Australia in the Asia Century
Australian politicians, media, business and society are obviously at cross purposes?
“Students the key to opening doors in China, says HSBC. Australian companies looking to do business with China should consider recruiting some of the 150,000 Chinese students studying here (in Australia), James Hogan, the head of commercial banking for HSBC Australia, said yesterday.
Commenting on the Asialink report released yesterday on ways to develop an Asia-ready workforce, Mr. Hogan said young Chinese students already in Australia were one source targeted by the bank to recruit staff with an Asia-savvy background.”
Exactly, very logical and practical, not just in international education sector but Australian citizens and permanent residents too, where many speak multiple Asian languages.
However, through Australia’s racist and mono cultural politicians of all shades, mainstream alarmist media and neo “white Australia policy”, demonising refugees, perceived mass student and immigration rorting, there has been a clear message in recent years that students from Asia (plus Middle East and Africa) are neither tolerated nor appreciated by many in Australian society.
This has been cemented further by student visa changes whereby visa officers, and in the case of university applicants in the streamlined visa processing system SVP assessed by institutions and agents, applicants must pass both the genuine student GS and genuine temporary entrant GTE tests.
In short, if a student visa applicant suggests or intimates that they may apply for residency or intend to look for more permanent employment e.g. HSBC, they will be refused a visa.
The message has been sent very effectively over past years that Asians etc., whether they are students, immigrants, temporary workers or refugees, are not wanted due to proxy arguments or perceived issues being “dog whistled” e.g. “runaway population growth”, “carrying capacity”, “queue jumping”, “terrorists”, “people smugglers”, social integration, English language skills, cost to taxpayers, property prices, unemployment, etc. etc.
One always accepts that there is a racist rump in any nation but by hiding behind or using such arguments many who would describe themselves as liberal or progressive, while apportioning wedge politics to “bogans” in marginal electorates, are no better.
Why? Many of these issues or arguments are not subjected to objective or informed scrutiny by media and are accepted too readily, and there is something even more poisonous and alarming.
Same arguments have been used by the Klu Klux Klan through their connections to more socially palatable lobby groups and strategy of “greenwashing” e.g. John Tanton’s FAIR in the USA. This is because they can no longer be outright racist as there are laws against it or not tolerated
(and Australia also has its own “expert demographer” according to Bob Carr, Tim Flannery, Dick Smith, Kelvin Thomson and other “nativists” who propagate the same arguments), so anyone can now use a proxy argument, but we are not racist!
It’s a slippery slope……
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