient or uncomfortable to talk about.
    “So, I organised one protest. I’d never held a protest before or anything like that. I wouldn’t have considered myself an activist.”
    He told a few friends who were interested in politics and history, and word spread to some Hong Kong students, who agreed to meet early in the afternoon on July 24.
    “Never did I think it would blow up in the way it has. It shouldn’t have caused an international incident.”

    ONE FATEFUL DAY
    So inexperienced at protesting was Mr Pavlou that he was half-an-hour late to his own demonstration, having forgotten to organise a loudspeaker.
    “I was running around trying to find a printer to print some flyers, I was trying to get a loudspeaker – it was pretty haphazard. And it was small. There were 15 or 20 of us.”

    It was the busiest day of the year – Market Day – and the group positioned themselves at the part of campus with the most foot traffic – the entrance to the Great Court, a massive grass area surrounded by grand sandstone buildings.
    They sat down on a walkway and began chanting – typical uni demonstration fare, like “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Xi Jinping has got to go” and variations of it.
    “We didn’t really notice at first that we’d been surrounded on all sides,” Mr Pavlou said.
    An estimated crowd of 200 pro-CCP activists had descended on the St Lucia campus to counter his small rally.
    Things quickly turned ugly, he said.


    Pro-Beijing students attack participants at a Hong Kong demonstration at The University of Queensland. Picture: Nilsson JonesSource:Twitter


    Pro-CCP figures who gatecrashed the Hong Kong rally on July 24, 2019.Source:Twitter

    Further video showing how violence began at UQ! Several Australian and international media outlets are running a contradicting narrative that Hong Kong and anti-CCP students were overwhelmingly the aggressor #uqprotest
    “There were two or three people with face masks and sunglasses, trying to disguise their faces, with earpieces in, who all approached me from different angles. They seemed to be co-ordinating the group.
    “One ripped the megaphone from my hand. I got up to confront him and got punched in the ribs and thrown to the ground. I got up again and got punched again in the side of the mouth.
    “As I was being attacked, this crowd started playing the Chinese national anthem. We were surrounded on all sides and it became this stand-off.
    “This guy came up behind me and punched me in the back of the head, threw me to the ground and grabbed my poster and tore it up.
    “Other Hong Kong students were punched and choke-slammed. A security guard tried to step in and he was bitten.”



    Chinese students have regrouped. Heavy police and media presence now #uqprotest








    Police were called and Mr Pavlou said he was advised by officers that he was outnumbered, and the safest thing to do was move on.
    He did, but a few students from Hong Kong stayed behind to stage a silent sit-in on a grassy hill nearby and were joined by several others.
    “Then I got a text an hour later that some of the Hong Kong students were being hassled again. They were being attacked. One got choked. A girl had her dress ripped.
    “We ran back to help. It had gotten much worse. More CCP supporters came – the police estimate was that there were about 500 of them there.
    “A huge contingent of police were there and tried to separate the groups. They spoke to someone from the (pro-Beijing side) and this guy said they weren’t leaving until I apologised to China for the protest.”


    The University of Queensland is one of the world’s top higher education institutions. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

    A witness on the day told news.com.au that the pro-CCP side were screaming “apologise!” over and over again.
    “Ultimately, we had to leave under a police escort,” Mr Pavlou said. “The (pro-CCP) people stayed and sung nationalist songs and chanted for another hour.”
    The instigators of the violence were older and didn’t appear to be students, Mr Pavlou said.
    “I suspect they were sent by the Consulate,” he said.
    “This was a co-ordinated attempt to silence free speech on an Australian university campus through fear and intimidation.”
    ACTIVE INFLUENCEIt might sound far-fetched to many that the Chinese Consulate would care very much, let alone enough to send “operatives” to a student peaceful protest.
    But it has a history of intervening in hyper-local and seemingly insignificant issues.
    In 2018, the regional Queensland town of Rockhampton held a community art exhibition to celebrate its Beef Week, where life-size papier-mache bulls were decorated by schools.
    One was painted with international flags and symbols in celebration of the area’s diverse culture and multiculturalism, and included the Taiwanese flag.
    A short time after it joined others on display in the town’s main street, the Taiwanese inclusion was painted over by council staff – at the demand of the Chinese Consulate, it later emerged.
    Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow admitted the Vice-Consul in Brisbane had complained, sending through photos of the offending statue.
    “Council officers contacted the school to explain that there was a problem (and) when the school couldn’t offer a solution, council staff proceeded to paint over the flag and words,” she told The Morning Bulletin.


