Welcome to class six. This is the second 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
In the last class(class five) we discussed migration and citizenship (gGuÃ³jÃ å›½ç±) and migration within China. Let’s continue now with a discussion on international (guÃ³jÃ¬ deå›½é™…çš„) migration, and think about how migration is viewed and discussed (lÃ¹nè®º) in China, and how we might express our views in English.
Chinese international migration
If the rural migrants experience economic and social inequality in the cities, that may acts as one factor in the decision some of them make to migrate overseas, if possible, where there may be greater opportunities to overcome social and economic inequalities.
Chinese migration and emigration (migration away from one place, leaving that place) also involve many of its increasingly large and well-educated middle class (zhÅngchÇŽn jiÄ“jÃ ä¸äº§é˜¶çº§) and elite (yuÃ¡n zhÇ’ngåŽŸç§, or jiÃ©chÅ« rÃ©nwÃ¹ æ°å‡ºäººç‰©) Chinese.
Many of China’s elite are reportedly (jÃ¹shuÅ æ®è¯´) considering (kÇŽolÇœ è€ƒè™‘) or actively arranging migration:
Most of them want to go to the North American countries. China’s poor may want to emigrate primarily (zhÇ”yÃ oä¸»è¦) to escape inequality (jÄ«nglÃ¬ ç»åŽ†). The migrationÂ of some of China’s middle classes and elites also suggest the importance of economic factors (jÄ«ngjÃ¬ yÄ«nsÃ¹ ç»æµŽå› ç´ ), although in different ways (yÇ bÃ¹tÃ³ng de fÄngshÃ¬ ä»¥ä¸åŒçš„æ–¹å¼) from the rural-to-urban migrants, and the importance of self-development (zÃ¬wÇ’ fÄzhÇŽn è‡ªæˆ‘å‘å±•), as well and other issues.
Many middle class and elite families use temporary student migration (lÃnshÃ xuÃ©shÄ“ng yÃmÃnas ä¸´æ—¶å¦ç”Ÿç§»æ°‘) as a way to advance (cÃ¹jÃ¬n ä¿ƒè¿›) their children’s future prospects (ertÃ³ng wÃ¨ilÃ¡i zhÇŽnwÃ ng å„¿ç«¥æœªæ¥å±•æœ›). In some cases, the hope is the child will go on to work and settle overseas (zÃ i hÇŽiwÃ i gÅngzuÃ² hÃ© dÃ¬ngjÅ« åœ¨æµ·å¤–å·¥ä½œå’Œå®šå±…), or at least work with a good international (guÃ³jÃ¬ å›½é™…) or national (guÃ³mÃn å›½æ°‘) company (gÅngsÄ« å…¬å¸), or public service (gÅnggÃ²ng fÃºwÃ¹ å…¬å…±æœåŠ¡) in China. The choice of overseas university (guÃ³jÃ¬ dÃ xuÃ© å›½é™…å¤§å¦) and the university course (dÃ xuÃ© kÃ¨chÃ©ng å¤§å¦è¯¾ç¨‹) are very important, and often only the well-known (zhÄ«mÃng çŸ¥å) prestigious (shÄ“ngwÃ ng hÄ›n gÄo de å£°æœ›å¾ˆé«˜çš„) universities â€” like Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, and Harvard and Yale in the US â€”Â give graduates a career advantage. These days there are many “sea turtle”s (hÇŽiguÄ« æµ·å½’Â ) who have returned home from less prestigious universities to face the difficulty (miÃ n duÃ¬ kÃ¹nnÃ¡n é¢å¯¹å›°éš¾) of trying to earn enough to pay for the expensive (ÃngguÃ¬ æ˜‚è´µ) overseas education while working for quite low wages (dÄ« gÅngzÄ« ä½Žå·¥èµ„).
