Thursday, April 17, 2014
Australia – still a nation of immigrants?
Global Times | April 13, 2012 00:40
By Wen Ya
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China is the biggest country from which immigrants come to Australia. As such, Chinese immigrants have won increasing attention from Australian authorities.

For example, traditional Chinese festivals are highlighted. During the Spring Festival, which marked the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, the Sydney government hung dragon flags across downtown areas.

"China now provides more immigrants than any other country. Chinese immigration to Australia has made an enormous contribution to our economy and society for many years," Chris Bowen, minister for immigration and citizenship in Australia, told the Global Times. "Chinese immigrants continuously are welcomed to Australia."

Some immigrants have set up special schools where the education system is built to resemble that in China, with results more focused on exams. Chinese parents also choose to send their children to special training classes outside school, whether their children want to or not, much like in China, said Li, a Chinese journalist working in Canberra.

On the contrary, Australian education stresses developing children's own interests and talents.

To limit the number of immigrants for various reasons, the Australian government has tightened its policies year by year.

"Every year, it becomes tougher and tougher for immigrants to get citizenship. More and more people wanting to come here make it difficult," Lana Fateev, a 41-year-old local resident who works as an accountant in Sydney, told the Global Times.

Last year, the immigration figure set by Australian government was at 195,000, a figure Bowen believes is at the right level for Australia.

"It is a high figure historically, compared to other years, but it recognizes the demographic challenges for Australia. There's still a shortage, and it's an appropriate one. This ensures a balanced population growth, making sure we are investing in infrastructure and the environment, and all the services necessary for our population levels are appropriate," Bowen said.

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