Australia: Beijing’s passport order to University of Technology Sydney staff
Academic staff at University of Technology Sydney refused to hand over personal details, including their passport numbers, after China’s Education Ministry demanded the information to continue a course for visiting students.
Science faculty associate dean for international partnerships Graham Nicholson told 21 UTS academics they were required to disclose their passport numbers and dates of birth “as part of the ongoing review of this program” by the ministry.
“You may be concerned by the request for your passport number,” he said in an email obtained by The Australian. “In China, all citizens have an identity card. As we don’t have these in Australia the next best option for them is your current passport number.”
Two Australian universities are reviewing funding and research approval procedures due to concerns over links to technology that is being used to carry out mass human rights abuses by the Chinese Government in Xinjiang province.
UTS, Curtin unis launch reviews amid links to surveillance technology used in China
One academic conducted research for so-called “racial profiling” technology to detect ethnic minorities
Human Rights Watch says China uses AI and surveillance to carry out human rights abuses against ethnic minorities
Last night, Four Corners revealed that the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is conducting an internal review into its $10 million partnership with CETC, a Chinese state-owned military tech company that developed an app that Chinese security forces use to track and detain Muslim Uyghur citizens in Xinjiang.
The Defence Force is closely tracking a high-tech Chinese spy ship as it makes its way towards Australia ahead of this month’s Talisman Sabre war games on the Queensland coast.
The electronic surveillance ship was believed to be north of Papua New Guinea on Saturday night
It is believed to have begun its voyage south to Australia late last week
The same class of vessel was spotted monitoring the 2017 Talisman Sabre war games
Multiple military sources have confirmed to the ABC they are preparing for the imminent arrival of the Auxiliary General Intelligence (AGI) vessel, which is expected to closely monitor the massive biennial joint United States-Australian exercises from just outside Australian territorial waters.
On Saturday night, the Type 815G Dongdiao-class electronic surveillance ship was believed to be north of Papua New Guinea, having begun its voyage south towards Australia late last week.
A Chinese mining giant is being accused of underestimating the impact a proposed open cut mine will have on groundwater on the New South Wales Liverpool Plains.
A study by the UNSW Water Research Laboratory into the environmental impact statement (EIS) issued by Shenhua Watermark Mine has found that modelling used by the mining company was flawed
The study found that the EIS relied upon incorrect data on the storage volume of groundwater aquifers, and that the capacity of these aquifers is a lot smaller
The research was funded by the Caroona Coal Action Group (CCAG), which is opposed to the project, but stakeholders claim it is independent because it was peer-reviewed
The University of New South Wales’ Water Research Laboratory conducted a study into the Shenhua Watermark Mine’s environmental impact statement (EIS), and in particular its findings around the project’s potential effect on water.
The research was commissioned by the Caroona Coal Action Group (CCAG), which is opposed to the project.
The study has found that the modelling used by the mining company was flawed, because it relied upon incorrect data on the storage volume of groundwater aquifers.
“The values used were implausibly high based on our research,” Ian Acworth, UNSW Emeritus Professor, said.
The new Chinese owner of Darwin Port is heavily indebted and has struggled to make interest payments on money borrowed to buy the lease, raising doubts over promises to upgrade the port and fund a new $200 million hotel on a nearby site.An analysis of the finances of the Landbridge Group and its billionaire founder Ye Cheng shows he does not fit the stereotype of a cashed-up Chinese billionaire with access to cheap funding from state-owned banks.
Rather, Landbridge’s local accounts and documents lodged in China show an over-extended company scrambling from one loan repayment to the next and paying up to 12 per cent interest on some borrowings.