Australia is implementing tangible measures to counter the security threats imposed by Communist China.

The AUKUS security pact has turned out to be a robust, bipartisan commitment and our PM has recently sealed the deal with India to strengthen the two countries’ trade and defence cooperation.

Australian PM Anthony Albanese, United States President Joe Biden and United Kingdom PM Rishi Sunak on 13 March 2023 in San Diego.

These actions are loud and clear: Australia no longer wants to put all its eggs in one big communist basket. The resulting key trading-partner risk threatens our democracy and sovereignty.

Despite the fast-changing political landscape, the Director of the Australia China Relations Institute (ACRI) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Professor James Laurenceson, continues to advocate for maintaining our dependence on Communist China and suggests, in his piece for the Guardian on 18 March 2023, that the AUKUS alliance must be accompanied by “reassurance to Beijing”, in that Australia should have no intention of impeding China’s economic growth or changing its One China policy.

While we acknowledge that Prof. Laurenceson is entitled to his view, Liberty Itch does not believe it is necessary to placate Beijing like we would a child with a dummy.

It is concerning that a UTS professor calls for Australia to sooth Beijing,
ignoring security threats imposed by the human rights crushing Chinese state.

In fact, if any reassurance is required, it should be given by Beijing that they won’t invade or annex Taiwan, given the record-breaking increase in Chinese military activity towards the self-ruled democracy.

Liberty Itch isn’t in the habit of citing anti free market activists and former political candidates for the Australian Greens. However, even from that end of the political spectrum, Australian scholar Professor Clive Hamilton, in his book Silent Invasion, suggests that the ACRI served as a means of promoting China’s interests in Australia. He further suggested that the ACRI sought to influence Australian public opinion in favour of closer ties with China, despite concerns about China’s human rights record and its global domination agenda.

The Conversation has also reported on 5 June 2017 that the ACRI was founded with a donation of AUD$2.8 million from two affluent Chinese immigrants. The founding chairman of ACRI was billionaire political donor, Huang Xiangmo, who The Guardian reported on 6 February 2019 had his Australian permanent residency revoked and was deported in 2019 due to his deep links with the communist regime’s top ruling class.

CCP diplomat, Xiao Qian, and James Laurenceson, Director, ACRI at UTS.

Bob Carr, a CCP enthusiast and former Foreign Minister, was ACRI’s founding Director and succeeded by Prof. Laurenceson. Interestingly, both are advocating for ‘reassurance to Beijing’. They also share the same grievances towards the pro-democracy Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) in Canberra.

Rather out of touch in the above video, Mr. Carr keeps talking about the old time, old strategy in dealing with China. His inability to accept the current geopolitical situation in relation to the CCP’s aggression towards Taiwan and the Chinese state’s new alliance with other autocratic countries in the Middle East is, to put in mildly, concerning.

Although Mr. Carr had to distance himself from the ACRI due to the above controversy and public outcry, Prof. Laurenceson continues to encourage Australia to align with Communist China, rather than with other democratic nations.

“If any country is a drag on Australia’s economy, it’s the United States rather than China”, said Prof. Laurenceson.

Bob Carr and James Laurenceson at the 2018 ACRI Launch

Such an argument aligns with the goal of the CCP, which aims to divert people’s attention towards economic and financial benefits rather than universal principles and values. Such a position has the potential to weaken Australia’s democratic partnerships and persuade its citizens to support China’s authoritarian, communist ideologies under the guise of economic advancement.

Most importantly, the ACRI routinely leaves out the severity and extensiveness of the Chinese state’s human rights abuses, nor does it discuss the depth and aggressiveness of CCP interference in Australia. The ACRI does not discuss how these issues negatively impact the Australia-China relationship.

Liberty Itch calls for more transparency from the UTS
to reveal ACRI’s past and present funding sources,
including all staff trips to China funded by the CCP.

The ACRI is supposedly an ‘independent, nonpartisan, research institute’. The head of this Institute, who claims to be on the payroll of a publicly-funded university, should not be ‘singing duo’ with Bob Carr and together acting like ‘relationship brokers’ between Australia and the Chinese Communist Party.

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