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Thread: When China came to Australia, and why China will always be part of Australia.

  1. #1 When China came to Australia, and why China will always be part of Australia. 
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    I have deliberately not researched this Thread. I leave that to interested Members. I would rather speak from personal experience and information received from Family members and those that can remember the actual experience. My people immigrated from England to Australia in 1838/9. Not many years later Gold was discovered in NSW, Victoria, and a little later in Queensland. Say in Victoria 1851/2. The Bendigo and Ballarat Goldfields. Other places too, but lets stick to the main centres. Not long after the discoveries, and the word reached China, a few enterprising Chinese took the difficult journey to Victoria and Robe in South Australia, Coastal Southern Port of just over the Border with Victoria, to join in the Gold Rush. The Europeans and Americans were furious at these Pig Tailed Orientals moving around the Diggings. The Chinese copped it, and how. Somehow they clung on, despite all the whipped up bigotary used against them. They worked the tailings later on and managed to glean Gold where the whites couldn't have got enough to buy a pair of socks. Money, and gold to perhaps was sent back to China to relatives to provide for them. As a little time passed, more and more Chinese came. There was discrimination and conflict of course. When the easy Gold ( alluvial ). had become difficult to find, the Chinese fell back on what They knew, growing Vegetables. Now, this was a different kettle of fish.

    The new Colonies were food poor. Resources, other than mutton sheep, rabbits, some fish, corn, flour, and hard imports from the UK. in return for Australian Gold, lacked variety. The Chinese Market Gardeners slowly became more acceptable. Not liked. But they became part of the economy. They worked long hours in their Gardens, all manual, to produce the vegetables. They lived in the shelters they could scrounge materials for, primitive to the extreme. Mainly on their Patch. When I came along our vegetables were mainly sourced from the Chinese. Fifty years ago these Chinese Market Growers of vegetables were still along some of the creeks around Melbourne, and played a very important part in the health of Melbourne Citizens. The Australian Nationals quickly learnt from the Chinese as the population grew around them. Now I am more than happy to say that we have great respect for the part that the poor Chinese played in Australias History. Their contribution is now recognized. We have our traditional "" China Town "" in Melbourne, tho this expression is going out of practice, and their Restaurants are very very popular. I for one applaud the Chinese. The People are hard working, Modest, Polite, Friendly, and have a lot to teach Australians. More strength to their Woks I say. westwind.


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    Ascended Member Ascended's Avatar
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    "Chinese traders were visiting the north coast of Australia from 1750s, probably earlier. After the British settlement of Australia (1788) small numbers of Chinese men arrived as indentured labourers, convicts and free settlers. However the numbers of Chinese immigrants to Australia did not really become significant till the Victorian (1850s) and New South Wales (1860s) gold rushes. Most Chinese arrivals came from impoverished areas in southern China, particularly the provinces around Canton. Pushed by environmental, economic and political difficulties in China and pulled by the lure of gold, many who arrived went into debt to pay their passage under a 'credit ticket' system. From the first Victorian goldrushes onwards the number of Chinese people in Australia quickly reached approximently 50,000. This was maintained up until federation although proportion in each colony varied according to goldrush and other economic opportunities.

    Chinatowns and benevolent societies often based on clan or district ties quickly developed across Australia to support the Chinese population. As gold and other minerals were discovered in Queensland, Northern Territory and north-east Tasmania Chinese miners followed. Along with the miners came Chinese entrepreneurs who helped provide goods and services for the emerging Chinese population. As mining became less profitable Chinese miners then became increasingly involved in and successful at market gardening, storekeeping (including importing and exporting), furniture making, the growing and wholesaling of bananas, fishing and the pearl diving industry. The contribution of Chinese labour to Australia's development was particularly significant in the Northern Territory and north Queensland area.


    Chinese communities across Australia grew socially and politically more complex with the development of Chinese newspapers and political and business associations. They were particularly interested in events occurring in homeland China. Many of the goldrush Chinese in Victoria were refugees who supported the Taiping Rebellion in China in the 1850s. Their anti-Qing dynasty attitude was a dominant influence on Chinese community life and led to support for Sun Yatsen and the Chinese revolutionary movement which eventually overthrew the last Chinese emporer in 1911. Another spur to engagement with politics in China occurred when Liang Qichao, an exiled Chinese reformer, visited Australia in 1901. His visit helped to awaken nationalistic, pro-monarchy and reformist ideas in Australia's Chinese and the establishment of 'Protect the Emperor' organisations. Another way that Chinese Australians engaged with China's modern development was as business pioneers. Sydney banana merchants such as the Kwok brothers and Ma Ying Piu established the first modern department stores in China from the 1910s onwards.