    A papier-mache bull in a small regional Queensland town sparked a diplomatic incident with China.Source:Facebook


    A papier-mache bull in a small regional Queensland town sparked a diplomatic incident with China.Source:Facebook

    Earlier this month, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute released analysis about the level of Chinese interference and influence playing out across almost every aspect of Australian life.
    The report focused on the work of United Front – a mammoth, powerful and shadowy group that controls thousands of community organisations in foreign countries.
    Overseas Chinese students have “long been a target of United Front (activity)”, ASPI researcher Alex Joske wrote, adding: “This was reiterated in 2015 when Xi Jinping designated them a ‘new focus of United Front’.”
    Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSA) exist around the world, including in Australia, and provide a useful function for people studying overseas.
    But Mr Joske wrote that they are “the primary platform for United Front work on overseas students … (and) most operate under the guidance of Chinese embassies and consulates”.
    “A 2013 People’s Daily article describes Australian CSSAs as ‘completing their missions … under the direct guidance of the Embassy’s Education Office’,” he wrote.
    CSSA executives are tasked with organising rallies and promotional events, but also with reporting on dissident Chinese students.
    On July 24, it appears they were successful in gathering intelligence on those who had taken part in the Hong Kong demonstration.

    FEAR AND INTIMIDATION
    Among Mr Pavlou’s rag-tag group of protesters that day were two students from mainland China.
    Within hours, one had images of his passport and citizenship documents, along with his residential address in Brisbane, shared on the Chinese social media platform WeChat.
    “Another guy who was with us, his parents (in mainland China) got a visit from state security officials who told them to make their son stop protesting,” Mr Pavlou said.
    “Within hours, the Chinese government had identified people at a protest in Brisbane and mobilised police thousands of kilometres away. It was really scary.”


    The violence at the protest was just the beginning – Drew Pavlou said he and every other participant were targeted online and threatened. Picture: Richard WalkerSource:News Corp Australia

    He too was targeted in a brazen and worrying way.

    Global Times, the English language mouthpiece of the Communist Party, wrote a scathing article about his protest.
    Mr Pavlou was named, alongside a photograph, and described as a “separatist” – a crime on par with murder in China, punishable by death.
    “To be called a separatist by Chinese state-controlled media was kind of an invitation for people to go open season on me,” he said.
    “I had all of these abusive messages and death threats flooding in.”
    Every one of the 20-odd people who had taken part in Mr Pavlou’s protest was identified and received threats and abuse, he said.
    On July 25, the Consul General of China in Brisbane, Dr Xu Jie, issued a public statement about the protest and repeated the accusation that Mr Pavlou’s group had carried out “separatist activities”.
    Dr Xu praised the “self-motivated patriotic behaviour” of pro-CCP activists while condemning Mr Pavlou’s protest as “anti-China separatist activities”.
    It prompted an avalanche of abuse, Mr Pavlou said.
    “There were threats against me and my family, someone said they’d rape my mother in front of me and then kill us... it was vile stuff.”

    UQ Vice-Chancellor Peter Hoj with Chinese Consul-General Dr Xu Jie.Source:Supplied

    Dr Xu was awarded an honorary professorship at UQ – an appointment that the university didn’t announce to local media. The news was shared with Chinese language news outlets and on the social media platform WeChat.
    In a statement, UQ said it has “appointed more than 260 professorial titleholders in the past few years and does not announce them in the media”.

    Mr Pavlou said he was scared and stressed, but most of all, “pissed off” at what he saw as attempts to bully and silence him.
    So, he organised another protest.
    “I thought, let’s go again, let’s show defiance to those who tried to silence us. I put a post on Facebook saying we’d make a stand and protest again on July 31 at 12pm.”
    And that’s where UQ stepped in, he claims.

    THE DREADED ‘D’ WORD
    Despite being attacked on campus, including by people who likely weren’t students, and disclosing that he’d been threatened, Mr Pavlou didn’t hear from the university until the next day.
    When he did, it wasn’t a message of concern or support.
    “I received an email from the university telling me to come to a disciplinary meeting,” he said.
    The date and time of that scheduled meeting? July 31 at 12pm.
    Mr Pavlou viewed it as a transparent attempt to force the cancellation of the second protest and so he refused to attend.
    In a statement, UQ said it “refutes the claims by some individuals about the support provided to students”.
    When he met with officials to discuss security arrangements for the second protest, he claims he was threatened.
    “I was told in that meeting that they liked me being a student at UQ and would like that to continue into the future. It felt like a scene from the Godfather movie.”
    A UQ spokesperson said the university “is unable to provide comment on an individual student matter”.
    After the meeting, Mr Pavlou said he called the university’s bluff and the protest went ahead.