The overseas study route (xuÃ©xÃ lÃ¹xiÃ n å¦ä¹ è·¯çº¿) can be risky financially and professionally (cÃ¡iwÃ¹ hÃ© zhuÄnyÃ¨ fÄ“ngxiÇŽn è´¢åŠ¡å’Œä¸“ä¸šé£Žé™©), and not always provide the security (tÃgÅng ÄnquÃ¡n æä¾›å®‰å…¨) Â that families hope it will. There are other risks and benefits (fÄ“ngxiÇŽn hÃ© lÃ¬yÃ¬ é£Žé™©å’Œåˆ©ç›Š). Some students praise their overseas experience (zÃ nmÄ›i tÄmen dÃ¬ hÇŽiwÃ i jÄ«ngyÃ n èµžç¾Žä»–ä»¬çš„æµ·å¤–ç»éªŒ) as a time of self-development (zÃ¬wÇ’ fÄzhÇŽn è‡ªæˆ‘å‘å±•) and learning about other cultures (liÇŽojiÄ› qÃtÄ wÃ©nhuÃ äº†è§£å…¶ä»–æ–‡åŒ–). Some find that they didn’t get to know much of the overseas culture as their social world (shÃ¨huÃ¬ shÃ¬jiÃ¨ ç¤¾ä¼šä¸–ç•Œ) consisted primarily of other Chinese students. Some have worried (dÄnxÄ«n æ‹…å¿ƒ) about delaying their age of marriage (tuÅyÃ¡n jiÃ©hÅ«n niÃ¡nlÃng æ‹–å»¶ç»“å©šå¹´é¾„), having spent time overseas without finding a suitable boy or girl [hÃ©shÃ¬ de nÃ¡nhÃ¡i huÃ² nÇšhÃ¡iåˆé€‚çš„ç”·å©æˆ–å¥³å©] Â (preferably [yÅuxuÇŽn ä¼˜é€‰] from their hometown [jiÄxiÄng å®¶ä¹¡).
Others find themselves caught between cultures [jiÄ zÃ i liÇŽng zhÇ’ng wÃ©nhuÃ zhÄ« jiÄnå¤¹åœ¨ä¸¤ç§æ–‡åŒ–ä¹‹é—´], and some receive criticism (shÃ²udÃ o pÄ«pÃng å—åˆ°æ‰¹è¯„) for taking on foreign views (cÇŽiqÇ” guÃ³wÃ i guÄndiÇŽn é‡‡å–å›½å¤–è§‚ç‚¹) of China. For example, one Chinese student in America received a lot of negative comments (fÃ¹miÃ n pÃnglÃ¹non è´Ÿé¢è¯„è®º) on Weibo for her graduation speech (bÃ¬yÃ¨ yÇŽnjiÇŽng æ¯•ä¸šæ¼”è®²). She said:
People often ask me “why did you come to the University of Maryland?”
I always answer “fresh air”.
I grew up in a city where I had to wear a face mask everytime I went outside. Otherwise I might get sick.
However, the moment I inhaled and exhaled outside the airport I felt free.
No more fog on my glasses. No more difficult breathing. No more suppression.
Every breathe was delightful.
As I stand here today I cannot help but recall that feeling of freedom.
Was the student mixing the ideas of breathing (hÅ«xÄ« å‘¼å¸) with a feeling of freedom (freedom from “suppression” [miÇŽn yÃº yÄzhÃ¬ å…äºŽåŽ‹åˆ¶) that suggest more than just “fresh air”?
This student raised two of the issues (tÃchÅ«le liÇŽng gÃ¨ wÃ¨ntÃ æå‡ºäº†ä¸¤ä¸ªé—®é¢˜) that are influential (yÇ’u yÇngxiÇŽng æœ‰å½±å“) in middle and elite Chinese families desire for migration â€”Â the environment (huÃ¡njÃ¬ng çŽ¯å¢ƒ) and a sense of freedom (zÃ¬yÃ³u è‡ªç”±). Many parents do not want to see their children grow up (zhÇŽng dÃ é•¿å¤§) in cities where it is dangerous (wÃ©ixiÇŽn bÃ¹jiÃ nkÄng å±é™©ä¸å¥åº·) to breathe the air, or sometimes dangerous to drink the water.
