China is building a large intelligence network in some of Australia’s most prestigious universities, according to a report from Fairfax Media.
The developing network reportedly maintains Beijing’s interests by monitoring the Chinese ethnic community in Australia.
Chinese intelligence officials confirmed to Fairfax that the networks were being used to monitor China’s “core interests”.
The Chinese government allegedly has resources at both Sydney and Melbourne University as part of an effort to access the more than 90,000 Chinese citizens studying abroad in Australia.
A senior lecturer at an Australia University recalled being interrogated by Chinese officials regarding comments made in an Australian classroom.
“I was interrogated four times in China,” a senior lecturer told Fairfax. “They showed me the report. I can even name the lady who sent the report.”
The networks have prompted a strengthening of Australia’s counter-intelligence efforts.