    The Chinese population were also concerned and involved in political and social life in Australia. Often through community leaders and supported by the wider community, they protested against discriminatory legislation and attitudes. Despite the passing of the Immigration Restriction Act in 1901 communities around Australia participated in parades and celebrations of Australia's Federation and the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York.


    Although the Chinese were generally peaceful and industrious, resentment flared up against their communities particularly because of their different customs and traditions.Anti-Chinese leagues were established. Victoria was the first to pass legislation to try and restrict Chinese immigration through the introduction of a specific poll tax in 1855. This was successively followed by New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. Often such legislation did not distinguish between naturalised, British citizens, Australian-born and Chinese-born individuals. Legislation in Victoria and New South Wales was repealed in the 1860s but by the 1880s there was a further explosion of anti-Chinese feeling. Despite a steady decline in the number of Chinese residents in Australia the numbers of Chinese and Chinese Australians in the more visible Chinatowns of Melbourne and Sydney was growing. In 1887 two Chinese Commissioners, the first statesmen from China to visit Australia, arrived to assess the living conditions of Chinese in Australia after numerous requests from overseas Chinese. In 1888, following protests and strike actions, an inter-colonial conference agreed to reinstate and increase the severity of restrictions on Chinese immigration. This was adopted by most Colonies across Australia and provided the basis for the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act and the seed for the 'White Australia Policy'.



    The 'White Australia Policy' remained in force until the 1950s. In the 1950s and 1960s there was a gradual easing of the Immigration Restriction Act, participation in the Colombo Plan (which involved the education of Asian students in Australia) and the adoption of a less Eurocentric attitude to immigration. It was not until 1973 when the White Australia Policy was abandoned and non-discriminatory immigration selection adopted. As a result of these changes the number of people in Australia of full or partial ethnic ancestory increased dramatically. By the 1990s there were approximately 450,000 people of Chinese background in Australia. People of Chinese background continue to be an integral part of Australian society today."


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    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    For chrisgorlitz. Thank you for your Post. It is an accurate account of the Chinese in Australia. I am happy to report that relationships with our Chinese Australians has never been better, here in Victoria anyway. Now a Question for you chrisgorlitz. What would be better when considering the long term future of Australia. To throw in our lot with China and become "" Great Southern China "", or to throw in our lot with America, and become a State of the USA.?? What do you think ?? westwind.
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    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
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    WTF.. Neither!!!
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    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    I like this pyoko. I was just testing to see if any one was on Sentry Duty. Right a Question for you pyoko. We are having what seems to be a cold Winter here in Victoria, or my sheets are getting thin. How come all these boat people want to live here? They must be fair dinkum if they are prepared to endure this bitter weather, Or maybe they choose to live on the Gold Coast. That would be good. Can't you see the benefits if we became part of the great Chinese presense in Asia? DaBoB has let us know how cheap the food is, and healthy, I love back Alleys and holes in the wall eateries. westwind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    For chrisgorlitz. Thank you for your Post. It is an accurate account of the Chinese in Australia. I am happy to report that relationships with our Chinese Australians has never been better, here in Victoria anyway. Now a Question for you chrisgorlitz. What would be better when considering the long term future of Australia. To throw in our lot with China and become "" Great Southern China "", or to throw in our lot with America, and become a State of the USA.?? What do you think ?? westwind.
    I would like to see Australia remain independant also, it doesn't need to part of any where else, you have lots of natural resources and are more than capable of standing up by yourselves on the world stage. You've tradionally managed to handle skill shortages through immigration and there's no reason why that can't continue as there's no shortage of people wanting to live and work in Australia.

    You are not Americans, your culture is unique and must stay that way. It's like saying Britain should become part of France, no, no, no, no!
    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
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    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    I like this pyoko. I was just testing to see if any one was on Sentry Duty. Right a Question for you pyoko. We are having what seems to be a cold Winter here in Victoria, or my sheets are getting thin. How come all these boat people want to live here? They must be fair dinkum if they are prepared to endure this bitter weather, Or maybe they choose to live on the Gold Coast. That would be good. Can't you see the benefits if we became part of the great Chinese presense in Asia? DaBoB has let us know how cheap the food is, and healthy, I love back Alleys and holes in the wall eateries. westwind.
    OK, let me explain my reaction. I am not a patriotic person at all. I am not "true blue" in more ways than one. But Australia happens to be my favourite place, and I've lived all over the world. The little bit of patriotism I would allow myself is to "not let Australia be any countries' bitch".

