A recent government report says that Australia could reach 36 million people by 2050, from the current 22 million. Current claimed ancestry of Chinese people in Australia is just under 700,000 but it is widely accepted that the figure is about one milion or about one sixth of the country. Of all immigrants to Australia they are probably the most welcome and possibly the most easily assimilated.
Australia’s population is expanding faster than any other country in Asia and at double the world average.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – who incidentally speak Mandarin – welcomes what he calls a "big Australia" and equates population growth with economic opportunity.
The Rudd government has presided over a period of unprecedented immigration. Last year more than 300,000 new people arrived in Australia, although many were temporary workers and foreign students.
With a federal election due later this year, immigration is likely to dominate the political landscape in the months ahead.
The right-wing opposition says it will cut immigration levels if it wins power because of concerns over how the country can provide housing, water, health care and education to so many newcomers.
Voice of America shows that there are some worries in Australia about immigration. But that Australia has assiimilated millions of Chinese. Much to Australia’s advantage. The question not being asked is whether it is to the advantage of China.