Op-ed by Yan Xia, the chief editor of Vision China Times, an independent Chinese language media in Australia.
There are many Chinese who have enjoyed the welfare and freedom of Australia for years, but they have never truly accepted their Australian identity. In fact, they are quite happy to see moments when Australia gets thwarted by China. In reality, this is quite detrimental to the overall Chinese community.
On social media, many ask me: “Is there a tendency of racial discrimination against Chinese in Australia?”
My answer is as always: “It doesn’t exist!”, even though the conversation has often developed into a heated discussion.
My logic is simple, racial discrimination can only become a social trend with the acquiescence of the government, or in a country without the proper rule of law. Australia is a multicultural country that strictly forbids racial discrimination in its law. There is absolutely no mainstream trend for regrettable racial comments or conflict as both the government and the prime minister openly stand against racial discrimination.
However, in China it’s a different story because the government endorses discrimination as it sees fit, hence, discrimination retains legality in the country. The Chinese government remains indifferent to law enforcement agencies carrying out discrimination and thuggish behavior because such trends and behaviors are protected by law in China.
There has been ongoing heated discussion between China and Australia about whether there should be an independent investigation into the origin of COVID-19. Regardless of it being Australian government officials or the media, they would only target a specific government, organization, or individual. Never would anyone attack or humiliate the entire race or nation.
The exact opposite can be seen from the Chinese government and media. The chief editor of the Chinese Communist Party’s official media Global Times, Hu Xijin, made a public post that claimed: “Australia is a piece of chewing gum stuck on the sole of China’s shoes.” This post has taken discrimination and thuggish behavior to a whole new level.
Imagine if an Australian chief editor made a remark that: “China is a rotten tomato under the backside of Australia,” would the Chinese put up with that? Wouldn’t they make a big fuss? Strangely, those certain Chinese Australians who always complain about being discriminated against displayed unusual tolerance toward Hu Xijin’s arrogant statement. They did not consider his remarks as being offensive toward every Australian.
Over the past few years, cracks have appeared to cool the relationship between China and Australia. This is the result of conflicting ideologies between the two countries. Under current circumstances, Australia and China should consider amending their cooperation methods and communication channels.
Even though Australia guarantees freedom of speech, it does not mean that Chinese living in Australia should be allowed to disrupt the peaceful order of Australian society and interfere with its mainstream decisions on behalf of foreign influences.