Australia – Sydney councillor advising ‘pro-Beijing’ group linked to CCP….

a woman holding a puppy next to a man in glasses
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Councillor Robert Kok at a Lunar New Year launch in 2018.(AAP: Ben Rushton)

A Sydney senior councillor has declared he had been advising an organisation with links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), once headed by exiled Chinese billionaire and political donor Huang Xiangmo.

Veteran City of Sydney councillor and former Deputy Mayor Robert Kok reported his involvement with the Australia Council for Promotion of Peaceful Reunification (ACPPRC) on his register of interests.

The organisation actively promotes the “reunification across the Taiwan Strait” and “peaceful development” across the Asia Pacific, which some academics labelled as quietly operating in the interests of Beijing.

Full story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-10/sydney-councillor-robert-kok-advised-pro-beijing-group/12537832

China is harassing Uyghur minority people living in Australia and ‘fake police cars’

A car with what appears to be Chinese police markings parked at night.

A diplomatic war of words has emerged between the American and Chinese embassies in Canberra, amid claims Beijing is harassing Uyghur minority people living in Australia.

Key points:

  • The US ambassador said Uyghurs were being “harassed by agents of a foreign power”
  • He said fake Chinese police cars were being parked outside their homes
  • China’s foreign affairs ministry said the allegation was “laughable”

Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities have been subject to a wide-ranging security crackdown in China’s far-western Xinjiang region, where it is believed more than a million people have been rounded up and put in detention camps.

In an interview with ABC News Breakfast last Thursday, US ambassador Arthur B Culvahouse Jr said China was monitoring and intimidating Uyghurs living in Australia, and that this involved the use of fake Chinese police cars.

“Uyghurs who are lawfully in Australia, who are raised in Australia, working, paying taxes in Australia, are being harassed by agents of a foreign power,” he said.

Full story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-18/us-and-china-clash-over-uyghur-harassment-and-fake-police-cars/11802578

Chinese spy case could be the greatest threat to Australian security…

Wang Liqiang looks to the right as he sits mid-speech. He has glasses, wears a checked shirt and dark jacket.

Not since the Petrov affair in 1954, when a KGB officer sought asylum in Australia with details of Soviet spying activities, has a case been as potentially significant for Australian security as that of Wang Liqiang, the man who purports to be a Chinese spy.

We are using the word “potentially” in the Wang case because his accounts of Chinese espionage activities in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia need to be fully assessed before a more complete judgment is made about the veracity of his claims.

Nine Newspapers journalists have conducted due diligence on the Wang case over some months and concluded publication is justified. But gaps remain in the defector’s narrative.

These include the reasonable question of how a young man with a fine arts degree and a skimpy background allegedly in Chinese intelligence has suddenly come forward with a cache of information that sheds light on nefarious activities.

Full Story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-26/chinese-spy-case-the-greatest-threat-to-australian-security/11739372

Chinese academics from labs linked to military who studied in Australia

University of Wollongong

Two scholars at a NSW university have been linked to Chinese research centres that have reportedly carried out cyber attacks and espionage for the nation’s military.

Key points:

  • Two visiting professors at the University of Wollongong may have ties to “high-risk” Chinese schools
  • The University of Aus said it is concerned about the allegations
  • The Australian Strategic Policy Institute said the professors’ links should be probed

One of the scholars attended the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) cybersecurity centre several years ago while visiting from a Chinese laboratory allegedly implicated in executing cyber attacks against foreign countries.

The other scholar, who is working at the university, is visiting from a Chinese physics academy considered “very high-risk” by security experts due to its ties to the country’s nuclear weapons program.

A third academic, a professor who was accused by US media outlets of being a military liaison, co-authored a recent research paper on encrypted coding with the UOW.

The revelations come 24 hours after the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) released a report warning Australian universities were unwittingly creating security risks by collaborating with Chinese schools.

Full story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-27/university-of-wollongong-professors-linked-to-high-risk-schools/11741450

China; Leak reveals the scale of Beijing’s repressive control over Xinjiang

Chinese detainees in Xinjiang re-education camp

A leaked cache of secret Chinese Government documents reveals how authorities in Xinjiang province red-flagged 23 Australian citizens during a security crackdown that consigned tens of thousands of people to arbitrary detention and mass indoctrination.

Key points:

  • Leaked Chinese government documents relate to the network of “training and education” camps in Xinjiang
  • They shed more light on the system of mass surveillance and detention used to subjugate minorities
  • Details about the operation of detention facilities show they are run like maximum security jails

The documents tell how the Australian citizens were identified among 75 people from China’s Muslim minorities who were singled out in the surveillance sweep because of their passports.

While the fate of the Australians is unknown, the confidential report instructs public security officials to deport or detain those foreign passport holders for whom “suspected terrorism cannot be ruled out”.

Read much more here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-25/china-cables-beijings-xinjiang-secrets-revealed/11719016

China issues Passport Information to University Staff….

 

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.”

Full Story Here: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/beijings-passport-order-to-university-of-technology-sydney-staff/news-story/449ed343de20368803624443e7cf37e7

 

Australian universities announce reviews over links to surveillance tech by Chinese Government

Facial recognition technology in China

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.

Key points

  • 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.

Full Story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-16/australian-unis-to-review-links-to-chinese-surveillance-tech/11309598

 

Chinese spy ship heading towards Australia to spy on joint war games

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.

Key points:

  • 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.

Full story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-07/chinese-spy-ship-heading-towards-australia-to-monitor-war-games/11285748

A Chinese mining giant is being accused of underestimating the impact a proposed open cut mine

A grain silo in the Liverpool Plains painted with a sign that reads 'Farms not coal'.

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.

Key points:

  • 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.

Read full story here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019-05-01/shenhuas-watermark-coal-proposal-under-fire-for-flawed-eis/11062444

Chinese officials complained about Australian media coverage to Ex PM

Former Prime Minister John Howard wears a dark suit with blue tie while sitting in a chair while gesturing with hand.

Mr Howard, who has previewed the release of classified cabinet documents in January, also said Australia must have a serious discussion about population without accusing people of being racist.

The Morrison Government asked Mr Howard to lead an Australian delegation at annual talks in China and he met the nation’s most senior diplomat, Yang Jeichi.

“While I can’t go into — because it’s Chatham House — what individuals said, I can say the flavour of the meeting was, ‘OK, we have issues, we always will, China is an autocracy’,” Mr Howard said.

“They complained about our media and I made it very clear that we have a free media.

Read Full Store Here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-11/howard-defends-free-media-after-china-complaint/10606272