The Chinese community in Canberra says the new "Sinophobia" and baseless fear-mongering about Chinese people in Australia is increasing tension and fear.
The community, under the banner of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Australian Capital Territory, has called on the government to exert more control over the populist movement, and over media that it said was stirring anti-Chinese sentiment.
And it called for support for academic research - "including those Australians scholars with the Chinese ethnicity to conduct 'objective' research on the impacts of 'tense and fears' among the Chinese community on Australia's economy and social welfare and integration of Chinese community in the Australian civil society".
The federation has made a submission to the Senate inquiry into nationhood, national identity and democracy. The submission is unsigned, but says the group represents business, student, academic and community groups in Canberra and is united voice for the Chinese community.
Efforts to contact the group for clarification on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
The submission said the anti-Chinese sentiment was remarkably similar to the early Chinese phobia about the West but in reverse.
"We see Australia's Sinophobia (arguably influenced by other countries); with a series of policies and actions have been taken to close the door for co-operation and mutual benefits that was well established until now," it said.
It had greatly impacted on the Chinese community, "especially with the increasingly baseless smear campaign against the Chinese community for their heritage based on so called 'threats against national security'."
"[The] sense of 'tense and fears' permeated among the Chinese-Australians together with a set of policies and actions have severely hindered the Chinese Australians' willingness and capability to contribute to the prosperity of Australia, which may eventually will hurt Australia's own interest."
It called for control of the "irresponsible actions" of the populist, nationalist movements.
It also called for stronger regulation of the media, saying some mainstream media "keep on reporting on negative news on Chinese-Australians and the Chinese community here in Australia" without solid evidence.
"There are suspicions that these media are influenced by foreign party for political purpose," the submission said, without elaborating on whom the foreign influencers might be or which news stories or outlets it was referring to.
The negative news turned out false but had nevertheless "severely damaged the reputation of many Chinese- Australians and undermined their contributions to Australia".
"So, we advocate the Australian government to establish some regulations to better regulate this industry and provide support to the development and expression of ideas by other non-mainstream media," it said.
The group also hit out at "many Australian politicians", who it said "do not have a "fair" attitude on Chinese-Australians", rendering free expression on ideas and opinions futile.
The submission quoted Australian National University chancellor Gareth Evans, who told a Asian-Australian Leadership Summit in September that the "hyper-anxiety" about China and communist party influence was making it harder than ever for Chinese-Australians to aspire to leadership jobs, public service jobs or any jobs seen as "even remotely security sensitive".
Mr Evans's speech came as the ANU itself has been caught up in a high-profile scare believed by many to involve China. The university computer system was hacked, with personal data of staff and students over 19 years accessed, a hack that security experts have said had the hallmark of foreign espionage.
Australia's first Chinese-born parliamentarian Gladys Liu has also come under enormous pressure over links to a Chinese government propaganda arm, and has complained that critics are seeing everything she does through the lens of her birthplace.
The Canberra group's submission said Ms Liu and other notable Chinese-Australians were a bridge for cooperation between China and Australia.
Chinese-Australians had more than 200 years of history in Australia and many enjoyed Australia's democratic system, having pledged loyalty to it, the group said.
The submission quoted Chinese-Australian commentator Jieh-Yung Lo, who told SBS that Chinese-Australians had become collateral damage in the foreign influence debate, with "a whole new level of Sinophobia and anti-Chinese sentiment that we haven't seen since the White Australia policy days".