According to a report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), China has sent thousands of scientists affiliated with armed forces to the US and other Western universities, building a web of research collaboration that could boost Beijing’s military technology development. The report also says that many of the scientists hid their military affiliations.
The report is obviously catering to the West’s anxiety over China’s rise. It is coordinating with the US strategy of suppressing China’s development, adding fuel to Washington’s undisguised restrictions on China-US technological and educational exchanges and playing up the US appeal for more countries’ participation.
The report is ridiculous and contradicts itself. It analyzes the foreign exchanges of the National University of Defense Technology’s teachers and researchers, saying that Wang Zhenguo, head of the department of postgraduate studies, has co-authored 18 papers with foreign scientists. But can Wang hide his identity? As for the fact Wang co-authored papers with foreign scientists, there is no reason to claim they have a higher scientific level than Wang and that China gained an advantage.
Many US and Australian think tanks and recent media actions have reversed Chinese people’s understanding of their so-called academic freedom and objective news reporting. Their degree of politicization and ideology has surprised Chinese people. These think tanks and media are loyal fighters who practice US national strategy or help Australia to support US strategy.
China’s rise has brought some Australian political, academic and media elites a sense of crisis and has made them lose their reason. They believe that China’s progress in industry and technology is abnormal, and that China can’t make it without stealing. But if Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Japan – regions and countries that share a similar culture with the Chinese mainland – can achieve technological progress, why can’t the Chinese mainland make it without stealing?
Openness is a characteristic of the 21st century. The fundamental reason for China’s huge progress is the Chinese people’s diligence and the accumulated strength of China.
Although a developing China still falls behind the West, the gap is narrowing. Some Western elites hope that the West absolutely dominates the world and that other countries should be colonies and surround the West like satellite states. These elites should go back to the 19th century.
China’s investment in basic education and scientific research is growing rapidly. Just look at young Chinese students’ achievements at the International Mathematical Olympiad, the number of Chinese undergraduates and postgraduates, and the number of China’s theses and patents every year, people will understand how much technological progress China has accumulated.
Pride and prejudice are confusing some Western elites’ minds. They are trying to prove a ridiculous assumption that China’s development can be contained and Western people would sacrifice their own interests and face all kinds of uncertainties to achieve the purpose. China’s population is more than that of all the Western countries, and China owns one of the most complete industrial sectors in the world. The huge market in China is coveted by many Western enterprises.
The report author obviously doesn’t understand the technological development of China’s military industry. Many traditional military industry technological research institutes also engage in technological research for civil use. But the report ignored this.
As one of the US allies in the Asia Pacific, Australia has received more attention from Washington as the US intensifies its strategy toward China. Some Australian elites are actively facilitating the US’ strategy.
That is why Canberra, which has no conflicts with Beijing, has come to the forefront of resisting China’s alleged infiltration.