China Insider: Australian Correspondents Escape China, Fear They Will Be ‘Disappeared’

September 24, 2020 Updated: September 30, 2020

Recently, two Australian journalists stationed in China were raided by the Chinese National Security Police in the middle of the night and were restricted from leaving China. Chinese authorities did not explain the reason for such action, but after the Foreign Ministry of Australia stepped in, two journalists have returned to Australia safely. This unprecedented event accelerated the deterioration of the relationship between Australia and China. Presently, there is no Australian journalist stationed in China.

Due to the pandemic, the Australian-China relation took a turn for the worse earlier this year. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is unsatisfied with Australia calling for an independent investigation into the origin of the CCP virus and thus has been repeatedly retaliating against Australia. Recently, the Australian government has raised a travel alert, warning Australian nationals in China of the risk of arbitrary arrest.

After receiving advice from the Australian Embassy about their safety last week, Bill Birtles, a journalist from Australia Broadcasting Corporation, and Michael Smith, a journalist from Australian Financial Review, were both raided at home at midnight on Sept. 3 by Chinese National Security Police. They were interrogated by the police with bright light and were told that “they have been restricted from leaving the country.” The police warned that they must stay and cooperate with the “national security investigation.”

After being interrogated, two journalists feared being disappeared and immediately took shelter at the Australian Embassy in Beijing and Shanghai respectively. On Sept. 7, they returned to Australia safely after the Australian Foreign Ministry stepped in. After arriving in Australia, both journalists said that it is a relief to be back to the country with a genuine rule of law. As they look back at their rush departure from China, they believe that this is a political move from Beijing.

US: CCP Infiltrates K-12 Education Through Collaboration With College Board

According to a new report by the National Association of Scholars (NAS), the College Board has partnered closely with the CCP for over a decade, allowing Beijing to influence Chinese language and culture teaching in K-12 classrooms across the United States.

On Sept. 6, the report found that the College Board, a New York-based nonprofit best known for administering the SAT and AP standardized exams for college admissions, worked with the CCP to develop an AP (Advanced Placement) Chinese language and culture course for high schools, helped China gain control over training for Chinese-language teaching in the country, and strongly promoted Beijing-funded Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms.

Billed as Chinese language and culture programs, Confucius Institutes and Classrooms have drawn heavy criticism over its role in spreading Chinese propaganda and suppressing free speech on college campuses and K-12 classrooms.

At the report’s online launch hosted by The Epoch Times “American Thought Leaders” program, Rachelle Peterson, the report author and NAS senior research fellow, said: “China has managed to build out an entire educational system before the public caught on to what has happened.”

The findings come amid heightened scrutiny over the CCP’s efforts to influence American universities, as well as its aggressive campaign to steal U.S. research and technology.

Corrupt Officials Stop Handicapped Petitioner Filing Complaint in Beijing

Zhu Jianqiang, a disabled petitioner from Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, was stopped by more than 20 officers at Beijing Railway Station on Sept. 8 as he and his wife traveled to the nation’s capital to lodge a complaint to the National Public Complaints and Proposals Administration.

After local officials at his village forced him to sign a demolition agreement for his house eight years ago, Zhu Jianqiang was beaten, leading to lifelong paralysis. After payments for his medical and nursing expenses were suspended in May, Zhu was left helpless and decided to raise his case in Beijing.

Zhu Jianqiang told The Epoch Times, “When we left home last night, people who were watching me followed me 24/7. Wherever I went, they followed. They even grabbed my wheelchair and wouldn’t let me go. Finally, with the help of a friend, we got on the train. Today, we arrived in Beijing at 10:30 a.m, and so did a man who was watching me.”

“We’re outside the police station now. They have about 15 people following us. They asked me to go back to the police station. I won’t, because I saw the police station arranging the cars from my hometown to come, to take me back by force. I said isn’t such action forbidden now? He said, ‘There’s no such thing as illegal. Money can buy everything.'”