Underutilized Chinese-Australian civil servants: Lowy Institute

According to the Lowy Institute, the language skills of Chinese Australians are not fully utilized in Australian public services as Australia’s relations with China are becoming more complex. report Released on Monday.

Only 2.6% of Australian civil servants have Chinese heritage, compared to 5.6% of the average Australian population, and only 2.2% of the role of strategic policy, including those that formulate policies on Australia’s China. Is filled with Chinese heritage by Australians.

“This lack of language skills is important. Many important Chinese discussions and documents are only available in Chinese,” said Yun Jiang. “For a country like China with an opaque, labyrinthine political structure, understanding its modern history and culture is important because it provides valuable clues to the various benefits and incentives that function within the system. ..

The author of the report, Jiang, is a former public policy adviser to the Australian Civil Service (APS). He argues that there are four fundamental reasons why Asian Australians do not have senior positions. “Notorious the slower” security clearance process. This is even longer for Chinese heritage applicants. Negative “prejudice” towards ethnicity. And APS management process.

Mr. Jiang argues that as China-related issues become more prominent in Australia’s diplomatic and domestic policy, the government needs China’s literacy policymakers “more than ever” in public services. There is.

Chinese literacy is not limited to speaking Mandarin and Cantonese. We also have a good understanding of China’s economy, culture, traditions, history and society.

“Broader historical and cultural knowledge is the basis of both meaningful engagement with China and understanding how to oppose China for Australia’s national interest,” the report claims.

The report acknowledges that a security clearance process is essential for individuals to be “carefully scrutinized and screened before taking on the role of accessing sensitive national security information,” but the balance is still achieved. Claims not.

To improve China’s literacy at APS, the report will match employee skills and roles, recruit culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and publicly, instead of using classification levels for selection. We are proposing to create a “Chinese interests” community that links services and academia. Think of a think tank and review the security clearance process.