Australia: Despite Australia’s past of actually having government policy that attacked the ‘industrious’ Chinese presence in the late 19th century (sparked by White miners’ resentment towards industrious Chinese diggers… the word industrious comes from this blurp from the Australian government’s immigration website), they just keep on coming. First they came for the gold, a century odd later, they are back to acquire more – farmland and agriculture are in focus now, but with a stronger bargaining chip this time – Chinese growth is the reason why Australia’s economy (maybe in a sense, skewed as it is so resource-centric at the moment) is doing so well. The Aussie dollar has been mightily strong, pipping the USD which made for recent travel around the world lighter on the pockets, well, thanks to Chinese domestic industry and thirst for infrastructure.
Summed up, and put into perspective and a little tongue in cheek to reflect the myopia in such a view… – ‘Indeed, Australians seem happy to enjoy a lifestyle funded heavily by Chinese demand for our resources. But now they’re coming out here and buying farms, as if they were from any of the other numerous foreign nationalities that have owned Australian land for the past 200 years … why, that’s a step too far, apparently. Next they’ll want to dig for gold again.’
And the perspective needed? - In what is known inelegantly as a ”globalised” world, any economy that tried to remain an island would sink without trace.
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Fears over Chinese need perspective
Tony Wright, National Affairs Editor
Source – The Age, published July 2, 2011
IF YOU were to employ the eye of an archaeologist along an old track starting at the seaside village of Robe across the South Australian border and head into Victoria, crossing the Glenelg River at Casterton, skirting the Grampians and wending your way to Ballarat and Bendigo, you would find evidence of an astonishing journey that is all but unknown these days.
You might find the remnants of market gardens planted every 20 kilometres or so. If you looked hard enough you’d come across the remnants of wells dug to slake the thirst of worn-down travellers. In the dust you might even uncover strange coins with holes bored in them – ”holey dollars” discarded in disgust when their bearers discovered they were worthless in Australia. Here, then, is a forgotten road taken by thousands of Chinese into the heart of the Australian story.
As the Greens and the Nationals and Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten wrestle with the current spectre of Chinese interests buying up Australian farmland for mining, let’s puddle around in the past in order to seek a little perspective. Read the rest of this entry »