Is the Opus Dei school investigation a retaliatory attack on the Liberal Party?


Political commentator James Morrow wordsThe ABC Four Corners program, which aired on January 30, launched a “defamation campaign” against the Opus Dei Catholic School group and New South Wales (NSW) Prime Minister Dominic Perrotet ahead of state elections in March. It smelled like a campaign. Several of his NSW Liberal MPs, including Perrottet, are graduates of these schools.

The New South Wales Department of Education is currently investigating these schools. Looking deeper, however, there are serious concerns that such investigations are conducted honestly and independently.

As Former Fairfax Newspaper Reporter Kelsey Munro I have written Back in 2016, at the request of the FOI, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in July 2010 for the State Department to host a Confucius Institute program overseen by the Chinese agency Hanban to teach Chinese in public schools in NSW. It became clear that A formal agreement he completed a year later. .

Under this program, enrolled schools were eligible to receive up to $10,000 (US$7,100) in funding from the Confucius Institutes. It was Dr. Shuangyuan Shi who negotiated with Hanbang on behalf of the New South Wales Department of Education. More on Shi later.

The Department of Education’s decision was not accepted by parents, many of whom petitioned state governments to close the program. This is due to legitimate concerns that the program is run entirely by the Chinese government and thus may be subject to propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party (Chinese Communist Party).

Epoch Times photo
Then-Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping unveils a plaque during the opening ceremony of Australia’s first Confucius Institute of Chinese Medicine at RMIT University in Melbourne on June 20, 2010. (William West/AFP via Getty Images)

Warning to Parents The Daily Telegraph reported this in 2016. The department defended its decision to sign the agreement, telling The Telegraph:

“In 2012, the Ministry of Education signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese Institute Headquarters to allow public schools in NSW to set up Confucius classes,” a spokesman said. , additional lessons were conducted by the teachers of the department.

“In addition, each Confucius classroom has a teaching assistant appointed by the Confucius Institute to complement the authentic language and cultural experience provided by the classroom teacher.”

At that time, the teaching assistant scrutinized by the Chinese government For “good political qualities” and love for the “motherland”.

Investigation halts CCP funding

Baird’s government at the time ordered a review of the program.The report handed over after the review Recommended For the perception that “the Institute is, or may be, facilitating inappropriate foreign influence and NSW is the only government agency in the world to host a Confucius Institute.” close the program.

“Having a foreign government appointee in a government sector is one thing. Having an appointee from a one-party state that enforces censorship in its own country working in a government sector in a democratic system is another. ’ concludes the review.

NSW government finally decided to close the laboratory And in mid-2019, it scrapped the Confucius Classroom program following the passage of the then-Union Foreign Intervention Act the previous year.

The department also announced new initiatives and additional funding to replace money received from Hanbang through its institute.

Returning to Shuangyuan Shi, he is a former employee of China’s Ministry of Education. It is unclear how he was appointed to the New South Wales Ministry of Education, as is his appointment status in the same ministry after the Confucius Institute closed.

but, report In 2019, The Australian’s Leo Shanahan confirmed that Shi still has a high profile, and with the help of his wife, he became a regular commentator on SBS.

Reportedly, he also makes regular appearances in China’s state-run newspaper, the People’s Daily, discussing the Chinese language and culture in Australia.

As can be seen from the Confucius Institute debacle, anyone of a righteous mind has serious doubts about whether ABC turned over sympathetic people within the New South Wales Department of Education in this attack on Opus Dei school. It would seem concerned. The Confucius Institute conveniently programmed an opportunity to take revenge on the Liberal Party, which was forced to shut down weeks after the national election.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.