China Declared Trade War On Australia Without A Second Thought But Now Angry At Visa cancellations by Australia On Security Grounds!!
After the Australian government revoked the visa of a prominent Chinese academic Chen Hong on national security grounds, Chen visibly angry because of the perceived insult has in an interview said that the Australian authorities have shown a “complete lack of transparency.”
Chen, outwardly is a professor and director of the Australian Studies Centre, East China Normal University. His business VISA to Australia has been suddenly cancelled. He said in the interview that he received a letter from Australia’s Department of Home Affairs revoking his three-month business visa in July 2020 itself. As per the letter Chen had been assessed by the Australian ASIO intelligence agency as a security risk to Australia.
The visa cancellation was said to be related to a chat group on Chinese social media platform WeChat of which Chen was a member. The chat group, named FD or “Fair Dinkum,” also included Australian politician Shaoquett Moselmane and a member of his staff, as well as another Chinese academic, several Chinese journalists and some Chinese Australians.
Chen said that Moselmane had a fair and objective view of China.
“The WeChat group rarely discussed political issues, but mostly shared news stories and details of members’ daily lives, like barbecues, fishing trips, etc. We also shared jokes and funny stories, just like in any chat group,” said Chen. “Who would use a WeChat group for political interference?” he asked.
“I have never done anything that could be of risk to Australia’s security,” Chen said. He believes that the visa revocation was due to some mistaken assessment of his relationship with Australia by the intelligence agency. However he did not explain as to why would an Academician apply for a business Visa?
Australian media reports said that in April 2020, when China was fighting COVID-19, Moselmane openly spoke positively of China’s efforts to combat the pandemic, which attracted the attention of the Australian authorities.
ABC said an AFP-ASIO Foreign Interference Task Force investigated a plot by the “Communist Party of China to infiltrate the Parliament of New South Wales through the office of Labor backbencher Moselmane.” This was widely regarded as an campaign to expose Australian politicians deemed pro-China.
Moselmane resigned from his post as assistant president of the Legislative Council after the exposure in April 2020. But police investigations proved inconclusive and Moselmane has resumed his parliamentary role said Chen.
Chen wrote back to Australia’s Department of Home Affairs in August last year saying he was “shocked” by the decision and that he refused to accept the assessment. Naturally the Australian Government has not given any reply to him.