Standing With The Uighurs

Ban on Communist Party of China Members: Message from the Principal

World College Australia announces an ongoing ban for all current CPC members and children of CPC members from our study tours due to ongoing atrocities, human rights abuses, forced sterilizations, mass incarceration of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang China.

We call on 1000 Australian companies to put human rights before profit and uphold basic humanitarian values. We call on all Australian companies who put business first with China to consider themselves the same as those of who put business first with Nazi Germany while mass Genocide was occurring there. As companies and individuals, we must show the moral leadership that our government often lacks.

World College is clear to point out that we support multiculturalism in Australia including our Chinese community. We believe this stand is in support of many Australian Chinese who will share our outrage and hurt at atrocities committed by China based seemingly on race or religion. We understand that many Chinese moved to Australia in part for more freedom and greater human rights for themselves and for their children.

For those who live in relatively free countries such as Australia we must stand up to human rights abuses everywhere. World College puts a spotlight on the situation in Xinjiang in China but will equally refuse participants from authoritarian governments and militaries from around the world. For World College not to stand up is no different to those who did not stand up to the genocide of the Jewish people and others during World War Two. World College Australia also acknowledges past localised genocides of our own Aboriginal Peoples in Australia across our history. World College Australia also calls out the inhumanity of Australia leaving refugees incarcerated for years on end in small offshore detention centres without hope and the psychological damage that this inflicts. This is not about preaching values from Australians to another group. This is saying whether we are Australian or Chinese, Burmese or German or Brazilian or Canadian or wherever we are from we must all stand together to say “No” to human rights atrocities.

World College will at its discretion provide exemptions for Chinese who are on record for speaking out against such abuses or who may face significant persecution should they give up their CPC membership. We will widely provide them to those in Hong Kong where it may be challenging to give up membership at this time. World College also understands that it is easier for us to speak out from Australia than for Chinese within China to do so. Our situations are not the same.

World College Australia recognises Taiwan as a sovereign state and that the only way that Taiwan should integrate with China is with the majority will of the Taiwanese people under a free and democratic referendum without interference from China. We call on China to stop sending aircraft into Taiwanese air space, stop threatening force, stop preventing Taiwan joining the WHO and other international bodies. World College Australia looks to grow its services to Taiwan where a liberal democracy is in place and human rights are far stronger.

Every Chinese person should be deeply ashamed of their government for what is happening in Xinjiang. Gross human rights abuses are exactly that. That the Chinese government denies that atrocities are occurring makes it worse. Truth is the truth. As an Australian I am ashamed of how our government treats refugees.

For every good Chinese person who values human rights we stand with you. We urge the CPC to make major changes to how it is impacting countries around the world. It is not good governance. It is not your right. It is not smart manoeuvring. It is mass human rights abuses for which power of the CPC seems to be at the core and rarely the interests of the masses that it is looking to impose itself on whether that be in China, across the Pacific, in the South China Sea, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Africa. Until then China cannot be a great moral power.

To the many schools, students and teachers in mainland China that we have had the honour to work with, we look forward to the day that we can welcome you back. Many are our friends. Many will share some or all of our sentiments. Uighur people, Hong Kong People and the people of Taiwan, we stand with you.

Peter Russell

MTeach; MTESOL; BSC; BA Uni of Melbourne; GDip Migration Law UTS

World College Australia