The war being waged by Chinese international students against “politically incorrect” lecturers in Australia hasn’t emerged out of the blue. It has flowed out from China’s increasingly regimented education system.
It has come from a cohesive approach pursued over the past five years by the Chinese Communist Party authorities — which have severely audited universities to ensure their ideological orthodoxy, with a strong stress on Marxism and Xi Jinping thought. …
In the West and within China, students are informing authorities about professors and lecturers, especially in the social sciences and in cultural studies, who express “improper opinions” in class.
Jiajia Li, a filmmaker based in Guangzhou, wrote in The South China Morning Post that this year in China “scores of professors have been sacked as a result of their online views”. …
“In the past few years, Chinese students abroad have frequently confronted professors over China-related topics not fitting the narrative preferred by the Chinese government,” she added. …
The latest case in Australia was triggered by a Newcastle University lecturer providing students with material from a Transparency International report, in which a table used the single word “countries” at the top of one of its lists of places, rather than “countries and territories”.
The list happened to include Hong Kong and Taiwan — like a map of Australia that, say, happens to leave off Tasmania.
Reports published in China said the lecturer was of Indian heritage.
After Chinese students angrily confronted the lecturer, whose “anti-Chinese” behaviour was roundly condemned by Chinese “netizens”, the border issue was bound to bubble up.
hat-tip Stephen Neil