Beijing mouthpiece to Aussie unis: lift your game

Beijing mouthpiece to Aussie unis: lift your game, by John Ross.

In a veiled threat to Australian universities, a state-run Chinese newspaper has warned that their treatment of the country’s students is jeopardising billions of dollars in tuition fees.

An editorial yesterday in the Global Times said Australian institutions were treating Chinese students as a “cash machine” while doing little to help them mix with locals, and miscasting them as “spies” when they spoke out.

“Chinese students come to your country to study critical thinking and how to be open-minded,” it said. “It is not Australia’s place to critique students’ political standpoints.

“You cannot expect Chinese students to think or behave the same as Australian students.”

Part of the People’s Daily group published by the Chinese Communist Party, the Global Times is considered a belligerent propaganda mouthpiece. Articles last year blasted Australia as a “paper cat” over its stance on the South China Sea, and a “country at the fringes of civilisation” following Australian swimmer Mack Horton’s description of Chinese rival Sun Yang as a drug cheat. …

China is easily the biggest source country of overseas students in Australia, providing more than a quarter of the estimated $28 billion they generate.