Australia cracks down on foreign interference at university

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia has formed a task force to crack down on attempts by foreign governments to meddle in Australian universities.

The move comes as concerns grow over Chinese influence at Australia's universities, where Chinese students are by far the largest group of foreign students. Pro-Beijing student demonstrators have recently clashed with Hong Kong democracy advocates on Australian campuses.

Australia has also raised concerns about the influence of Beijing-funded Confucius Institutes at Australian universities.

Education Minister Dan Tehan announced the task force's launch Wednesday.

Last year, the government angered China by banning covert foreign interference in Australian politics. Foreign political donations have also been banned.

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