This essay aims to address the causes and the consequences (social, political and economic) of the immigration of Chinese to Australia. Moreover, it would also understand the different phases of immigration and the effect it had on each of the stages. In addition, the policies formulated by the Federation during this period would also be highlighted, as these impacted the people of both Australia and China. Finally, the essay would also compare the results of this immigration and will try to evaluate its implications on the future development.
Prior to Federation, immigration policy was the grounds of mass immigration from China. Australia was transformed politically, economically and demographically because of the huge influx of settlers to the Australian colonies (Zhang, 2000). About 50,000 Chinese people over the span of next 20 years immigrated to Australia so as to look out for more opportunities and prosperity.
Most of the Chinese in Australia managed to get into mining together with people from other areas as well, and it was known as the Gold Rush Era in history. Later, from China to Australia this immigration formed a trend, which rendered workers and labors to this area (Market and Raymond, 1996). But, there were restrictions by the state government including New South Wales and Victoria due to the boom of population in the colony like New South Wales. It was until the early 1870s that these restrictions were in force.
The immigration from Asia was restricted by the White Australian Policy of 1901 for many years. Immigrants from China suffered due to this and were also forced out from Australia.
There was a tension amongst the Chinese and the locals due to the influx of Asian immigration. During 1854-1861, a serious Chinese exclusion violent force was launched due to the hatred for Chinese. During this period, immigration was regarded as a very common issue. Australian Federation with the support of the Australian Labor Party established Immigration restriction Act 1901 so as to confine the immigration excluding Europe. The government then made the White Australian Policy into a regulation; this meant that Australia was only for white-skinned people and people from other colored races were to be excluded. All Asians from then on were forbidden from immigrating to Australia which included Indians and Chinese.
It was for many reasons that the white Australian policy was established. The primary reason was that it was aimed to protect the Great Britain Group. Next, Chinese for economic reasons were forced to settle in Australia due to issues of living. The motive of Chinese immigration was not to turn into cheap labors but was to look out for opportunities and fortune in Australia. Because of the limited benefits available, this resulted in tension amongst the races. In addition, industries and shops were operated by the Chinese which resulted in great pressure on the locals for specific employment and market share. Hence, it could be concluded that the main reason for the White Australia policy was the economic issues.
Lastly, the complex political background and the special landscape were regarded as an added reason for this event. Australia was highly influenced by the European culture even though it was located in the Asia-Pacific region; this is due to the colonization. Thus, the local government faced a sense of insecurity and believed that the entire population living in Asia was a direct threat to Australia (Oiao and Niu, 2009). In different time periods, Indians, Japanese and Chinese were regarded as invaders in Australia, specifically at the time of World War II. As a result of THIS, Australia was quite alert and hostile to the entire Asia; because of this, the White Australian Policy continued to be practiced in Australia for decades. Chinese rarely immigrated to Australia during this period.
After the World War II, the abolition of the policy eased the relationship amongst several races, which resulted in benefiting China as well as Australia. With the invasion of Japan during the World War II, the Australians were scared. But, the government required a large number of labors so as to survive from the depression of war, which led to a huge immigration of Indians to Australia. It was after the war that Chinese started to immigrate to Australia (Andrews, 1985). The Holt Liberal government in the year 1966 introduced a new Migration Act under which new standards were set for the immigrants. The Australian government established the policy of assimilation to maintain its racial and cultural homogenous ideal society. Following the traditional Australian language and culture, the requirement for the non-English immigrants was aimed to force them to be local. Due to this, the social communities as well as the government could administer their values. Marriages and education was used to reach the principal of a single nation.