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    Societal dynamics in China's recent past: a scoping review of the research literature
    Gao, J (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2022-06-17)
    In the past four or so decades, a significant amount of research efforts has been made to analyse the constant and rapid social change taking place in China and the driving dynamics behind the process, resulting in a rich literature on a wide range of issues and aspects related to China’s recent transformations. However, most of such literature is closely related to the research attentions to either political or policy changes and processes or spontaneous and impermanent societal reactions, if not protests and resistances, to changing socio-economic and -political conditions. What has not been sufficiently analysed is how the majority of the population has reacted to the many changes in society over a longer period of time, the inadequacy of which has restricted our understanding of Chinese society, its dynamics and its changing trend to the standpoints of elitists and their opponents. This analytical article seeks to review the existing literature on China’s recent social change and its dynamics, with a focus on the main analytical problems in the literature. To deal with the latter problems, this review is to suggest looking at social changes and dynamics from a stance of competitive social repositionings among the population.
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    Riding on the waves of transformation in the Asia-Pacific: Chinese migration to Australia since the late 1980s
    Gao, J (Taylor and Francis, 2021-10-25)
    Australia’s ethnic Chinese population has increased from around 200,000 in the mid-1980s to about 1.2 million according to Australia’s 2016 census. Their settlement has contributed to the fact that China has become Australia’s largest trading partner and that Australia has been recession-free for almost 30 years. At the same time, this rapidly growing population has also become hyperdiverse, well-educated, hyperconnective, highly transnational, and hypermobile. However, over the past three or so years, Australia has been embroiled in a campaign against alleged Chinese influence in Australian politics and public life, and the Chinese-invasion narrative has not only been reinvented, but also been sanctioned by some political leaders and xenophobic critics. Before waiting until the history of Chinese migration to Australia is reconstructed and rewritten, there is an urgent need to look at what has caused new waves of Chinese migration to Australia, and offer an update about it at the intersection of two major socio-economic transformations taking place in the Asia-Pacific, which are China’s reform and opening-up and Australia’s shift towards Asia. Through examining their interplays, this article is to address misconceptions in Australia’s current debate over Chinese influence.
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    A new attempt to broaden the study of overseas Chinese
    Gao, J (China Academic Journal Publishing House, 2021)
    A new attempt to broaden the study of overseas Chinese
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    Australia needs to embrace ‘Asianness’ as part of ‘Australianness’ to end racism
    Pan, Q ; Gao, J (Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, 2021-02-23)
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    Australia needs to embrace ‘Asianness’ as part of ‘Australianness’ to end racism
    Pan, Q ; Gao, J (Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, 2020)
    Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a great deal of evidence showing a surge of Sinophobia and anti-Asian racism in Australia. This wave of racism is concerning and alarming but not surprising or novel, given the discrimination faced by Chinese immigrants during the Gold Rush in the mid and late-19th century, Asian immigrants in the early and mid-20th century, and Muslim immigrants in the post 9/11 era, among others. The recurrence of anti-immigrant racism in Australia suggests that its root cause remains, and more systematic diagnosis is needed.
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    Sick Returnees among China’s Sent-Down Youth and Contemporary Chinese Practices of Identity Performance
    Gao, J (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-01-14)
    China’s first cohort of the sent-down youth during the Cultural Revolution has since its early years attracted considerable research interest and been analysed from a few different viewpoints. However, the gradual retreat from executing the sent-down policy, especially bingtui (return to urban centres of origin because of medical reasons) as the then widely used tactic, and its long-term impact on people’s socio-political attitudes and behaviours have not been examined and evaluated adequately. This has resulted in a large discrepancy between the non-academic discourse of returning sent-down youth, including bingtui, and the academic literature on these aspects in both Chinese and English. As revealed by many non-academic publications, bingtui not only represented the emergence of a widespread popular resistance to the Maoist Cultural Revolution that involved mobilising those who were then sent to the countryside, but was also believed to be responsible for a surge in what has since become known as songli feng (a wave of gift-giving practice). Based on the information recorded in published personal memories of many sent-down youth and other published accounts, online and print, as well as the information collected from my own past observations and recent interviews, this article will go beyond both glowing and condemnatory documentations of the sent-down movement of the late 1960s and 1970s and seek to analyse how bingtui was started, how it was utilised by sent-down youth and their families and, importantly, how it had led more Chinese people to realise that certain aspects of their identity could be performed.
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    Chinese Australians Face a Foreign Influence Panic
    Gao, J (CURRENT HIST INC, 2018-08-24)
    Fears that China has infiltrated Australia's institutions and government are stigmatizing Chinese immigrants, who entrepreneurial spirit has been misunderstood. The most disturbing aspect of the debate is the impact it is having on Chinese Australians who want to successfully integrate into Australian society.
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    Social mobilization in a changing China: A critical review of the literature
    GAO, J ; Su, YY (SAGE Publications, 2018-10-01)
    Social mobilization has long been considered a major characteristic of Chinese life and, more recently, a key aspect of China’s state capacity. The existing literature on social mobilization in the country, however, is characterized by studies of pre-1978 China, many of which are scattered and fragmentary. This problem has not only resulted in misjudging the vital role of social mobilization as a process of change and an analytical construct, but has also overlooked the work of other researchers, especially those in China, studying a wide range of aspects of socio-economic and socio-political activities in present-day China. As a result, the research literature has not kept pace with the profound changes occurring in the country, providing no adequate theoretical foundation and capability for analyzing and theorizing the dynamics at work in contemporary China. This analytical article seeks to critically review the current state of knowledge relating to social mobilization in China and the main theoretical problems in the literature, paying special attention to the missing links between different perspectives.
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    Lobbying to stay: The Chinese students’ campaign to stay in Australia
    GAO, J (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2009)
    This paper examines the way in which onshore asylum seekers lobby to stay in the host country permanently, and how they interact with local institutions. This study is based on a multi-method case study of about 45,000 Chinese nationals in Australia, mostly students, who sought to stay after the so-called political disturbance of 1989 in China. The students succeeded in obtaining residence by pursuing intensive lobbying activities over a period of about four years from June 1989 to November 1993, becoming the largest onshore migration intake in Australian history. This paper is concerned with how the students and their organizations negotiated the changing stance of the Australian government towards asylum seekers, and the way in which the students harnessed resources in the campaign. It examines the strategies adopted by the students, the roles of the main local institutions in the issue, and analyses the permissiveness of local polities.
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    Seeking Residency from the Courts: The Chinese Experience in the Post-White Australia Era
    Gao, J (BRILL, 2011-01-01)
    Abstract In 1974 Australia officially abandoned its “White Australia” policy. Since then hundreds of thousands of Chinese have migrated to the country, first from Southeast Asian countries, then from Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan before direct immigration from China resumed in the mid-1980s. Lately, Australia has placed more emphasis on admitting skilled and business migrants, but has still maintained an annual intake of tens of thousands of Chinese, making China the third largest source of overseas-born Australians. Many believe that the Chinese have come to Australia under its normal migration program, such as the skilled, business or family programs thus overlooking the fact that a high proportion of them have obtained their residency in Australia either directly or indirectly only after having gone through Court battles. This paper seeks to examine how many of the Chinese have fought for residency in the courts, and to outline the characteristics of their experience in the post-White Australia era. It aims to provide an analysis of the complex dimensions of global migration and transnational politics where certain aspects of socio-political life and politics of the immigrants’ home country have conflicted with the immigration policies and procedures of their receiving country and gradually become part of the politics of the host country.