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China’s latest multi-pronged moves to stall the flow of students to Australian universities -- both official and unofficial -- will be a great test of how much control the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has over the country's increasingly wealthy burgeoning middle-class.

In the past week, it has emerged that Chinese authorities have brought significant pressure to bear on the nation's network of education agents. These agents play a major part in recruiting students for Australian universities, TAFEs and other institutions.

Such action is seen as “unofficial”, with no public notifications or admissions by authorities. But in a country where the CCP controls every aspect of society, the unofficial is too often the official.