    Drew Pavlou leading his second protest at The University of Queensland. Picture: Liam KidstonSource:News Corp Australia


    UQ denies Drew Pavlou’s protests have anything to do with the disciplinary action it launched against him. Picture: Liam KidstonSource:Supplied

    In the days and weeks following, he repeatedly requested a meeting with Mr Hoj to discuss concerns about the uni’s ties with China.
    Those requests were ignored, he said.
    “So, I thought if he wouldn’t meet with me, I’d run for the UQ Senate – the board that governs the university.”
    Mr Pavlou ran for the undergraduate seat on the Senate, which is voted on by students, and won.
    “The very first meeting of the Senate was in February,” he said.
    “It was right as the coronavirus pandemic was in full swing. Instead of discussing the COVID-19 crisis and the university’s response, the entire thing was devoted to me and an attempt to have me removed.”
    Screenshots of Mr Pavlou’s social media posts were displayed and he was told he had breached student conduct guidelines.
    He was threatened with expulsion at that meeting, he said.



    NEWS.COM.AU0:34
    Scuffles at Hong Kong rally at Brisbane uni




    Pro-Beijing protesters scuffled with pro-Hong Kong protesters at a university in Brisbane.



    ‘IT JUST GOT WORSE’
    Mr Pavlou thought the first Senate meeting where he was threatened with expulsion was an attempt to scare him, and that nothing else would come of it.
    He was wrong.
    The university prepared a 186-page confidential dossier outlining his alleged misbehaviour and breaches of the student code.
    “It included social media posts going back months and months, including screenshots of comments taken out of context,” he said.
    “It included stuff as petty as ‘Drew used a pen in the campus art shop and then put it back and left the store, and this disrupted the activity of staff and students.’”
    A Facebook post calling for students to recreate a high school Muck-Up Day tradition on campus was also included. Mr Pavlou insists it was a “stupid” joke.
    “They included allegations that I had bullied specific students. Those students later came forward and said they’d never complained, they didn’t want to complain, they weren’t offended. It was crazy.”
    UQ officials told Mr Pavlou that the disciplinary proceedings were confidential and “there would be consequences if I spoke about it”, he claims.

    Drew Pavlou said the past year has been a living hell. Picture: Lyndon MechielsenSource:News Corp Australia

    For a week, he sat silently at home and fell into a deep depression, he said.
    “I was wallowing and down in the dumps, in a really dark place. It felt like my life was over. Everything was destroyed. I was scared, I was sad.”
    And then he was angry.
    “I figured it was my expulsion so I could talk about it. I thought I could either crash, or crash through. I decided to crash through.”
    Mr Pavlou went to the media to detail his version of events and the treatment he had received from the university he’d attended for almost four years.
    “UQ wanted to do me over quietly and quickly,” he said. “Suddenly, everyone knew what they were doing.
    “There were 40,000 signatures on a petition, it was reported in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian … it was everywhere.”
    His now-barrister, the prominent Tony Morris QC, watched the coverage about Mr Pavlou’s plight in alarm and reached out, offering to represent him for free.
    Together, the pair went to a hearing of the disciplinary board and found that two top-tier law firms had been engaged to prepare a recommendation about his case.
    They called for Mr Pavlou to be punished with “the harshest penalties possible”, he said.
    “The Board is made up of full-time university employees. How could they respond? It was a kangaroo court. So, we walked out.
    “They went ahead and expelled me. They don’t describe it as an expulsion, but effectively it is. I’m ‘suspended’ for two years, the immediate removal from my democratically elected position on the Senate and the inability to ever graduate.”


    Drew Pavlou with his barrister Tony Morris QC outside of The University of Queensland. Picture: Michael McKennaSource:Supplied

    State-run media outlet Global Times celebrated his expulsion in an article, describing him as “anti-China” and quoting unnamed students who were said to be celebrating “justice”.
    UQ Chancellor Peter Varghese – a well-regarded former senior public servant and diplomat, who was appointed an Office of the Order of Australia in 2010 – finally stepped in.
    “I was today advised about the outcome of the disciplinary action against Mr Pavlou,” Mr Varghese said in a statement on May 29.
    “There are aspects of the findings and the severity of the penalty which personally concern me. In consultation with the Vice Chancellor (Mr Hoj), who has played no role in this disciplinary process, I have decided to convene an out-of-session meeting of UQ’s Senate next week to discuss the matter.”
    That meeting was held on June 5 and agreed to await the outcome of an appeal lodged by Mr Pavlou, due next Monday.
    In his statement, Mr Varghese said: “Senate noted that the issues of alleged misconduct and freedom of speech had been so commingled in the media coverage of the case that it made it difficult to untangle in public perceptions.”
    In the meantime, Mr Pavlou and Mr Morris QC have lodged action in the Supreme Court against Mr Hoj, Mr Varghese and UQ seeking $3.5 million in damages.
    EXTRAORDINARY EMAIL CHAINLate on the afternoon of July 24, as Mr Pavlou and his friends left campus under police escort, able to hear the chants of pro-CCP figures who were allowed to stay, UQ swung into action.
    Its communications office prepared a statement about the demonstration and sent it to the Chinese Consulate in Brisbane “for review”.
    Mr Pavlou’s barrister, Mr Morris QC, said the correspondence “plainly shows that a draft public statement was sent to the Chinese Consul-General ‘for review’.”
    “The dictionary meaning of ‘review’ is ‘a formal assessment of something with the intention of instituting change if necessary’,” Mr Morris QC told The Courier-Mail.
    “Since when does UQ send public statements to the diplomatic representatives of a foreign government … for ‘formal assessment … with the intention of instituting change if necessary’?.”


