Rediscovering the New Gold Mountain: Chinese Immigration to Australia Since the Mid-1980s



The history of Chinese migration to Australia from the 1850s to the present could be broadly divided into several stages, and the most recent turning point occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when 45,000 or so students from the Chinese mainland were given permanent residency in Australia. The settlement of this large group of new Chinese migrants has not only reactivated direct immigration from China to Australia, which was known as the “new gold mountain” at the time of the gold rush, in comparison with the “old gold mountain” of San Francisco, but has also over the past three decades made Australia an attractive destination for inflows of migrants, students, tourists and investments from China. This chapter seeks to examine the patterns, trends and characteristics of Chinese immigration in Australia from the mid-1980s to the present, and explain how the Chinese, who were regarded as aliens in Australia, have become an integral part of contemporary Australian society.


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jia Gao
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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