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Immigration to Australia - Australia's population is becoming more Asian

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It's all about this

  • The latest referendum by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that for the first time more people of Asian origin immigrated to Australia than people from Great Britain or Europe.
  • A good quarter of Australians were either born abroad or descended from foreign parents. The questioning was about them.
  • There is little sense of this in the country's politics, says SRF correspondent Urs Wolderlin.

SRF News: Where do the people who are now immigrating to Australia come from?

Urs Walterlin: 1.3 million people have immigrated to Australia in the last five years. That increased the population to 23.4 million people. Most of the Asian newcomers come from China, India, also from the Philippines and a little less from Vietnam and Malaysia.

Most of the Asian newcomers come from China, India, also from the Philippines and a little less from Vietnam and Malaysia.

Most of them are well-trained people, some of whom have very sought-after and specific professional knowledge. They are mostly young, which is very good for Australia, because like many industrialized countries, Australia is also suffering from an aging population. In 2016, almost 16 percent of the population was over 65 years of age. The rejuvenation is a very important aspect. In Australia, too, there is a debate about how pension provision can be guaranteed in the future when Australians have fewer and fewer children. The increasing Asianization scares many Australians, it gives a boost to racist parties. However, the attention of racists, including those of the openly racist One Nation party, has shifted towards Muslim immigrants. In both cases, however, the concerns are unjustified. New immigrants, and this is shown by new studies, are generally willing to adapt and also make a very quick economic contribution to the common good.

Immigrants in Australia are generally willing to adapt and also quickly contribute economically to the common good.

How closely does Australia orient itself towards its Asian neighbors?

Here, Australia is traveling on two different tracks, politically and economically. Politically, the country is still a pillar of the West, a pillar of Western civilization. The cultural ties to the former mother country Great Britain are still strong and the alliance with the United States does not seem to waver under Trump either. In terms of defense policy, this connection is extremely important. At the same time, however, the Australian economy is dependent for better or for worse on Asia, above all on China. Most of the exports go there, especially raw materials. This creates a certain problem because China and the United States are increasingly on a confrontational course. So far, Canberra has danced at both weddings. How long this will continue to work is open.

Is the influence of the people of Asian descent felt in Australia's politics?

No, the Australian Parliament got stuck on that in the 1950s. At that time, the policy of white Australia still applied. Both houses of parliament are still dominated by middle-aged white men with an Anglo-Saxon background.

Both houses of parliament are still dominated by middle-aged white men with an Anglo-Saxon background.

There are individual Asian parliamentarians, but the old elite are clearly still in charge. That certainly has to do with the fact that Australians who look different, some of them also Muslims, live mainly in the big cities. To be able to get hold of a parliamentary seat for an Asian in such a monocultural environment is practically unthinkable.

Interview conducted by Salvador Atasoy.

srf / lin; eglc

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  • Comment from rosi gantenbein (lara croft)
    Decades ago, Asians began to buy up entire Australian industries. Years ago some Aussie products already said "proudly australian". Down-under, it was not impoverished refugees who came, but wealthy investors. The Australians knew how to attract the profitable. The result is still sobering: Your land is taken over, which the Aborigines had to experience ...
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from candle maker Boris (zombie1969)
    Due to the strict immigration regulations from the USA, Canada or Australia, the only option left for migrants from the Middle East and Africa is to immigrate to the rich European countries.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment by Niklaus B├Ąchler (quod erat demonstrandum)
    At this message our right-wing friends get flushed, or am I wrong? Didn't you always say Australia has a restrictive immigration policy? - It is interesting that the right-wing hardliners are slowly losing their skins ... and their claims Locke can be refuted!
    Agree agree to the comment

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