Chinese-Australians encountering discrimination and violence say COVID-19 and Australia's political tensions with China have contributed to the experiences, according to results of a new survey.
One in five Chinese-Australians surveyed by foreign policy think tank the Lowy Institute reported being physically threatened or attacked because of their heritage in the past year.
About a third of respondents said they were treated differently or less favourably because of their Chinese heritage, and a similar number said they had been called offensive names.
A majority of Chinese-Australians who experienced discrimination, name-calling and violence identified COVID-19 (66 per cent) and Australia's worsening relationship with China (52 per cent) as causes.
The report, released on Wednesday and based on a survey of about 1000 people in November, also found most Chinese-Australians believed Australia was a good place to live (77 per cent) and felt a sense of belonging to the nation (71 per cent).
More than 80 per cent of respondents felt pride in Australia's way of life and culture, a similar percentage to that of the broader Australian population in recent results of the annual Scanlon Foundation survey on social cohesion.
People with Chinese heritage experienced mixed reactions in Australia following the emergence of COVID-19, the Lowy Institute report found.
"While some received support from the broader Australian community, others reported an increase in abuse and racist attacks," it said.
Report co-author Jennifer Hsu said political rhetoric affected day-to-day experiences of Chinese-Australians.
"What you say as a leader, as a representative, is important and has resonance," she said.
"We have to be really careful about the language we use, we have to be really mindful about not scoring political points, because these actually do have everyday impacts on the safety of Chinese-Australians."
Dr Hsu said the survey results showed a diversity of views among people with Chinese heritage living in Australia. The report found most Chinese-Australians also felt a sense of belonging to China, and levels of trust in China were much higher among Chinese-Australian communities than in the broader Australian population.
Only a third of survey respondents said democracy was preferable to any other kind of government, compared to 71 per cent of the broader Australian population.
The Lowy Institute report said the findings aligned with research indicating migrants leaving authoritarian regimes to settle in a stable democracy "do not see democracy as the only game in town".
Chinese-Australians were divided in their views towards China's system of government after COVID-19. More than 40 per cent were more favourable towards the authoritarian system, while 31 per cent were less favourable.
However the majority of Chinese-Australians supported sanctions on Chinese officials associated with human rights abuses, and said Australia should reduce its economic dependence on China.
Fewer Chinese-Australians expressed concern about foreign interference in Australia's political process than the broader Australian population.