-
Advertorial
-
FOCUS
-
Guide
-
Lifestyle
-
Tech and Vogue
-
TechandScience
-
CHTF Special
-
Nanhan
-
Futian Today
-
Hit Bravo
-
Special Report
-
Junior Journalist Program
-
World Economy
-
Opinion
-
Diversions
-
Hotels
-
Movies
-
People
-
Person of the week
-
Weekend
-
Photo Highlights
-
Currency Focus
-
Kaleidoscope
-
Tech and Science
-
News Picks
-
Yes Teens
-
Fun
-
Budding Writers
-
Campus
-
Glamour
-
News
-
Digital Paper
-
Food drink
-
Majors_Forum
-
Speak Shenzhen
-
Business_Markets
-
Shopping
-
Travel
-
Restaurants
-
Hotels
-
Investment
-
Yearend Review
-
In depth
-
Leisure Highlights
-
Sports
-
World
-
QINGDAO TODAY
-
Entertainment
-
Business
-
Markets
-
Culture
-
China
-
Shenzhen
-
Important news
在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion
Think twice before emigrating to ‘heaven’
    2017-September-5  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Wu Guangqiang

jw368@163.com

SINCE the 19th century, Chinese have emigrated from the mainland to countries overseas. As time has passed, however, the reasons for emigration greatly varied. Contemporary Chinese emigrants are not motivated to move abroad for the same reasons early emigrants were.

During the Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China, Chinese were driven out by poverty, starvation, fear of invasion by foreign powers, internal corruption and oppression.

In truth, mass relocation overseas was more of a refugee exodus than emigration at this time. The only drive of these diaspora was survival.

As most immigrants were illiterate peasants and manual laborers referred to as “coolies,” they mainly earned their livings through muscle and sweat. In the words of a British Guiana planter, the Chinese laborers were notable for “their strong physique, their eagerness to make money, their history of toil from infancy.”

Labor recruiters sold Chinese coolies in large numbers to colonial planters in exchange for money, a trade which became known as maizhuzai, literally “selling piglets.”

The working and living conditions of Chinese coolies living on foreign soil were so harsh that they did indeed live like pigs. According to one historical document about a pepper estate, of 50 coolies hired, only two survived in half a year. A great number of them died en route to South America and South Africa due to bad conditions during transport.

Despite this, a good number of Chinese immigrants managed to thrive in their new countries, their industry, thrift, and intelligence enabling them. Some struck it rich and returned to China gloriously. Their success stories inspire more Chinese nationals to follow suit.

The founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 marked an end to mass emigration, but only temporarily. China’s adoption of the reform and the open-up policy in the late 1970s ushered in a new phase of Chinese emigration.

Millions of Chinese have flocked to every corner of the world to chase their dreams. Nowadays, Chinese are anywhere that there are humans, running restaurants, stores, factories, studying at universities, and advancing research in many fields.

In lieu of this, the rising demand for migration services has given rise to the mushrooming of migration agents, who overhype the advantages of moving overseas.

Many Chinese still view living in a Western country as their ultimate goal in life, but they would be better advised to give the idea second thought, given the profound changes that have taken place in recent decades both at home and internationally.

As the fastest-developing nation in the world, China is increasingly becoming a land of opportunity while Western nations are losing their luster, even becoming less friendly towards immigrants, in part due to sluggish economies and the revival of nationalism. It’s no longer true that securing a green card or citizenship in a Western country means the attainment of a happy life.

Quite to the contrary. It’s very likely that leaving China means the beginning of an unpleasant life wrought with ordeals. In many cases, Chinese immigrants find themselves in a humiliating position; they find that rather than disembarking a ship sailing swiftly towards prosperity, they’ve actually gotten aboard a junk boat drifting in circles.

A report released by Ascend Foundation shows that though Asian employees generally excel in high-tech companies like Google, HP, and LinkedIn, few end up entering management, and even fewer senior management. The glass ceiling is a pervasive part of an Asian immigrant’s career.

Putting all eggs in a single basket makes the situation even riskier.

To “create a better future” for her only daughter, a niece of mine decided to emigrate to the U.S. three years ago. It’s no exaggeration to say that she burnt the bridge behind her, selling one of her apartments in an upscale residential community in Shekou, Shenzhen, and investing US$500,000 in exchange for green cards for herself and her daughter.

The move has proved to be too costly. The investment is virtually irredeemable, to say nothing of returns. She would have earned at least another 7 million yuan (US$1.5 million) if she had not sold her apartment, the price of which has doubled since her sale.

Soon thereafter, she got a divorce because of her long separation from her husband, who refused to live in the U.S. Her initial rapture has vanished without trace now.

My niece is not alone. A large number of Chinese feel regretful after they emigrated, but it’s too late.

Are some of my compatriots penny wise and pound foolish?

(The author is an English tutor and freelance writer.)

深圳报业集团版权所有, 未经授权禁止复制; Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved.
Shenzhen Daily E-mail:szdaily@szszd.com.cn