A leading academic from Charles Stuart University in New South Wales, Clive Hamilton believes his new book Silent Invasion has been deliberately targeted by the Chinese to prevent publication.
Silent Invasion: How China Is Turning Australia into a Puppet State exposes Chinese Communist Party activity in Australia, and its long-term aim to subvert Australia’s sovereignty and independence.
Australian publisher Allen & Unwin, citing fear of retaliation from the Chinese government, said that they had had been threatened:
‘After extensive legal advice we decided to delay publication of Clive’s book Silent Invasion until certain matters currently before the courts have been decided.’
The author, Professor Hamilton, said that he is ‘not aware of any other instance in Australian history where a foreign power has stopped publication of a book that criticises it.’
Professor Hamilton is a recipient of the Order of Australia, and has published eight books with Allen & Unwin.
He believes that this is a significant moment in the history of free speech in Australia:
‘What we’re seeing…is the first instance where a major Western publisher has decided to censor material of the Chinese Communist Party in its home country…
‘The book is of enormous public interest, it will sell very well I expect, and we as Australians living in a free society should not allow ourselves to be bullied into silence by an autocratic foreign power.’
Across Australia, concern continues to grow about the influence of China.
Recently, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop warned a gathering of Chinese university students that they should respect freedom of speech in Australia: ‘That’s who we are. And they should abide by it.’
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) believes that the Chinese remain determined to exert significant influence in Australia.
In May, before a Senate Committee, Director-General Duncan Lewis rang the alarm bells:
‘…espionage and foreign interference continue to occur on an unprecedented scale” in Australia. “This has the potential to cause serious harm to the nation’s sovereignty, the integrity of our political system, our national security capabilities, our economy and other interests…’
Although Director-General Lewis did not name China directly, ASIO has confidentially counselled politicians of all persuasions against accepting donations from ‘Chinese businesses’. ASIO has warned that any connection to some individual Chinese businessmen will only advance Beijing’s interests.
Professor Rory Medcalf, the director of the Australian National University’s National Security College, also shares ASIO’s concerns:
‘We have to assume that the individuals like that…have really deep, serious connections to the Chinese Communist Party.
‘Even if they’re not receiving any kind of direction, they would feel some sense of obligation…to demonstrate that they’re being good members of the party, that they’re pursuing the party’s interests.’
Professor Hamilton’s book, Silent Invasion: How China Is Turning Australia into a Puppet State, should be published — and published now.
The use of our legal system by a foreign power to suppress publication is unforgivable. And it indicates how insecure the Chinese feel about their new place in the world order.