China’s economy is still reliant (rÃ©ngrÃ¡n yÄ«lÃ i ä»ç„¶ä¾èµ–) on industry (gÅngyÃ¨ å·¥ä¸š)and its use of coal (mÃ©itÃ n ç…¤ç‚) creates a heavy fog (nÃ³ng wÃ¹ æµ“é›¾) in places like Hebei province, just as it did in English cities during the first and second Industrial Revolutions (GÅngyÃ¨ gÃ©mÃ¬ng å·¥ä¸šé©å‘½) .
Some migrants are attracted to the cleaner environments and the idea of freedom they perceive in American and other Western cultures. Also, many middle class and elite families consider emigration because of economic opportunities (jÄ«ngjÃ¬ jÄ«yÃ¹ ç»æµŽæœºé‡), including investing in property (wÃ¹yÃ¨ tÃ³uzÄ« ç‰©ä¸šæŠ•èµ„) in places like or Sydney or Los Angeles, where you can buy a good-sized house (dÃ fÃ¡ngzi å¤§æˆ¿å) with a garden for the price of a nice apartment (gÅngyÃ¹å…¬å¯“) Â in China.
All in all (zÇ’ng’Ã©ryÃ¡nzhÄ«Â æ€»è€Œè¨€ä¹‹), the decision of Chinese people to migrate is influenced by what migration academics (xuÃ©zhÄ› å¦è€…) call push and pull (tuÄ« hÃ© lÄ) factors (yÄ«nzÇ å› å). Push factors are those that might cause you to want to leave a place, like the injustice (bÃ¹ gÅngzhÃ¨ng ä¸å…¬æ£) of inequality (jÄ«nglÃ¬ ç»åŽ†) or a bad environment (huÃ¡njÃ¬ng Ã¨liÃ¨ çŽ¯å¢ƒæ¶åŠ£) or social or political oppression (shÃ¨huÃ¬ huÃ² zhÃ¨ngzhÃ¬YÄpÃ² ç¤¾ä¼šæˆ–æ”¿æ²»åŽ‹è¿«). Pull factors are those that attract people (xÄ«yÇn rÃ©ntoå¸å¼•äºº) to other places, like economic opportunities (jÄ«ngjÃ¬ jÄ«yÃ¹ ç»æµŽæœºé‡), chances for self-development (zÃ¬wÇ’ fÄzhÇŽn è‡ªæˆ‘å‘å±•), more space (gÃ¨ng duÅ de kÅngjiÄn æ›´å¤šçš„ç©ºé—´), fresh air (xÄ«nxiÄn kÅngqÃ¬ æ–°é²œç©ºæ°”), positive social and political environments (hÃ¨huÃ¬ hÃ© zhÃ¨ngzhÃ¬ huÃ¡njÃ¬ng ç¤¾ä¼šå’Œæ”¿æ²»çŽ¯å¢ƒ).
Western Views of Chinese and other foreign immigrationÂ
On the Chinese side of my family, Jian has encountered (yÃ¹ dÃ oé‡åˆ°) the less open (bÃ¹ kÄifÃ ngä¸å¼€æ”¾), less welcoming (bÃ¹ huÄnyÃng ä¸æ¬¢è¿Ž) side of Anglo (Ã€nggÃ©lÇ” ç›Žæ ¼é²) countries’ immigration regime(yÃmÃn zhÃ¨ngquÃ¡nç§»æ°‘æ”¿æƒ). When Jian and I applied for family and residence visas (JiÄtÃng hÃ© jÅ«liÃº qiÄnzhÃ¨ngin å®¶åºå’Œå±…ç•™ç¾è¯) Â in Australia for Jian, we found out (liÇŽojiÄ›äº†è§£) that Chinese spouses (Ã€irÃ©nçˆ±äºº) were categorised (fÄ“nlÃ¨i åˆ†ç±») as ‘high-risk’ (gÄo fÄ“ngxiÇŽn é«˜é£Žé™©) in the Australian immigration points-system (yÃmÃn diÇŽn zhÃ¬dÃ¹ ç§»æ°‘ç‚¹åˆ¶åº¦). This system awards (jiÇŽnglÃ¬ å¥–åŠ±) points based on the advantages that migrants would bring to Australia, and takes them away for the risks that they think migrants may bring. The Australian government wants to restrict (xiÃ nzhÃ¬ é™åˆ¶) some kinds of non-European migration, particularly migrants who it perceives as low-skill (dÄ« jÃ¬shÃ¹ ä½ŽæŠ€æœ¯), poor (pÃnkÃ¹n è´«å›°), Â as being from cultures that may be different (bÃ¹tÃ³ng de wÃ©nhuÃ ä¸åŒçš„æ–‡åŒ–) and therefore whose migrants may be hard for national citizens to integrate (zhÄ›nghÃ© æ•´åˆ) with. These may be some of the reasons that Australian catogorises Chinese spouses as high risk.
