Chinese FM Spokesperson: ASPI Is Nothing
But a Tool to Denigrate and Contain China and a Rumor-maker
Journalist: According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) recently published a report saying that Australia's media has faced persistent efforts by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to influence and censor content. The report also mentioned that ASPI is funded by the Australian Department of Defence and the U.S. Department of State. Do you have any comment on that?
Wang Wenbin: I noted that Australian media already repeatedly disclosed that ASPI has long been funded by U.S. defense and diplomatic authorities as well as arms manufacturers to fabricate various anti-China rumors.
The latest example in case is an article published in August by the Australian newspaper, which cited a report titled "China Defence Universities Tracker" by ASPI analyst Alex Joske, making false accusation that 32 Australian academics participating in China's Thousand Talents Plan are "giving the Chinese Communist Party access to their technology and inventions where there is the risk they could be used for military or intelligence purposes." Based on that, the Australian Research Council (ARC) wrote to universities demanding they investigate relevant individual academics, but the investigation did not find anything unusual. Australian independent news agency APAC News revealed that the ASPI report, which the ARC relied upon to launch its investigation, was entirely funded by a $190,000 grant from the US State Department, and there's not a scrap of evidence to support the relevant accusation. The author Alex Joske was even forced to issue a public apology.
I think this is another example of ASPI serving the interests of its patrons as a tool to denigrate and contain China. The various reports ASPI churns out, however fancy, will not change its nature as rumor-maker. We hope that people in Australia and the international community will be clear-eyed, distinguish between right and wrong, and jointly denounce and reject the retrogressive actions of anti-China institutions like ASPI.