Dan O'Heirity

The Sad Case of the University of Queensland and a Free Speaking Student

If you have been following my blog posts then you will have read about the University of Queensland (UQ) student Drew Pavlou who has now been suspended from the University for a period of two years after a disciplinary hearing. Pavlou has been a vocal pro-democracy activist for Hong Kong and has led campus demonstrations in this respect. He is also accused by UQ of abusing his position as an elected student member of the Senate by purporting to speak on behalf of the university when he had no right to do so. However, on one perspective at least, UQs actions against Pavlou have more to do with the fact that he has been deeply critical of UQs ties with China including posting to social media where he denounced the university’s close financial ties with the Communist Party. UQ denies that Pavlou has been singled out for this reason and maintains that Pavlou abused his university position as an elected student representative on the Senate.

Let me give you some figures for UQs apparent dependence on China as reported by the “Daily Mail“. “The campus has the fifth highest international student fee income in Australia, and about 18,000 of the 53,000 students enrolled are from overseas. 9,000 of those students are from China. In 2018, international students contributed $570million in tuition fees.” UQ has apparently confirmed that fees from Chinese students make up 20% of the university’s annual revenue. UQ is tied to China in other ways. According to ABC News, the UQ Confucius Institute has had a part to play in funding credit bearing courses at the university. However, UQ has denied that this is the case. It is also worth noting that, “the director of UQ’s Confucius Institute personally nominated China’s Consul-General in Brisbane, Xu Jie, as an adjunct professor — the fifth such appointment of a Chinese diplomat at the university”.

This is the same professor who praised Chinese Nationalist Students who attacked a peaceful Hong Kong pro-democracy protest at UQ, a protest that included Drew Palou. The professor referred to the attack as “spontaneous patriotic behaviour” and UQ did not denounce the remarks until nearly twelve months after they were made. As of today, June 2nd 2020, Drew Pavlou is appealing the case supported by a lawyer who is acting for him pro bono. Astonishingly, or perhaps not, Pavlou’s suspension has captured the attention of the Chinese Communist Party owned “Global Times” which cited anonymous students as “celebrating the suspension”. However, if we’re talking international press, “The New York Times” has run a story stating that Pavlou was suspended for “calling for democracy in Hong Kong” and for “criticizing” Chinese influence on campus. Ouch. What university would want that kind of international press.

The case of Drew Pavlou is obviously a complex one but the question is how one of Australia’s top universities got itself into a position in which it is viewed by some at least as suppressing freedom of speech on campus whilst also being far too closely linked with China. The damage done to UQs reputation is surely incalculable. A statement from UQ Chancellor Peter Varghese in which he “expressed concern with the panel’s finding and penalty and said he and Vice-Chancellor Peter Hoj played no role in the process” is not going to help to repair the university’s reputation. Rather it looks as the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor are both trying to distance themselves from the decision of the panel. From one perspective one can see the logic in such a move. The Chancellor and Vice Chancellor would not want to be seen to have unduly influenced proceedings. Yet, at the same time, the statement smacks of “Hey, we didn’t make the decision”.

When Will We Learn That China Will Never Change?

Although reported around two weeks ago on May 21st, “China in Focus” has a story concerning a possible second outbreak of the virus in China. Apparently the Chinese Communist Party is ordering significant quantities of medical supplies from Chinese manufacturers “arousing fears that the country is preparing for a second wave of the CCP virus“.

The outbreaks are reportedly in the North Eastern provinces of Jilin, Heilong Jang and Liaoning. A couple of points to note here. Chinese manufacturers have consistently produced sub-standard medical supplies and shipped them around the world, often at a significant cost to the countries that have purchased the supplies. “China in Focus” reports that China has now stopped American manufacturers of medical equipment in China from exporting that equipment and so we see the CCP behaving exactly as it did at the outbreak of the virus. It is ensuring that China secures the medical supplies it needs without having a care for the rest of the world.

It occurs to me that China may also have to buy masks from its own manufacturers. Am I the only person who does not have the words “poetic justice” in mind should China purchase defective medical supplies from its own manufacturers? As for “fears being aroused”, seriously how many people outside of China, the Chinese diaspora excepted of course, really give a damn about what might happen inside of China should there be a second outbreak of the virus. Well, not me. My only interest would be that the “China in Focus” report notes that the virus may have mutated in the North Eastern provinces as it seems to take longer to detect, recovery is slower, and the mutated virus seems to target the lungs where as the original virus attacked multiple organs. One can see how a constantly mutating virus would pose a much greater threat than a virus that did not mutate. That said, viruses of all kinds just do tend to mutate.

“China in Focus” also reports that businesses in Wuhan are going bankrupt, a pro-democracy Chinese Official has been forcibly detained in a mental hospital, and the government is “cracking down” on citizens seeking justice from their State governments for crimes such as being the subject of commercial fraud. This crack down happens every year ahead of the most important political meeting in China, “The Two Sessions”. Ironically, the “The Two Sessions” meeting was cancelled in 2020 due to the CCP virus but it did go ahead in May 2021. The odd fact in the report of the crackdown is that a number of petitioners who were interviewed reported that they had been surveiled to the extent that the authorities knew their travel arrangements and were waiting for them when they arrived at their destinations. People, it’s China. The CCP knows your every move.

More on the Chinese Cover Up of the Covid-19 Virus

We all know that China originally tried to cover up the CCP virus and I have reported multiple stories on this front. In another “China in Focus” report there is a story that the CIA believes that China blocked the World Health Organization (WHO) from declaring a global health emergency on the virus crisis in January 2020, whilst hoarding medical supplies from around the world.

The CIA allege that China threatened not to cooperate with an investigation into the virus if a global emergency was declared. The CIA report does not mention whether Xi Jinping was personally involved in this decision but German Intelligence Officials claim that Xi Jinping was involved in pressuring the WHO not to declare a global emergency. In my view, Xi Jinping is guilty of mass murder in covering up the virus and in sending infected Chinese citizens around the world. The logic that Xi Jinping is personally culpable is premised on the fact that nothing happens in China without Xi Jinping’s say so and to that extent it is not the CCP that is guilty of mass murder, it is Xi Jinping.

First Published June 3rd, 2020

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