Diplomat denies China bullies its students in Australia

China’s second-highest ranking diplomat used a dinner gathering with Australian Labor MPs in Canberra last year to strongly deny claims the Communist Party of China is trying to control foreign students studying in Australia, writes Andrew Greene for ABC Radio Australia.

Deputy Ambassador Cai Wei and First Secretary Liu Wei hosted roughly a dozen first-term opposition MPs and senators at the Chinese embassy in October, where a "robust" discussion took place about Beijing's activities in Australia. The meeting took place just days after Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary Frances Adamson used a rare public speech to urge Australian universities to better protect themselves from the rising influence of the Chinese Communist Party.

"How can we control tens of thousands of Chinese nationals studying at universities when we only have three education officers attached to the embassy?" Cai is believed to have told invited Labor MPs, but China researcher Alex Joske, from the Australian National University, said Cai had misrepresented the size of Beijing's network in Australia and maintains that the Chinese government closely monitors Chinese students in Australia and harasses the families of those who show sympathy for democratic ideas.
Full report on the ABC site