Uni says03 who are we to ban Huawei

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News - CLARISSA BYE

A SYD­NEY univer­sity is stand­ing by con­tro­ver­sial phone gi­ant Huawei as one of the found­ing part­ners in a new $100 mil­lion project, de­spite a string of other col­leges across the world cut­ting ties with the Chi­nese com­pany.

In the US, Stan­ford Univer­sity has ditched its links with Huawei and the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley banned joint re­search projects af­ter charges were laid by the US Jus­tice Depart­ment over al­le­ga­tions of steal­ing trade se­crets.

The bans come hot on the heels of Ox­ford Univer­sity in the UK sus­pend­ing all new re­search grants and do­na­tions from Huawei.

But the Univer­sity of NSW yes­ter­day stood by the com­pany, which has been banned from pro­vid­ing Aus­tralia’s 5G net­work and stands ac­cused of be­ing an arm of Chi­nese in­tel­li­gence.

A spokes­woman said the univer­sity had part­ner­ships “with many com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Huawei”.

“One of the re­search re­la­tion­ships with Huawei is part of the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment’s Aus­tralian Re­search Coun­cil Link­age Scheme,” the spokes­woman said.

“The univer­sity reg­u­larly re­views fund­ing ar­range­ments with Aus­tralian and in­ter­na­tional part­ners.

“Prior to com­menc­ing any part­ner­ship, the univer­sity takes ap­pro­pri­ate due dili­gence and com­plies with all ex­port con­trol and other reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments.”

The univer­sity would not an­swer whether they had re­ceived ad­vice from ASIO on lim­it­ing ex­po­sure to the tech com­pany, which has been sub­ject to pre­vi­ous in­tel­li­gence warn­ings.

The UNSW is al­ready un­der fire for work­ing with the Chi­nese Gov­ern­ment to build the five hectare “Torch Precinct” at Kens­ing­ton — the first ever to be built out­side the com­mu­nist state. Eight Chi­nese com­pa­nies pro­vided an ini­tial $30 mil­lion to get the Torch project un­der­way.

When fully op­er­at­ing it will be an Aus­tralian re­search and de­vel­op­ment base for up to 10 Chi­nese com­pa­nies.

Silent In­va­sion au­thor Pro­fes­sor Clive Hamil­ton said univer­sity chiefs “need to em­ploy a bet­ter due dili­gence com­pany”.

“UNSW will find that Huawei is an al­ba­tross around its neck,” he said.

“Smart uni­ver­si­ties are cut­ting them­selves free.

“UNSW would be well ad­vised to do the same.

“Torch’s tech­nol­ogy park at UNSW is a ma­jor step for­ward in the com­man­deer­ing of Aus­tralia’s re­search re­sources to suit China’s needs.”

A re­cent NSW Au­di­tor Gen­eral re­port warned 70 per cent of UNSW’s over­seas stu­dent rev­enues now come from China.

Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­icy In­sti­tute re­searcher Alex Joske said the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party had been build­ing its in­flu­ence over lo­cal uni­ver­si­ties for a num­ber of years.

“The Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party uses its fund­ing of in­sti­tu­tions and re­search projects to build lever­age and en­cour­age self-cen­sor­ship to avoid los­ing that fund­ing,” he said.

“Through United Front groups for sci­en­tists and ta­lent re­cruit­ment pro­grams, it en­cour­ages them to trans­fer tech­nol­ogy and ex­per­tise to China and pro­mote re­search col­lab­o­ra­tion that serves China’s strate­gic in­ter­ests.”

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