    Drew Pavlou is awaiting the outcome of an appeal of his expulsion. Picture: John GassSource:News Corp Australia

    In a statement, UQ denied it sought approval from the Consulate and instead was sending a proposed message that “outlined the university’s expectations that students express their views in a lawful and respectful manner”.
    “The message was approved without any changes, and emailed to the Consulate and copied to the Confucius Institute at 7.05pm,” the statement said.
    “The Vice-Chancellor was not in contact with the Consulate on this matter. In addition, the university also communicated its position to a number of other stakeholders including government, partners and the sector’s peak bodies.”
    UQ eventually released copies of the emails with names redacted, as well as a timeline, but Mr Morris QC claims it presents only part of the story.
    ‘THE BILLION-DOLLAR QUESTION’
    UQ denies the disciplinary action against Mr Pavlou is linked in any way to his protests last July, nor his commentary about its links with China.
    “The university’s policies are not driven by politics, and we completely reject the claims that this ongoing disciplinary matter is a free-speech issue; student disciplinary matters are initiated in response to complaints made to the university,” it said in a statement.
    “It is entirely reasonable and appropriate for the university to provide a safe environment for students and staff, both on campus and online, to protect their welfare and mental health.
    “Part of this is ensuring complaints are fairly considered through a standard, confidential disciplinary process which is being followed in this case.
    “Eroding or undermining these processes reduces the likelihood that students and others will feel safe to report behaviour which they feel is inappropriate or unacceptable.
    “For this reason, we cannot respond or engage in discussions on our student disciplinary matters – even if this means we cannot correct inaccuracies that misrepresent the university.”

    Peter Varghese is the Chancellor of The University of Queensland.Source:Supplied

    But the nature of the charges against him, which Mr Pavlou describes as mostly petty and baseless, cast doubt on this claim.
    So, why would a prestigious university – consistently ranked as among the best in the world – pursue a student without cause?
    “It’s literally a billion-dollar question,” Mr Pavlou said.
    “If the Chinese Government was to suddenly declare that its students couldn’t study at UQ because its campus was too politically sensitive, the uni would lose about $1 billion in revenue over the coming decade.”
    Twenty per cent of the university’s revenue is derived from fees from Chinese students, of which there are 9000 currently enrolled.
    In 2018, international students contributed a total of $570 million in tuition to UQ’s coffers.

    Drew Pavlou outside the Supreme Court after filing proceedings against UQ, Vice-Chancellor Peter Hoj and Chancellor Peter Varghese. Pic Annette DewSource:News Corp Australia

    Before that chaotic afternoon on July 24, which sparked a “year from hell”, Mr Pavlou said he aspired to become an academic one day.
    He’d go on to do a PhD, perhaps in philosophy or politics, with the goal of becoming a lecturer at a university like UQ, he figured.
    “Not anymore though. I’ve seen the university sector. I’ve had a lifetime of dealing with people like that.”
    The past 12 months have left him exhausted and uncertain about the future, but Mr Pavlou said he has no regrets.
    “In hindsight, I had the opportunity in the few days after the protest to back down and go away, and let this all stop. It would’ve been so easy.
    “But it’s important to stand up for your values. I think democracy and freedom of speech are worth defending. And it’s also about human rights for the people facing genocide in China.
    “What’s happened is horrible. It’s been tremendously stressful and taken a toll. It sucks and it’s caused a lot of pain.
    “But they’ve picked the wrong person. I’m not backing down.”

    https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/the-australian-uni-student-china-wanted-to-silence-whose-simple-protest-sparked-a-living-hell/news-story/4fcea3b66535bed6d6e08a320cd246ae

    Warning: Be cautious if you are a fragile pink

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat panama hat's Avatar
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    Basically China is being a whiny little bully bitch and the Uni has caved while the mainland Chinese students intimidate others,

    China . . . what a lovely addition to the world community . . . at the end of the day it's their way or the highway, they haven't learned that not everywhere is like China

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