We encountered (yÃ¹ dÃ oé‡åˆ°) similar restrictions (xiÃ nzhÃ¬ é™åˆ¶) in England where the non-European family members applying to join British citizens must endure (rÄ›nshÃ²u å¿å—) a lengthy and expensive process (rÇ’ngchÃ¡ng Ã©r Ã¡ngguÃ¬ de guÃ²chÃ©ng, å†—é•¿è€Œæ˜‚è´µçš„è¿‡ç¨‹) and pass an income threshold test (tÅngguÃ² shÅurÃ¹ yÃ¹zhÃ cÃ¨shÃ¬ é€šè¿‡æ”¶å…¥é˜ˆå€¼æµ‹è¯•). If they cannot fulfil (bÃ¹nÃ©ng shÃxiÃ n ä¸èƒ½å®žçŽ°) the necessary criteria (bÃ¬yÃ o de biÄozhÇ”n), they may only access temporary visit visas (lÃnshÃ fÇŽngwÃ¨n qiÄnzhÃ¨ng ä¸´æ—¶è®¿é—®ç¾è¯) and have to return to China (or their other country of origin) regularly (jÄ«ngchÃ¡ng ç»å¸¸) to reapply (chÃ³ngxÄ«n shÄ“nqÇng é‡æ–°ç”³è¯·) for additional (Ã‰wÃ i é¢å¤–) visit visas (fÇŽngwÃ¨n qiÄnzhÃ¨ng è®¿é—®ç¾è¯). You cannot use this restricted visit visa system to stay long term (chÃ¡ngqÃ bÇŽochÃas é•¿æœŸä¿æŒ) the UK will require you stay away for six months out of every eighteen months. That’s more strict (gÃ¨ng yÃ¡ngÃ© æ›´ä¸¥æ ¼) than China, where foreign spouses can stay long term as long as they continue to leave regularly to apply for new visit visas.
In Australia, the same points system categorises some kinds of Chinese migrants as highly desirable (fÄ“ichÃ¡ng lÇxiÇŽng éžå¸¸ç†æƒ³), such as students becauseÂ they are fee-paying (fÃ¨iyÃ²ng zhÄ«fÃ¹ è´¹ç”¨æ”¯ä»˜), spend money in the Australian economy, and return home (they are seen as desirable because they are temporary). Other Chinese migrants seen as desirable are particular kinds of professionals (zhuÄnyÃ¨ rÃ©nshÃ¬ ä¸“ä¸šäººå£«), and investors (tÃ³uzÄ« zhÄ› æŠ•èµ„è€…), both of whom are likely to invest in Australian property (zÄ«chÇŽnèµ„äº§) and benefit (zÃ ofÃºé€ ç¦) the economy.
These benefits may also bring problems, such as creating difficulties in national citizens’ access to affordable housing (fÃ¹dÄn dÃ© qÇ de fÃ¡ngzi è´Ÿæ‹…å¾—èµ·çš„æˆ¿å). Cities like Sydney, and also London in the UK and Vancouver in Canada are all too expensive (tÃ i guÃ¬le å¤ªè´µäº†)for poorer residents to afford, in part because overseas Chinese (but not just Chinese) property investment has led to high property prices. In London, that has caused another kind of migration as people dependent (yÄ«lÃ i yÃºon ä¾èµ–äºŽ) public housing (housing supported by the government) have been moved out to cheaper areas. London is becoming increasingly global (HuÃ¡nqiÃº çŽ¯çƒ), but for the wealthy resident and migrant rather than low-income people.
