Welcome to class five. This is the first of two classes where we are going to use the topic [huÃ tÃÂ è¯é¢˜] of migration [yÃmÃn ç§»æ°‘Â ] (particularly the migration of Chinese people within China and internationally [guÃ³jÃ¬ å›½é™…]) to work on our ability [nÃ©nglÃ¬ èƒ½åŠ›] to think [sÄ«kÇŽo, æ€è€ƒ] and express ourselves [biÇŽodÃ¡ zÃ¬jÇ è¡¨è¾¾è‡ªå·±Â ] in English.
In this first class(class five) I will discuss migration and citizenship (gGuÃ³jÃ å›½ç±) briefly before talking about migration within China. In the next classÂ (class six) we will talk about migration from China (international migration). We may do one or both classes today, depending on how much class discussion we do.
First, let me explain that I find this topic interesting [yÇ’uyÃ¬siæœ‰æ„æ€] because I come from a family of migrants (yÃmÃn ç§»æ°‘). I am also interested in talking about migration as a foreigner [wÃ iguÃ³ rÃ©n å¤–å›½äºº] in China, because Chinese migration has been seen as (bÃ¨i shÃ¬ wÃ©i, è¢«è§†ä¸º) an issue[wÃ¨ntÃ é—®é¢˜] in Australia, and because I have taught university students [dÃ xuÃ©shÄ“ng å¤§å¦ç”Ÿ] about migration, and have also worked on refugee research (nÃ nmÃn yÃ¡njiÅ« éš¾æ°‘ç ”ç©¶).
I am a lucky (xÃ¬ngyÃ¹n å¹¸è¿)Â migrant. Â My family’s migration history (jiÄtÃng de qiÄnxÇ lÃ¬shÇÂ å®¶åºçš„è¿å¾™åŽ†å²) is mostly one of travel between England and Australia, since the 1950s, when my maternal grandfather (wÃ igÅng å¤–å…¬) went to Sydney (XÄ«nÃ æ‚‰å°¼)to work (gÅngzuÃ² å·¥ä½œ)on the Sydney Opera House (XÄ«nÃ gÄ“ jÃ¹yuÃ n æ‚‰å°¼æŒå‰§é™¢).
Since then my paternal grandparents (fÃ¹xÃ¬ zÇ”fÃ¹mÇ” çˆ¶ç³»ç¥–çˆ¶æ¯), uncles (shÅ«shu å”å”) and aunties (Ä€yÃ é˜¿å§¨) and parents (fÃ¹mÇ” çˆ¶æ¯)have gone to live (qÃ¹ huÃ³leåŽ»æ´»äº†)in Australia. My family are lucky because we hold dual passports (shuÄngchÃ³ng hÃ¹zhÃ o åŒé‡æŠ¤ç…§), and have citizenship rights (gÅngmÃn quÃ¡nlÃ¬ å…¬æ°‘æƒåˆ©) in both (dÅu éƒ½)Â Australia and the UK. These countries have historically welcomed dual citizenship and migration because of the colonial ties (zhÃmÃndÃ¬ guÄnxÃ¬ æ®–æ°‘åœ°å…³ç³») between the two countries.
However, not all former colonies (zhÃmÃndÃ¬ æ®–æ°‘åœ°) of the UK enjoy such privileges (ç‰¹æƒ tÃ¨quÃ¡n)and the UK very strictly (fÄ“ichÃ¡ng yÃ¡ngÃ©éžå¸¸ä¸¥æ ¼) controls (kÃ²ngzhÃ¬ æŽ§åˆ¶) migration from the non-white (you seÂ rÃ©n zhongå½©è‰²çš„äºº) former colonies (those in Africa, South Asia, the West Indies). So, as white people (bÃ¡i zhÇ’ng rÃ©n ç™½ç§äºº) free (zÃ¬yÃ³uè‡ªç”±) Â to migrate and enjoy (XiÇŽngshÃ²uäº«å—) Â the rights and privileges (quÃ¡nlÃ¬ hÃ© tÃ¨quÃ¡næƒåˆ©å’Œç‰¹æƒ) of two countries, we are the beneficiaries (shÃ²uyÃ¬ zhÄ› å—ç›Šè€…) of some of theÂ racist (zhÇ’ngzÃº zhÇ”yÃ¬ zhÄ› ç§æ—ä¸»ä¹‰è€…) legacies of English and Australian history.
