University of Queensland must shut down China’s propaganda outfit

Jul 30, 2019

Australia Tibet Council (ATC) calls on the University of Queensland to shut down its Confucius Institute, China’s propaganda outfit under the disguise of a Chinese language program.

Contracts obtained by the media have confirmed the organisation’s long-held fear that Australian universities hosting Confucius Institutes are complicit in China’s efforts to control and stifle debates on Tibet, East Turkestan (Xinjiang), Taiwan, Hong Kong, Falun Gong and Tiananmen Square Massacre. 

Kyinzom Dhongdue, Executive Officer of Australia Tibet Council, said: “There is no place for Chinese propaganda in a free society like Australia, and least of all in our universities. Educational institutions who are increasingly deepening their ties and giving China the upper hand risk compromising their cherished values of academic freedom.”

ATC has for years expressed its concerns about how the presence of Confucius Institutes in 13 Australian universities have led to a culture of self-censorship among academics. Australian universities have many acclaimed China scholars. Nonetheless, with a few notable exceptions, few are willing to engage in critical discussions about Tibet. Many academics have turned a blind eye when it comes to examining China’s policies affecting Tibetans.

ATC’s petition calling on UQ’s Vice-Chancellor Peter Høj coincides with the students’ protest on campus on Wednesday. ATC stands in solidarity with the student protestors who are asking their university to come clean with its dealings on China as well as those on campus who over the past week have gathered to voice their support for the people of Hong Kong.

Media contact:

Kyinzom Dhongdue                    0416 695 590
Executive Officer          
Australia Tibet Council