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[Media Release] Response to Lowy Institute Survey

Almost one in five Chinese Australians say they have been physically threatened or attacked in the past year, according to a Lowy Institute survey released today.

President of the Chinese Australian Forum, Jason Li says the findings of the report are very concerning and calls for national leadership to tackle the rise of racism towards Chinese Australians.

“As Australia grapples with a more assertive China, we must ensure we do not empower racism or distrust against Chinese Australians who have been part of Australia society for centuries,” Mr Li.

“The Australian Chinese community is highly diverse in its places of origin, political views, languages and attitudes towards the PRC. It cannot be seen as a monolithic whole.

“Chinese Australians were always going to be sandwiched in geopolitical tensions with the PRC. How we manage the rising distrust towards 1.4 million of our fellow Australians will be a significant test of our multiculturalism and our values as an open, liberal society.

“We call for national leadership to tackle distrust and discrimination against Chinese and Asian Australians. We need to tell the stories of how Chinese Australians and other migrants have shaped our country to ensure these are part of our national stories. We need to urgently boost the representation of Asian Australians and other minorities in Australian leadership. Fundamentally, We need to assert that being Australian is something inclusive in which people of all backgrounds can find a sense of belonging.

“All institutions should have a diversity strategy that aspires for the organisation, and its leadership, reflects the makeup of the Australian community.

“Providing some reassurance is the finding that 7 out of 10 Chinese Australians feel a sense of belonging to Australia and are generally accepted as part of Australian society. This vindicates the strength of Australia’s multiculturalism that we need to celebrate and defend.

“Further 40 percent said they experienced support from the broader Aust community because of their Chinese heritage. And the overwhelming majority of Chinese Australians also considered Australia a good place”

The Chinese Australian Forum (CAF) is a non-partisan body established in 1985 to fight racism and to improve the engagement of Australians of Chinese heritage in Australian society. We aim to build a harmonious and socially cohesive Australian society. To celebrate Chinese New Year, CAF profiled 10 Chinese Australians who have helped to shape our country.

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