Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Australia’s thinking is still racist and anti-Chinese

By China Watcher

A few years ago, I visited the Gold Coast, a tourist belt on the eastern coast of Australia in the state of Queensland of which I had my first encounter with Australian pent up racism. A couple of Caucasian youths in their cars sped by us and shouted inflammatory words like “you chinks, go back to your country” and “you should not pollute our civilized environment”. A little further ahead in a motel-typed restaurant, there were anti-Asian sentiments being expressed like “why are there so many yellow-skinned people in our country - to takeover the country someday?” Being a tourist who had no interest in the country, I decided to ignore those outrageous remarks and went back to my hotel room to rest.

These are only samples of racial and hateful tantrums coming from the majority white based societies in Australia. Anti-racist supporters may defend that these are sporadic events and it does not reflect the majority feelings of the Australian residents but the indoctrination of the youths by the parents with anti-racist thinking is certainly not the way to go, given that Australia had quite a large Asian immigrant population especially in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

Recently the Mandarin speaking Australian Prime Minister had been lambasted by the opposition leader for being too pro-China when he made a call to support China’s greater role in the International Monetary Fund. First, China’s as the third largest economy (very soon, to be the second largest) does not require any initiative from any Western (white based) leader to elevate China’s role in the international financial body. Second, international organization or grouping that fail to take into consideration China’s influence and importance in resolving global issues will be rendered ineffective as what is happening to the G-8 meeting in the past few years. The G-20 with China’s participation is believed to be a more effective grouping. Finally, what does speaking out in support of China by Mr. Kevin Rudd has anything to do with Australia’s national interest as mentioned by the Australia opposition leader? I hope this is only a fiery brand of Australian politics.

The emergence of the anti-Chinese sentiment in the Australian public was elevated to a level not seen since the “white-Australia policy” of the early 1900s when these Australian dailies highlighted the purchases of billions of Australian assets by Chinese state-owned companies this year. If the purchases were to be made by a Western country, I do not think such outwardly racial rhetoric would be heard? Let us be realistic, if the Australian residents are not racially reserved or not racially inclined, the trumpeting of the threat of the “yellow peril” would not have caused so much grievances and concerns.

Moving forward and looking at the present economic trends, Australia’s future is very much connected to Asia rather than with Europe. China’s resounding economic growth provides vast opportunities of a ready market for resource-rich Australia. Australian experts are fully aware of it. Shelving all suspicious thoughts and the threat of the “yellow peril” would be a welcome effort on the part of the Australian society for the peaceful co-existence and economic prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.

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