Countries like Australia, England, Canada, New Zealand (xÄ«nxÄ«lÃ¡n æ–°è¥¿å…°) and the US Â all categorise potential migrants on the basis of self-interest [zÃ¬jÇ de xÃ¬ngqÃ¹ è‡ªå·±çš„å…´è¶£]Â (economic, political and cultural self-interest). Non-Western countries are similar in this regard too, and South East Asian countries host large numbers of Chinese who often form highly successful minorities (fÄ“ichÃ¡ng chÃ©nggÅng de shÇŽoshÃ¹ mÃnzÃºéžå¸¸æˆåŠŸçš„å°‘æ•°æ°‘æ—) in these countries. In each of these countries, there are a variety of views about Chinese immigrants ranging from hospitality (dÃ i kÃ¨ å¾…å®¢) and tolerance (gÅngchÄi å…¬å·®) through to resentment (yuÃ nhÃ¨næ€¨æ¨), hostility (dÃyÃ¬ æ•Œæ„) and racism (zhÇ’ngzÃº zhÇ”yÃ¬ ç§æ—ä¸»ä¹‰).
Australia and other countries enact restrictions on the basis of perceived poverty (pÃnqiÃ³ng è´«ç©·) and cultural difference (wÃ©nhuÃ chÄyÃ¬ æ–‡åŒ–å·®å¼‚). Sometimes this effects people of particular nationalities (guÃ³jÃ å›½ç±) or religions (zÅngjiÃ o å®—æ•™), such as Chinese immigrants, or Muslim (MÃ¹sÄ«lÃn ç©†æ–¯æž—) immigrants. Sometimes the impact is harshest (zuÃ¬ yÃ¡nlÃ¬on æœ€ä¸¥åŽ‰) those kinds of migrants like asylum seekers (xÃºnqiÃº bÃ¬hÃ¹ zhÄ› å¯»æ±‚åº‡æŠ¤è€…) and refugees (nÃ nmÃn éš¾æ°‘) who the government believe may make demands on the Australian welfare system (fÃºlÃ¬ zhÃ¬dÃ¹ ç¦åˆ©åˆ¶åº¦) and its politics (zhÃ¨ngzhÃ¬ æ”¿æ²») and culture (wÃ©nhuÃ æ–‡åŒ–) that governments find difficult to fulfil because politicians believe that the Australian public is opposed (fÇŽnduÃ¬ åå¯¹) to these kinds of migration.
In the UK resentment at migrants has not been directed at Chinese migrants (whose numbers are relatively small), but at European labour migrants (ÅŒuzhÅu lÃ¡ogÅng yÃmÃn æ¬§æ´²åŠ³å·¥ç§»æ°‘), asylum seekers, and Muslim immigrants. This resentment recently resulted in the Brexit vote in the UK, where Britain voted to leave the European Union (ÅŒuzhÅu liÃ¡nmÃ©ng æ¬§æ´²è”ç›Ÿ). Most commentators (pÃnglÃ¹n yuÃ¡n è¯„è®ºå‘˜) believe this was largely because of a desire to stop the European Union’s freedom of movement (xÃngdÃ²ng zÃ¬yÃ³u è¡ŒåŠ¨è‡ªç”±) which was thought to have allowed (yÇ”nxÇ” å…è®¸) and facilitated (cÃ¹jÃ¬nä¿ƒè¿›) unwanted migration into and out of the UK.
In America, resentments about unwanted migration may have contributed to Donald Trump’s becoming president, as he promised to build a wall to stop Mexican people migrating to the US, and tried to enact policies to restrict the immigration of asylum seekers from some Muslim countries. Trump is making political use of anti-immigrant resentment among some of the American public, but that resentment is not generally directed at Chinese immigrants. That’s lucky because the US is the favourite destination for many Chinese emigrants.