China now top source for Aussie's immigrants

13:46, December 09, 2009      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

China is Australia's biggest source of immigrants, with a record 6,350 people from the mainland setting in the land down under from July to October this year.

The nations surpassed both the UK and New Zealand by over 500 and 1,000, respectively, according to figures released recently from the Australian government.

Last year China was also New South Wales' biggest source of immigrants. It is the Australia's mostly populated state with Sydney as its capital.

Since the end of the last century, 40-60 percent of the total migrants to Australia each year have come from China, according to Wang Qunwei, Immigration Supervisor with Well Trend Immigration Total Solution System Provider based in Beijing.

"Australia is attractive for its social security network and it's open and friendly to people from other countries," said Pan Yuekai, who has studied in Queensland University of Technology in Australia for two years but gave up applying for immigration this year for personal reasons.

The surge in Chinese migrants comes despite a number of setbacks this year between the two nations, namely Australia's permission for Uygur separatist leader Rebiya Kadeer to visit in August despite China's strong objections.

Since then, Beijing and Canberra have worked to improve bilateral relations.

Business elites constitute the majority of the new round of China's migration tide, said Zhang Shengjun, deputy dean of Institute of Political Science and International Studies of the Beijing Normal University.

China's migrants have contributed to the social and economic development in Australia, Zhang said.

"The increase of migrants shows China's closer ties with the world and enhances bilateral exchanges,' said Zhang, "which should not be viewed as threat to the locals."

"But the migration is largely out of business needs, which is not affected by political frictions."

The financial crisis led to a decrease in migration from traditional top source countries such as the UK and New Zealand, which were down by 28 percent and 47 percent respectively, compared to China's annual growth at 15 percent, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Tuesday.

New Zealanders would rather hang on their current jobs than move to take chances in another country in the financial downturn, said Graeme Hugo, an Adelaide University demographer.

To protect its own employment market, Australia cut off 18,500 quotas for skilled migration programs for 2009-10, which has significantly reduced British migrants, most of whom are skilled workers, said Wang Qunwei.

"But investment migration is still welcomed." Wang said.

Source: China Daily
  • Do you have anything to say?
Special Coverage
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
Most Popular
Hot Forum Dicussion