    Having said that, I think multiculturalism is great. Many benefits bla bla bla. If what you are talking about is more relations with China, then I am all for it. I believe we have a fair relationship as it stands.

    As for refugees wanting to live here when it's a cold winter - I am sure it's better than what they are trying to escape. I would open up the borders even if it costs me my standard of living. Having experienced life elsewhere and in times forgotten, I empathise. I loved standing in line for the magical fruit "bananas" for 8 straight hours.

    As for holes in the wall dining - I love them. While living in China I frequented the dirtiest, nastiest dining places. Usually in a muddy street. Got to know the people. It was awesome. Only got food poisoning once. Three days in bed/ bathroom, no worries.

    Source: http://www.ministryoftofu.com/2011/0...rant-in-china/
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    They must be fair dinkum if they are prepared to endure this bitter weather
    Bitter maybe by our standards. And sometimes by European standards. I've had German and British friends tell me that they'd much rather have knee deep snow than what we get in wintry Adelaide. They'd never been so cold as they were when they stepped off a plane at West Beach at dawn in June - that wind seems to come straight from the Antarctic.

    But for people who come from higher mountain deserts, our wet and windy winters would just be shrugged off. And any Australian winter, even in frost-bitten Canberra, is more comfortable than hiding in your own home listening for approaching gunfire.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Hey adelady, going back to westwind's question would you ever like to see Australia part of a greater China or greater America?
    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
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    I choose to reamain sillent... I am Canadian.
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    Greater China? Wouldn't Indonesia or Japan or Malaysia just love that notion - being sandwiched between 2 arms of the biggest nation in the world. An easy way to get yourself a few very edgy not-quite-allies-not-quite-enemies.

    Greater America? There's still a substantial minority of Australians who are not very thrilled with America. For my generation there's the memories of our fathers not so happy about some of the less than marvellous WWII strategies (accusing all and sundry of cowardice in New Guinea was not the best move MacArthur ever made) along with my schoolmates fearing the draft for the Vietnam war. And a lot of Australians get pretty peeved when prime ministers like Harold Holt and Bob Hawke behave like sycophantic fools in their dealings with the US.

    As for the Iraq war - I was among the 100000 Adelaide people who protested our involvement. I was supportive of the initial Afghanistan war - and, surprise, surprise, the diversion into Iraq had exactly the negative effect on that project that I predicted. And now Afghanistan is causing far more grief than it should have done if had been prosecuted with single focus and determination.

    There are many possibilities for Australia. Even going back in history and creating a single Australasia out of Australia plus New Zealand seems a bit silly. Being a reliable, trustworthy partner in trade and other international dealings is the first priority for me. Better than lots of internal squabbles and "states' rights" arguments in a 'united' country.

    Nations are a bit like neighbourhoods. You don't all have to cram into the one household. An easy life with your neighbours all inhabiting their own houses is better for everyone. Maybe like my granny's street fifty years ago. Most backyards had gates between them and neighbours to either side and maybe the house to the back. You could get from one end of the street to the other without ever setting foot on the path by the road. Great for kids' games! Great for knocking on the back door with a plate of scones or biscuits (cookies) for morning tea or half a dozen surplus eggs from your chookyard. Relaxed, friendly, generous dealings without living in each others' pockets. A good model for international relationships.
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    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  13. #12  
    Time Lord
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    Interesting thread. The parallel with Chinese immigration to my own British Columbia (called "Gold Mountain" for obvious reason) is almost perfect. I'm curious that you didn't mention opium though - many fortune seekers were actually addicts fleeing the opium wars in their home country.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    I'd always say to avoid excessive coziness with any country that has an emigration problem. You rarely get the best that country has to offer. Like with USA and Mexico. Mostly only the unskilled Mexicans come up here. The skilled ones can make a living in their home country. Why would they leave?

    Sometimes you luck out, like with the Market Gardeners, where a skill that is under appreciated in their home country may turn out to be extremely valuable in your own country. But that's based on pure, blind, luck. The rest of the time I think you'll find the steroetypes bear out, and all you get is crime and/or deflated labor markets.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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