WILL SCOMO PICK UP PHONE TO CHINA REGARDING HIS RACISM SCREW UP?
By Darrell Egan
With every problem the Morrison government encounters SCOMO will reply that he does not hold the item relating to the probe.
Regarding the issue of International Students from China confidence in Australia when the Morrison Government decides to implement their vaccine passport and allow international students back, it has to be asked will SCOMo say “I do not hold a phone mate.”
Universities Australia have projected Australia will lose 16 Billion dollars out of the University Sector alone by 2023 due to COVID. https://www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au/media-item/covid-19-to-cost-universities-16-billion-by-2023/
This does not account for what International students bring into our Hospitality and tourism sectors. With Chinese International Students making up over 30 percent of Australia’s international student intake this is a large chunk to go missing from our International Student sector.
This shortfall in revenue will put upwards pressure on domestic Australia student’s university fees.
Whilst Scott Morrison may flirt with the idea of an intake of International students from India to fill this void there are some challenges which include India’s COVID numbers which has reached 3.3 million cases with over 44,000 deaths. With roughly the same population China;’s COVID cases sits just above 95,000 with just above 4,660 deaths. Even if China’s figures were double for the sceptic its is still much lower than India.
We also need to look at India’s Student Visa trust level which is below China has now remained at level 3 since 2019. This level is there for a reason and restricts Indian students to the variety of courses they are permitted to study in Australia.
China sits at level 2 in student visa applications with many students from China returning home for employment and a less risk in flouting student visa rules in relation to overstaying.
Australia still remains a trust issue in regards to many International student from China in relation to the issue of COVID inspired racism.
In early June 2020 there was nearly 400 reported cases of anti Chinese racist attacks and many unreported. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/almost-400-anti-china-attacks-since-pandemic-began-20200607-p550a8.html
Anti China sentiment has not eased and this can be an uneasy environment for international students to study in.
When the Chinese government raised concerns to the federal government regarding vulnerable International Students at the time of these almost Anti China 400 racist attacks Scott Morrison branded these concerns as rubbish in response. He went on to respond that Australia will not be bullied in regards to International students.
To an informed observer or a person who does not need an empathy consultant there seems nothing rubbish and bullying about asking for issues of racism to be addressed.
In 2018 when now Trade Minister Simon Birmingham was education Minister with the Turnbull government there was similar concerns from the Indian government regarding some racist attacks on Indian students.
Rather than a hostile dismissive response Malcolm Turnbull and Simon Birmingham pick up the phone to the Indian government, then organises trip to India to address the concerns and secure Australia’s International Student confidence.
Recently in a McCarthyism move a proposal has been put up to train students at University Campuses to be spies on other students and in particular students from China to see if they are foreign interference operatives. This has a huge potential to create undue suspicion , racism and exclusion victimisation towards Chinese International students. (Link Source: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/university-students-will-be-trained-to-spot-foreign-interference-20210830-p58n3s.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter&fbclid=IwAR1QikMtm2Ff33yVU5tzF8oEINFZd6Y2ro0GZuY-mjpu8XQms8rx_5EhHUY#Echobox=1630351507
This appears to be an escalating hostile shot at China where International Chinese students are in the crossfire.
With the Australia’a University sector facing a projected billions of dollars in projected loses, the future for Australian Universities is not looking good.
It is time for Scott Morrison to hold a phone and make a call to China.
（Contributing writer with The Sydney Post/Australia & China Watcher)