Countries like Australia cannot extend (fÄfÃ ng å‘æ”¾) dual citizenship to citizens of countries like China because of Chinese citizenship laws (zhÅngguÃ³ gÅngmÃn fÇŽ ä¸å›½å…¬æ°‘æ³•) which do not allow (bÃ¹ yÇ”nxÇ”) dual citizenship. Also, Australia and other English speaking countries have had a history of excluding Chinese migrants (pÃ¡ichÃ¬ æŽ’æ–¥). In 1901 Australia enacted the White Australia policy, making Chinese immigration into Australia illegal (fÄ“ifÇŽ éžæ³•), and US states and Canada enacted similar legislation (lÃ¬fÇŽ ç«‹æ³•)at the beginning of the Twentieth century. While those laws have been replaced (gÄ“nghuÃ n æ›´æ¢) with less racist legislation, the welcoming huÄnyÃng æ¬¢è¿Ž) that existed between England and Australia, or the UK and the European Union (ÅŒuzhÅu liÃ¡nmÃ©ng æ¬§æ´²è”ç›Ÿ) countries has not been extended to Asian countries like China. Places like Queensland, West Australia, and California might look much more Chinese these days if not for those racist immigration laws.
Let’s continue now with an overview (gÃ iguÄn æ¦‚è§‚) of Chinese internal (guÃ³nÃ¨iÂ å›½å†…) and international (guÃ³jÃ¬ deå›½é™…çš„) migration, and think about how migration is viewed and discussed (tÇŽolÃ¹n è®¨è®º) in China, and how we might express our views in English.
Chinese internal rural-to-urban migration and the rise of Chinese wealth and power
The wealth and power (cÃ¡ifÃ¹ hÃ© quÃ¡nlÃ¬) of Western states like the US, Canada and the UK were built (jiÃ nlÃ¬ å»ºç«‹), in part, on the labour of rural (xiÄngcÅ«n ä¹¡æ‘) to urban (åŸŽå¸‚çš„ chÃ©ngshÃ¬ de) migrants (yÃmÃn zhÄ› Â ç§»æ°‘è€…)in Europe, and on colonial migrant labour (zhÃmÃndÃ¬ yÃmÃn lÃ¡ogÅng Â æ®–æ°‘åœ°ç§»æ°‘åŠ³å·¥) during the 17th to 20th centuries. Contemporary (xiÃ ndÃ i de çŽ°ä»£çš„) Chinese wealth and power are built on the rural to urban migration of the era of Chairman Mao and then the Reform Era, in what is sometimes called the third (digital) and fourth (cyber-physical) industrial revolutions (GÅngyÃ¨ gÃ©mÃ¬ng å·¥ä¸šé©å‘½).
We can see the scale of that transformation in terms of urbanisation:
The city of Shenzhen is a good example of the rapid urbanisation (kuÃ isÃ¹ chÃ©ngshÃ¬ huÃ å¿«é€ŸåŸŽå¸‚åŒ–) of China.Â In the pre-Reform EraÂ (GÇŽigÃ© zhÄ«qiÃ¡næ”¹é©ä¹‹å‰)Â Shenzhen was a fishing village area (YÃºcÅ«n æ¸”æ‘). It had a population of approximately .30,000 people in 1979. In the currentÂ period following Deng’s Reform Era that population has grown to 18-20 million people. That’s about 66 times its original size. 90 percent of Â Shenzhen-dwellersÂ are internal immigrants (guÃ³nÃ¨i yÃmÃn å›½å†… ç§»æ°‘). The population grew so greatly and rapidly because Shenzhen became very successful as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) [JÄ«ngjÃ¬ tÃ¨qÅ« ç»æµŽç‰¹åŒº] under the ReformÂ strategy (zhÃ nlÃ¼Ã¨ æˆ˜ç•¥).
At the height of the industrial revolution in England, rural to urban migration caused London’s population to swell (pÃ©ngzhÃ ngè†¨èƒ€) to more than six times its pre-industrial size. Shenzhen’s growth â€”its population (rÃ©nkÇ’uäººå£) grew 66 times greater in thirty or so yearsÂ â€” shows that China’s recent (zuÃ¬jÃ¬n æœ€è¿‘)Â Â Â transformation (zhuÇŽnxÃng è½¬åž‹)Â Â is much larger and more rapid (gÃ¨ng kuÃ i).
Another comparison (lÃ¬ng yÄ«gÃ¨ bÇjiÃ o å¦ä¸€ä¸ªæ¯”è¾ƒ) can be made between contemporary China and the way English government tried to control rural to urban migration during the first Industrial Revolution. Local English governments issued registration cards (zhÃ¹cÃ¨ kÇŽto æ³¨å†Œå¡) show who was and who wasn’t permitted (zhÇ”nxÇ” å‡†è®¸) to live and work (shÄ“nghuÃ³ hÃ© gÅngzuÃ²ç”Ÿæ´»å’Œå·¥ä½œ ) in an urban area (town or city), and people could be sent back (qiÇŽnsÃ²ng é£é€) to their place of origin (lÇŽojiÄ è€å®¶) Â if found without a card. However, the large scale of rural to urban immigration overwhelmed (yÄdÇŽo åŽ‹å€’) the capacity (cÃ¡inÃ©ng æ‰èƒ½) of local officials (dÃ¬fÄng guÄnyuÃ¡n åœ°æ–¹å®˜å‘˜) to police (guÇŽnxiÃ¡ ç®¡è¾–) it, so many migrants lived and worked in cities without the necessary registration cards.
