March 16, 2019
同路人語 581 成為多元文化的一部份 周偉文
Be part of multiculturalism
Prominent Chinese community leader Huang Xiang Mo‘s citizenship application was rejected in early February. Even his PR status was ripped off immediately on the basis of the new sweeping foreign interference legislation. This raised concern worldwide and 128 Chinese communities issued a joint declaration in support of Huang. It was reported by some of these organisations that they were approached by Australian Security and Intelligence Office (ASIO).
Australia’s ban on Huawei’s 5G development on security reason has already created political tension with China; it becomes worse if Australia is seen to exercise control on Chinese coming to settle in Australia. There is still an unresolved issue of a coal liner banned from entering Dalian port last week. It’s worrying to see how unwelcoming is Australia’s attitude towards Chinese on board here.
Undoubtedly the influx of Chinese immigrants over the past 20 years to make up 5% of Australian population has created tension on local society. Somehow a Chinese sub culture has emerged in society and has caused much impact due to economic strength of China compared to other ethnic minority. It is important for Chinese to integrate into the mainstream in the interest of national development. This also affect the living of 1.2 million Chinese Australians.
From the 200 years of history of Chinese immigrating to other Asian countries, we know they also could not integrate well and their wealth not duly benefited by the society and that actually caused them to be sidelined. Expelling Chinese could easily happen during political instability in particular. I believe this should not happen in democratic and multicultural Australia. But if Chinese here refuse to integrate and embrace multiculturalism it cannot be optimistic for us to be embraced too.
There have been celebrations in various Australian cities over the recent Lunar New Year period, attended mainly by tourists and Chinese. I hope in future organising bodies should encourage and promote more participation from local mainstream and multi-ethnic communities such that Chinese culture can go deeper and wider. Likewise, we Chinese should also join in more other activities hosted by the mainstream and other multi-ethnic communities in order to strengthen inter-community bonding of the society.