Australia Leaders aren't talking and trade tensions remain, but Chinese students haven't abandoned Australia … yet
Biden’s trade nominee vows ‘worker-centric’ model to protect jobs
US Trade Representative nominee’s stance suggests permanent shift away from liberalisation policies of pre-Trump era.At her Senate confirmation hearing to become the US Trade Representative (USTR), Tai also called for a revamp of global trade rules to eliminate what she called “grey areas” exploited by China and end a “race to the bottom” that she said had hurt workers and the environment.
Chinese people in Australia have lodged more student visa applications in the month of January this year than in January during any previous year.
While it's a positive sign for the local education industry, the volume is far from making up the shortfall in applications being lodged from overseas.
And experts say it's too soon to assess whether diplomatic and cultural tensions are affecting the Chinese appetite for Australian education.
According to the Department of Home Affairs, 1,978 Chinese nationals based in Australia lodged a student visa application in January. The previous January, 1,652 were lodged.
Chinese investment in Australia plunges
Chinese investment in Australia collapsed by more than 61 per cent in 2020 amid diplomatic tensions between the two countries.This followed a 47 per cent fall in 2019 and is the lowest number recorded over the past six years.
Henry Sherrell, fellow at The Grattan Institute, believes the increase is a reflection of the demand from Chinese migrants currently in Australia seeking to extend their say.
"If I were in Australia right now on some form of temporary visa, and I had the capacity to get a student visa from within Australia, I'd do the same," he said.
But the modest increase is dwarfed by the reduction in visas lodged by Chinese students offshore since the pandemic began, as border closures limit the volume of new student arrivals.
Diplomatic tensions between China and Australia have been heated for more than a year,.
Chinese Ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, told the Financial Review in April, "the Chinese public is frustrated, dismayed and disappointed with what Australia is doing now".
China Military Vows to 'Not Lose A Single Inch' of Ancestors' Lands in Asia
The Chinese Defense Ministry's Information Bureau also said the People's Republic has "never proactively provoked a war, and we have never invaded an inch of land in other countries.""We cannot lose a single inch of the lands we inherited from our ancestors," the Chinese Defense Ministry's Information Bureau said in a statement published Monday in response to a question on China's national defense strategy, "and we would not take a single cent of others' possessions.
"I think in the long term... if the mood is going from bad to worse, people would think 'Why should we go to such a country that is not so friendly to China? The tourists may have second thoughts," he said.
"The parents of the students would also think whether this place which they found is not so friendly, even hostile, whether this is the best place to send their kids here."
It was a threat striking at two of Australia's vital sectors.
One in 20 Australian workers are in tourism. And only iron, coal and gas are worth more in exports to Australia than education.
The divisions appear to be having a social impact too. Chinese Australians are reporting a shift in sentiment against them,.
International student focus
The latest figures from the Department of Education suggest that while international student enrolments have slid during the pandemic, the share of Chinese students has held firm.
Can Australian unis withstand the latest threats from China?
Chinese authorities are making increasingly bold moves against our struggling education sector.In the past week, it has emerged that Chinese authorities have brought significant pressure to bear on the nation’s network of education agents. These agents play a major part in recruiting students for Australian universities, TAFEs and other institutions.
There were 127,000 Chinese students enrolled in Australian universities in November 2019 — 38 per cent of the entire international cohort of 335,00.
The total for 2020 has dropped to 299,000, but the share from Chinese students has increased slightly to 39 per cent — more than 116,000.
The Department says there are grounds to be confident these numbers will hold up in 2021.
Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson has witnessed enrolments fall across the sector, but China's drop is in step with the rest of the world.
"Up until the end of November 2020, international student numbers from China declined at a similar rate to those from the rest of the world."
The university census date later this month looms as an important marker, but Mr Sherrell warned it will be some time before we know whether it's the pandemic or diplomatic tensions driving migration trends.
"Broader social and economic changes due to the pandemic will mean it is almost impossible to spot and isolate the effects of diplomatic tension, with so many different things happening at the same time."
Ms Jackson said Australia remains a "very attractive destination for international students from China and around the world".
"We stand ready to welcome international students back to our campuses when it is safe to do so."
Liberal Party donor Huifeng 'Haha' Liu 'engaged in acts of foreign interference': ASIO .
As Huifeng "Haha" Liu fights his deportation order, court documents reveal ASIO found the Melbourne-based businessman "deliberately misrepresented" his ties to Chinese government officials.The bombshell findings by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) are contained in Melbourne-based Chinese businessman Huifeng "Haha" Liu's court application to fight the Federal Government to avoid deportation.