With some similarity, the modern registration system for Chinese rural to urban migrants can be seen to be limited in its capacity to restrict (xiÃ nzhÃ¬ é™åˆ¶) migration to the city. 5-8 million migrants Â â€œfloatâ€ (piÄodÃ ng é£˜è¡) unofficially (fÄ“i zhÃ¨ngshÃ¬ de éžæ£å¼åœ°) within the city, 8 million have permanent residence, and only about 4 million have a Shenzhen hÃ¹kÇ’u (registration for residence). So there is a large proportion of floating migrants in Shenzen, as there are in other major Chinese cities.
The labour of China’s migrant workers is the engine (fÄdÃ²ngjÄ« å‘åŠ¨æœº) of Chinaâ€™s rapid urbanisation. Migrant workers are known as the â€˜floating populationâ€™ because of their temporary and precarious status (ZhÃ nshÃ hÃ© bÃ¹ wÄ›ndÃ¬ng dÃ¬ dÃ¬wÃ¨i æš‚æ—¶å’Œä¸ç¨³å®šçš„åœ°ä½) even if they have lived in cities for a long time.
Migrant workers often stay in â€˜urban villagesâ€™ (chÃ©ngshÃ¬ cÅ«nzhuÄng åŸŽå¸‚æ‘åº„) or factory compounds (gÅngchÇŽng huÃ hÃ©wÃ¹ å·¥åŽ‚åŒ–åˆç‰©) , many working in construction. Despite the health (jiÃ nkÄng å¥åº·), education (jiÃ oyÃ¹ æ•™è‚²) and other benefits (bÇ”yÃ¬ è¡¥ç›Š) those without registration (hÃ¹kÇ’u) Â may lack, many still choose to migrate from the farms (nÃ³ngchÇŽng å†œåœº ) to the cities and stay there.
Researcher Min Liu explains that much of the rural-to-urban migration of Chinese women relates to gender inequality (xÃ¬ngbiÃ© bÃ¹ pÃngdÄ›ng æ€§åˆ«ä¸å¹³ç‰), as the rural employment, education and lifestyle choices (jiÃ¹yÃ¨, jiÃ oyÃ¹ hÃ© shÄ“nghuÃ³ fÄngshÃ¬ de xuÇŽnzÃ© å°±ä¸šï¼Œæ•™è‚²å’Œç”Ÿæ´»æ–¹å¼çš„é€‰æ‹©) for women are highly restrictive (gÄodÃ¹ xiÃ nzhÃ¬ é«˜åº¦é™åˆ¶). In her interviews (wÃ¹ miÃ n æ™¤é¢) with rural migrant women in Beijing, researcher Tamara Jacka found their motivations (dÃ²ngjÄ« åŠ¨æœº) for migration included money, travel, escape, â€œchanging oneâ€™s fateâ€ (gÇŽibiÃ n zÃ¬jÇ de mÃ¬ngyÃ¹n æ”¹å˜è‡ªå·±çš„å‘½è¿) and self-development (zÃ¬wÇ’ fÄzhÇŽn è‡ªæˆ‘å‘å±•).
In the cities, they often experience (jÄ«nglÃ¬ ç»åŽ†) inequalities of income, health and education. Even when rural migrants do well in the cities, their rural migrant (nÃ³ngmÃn gÅng å†œæ°‘å·¥) status may still prevent (ZÇ”zhÇ é˜»æ¢) them from competing successfully (jÃ¬ngzhÄ“ng chÃ©nggÅng ç«žäº‰æˆåŠŸ) with city residents. For example, researchers observe that many rural graduates (bÃ¬yÃ¨ shÄ“ng æ¯•ä¸šç”Ÿ) from Beijing universities work in low-pay jobs (dÄ« xÄ«n gÅngzuÃ² ä½Žè–ªå·¥ä½œ) because they are not regarded as having good quality (sÅ« zhi è‹å“²) by professional employersÂ (zhuÄnyÃ¨ gÃ¹zhÇ” ä¸“ä¸šé›‡ä¸»), and lack good connections (GuÄnxÃ¬ å…³ç³»man).
In fact, researchers have observed that during the 1990s, rural migrants were sometimes described by the term the term “mÃ¡ngliÃº” (literally â€œblind flowâ€ or drifting) in the Reform Era in China, to refer to rural migrant workers as â€œblindâ€, and â€œoutsidersâ€ (jÃºwÃ irÃ©n, å±€å¤–äºº). Â The Chinese term â€œMangâ€ indicates those who are ignorant Â â€” instead of Â â€œxiaâ€, which refers to the visually impaired.