Chinese media is reporting that Beijing has banned two Australian academics from entering China.
Quoting an unnamed source, the state-owned Global Times newspaper said Professor Clive Hamilton and Alex Joske would be refused entry in accordance with the Entry and Exit Law of the People’s Republic of China.
It comes after Australia cancelled the visas of two Chinese academics.
Professor Hamilton is an author and professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra and has long been critical of China’s alleged political influence in Australia.
He responded to the news with an apparently sardonic tweet.
Alex Joske is an analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), and worked as a researcher on Professor Hamilton’s book Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia.
Mr Joske’s research focuses on the Chinese military and the overseas influence of the Chinese Communist Party.
He grew up in Beijing and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and has been outspoken about the Chinese Government’s alleged infiltration of Australia’s top universities.
In a statement released on Twitter, Mr Joske said he had not held or applied for a Chinese visa in years and that the move was an attempt by Beijing to “punish those who shine a light on its activities”.
ASPI today released new research claiming to have detected and analysed 380 detention facilities in China’s far-western Xinjiang region, where Beijing has faced criticism over human rights abuses against Muslim ethnic minorities.
The Global Times did not elaborate on why the two academics have been banned.
Last year, two Liberal Party politicians critical of the Chinese Communist Party were also denied entry into the country.
West Australian MP Andrew Hastie and Victorian Senator James Patterson were supposed to travel to China for a study tour.