Anti-Chinese turn revealed in Australia


A person wearing a protective face mask walks past a tram with a public health sign asking people to wear masks following further easing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Sydney on December 10, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

Survey links reports of discrimination to pandemic and souring bilateral ties

Australians may like to think that they are racially tolerant, but a recent survey showed that if you are of Chinese origin you are more likely to face discrimination or hostility in the country.

The survey titled "Being Chinese in Australia: Public Opinion in Chinese Communities", unveiled by the Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based foreign affairs think tank, found a sizable number of Chinese Australians saying they experienced discrimination over the past year. Most cited the COVID-19 pandemic and a downturn in Australia-China relations as key contributory factors.

The study, one of the largest such exercises pertaining to the Chinese in Australia, revealed that 18 percent of the Chinese-Australians respondents had been physically threatened or attacked in the past year.

Also, more than a third of them (37 percent) had been treated differently or less favorably because of their heritage in the past 12 months, and 31 percent of the respondents had been called offensive names.

When asked about factors that contributed to these experiences, 66 percent pointed to the pandemic and 52 percent blamed the poor relations between Australia and China.

The survey, released last week, showed how COVID-19 and worsening political tensions were spilling over into discrimination.

Jennifer Hsu, one of the Lowy report's co-authors, said everyone involved in public debate should be mindful about how language can "filter down and affect the day-to-day experience of Chinese Australians".

Another co-author, Natasha Kassam, said the survey showed how ordinary Chinese Australians had been hit by mounting political tensions and resentments.

"As the broader Australian debate around China has shifted over the past year, particularly in relation to foreign interference and economic coercion, it does seem Chinese Australians have borne the brunt," she said.

More than 1.2 million people of Chinese heritage live in Australia today, with the earliest residents from China having settled there hundreds of years ago.

'Diverse experiences'

"Their experiences are as diverse as their views; many were born in Australia, with lineages that span generations of Australian history," the survey said. Others have migrated more recently from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Amid debates on foreign interference, Australia-China relations and the pandemic, the Lowy Institute's Multiculturalism, Identity and Influence Project conducted a nationally representative poll of Chinese Australians in November 2020.

Respondents were asked about their experiences as individuals of Chinese heritage living in Australia, including their attitudes to both Australia and China; the impact of tensions in the Australia-China relationship on their sense of belonging, and experiences of abuse and discrimination; their trust in China and interactions with Chinese government and organizations in Australia; their sources of news and information; and their attitudes toward democracy and other systems of government.

The survey found most Chinese Australians trust China and see it as an economic partner but would also support diversifying Australia's economy.

It also found Chinese Australians are positive about living in Australia, and report a strong sense of belonging to both Australia and China.

"Eight in 10 Chinese Australians (77 percent) said Australia is a good place to live, and 69 percent feel accepted as a part of Australian society in their day-to-day life," the survey found.

Hsu said: "The results of this poll show that the views and experiences of Chinese communities in Australia are diverse and varied.

"The survey reaffirms that the debates on foreign interference and trade tensions are just a part of the political events and narratives shaping the lives of Chinese Australians."

2020年12月10日,悉尼,随着冠状病毒疾病(新冠肺炎)限制的进一步放松,一名戴着防护口罩的人走过一辆带有公共卫生标志的电车,要求人们戴口罩。[图片/机构]调查将歧视报告与流行病和恶化的双边关系联系起来。澳大利亚人可能会认为他们在种族上是宽容的,但最近的一项调查显示,如果你是中国人,你更有可能在这个国家面临歧视或敌意。总部位于悉尼的外交智库洛伊研究所(Lowy Institute)公布了这项名为“在澳大利亚成为中国人:华人社区的公众舆论”的调查。调查发现,相当多的澳大利亚华人表示,他们在过去一年里受到了歧视。大多数人认为新冠肺炎疫情和澳中关系低迷是关键的促成因素。这项研究是澳大利亚针对中国人的最大规模的此类演习之一,研究显示,18%的澳大利亚华裔受访者在过去一年中受到过人身威胁或攻击。此外,在过去的12个月里,超过三分之一的人(37%)因为他们的传统而受到不同的或不太好的对待,31%的受访者被称为无礼的名字。当被问及导致这些经历的因素时,66%的人指出是流行病,52%的人指责澳大利亚和中国之间的不良关系。上周公布的这项调查显示,新冠肺炎和不断恶化的政治紧张局势是如何演变成歧视的。Lowy报告的合著者之一珍妮弗·许(Jennifer Hsu)表示,参与公共辩论的每个人都应该注意语言如何“过滤并影响澳大利亚华人的日常体验”。另一位合著者娜塔莎·卡萨姆(Natasha Kassam)表示,该调查显示了普通澳大利亚华人是如何受到日益加剧的政治紧张和不满的打击的。“随着澳大利亚围绕中国的大辩论在过去一年发生变化,尤其是在外国干涉和经济胁迫方面,澳大利亚华人似乎首当其冲,”她说。今天,超过120万中国人居住在澳大利亚,其中最早的中国居民在数百年前就已经在那里定居。多样的经历“‘他们的经历和他们的观点一样多样;许多人出生在澳大利亚,他们的血统跨越了澳大利亚几代人的历史。其他人最近从中国大陆、香港、台湾和东南亚移民过来。在关于外国干涉、澳中关系和流行病的辩论中,洛伊研究所的多元文化、身份和影响项目在2020年11月对澳大利亚华裔进行了一项具有全国代表性的民意调查。受访者被问及他们作为生活在澳大利亚的华裔的经历,包括他们对澳大利亚和中国的态度;澳中关系紧张对他们归属感的影响,以及遭受虐待和歧视的经历;他们对中国的信任以及与中国政府和澳大利亚组织的互动;他们的新闻和信息来源;以及他们对民主和其他政府制度的态度。调查发现,大多数澳大利亚华人信任中国,并将中国视为经济伙伴,但也会支持澳大利亚经济多元化。调查还发现,澳大利亚华人对在澳大利亚生活持积极态度,对澳大利亚和中国都有很强的归属感。调查发现,“十分之八的澳大利亚华人(77%)认为澳大利亚是一个居住的好地方,69%的人认为在日常生活中澳大利亚社会的一部分是可以接受的”。徐说:“这次民意调查的结果表明,澳大利亚华人社区的观点和经历是多样的。”该调查重申,关于外国干涉和贸易紧张局势的辩论只是塑造中国澳大利亚人生活的政治事件和叙事的一部分。"

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