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Big White Lie: Chinese Australians in White Australia by John Fitzgerald

By John Fitzgerald

Brief indexed for the leading Minister's Prize for Australian historical past. a lot has been written in regards to the White Australia coverage, yet little or no has been written approximately it from a chinese language point of view. huge White Lie shifts our figuring out of the White Australia Policy—and certainly White Australia—by exploring what chinese language Australians have been asserting and doing at a time after they have been formally excluded. titanic White Lie will pay shut recognition to chinese language migration styles, debates, social agencies, and their company and non secular lives and exhibits they had each correct to depend as Australians, even in White Australia. The book's concentrate on chinese language Australians offers a fresh new standpoint at the very important position the chinese language have performed in Australia's earlier at a time while China's most likely function in Australia's destiny is extra compelling than ever.

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Big White Lie: Chinese Australians in White Australia

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If they happened to be fluent in English and committed to modern, liberal and egalitarian values, they could be asked to take the test in a language they would be certain to fail. In October 1908, for example, the Commonwealth Department of External Affairs learnt that China’s leading reformer and Enlightenment philosopher, Kang Youwei, intended to visit Australia. Kang was an admirer of the egalitarian modernity of Edward Bellamy and had published influential tracts in his own name on the subject of racial, cultural, gender and national equality.

This premise may or may not be racist. Classical racism holds that the characteristics of a group of people, including their behaviour, are biologically determined: the norms and conduct peculiar to a people are passed down from generation to generation in the same way that physical characteristics such as skin colour, eyes and hair are inherited. This biological style of racism does not seem to have played as prominent part in the White Australian story as it has in the American one. Nevertheless the idea that Australia is characterised by a unique set of values that have been articulated though an historical clash of cultures with Asian or Chinese values remains a foundational premise of Australian nationalism to this day.

He also helped to found the NSW branch of the Australia–China Chamber of Commerce and Industry on which he served as the inaugural governor of chamber. From the 1920s to 1940s Liu moved frequently between China and Australia, advising the Australian trade commission in Shanghai and the four great Australian department store chains that opened for business in Hong Kong, Canton and Shanghai over that period. 40 Many other Chinese Australians played seminal roles in the establishment of Chinese-Australian commercial, social, cultural and political ties from the goldrush period to the close of the Second World War.

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