Australia Tibet Council

Enabling everyone in Australia to be part of change in Tibet

'Australia's Silence On Tibet' launched in Parliament

Thursday, 14 September 2017

reportATC launched its report Australia's Silence on Tibet: How China is shaping our agenda at Parlaiment House in September. The report looks at the impacts of China's growing influence in Australia on the Tibet movement and makes a number of recommendations to the Australian parlaiment, government and universities to ensure that the Tibetan voices are not silenced.

Brief summary:

- While China is far from winning over the international community on its policies in Tibet, in recent years it has been making rapid progress in numerous areas. Through a proactive foreign policy, utilising both economic leverage and soft power diplomacy, the Chinese government is making determined efforts to erode the support the Tibet movement has built up over many years. In Australia, China’s influence has infiltrated political and educational institutions, perhaps more than in any country in the western world. 

- As Chinese influence increases in Australia, explicit support from the Australian Government for Tibet has diminished. The Government’s silence on the human rights crisis in Tibet is notable, with not a single public statement on Tibet being issued for nearly a decade.

- As universities rely more heavily on fees from overseas students for funding, they have become a vulnerable target for China’s soft power offensive and have shown increasing reluctance to critically examine China’s policies in Tibet. China’s Confucius Institutes, hosted by 14 universities in Australia, prohibit discussions on certain topics, including Tibet. Self-censorship is common among academics whose careers depend on access to China for research or funding.

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