April 11, 1995
From the appearance of its people, Australia may once have seemed a huge chunk of Europe that had somehow made its way to the South Pacific. No longer. The island continent is becoming in its populace what it has always been in location--a part of Asia. Sections of the largest city, Sydney, are blossoming with immigrant communities from the Asian mainland.
October 15, 1989 |
Thousands of people sneak into Australia every year, lured by its image as the "lucky country" where space and wealth are easy to find. Illegal immigrants, given scant attention in the past when they were relatively few in number, are receiving increasing scrutiny as a result of an emotional public debate over the influx of Asians into Australia's predominantly white society.
November 17, 1996 |
Once again, Australians worry about Asia's opinion of them. It is an old theme but as an expatriate back in the country, I am struck by its bizarre resurgence. Hasn't Australia resolved this issue? Decades ago, it deracialized immigration policy--most immigrants to Australia are Asians--and shifted its international economic involvement from Europe to Asia. Canberra plays an important role in regional diplomacy and trade consultation--being the prime originator of the Asia Pacific Economic Community, whose leaders will meet Nov. 25 in the Philippines.
September 22, 1999 |
In leading a peacekeeping force to rescue East Timor from the ravages of anarchy, Australia is repaying a 57-year-old debt to a people who provided this nation with heroic support during World War II--and then were largely abandoned. The ties date back to 1942, when Australia covertly inserted a guerrilla force into East Timor to harass Japanese bombers that struck Darwin 64 times during the war, killing 264 people and forcing the evacuation of the city's civilian population.
July 26, 1987 |
Only two decades after the Canberra government officially abandoned the longstanding "white Australia" policy by opening the doors to an influx of nonwhite, non-European immigrants, the demographic face of Australia is changing dramatically. Twenty percent of Australia's 16 million people were born in another country, and Asia now leads Europe, Africa, North America and the Middle East as the largest source of new arrivals.