Red-Faced Victoria Uni Wrestles a Dilemma Between Principle and Profit —The Epoch Times (video)

Event organizer Leigh Smith 放映會負責人史密斯女士

Concerns of Chinese State interference

(The Epoch Times By Daniel Cameron, September 25, 2018)
Senator for South Australia Cory Bernardi has expressed deep concern after reports in The Epoch Times and The Australian exposed Victoria University’s conflicting statements about why they abruptly cancelled a screening of a documentary exposé of China’s state-run Confucius Institutes.

“I’m concerned about our national security, our economic security, and the influence that the Chinese Communist Party is having in our country … and not only with Confucius Institutes,” Senator Bernardi wrote in an email to The Epoch Times on Sept. 24.

Bernadi’s comments come on the heels of VU’s pulling the plug on “In the Name of Confucius,” a multi award-winning documentary that delves deep into the Confucius Institute’s (CI’s) controversial culture and language programs offered at universities around the world.

CIs have been widely criticized as being part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) soft-power strategy. According to the NSW Department of Education, its universities have been paid $150,000 in establishment funds for each Confucius Institute. The money comes from Communist China’s Office of Chinese Languages Council International, usually called Hanban, which falls under its Ministry of Education. Hanban also typically pays and houses each of the teachers, and is known to offer the odd financial incentive, like its $4 million gift to Stanford University.

Caught Red-Handed

At the time of VU’s cancellation, its Director of Facilities called event organizer Leigh Smith to say, “We’ll refund your money” relays Smith. “It’s double booked, it was a mistake.”

After The Epoch Times provided evidence of VU’s empty theaters on the evening of the intended screening, the University changed their story.

Victoria University’s empty theatres on Sept. 21, 2018. (The Epoch Times)

An unnamed spokesperson attempted to label the event “a marketing stunt,” citing that the VU’s CI was the same building as where the screening had been booked.

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This is an excerpt of the The Epoch Times article. To read the entire article please click here.