Australians Protesting Against Chinese Property Tycoons

Australians Protesting Against Chinese Property Tycoons
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像
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Chinese property tycoons have flocked to invest in Australian real estate in recent years, skyrocketing local housing prices and upsetting some Australians.

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UDN reports, Chinese property tycoons have flocked to invest in Australian real estate in recent years, skyrocketing local housing prices and upsetting some Australians.

On August 29, the auction held for the estates of the Chatswood’s Chinese community was disrupted by Australian activists holding up signs reading, “Keep the Aussie dream alive,” “We don’t want your dirty $$” and “No more asset sales to China.”

There were also signs reading “Join us now,” trying to call for more people to join their protest and kicked up a stink among Chinese Internet users saying, “Don’t blame others just because you can’t afford your own house.”

Apple Daily reports, the organizer of the event, Nick Folkes, claims he is not an anti-China protester, but was later discovered to be the new chief of the right-winged Party for Freedom Australia and also an anti-immigrant.

Nick Folkes says, “Most of the people at auctions look like they just stepped off a plane looking to buy property. We are not aggressive, we aren’t saying go home – the real issue is foreign ownership and we are politically incorrect, because the message can’t be sent across if we use PC signs.”

EPOCH Times reports, the house estate agent and buyers went indoors to avoid the protesters disrupting the auction.

The auctioneer, Brian Cannan, says, “I haven’t had protesters for 30 years. We decided to move indoors because we didn’t want them to come inside, but they didn’t make any threats so they didn’t disrupt the auction.”

After a rigorous closed-door fight among the bidders, the two bedroom house was sold for AU$ 1,355,000 (approximately US$ 994,057), AU$ 50,000 (US$ approximately US$ 36,681) more than the reserved price.

Apple Daily reports, a similar estate auction took place in Artarmon but appears to have been stopped by disturbance, and the estate house was left to two buyers to negotiate privately.

One of the neighbors, Chris McNally, says, “We are a multicultural suburb, so I doubt this is what people want to see here at all. It just seems like racism on the street.”

Stand News reports, Chinese investors have purchased over 4,000 estates in Australia in the past two years. Most of the houses remains vacant and have become a ghost town. Villagers believe the buildings have been out of repair for years and destroy the local landscape.

Housing costs in Australia have gone up as Chinese investors leap to invest in foreign countries. Local governments have also carried out strict regulations to attack illegal investors.

According to reports issued by Lion Global, 90,000 rich Chinese people have obtained second citizenship from 2000 to 2014, which is favorable for them to purchase real estate abroad. These people usually swarm to invest in the U.S., Hong Kong and Singapore with an average net asset of US$ one million.

Sina reports, Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb says, Australia has witnessed its biggest development of tourism in 15 years of international tourists around AU$ 33.4 billion (approximately US$ 24.5 billion).

Chinese visitors that account for 20 percent of foreign tourists in Australia have increased by 22 percent comparing to the same quarter last year. The 864,000 Chinese visitors have contributed AU$ 19 million (approximately US$ 13.94 million), a dramatic increase of 32 percent, among the total revenue brought by foreign tourists, which is around AU$ 91 million (approximately US$ 66.76 million).

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang

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