Searching for evidence of Chinese influence in Australia? Look no further than the census. Around 1. About , were born in mainland China. And, while recent coverage of alleged Chinese "influence" in Australian politics might have you think otherwise, the Australian-Chinese community isn't a dagger pointed at the heart of Australian democracy — it's a diverse community with every right to participate in the political process. There are also more than , Chinese nationals at our universities.
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As China grows more powerful, it is displacing decades-old American preeminence in parts of Asia. The outlines of the rivalry are defining the future of the continent. We asked a panel of experts how they think the power has shifted in the past five years:. Many countries are shifting toward China and away from the traditional American-led order. And others are playing both sides. But some countries are still working to counteract China. Many countries are shifting toward China.
In particular, the Middle East and confrontation with Russia — both historic preoccupations that had been expected to subside — keep on emerging at the top of the agenda. The result is relatively simple. Those countries in Asia most worried by China — Japan, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia and others — are increasingly banding together. They worry they may need to be capable of taking matters into their own hands regardless of what the United States might do.
As they get older, some people get more cantankerous, and others more mellow. I think I am generally in the latter category, though I would have to acknowledge that becoming a complete model of Buddhist tranquillity has proved to be a rather hard slog. Some things do, unquestionably, still have the capacity to stir my blood. And very high on that list is any talking down of Australia as a country not capable of making any kind of significant contribution to the wider world of international affairs. I saw a notable example of this genre in a piece a week or two ago by a local academic blogger who shall remain deservedly nameless.