ON the eve of a vote in federal parliament on Bob Katter’s proposed Inquiry into Chinese Communist Party control and interference at Australian universities, the Morrison Government has launched the Inquiry referring it to the joint-Committee on Security and Intelligence.
Kennedy MP, Bob Katter said he was elated for expelled University of Queensland (UQ) student, Drew Pavlou who was ‘the storm-in-a-tea-cup’ that brought international attention to the true extent of foreign interference and control at Australian universities.
“Before the two 60 Minutes episodes aired last month on Drew’s story nothing had happened in the preceding 12 months,” Mr Katter said.
“Now the Queensland Police have finally launched action against the pro-Chinese Communist Party thugs who beat-up Drew on the St Lucia campus over his pro-Hong Kong democracy demonstration, the PM last week announced legislation to crackdown on dodgy foreign interference deals like Victoria’s belt-and-road agreement and today our Inquiry has been backed in full.
“The intimidation of Australian students and academics on campus, who stand up for democracy and human rights, is outrageous and must stop. Again, I call on the Chancellor of UQ to immediately reinstate Drew Pavlou to the UQ Senate and to overturn his expulsion.
“The true fighters who never gave up on this Inquiry were Drew, the journalists and producers at 60 Minutes, Sharri Markson from the Australian and other federal MPs who made their support public.
“I am looking forward to seeing Andrew Hastie and his Committee give the Australian university sector the thorough clean-out and interrogation that is long over-due.”
Drew Pavlou said he and Mr Katter had won a great victory for Australian Democracy.
“This inquiry would have never happened without Bob’s massive support,” he said.
“He was the only one in Canberra to stick his neck out for me. He stood by the little guy against the forces of greed, corruption and totalitarianism.
“I will be testifying in Canberra before the government’s inquiry into CCP interference at Australian universities. I am so honoured to be able to share my story before our national parliament.
“I would like to thank everybody who stood by me.”
Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter has pleaded with North Queensland MPs and candidates (state and federal) to support an inquiry by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security into foreign influence at Australian universities, following the case of UQ student Drew Pavlou who was suspended after he was physically attacked during a pro-Hong Kong democracy rally on campus.
The KAP MP said the influence of the Chinese Communist Party went much further than the grounds of St Lucia. The agreement that James Cook University (JCU) recently signed with Xi’an University of Technology, for joint data science and engineering research projects as well as student and staff exchanges, must be properly scrutinised and investigated.
“I call upon the LNP Member for Herbert to support this Inquiry as he, along with myself, represents the people of the fortress city of Townsville,” he said.
“The Japanese had detailed photographs of every aspect of Pearl Harbour before that conflict kicked off. We now could have JCU, situated right beside some of the most intimate and sensitive parts of the Australian Defence Force’s communications infrastructure, working collaboratively with People’s Liberation Army scientists or on joint research projects in data science – and the People’s Liberation Army is a world leader in orchestrating cyber attacks on countries around the world, including Australia.
“The local brothels could pick up a few tips from these little, self-serving, visa-shop leeches at the universities. Mind you, in the brothels they don’t sell their souls, they only sell their bodies.”
Mr Katter has received support from Dawson MP, George Christensen, who will second the motion for the Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into foreign influence in Australian Universities.
“It is great to see Australians who are prepared to stand up for what they know is right,” he said.
“Democracy, freedom of speech and academic integrity are values this nation was founded on.”
Mr Katter said JCU had a number of questions to answer over the agreement made with Xi’an University in May.
“Australia’s leading defence and strategy think tank, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, in 2018 produced a report on the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) expansion of its research collaboration with universities outside China,” he said.
“It said that since 2007 the PLA has sponsored more than 2500 military scientists and engineers to study abroad and develop relationships with researchers and universities. The report estimates that of that number 300 have been sent to Australia.
“For the PLA, the objective is to pick flowers in foreign lands to make honey in Australia. The report says that Australia was in the top five countries engaged in research collaboration with the PLA in 2017.
“JCU has made an agreement with the Xi’an University to be involved in a new International Engineering College Shaanxi province. JCU and Xi’an University staff and students studying engineering and data science will collaborate with each other and be involved in joint research projects. The PLA is heavily involved in China’s global cyber hacking programme and has an interest in data science and engineering.
“JCU must explain what it will do to make sure that no student involved in these arrangements is a member of or sponsored by the People’s Liberation Army. It also must say if it will seek advice from Australia’s security agencies about all students and academics nominated by Xi’an University to be involved in any joint research projects. In addition, the University needs to tell us what it will do to prevent the theft of intellectual property.”