Issue 3, Volume 19
*Content warning: genocide, sexual assault, racial violence, anti-China sentiment.*
From the early 1960s, until the end of Apartheid in 1991, governments, institutions, and individuals stood against the disgusting racism of a white supremacist South African system. Something that I did not know until I started researching this article was that this University was at the forefront of the anti-apartheid movement in Australia, with an activist group called Student Action founded after the Sharpeville massacre.
It was recognised that apartheid was an abomination, and that every civilized human being had a moral responsibility to resist it in whatever way they could. Students and faculty boycotted South African cricket matches and South African economic products. Universities and academic journals around the world prevented South African participation in their institutions and publications. Of course, they were accused of politicising sports, and science, and art. However, it was not the anti-apartheid movement politicising the world – it was the South Africans, by politicising our common humanity.
The brave activists who walked through these halls ahead of us did this even when the Australian Government cravenly supported South Africa. However, over the decades, their few voices rose to a crushing volume, and eventually forced a change here and around the world. It is now recognised that the political pressure exerted on South Africa, particularly from close trade partners, was essential in ending apartheid, in the last country in Africa under white minority rule.
It is my belief that a similar situation has arisen in the world today.
Before I make the argument I am about to make, let me get a few things out of the way. I know some random commie in the comments is going to scream ‘bUt IrAq!’ or some bullshit. As a citizen of a country other than Australia, I’m not really affected by such blatant whataboutisms, but still. The Invasion of Iraq by the West was bad, but at least it arguably had good intentions. Toppling a brutal dictator, and staying for years afterwards to try to build a better country, are not the actions of the stereotypical villain. I can acknowledge that, while still opposing the war and its consequences.
Anyway, as I was saying, there is a similar moral outrage happening today, as happened with apartheid. The People’s Republic of China, under the leadership of the evil CCP, is committing a genocide of the ethnic minority Uyghurs of Xinjiang.
Now, I know some asshole is going to be in the comments, calling me a shill for the CIA. However, most people would agree that the genocide is proven. The Chinese Government isn't even really trying to hide it.
I know we are all familiar with what is going on. Still, I think I should talk about some of it, so that people remember just how awful it is. There are huge camps in the countryside, where Muslim prisoners are separated from their families and children. They are brainwashed to love Xi Jinping and the Communist Party. They are forced to work to make things that are then exported to the rest of the world for cheap. One case covered recently by the BBC concerned a woman who reported she was kept in an all-women part of the prison. Every night, women would be taken to special rooms built in the prison camps, where there are no cameras. They were then raped and sexually tortured by guards and other men who came to the prison to have sex with the prisoners.
This is genocide. One of the worst crimes in the world in recent decades, and yet the world does nothing. Why? Money, of course. Most people and institutions are willing to admit that this genocide is going on. But think of how expensive it would be to do anything about it! How pathetic. I almost can’t believe my ears when people say this to me.
It is time for the world to find its backbone again! I am not advocating an attack against China or anything like that. Instead, I am advocating the same thing as the world came together to do to oppose apartheid: it is time to boycott China.
We’re always told by our business interests that this is an impossible solution, and that we depend on China for our way of life. However, until the 1990s much of the world (including Australia) did no business with China. Many people aren’t aware of this. Perhaps I only know because I’m an outsider. Back then, the lot of most working people was actually better than it is now. Yes, people had less plastic crap everywhere, but there was wage growth and less inequality. Most of the benefits of doing business with China have gone straight to the big end of town.
Now we get to the part of the article where I am going to get myself cancelled, and why I chose to write this anonymously. I am calling not only for my fellow students to rise up and boycott Chinese products. I am also calling for Melbourne Law School and the University of Melbourne to do so. That means, not collaborating with Chinese universities, not accepting money from the CCP (which they do through the Confucius Institute), and not accepting Chinese students.
Now, I have nothing against my Chinese classmates. I am friends with lots of them. Still, the CCP needs to learn that by committing genocide, there will be consequences for the Chinese people. Only the people of China can fix this problem – it is their responsibility. I don’t think the rest of the world should intervene directly. However, Australia should also not give access to the CCP and pretend like everything is okay. Education is a valuable commodity – why should we trade it with a country that is doing such evil?
Do I have faith that things will change? Not really. Institutions like the University of Melbourne are greedy for Chinese money. The Australian Government too, even though China won’t allow a transparent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Maybe this will be the final straw, but I would not bet on it.
Still, I have some hope. Things cannot keep going the way they are going. We need to show the strength shown by the anti-apartheid activists, and that starts right here at Melbourne Law School.
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The views in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of De Minimis or its Editors.
Comment from the Melbourne China Law Society:
The Melbourne China Law Society acknowledges the discrimination that international students, particularly those from China, have faced in Australia in recent times. We all have a right to feel safe, especially at our University. Being separated from families and friends back home, Chinese international students deserve a support system within the JD community here and it is our obligation to foster that support system.
We believe we speak on behalf of the MLS student body when we say that we do not support discrimination of any kind, nor do we support the use of public platforms at the school to spread messages of discrimination. We would like to express our support for the Chinese international students going through a difficult time due to the racism they have faced, especially in the midst of the pandemic.
We hope that Chinese international students do not feel alienated by the anonymous author’s sentiments and would like to extend our support to the international student body at Melbourne Law School. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the MCLS if you have been affected by the article and need someone to talk to. We are here for you.
Finally, we would like to remind all students at MLS of our responsibility under the Student Charter to create a safe, supportive, inclusive and diverse study environment. We all deserve to be treated with respect, equity, fairness and consideration by all members of the University community, and to treat each other as such.
Melbourne Law School declined to comment on this article.