Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

while we're worried about chinese influence on our nation, we prefer to inflict mental health impact on the locals, for cash...

mine

A family fighting to defend their traditional country from mining are suing Environment Minister Sussan Ley after she rejected their heritage protection bid in favour of a controversial Chinese coal project.

Key points
  • Environment Minister is being sued for rejecting heritage protection in favour of a proposed coal mine
  • Lawyers say it could be an important test case if the decision is found to be unlawful
  • Traditional owners fear important sacred sites will be destroyed if the mine goes ahead

 

Last month, the Gomeroi Traditional Custodians failed in a bid to have sacred sites in north-west New South Wales preserved and protected from development due to cultural importance.

The land near Gunnedah had already been earmarked for the $1.2 billion Shenhua Watermark Coal Mine, which gained conditional federal approval in 2015 and has state development consents.

Ms Ley rejected their application on the grounds that the potential jobs generated from the mine were more important than cultural preservation.

She acknowledged the project could cause "mental health impacts … a sense of dislocation, displacement and dispossession," among Indigenous people, but determined the social and economic value of the project took priority.

On behalf of the Gomeroi people, traditional owner Dolly Talbott has launched legal action against Ms Ley, with the case due before court for the first time on Wednesday.

She is being represented by the NSW Environmental Defender's Office (EDO) which will argue that the minister's decision was "unlawful" and contravenes the constitutional basis of the heritage protection act.

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-27/shenhua-coal-mine-cultural-herita...

learning chinese with hypocrite chopsticks...

Instead of floating the White Australia bogey, let's be honest about Chinese influence


Chris Uhlmann


Sydney Uni's vice-chancellor cries "racism", but he should discuss genuine concerns on our dependence of Chinese students' fees.

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Gus: When the government decide to finance the university system IN FULL, then we can discuss the influence of the Chinese students in Australia.
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The federal government is concerned about Chinese influence in Australia, particularly on universities. While we don’t know exactly how deep this influence runs, we do know quite a bit. 

Financially, many Australian universities depend on international students from mainland China. It was recently suggested that 16% of the University of Sydney’s revenue comes from these students. Over the past two decades, this rapid change has made universities look and feel different.

From a financial perspective, it didn’t really matter if universities changed; the more enrolments the better. From a social perspective, university administrators suggested that the presence of Chinese students would create mutually beneficial cross-cultural communication and exchange. Academics initially thought that while it might take a while, Chinese students would “adjust” to Australia. 

More recently, academics have come to a more pessimistic conclusion: Chinese students in Australia inhabit a “parallel society”, in which they engage with Australian society only rarely.

The combination of these factors — Australia’s financial dependence on China, the increasing Chinese presence in Australia, the disconnection of mainland Chinese students from Australian society and culture, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) increasing global assertiveness — has begun to create conflict.

What are the conflicts?

When university students and teachers discuss contentious issues relating to China, they often face criticism from PRC students. The criticism can be harsh, well-organised, and heavily publicised. Cases at the University of NewcastleMonash University, and the Australian National Universityillustrate the scope of the problem. 

Nothing about student protest is inherently undesirable. In fact, it is a manifestation of the academic freedom that university students deserve – and would not have in China. But what constitutes a “contentious issue”, and who is orchestrating this criticism? Examining the issues disputed makes two things clear: first, that the issues Chinese students deem “contentious” are exactly the same issues that the Chinese government deems “contentious”, particularly those relating to China’s territorial integrity and history. Second, that the organisations orchestrating the response to these issues, particularly the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), are funded by and work closely with Chinese state bodies such as consulates. 

This runs in parallel with a steady intensification of “ideological education” in the PRC, together with attempts to shape how China is seen by the world through Confucius Institutes, the CSSA, and other “soft power” bodies. At last week’s Party Congress, President Xi Jinping stated China’s priority is to become a globally “stronger” nation.

So, should universities and the Australian government draw the line at some point? Should they ban or restrict contentious organisations? And if these groups cause friction on campus, how should university students and administrators respond?

 

Read more:

https://theconversation.com/how-should-australia-respond-to-chinas-influ...

 

In four prominent cases in recent months, Chinese students at Australian universities have complained about teaching materials being incorrect or insulting to China.

The incidents have gained increasing attention in both nations, especially in the media, and forced apologies or statements from the universities.

In the most recent case, a lecturer upset Chinese international students by listing Taiwan and Hong Kong as countries in course and test materials. One classroom confrontation was recorded and shared online. 

It has generated discussion in Australia about whether Chinese students are undermining freedom of expression on campuses - and whether the Chinese embassy has been involved in exerting pressure on universities. Chinese authorities and media outlets have dismissed such a concern as "smear".

Australian academics, meanwhile, have told BBC Chinese that they are concerned about potential provocation by the media.

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-41104634

 

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Money, money, money... please...

 

sending confucius back to university...

Australia is to formally investigate foreign interference in its universities amid rising concerns about Chinese influence on campuses.

The push follows reports of students and staff "self-censoring" on sensitive political issues such as the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Universities had also increasingly been targeted by state-sponsored cyber attacks, the government said.

It announced an intelligence taskforce on Wednesday to combat such threats.

"Universities must act to protect the valuable information they hold where it is in the national interest to do so," Education Minister Dan Tehan said in a national address.

He linked efforts to tackle foreign interference to "broader" efforts to protect free speech and academic freedom on campuses.

Universities Australia, a representative group, welcomed the announcement but said a "careful balance" was needed.

"We must continue to safeguard our security without undermining the invaluable asset of our openness," Chair Prof Deborah Terry said on Wednesday.

Why is there concern now?

While the government did not name any countries on Wednesday, there have been recent concerns about China's alleged influence on campuses.

This was highlighted in recent weeks by violent clashes at a number of Australian universities between students supporting the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and mainland Chinese students defending their government.

 

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-49492206

 

 

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