Hong Kong-China protests at Auckland Uni ongoing

Opposing student sentiments at The University of Auckland (UoA) are causing ongoing protests between those supporting mainland China’s right to rule Hong Kong and those against it.

The university has launched an investigation after Chinese students were filmed verbally threatening another group of students who were protesting against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong. Two people at the protest were physically assaulted by pro-mainland supporters.

Continuing on-campus unrest is seeing Lennon Walls created by pro-Hong Kong factions destroyed by pro-mainlanders.

These walls provide a space for students to post peaceful thoughts and messages of support for those involved in the Hong Kong protests.

The UoA Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon has sent all UoA students an email reminding them they have the right speak their mind on campus.

Shortly after the email was circulated, a spokesperson for the China Consulate in Auckland published a press release.

It says the consulate does not believe it is appropriate for organisations to promote the Hong Kong protests “under the pretext of so-called academic freedom and freedom of expression”.

The situation between Hong Kong and China has been misrepresented, the press release states.

Putting China’s side of the story forward, the press release explains China is allowing the local governments in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to cooperate with the mainland on extraditing criminal suspects and fugitives in individual cases through a special arrangement.

This would close an existing legal loophole to jointly combat crime and uphold law and justice in the semi-autonomous territories.

“Unfortunately, some ill-intentioned individuals and media outlets [are spreading] exaggerated or false views, thus causing panic among the public, and obstructing the discussion of the amendments in the HKSAR Legislative Council.

The release also claimed that certain organisations had engaged in “smearing attacks on the Chinese government and the Hong Kong SAR government” by failing to fight against the wide-spread “bias” and “anti-China sentiment” spreading throughout New Zealand.

It is unclear whether the message specifically targeted the university or was intended for New Zealand media organisations.

The clash is seen by many news outlets as a symptom of a far wider concern.

They say the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government has reasserted controls over the Chinese diaspora, including the consolidation of Xi’s leadership and spread of his ideology, Xi Jinping Thought.

Religious affiliation of any sort not sanctioned by Beijing is forbidden.

In 2017 Xi said the 60 million-plus Chinese diaspora must serve the CCP’s political and economic agenda.

New Zealand has around 200,000 citizens and permanent residents who may be specifically targeted in this respect.



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