Universities and other tiers of government that have entered into commercial arrangements or agreed to partnerships with China now face the prospect of review by the Australian federal government. New laws to that end, unveiled by the Australian prime minister, are under discussion.
The Australian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Legislation Committee is presently considering two bills that are designed to counter foreign interference and influence. The crux of much of the debate has been focused on the mechanism of federal review into foreign agreements involving public entities, such as universities, and state and territory governments. The new mechanism allows for the federal government to proactively review engagements by these entities that may adversely impact national security.