Australian academics Clive Hamilton and Alex Joske banned from entering China

25-Sep-2020 Intellasia | TheGuardian | 6:02 AM Print This Post

China has banned Australian academic Clive Hamilton and researcher Alex Joske from entering the country, with state media dubbing the pair “anti-China scholars”.

On Thursday, the Global Times, a hawkish state media mouthpiece, reported Hamilton, a professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University and author on the Chinese Communist party, and Joske, a researcher for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, had been banned from entering the country. Neither Hamilton nor Joske had plans or visas to travel to China.

The ban comes amid deteriorating Australia-China relations, and follows the Australian government’s cancellation of visas for two Chinese academics, Chen Hong and Li Jianjun, as well as the forced departure of Australian journalists from China in recent weeks and the detention of an Australian news anchor, Cheng Lei.

In a story branded “exclusive”, the Global Times said the pair had been prohibited from entering China under the country’s Exit and Entry Administration Law.

The report did not give a reason for their bans, but said Joske had frequently published articles for ASPI, which it labeled “an Australian thinktank that is infamous for churning out anti-China propaganda and fabricating anti-China issues”.

It said Hamilton’s most recent book, Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World, was “hyping up China’s ‘influence’ in Australia”, and that his 2018 book, Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia, contained “extremely absurd views and groundless content”.

Hamilton told the Guardian the ban was unexpected although statements from Chinese government spokespersons and state media suggested he had been “on Beijing’s enemies list for some years”.

“I decided two or three years ago that it would be too dangerous for me to travel to China because the regime was becoming increasingly paranoid and spiteful. The treatment of the ‘two Michaels’ has sent a chilling message,” he said, referring to the two Canadian men detained by Chinese authorities in what is widely considered to be retaliation for the Canadian arrest of the Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

“The ban on Alex Joske and myself is in retaliation for the Australian government’s exclusion of Chinese academics Chen Hong and Li Jianjun. But our ban is more of a symbolic act,” Hamilton said.

“Each time Australia takes an action to protect itself from Beijing’s influence or interference, Beijing feels the need to retaliate. It’s a pretty childish defence of ‘national pride’. Only when Beijing decides to stop interfering in Australian politics and attempting to bully the Australian government will relations improve. I hope that happens soon.”

Joske said in a statement he grew up in China and “would love to return in better times” but decided years ago that the personal risk was too high.

He said the Global Times report was “the latest in a series of attempts by the Chinese Communist party to punish a light on its activities”.

“I am proud of my research on the Chinese Communist party’s efforts to interfere in politics and transfer technology from around the world.”

He said the accuracy of his research had never been seriously challenged by the Chinese government and he would continue his work.

Peter Jennings, executive director of ASPI, told the Guardian the bans were part of a quickening pattern of behaviour from China rather than a tit-for-tat measure, citing the 2019 entry bans on Liberal politicians Andrew Hastie and James Paterson.

“I think this is another example of the differences between our political system and the political system of the Chinese Communist party,” Jennings said.

“The Chinese Communist party is creating a system where unless you agree with them totally, you run the risk of being detained, tried or jailed, or having your visa cancelled or being told you can’t visit.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/24/australian-academics-clive-hamilton-and-alex-joske-banned-from-entering-china

 


Category: China

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