The lawyer for student activist Drew Pavlou has lodged a formal complaint with the University of Queensland (UQ), demanding that the Chinese consul-general of Brisbane be dismissed from an honorary position as adjunct professor after the university said that the diplomats behaviour was “unacceptable.”
UQ had told The Guardian a week prior that Consul-General Xu Jies controversial actions regarding a campus protest about Hong Kong in his diplomatic capacity would have amounted to a breach of its code of conduct.
As a result, UQ Chancellor Peter Varghese announced the university would “no longer offer honorary professorships to any serving foreign government official.”
However, the university indicated that it had stopped short of disciplinary action as they viewed Xus comments as having been made in his role as a diplomat.
However, lawyer Mark Tarrant told The Epoch Times that the universitys code of conduct could be applied to Xu as he served and still serves as an adjunct professor under the universitys banner. Tarrant has not received a reply to his formal complaint to the Chancellor.
The call comes as Pavlou was handed a two-year suspension from the university on May 29 for 11 allegations of misconduct, the details of which have been kept confidential by the university.
The University of Queensland has expelled me, an Australian student, for attacking the Chinese governments human rights record. Twenty per cent of their revenue comes from China, so my pro-Hong Kong activism threatened their business model. pic.twitter.com/N2KUEveUgT
— Drew Pavlou 柏乐志 (@DrewPavlou) May 29, 2020
It is believed the allegations are linked to Pavlous on-campus activism in support of Hong Kongs 2019 pro-democracy rallies.
The saga has drawn international attention and highlighted concerns around the Chinese communist regimes influence in Australias domestic affairs and educational institutions.
Following the decision, Varghese said in a statement that “[t]here are aspects of the findings and the severity of the penalty which personally concern me.”
“I have decided to convene an out-of-session meeting of UQs Senate next week to discuss the matter,” he added.
Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz told The Epoch Times the matter highlighted the “troubling exertion of undue power and influence by the communist dictatorship on Australias universities.”
He said universities were designed to “foster academic discussion and freedom of thought, something the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) finds completely alien.”
“The case demonstrates that Australia, like other nations, needs to not only remain vigilant,” he said, “but also fight back against the all-pervasive influence of the CCP on university campuses, and on Hong Kongs freedom.”
Pavlou is still seeking a protection order against Xu through the courts. He alleges that Xu played a role inciting threats and violence against him in July last year after the diplomat published an official statement on his coRead More – Source