Just yesterday, the Lowy Institute released a comprehensive report titled “BEING CHINESE IN AUSTRALIA”, which is about engaging the opinions on issues from Australia’s Chinese community. Where the report touches on many issues, from identity building, sense of belonging, political views, social issues views etc, there were a number of damning statistics on the levels of racism experienced by Chinese Australians and the number which were physical in nature.
You can read the infographic version and download the full report by clicking here. But I will highlight a few key points which are quite concerning as someone who identifies as Chinese Australian:
- 18% of Chinese Australian respondents have stated that they have been physically threatened or attacked because of their Chinese heritage in Australia;
- More than a third of Chinese Australian respondents stated that they have experienced some sort of discrimination;
- Two thirds of Chinese Australian respondents attributed the pandemic as a cause of racism;
- 52% of Chinese Australian respondents attributed the damaged relationship between China and Australia as a cause of the racism;
The Asian Australian Alliance COVID-19 Racism Incident Report Survey has recorded over 500 cases of racism due to COVID-19 in Australia with almost half reporting that the racial incident was either verbal or physical in nature. This pretty much parallels the results gathered by the Lowy report and it sets alarm bells on this issue. However, it appears the Australian Government doesn’t really care about the racism issue considering they have not adequately addressed it in public directly.
The statistic which I am “iffy” about though ( and I will explain why) is the statistic on the Lowy Report which says that “43% of Chinese Australians are more favourable about China’s system of Government after COVID-19”. My concern isn’t that its not a real statistic, but I am concerned that the sample size is limited in terms of research methodology and how the media spin and the court of public opinion will interpret this statistic is concerning. The COVID-19 racism is caused by both the Australian Government and the media spin on the pandemic and on the China/Australia relationship, and I can already sense how a statistic like that will be interpreted.
Anyways, check out the report yourself and make your own opinions on how you feel about it all.
Image via Lowy Institute
To read the full report, please click on: Being Chinese in Australia – Public Opinion in Chinese communities