Scholars split on ‘interference’
Australian academics are at loggerheads over Chinese influence on their campuses, as debate about proposed foreign interference legislation reaches boiling point. Thirty-five China scholars have penned an open letter denying that the debate is fuelled by racism, and warning of Chinese Communist Party meddling in politics, the media, community groups and universities. The letter has been lodged as a submission to a Senate committee enquiring into proposed national security legislation amendments which, among other things, introduce new offences relating to foreign interference with Australia’s political processes. Another group of 30 China scholars had previously released an open letter and submission condemning the proposals as a
“threat to intellectual freedom”.