Chinese Overseas Migration Essay

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When referring to the countries for the contemporary Chinese overseas migration, most Chinese would be likely to choose the developed countries such as The United States or Canada. Dating back to the sources for the Chinese overseas migration to America, it began at the time of 18th century. If not counting the ancestors of the Amerindians who presumably crossed the Bering Strait in prehistoric times, the Philippine sailors were the first to settle in the U. S. However the Chinese were the first large-scale Asians immigrants to enter the United States around 1848.

At that time, their purpose was to earn more money so that they could bring the salary back to China (Le). Whats more, the young men had to leave their wives and children in China behind. There is no doubt that they suffered a lot when they first arrived there. For there was a table from Most Frequently Occupations showing the statistics on employed Chinese males that most of their occupations were labors or servants since the California god crush (Jocobson 11). However, there was a time when the Chinese were much widely accepted by Americans.

Even though in the 19th century miners, laborers, and servants were still three of the top occupations they took, surprisingly there came the increasing number of other various occupations like shopkeepers, shoemakers or the barbers (Murphy 21). Whats more, in actuality, the first large-scale Chinese immigrants were finally wealthy, successful merchants, along with skilled artisans, fishermen, and hotel and restaurant owners. For the first few years they were greatly accepted by the public, government officials, and especially by employers, for they were renowned for their hard work and dependability.

However, the first Chinese immigrants boom did not last for a long period that after a much larger group of coolies, unskilled laborers, who usually worked for very little payment, migrated to the U. S. like a wave in the mid 1800s (Robinson 28). And from then on, American citizens attitudes became much negative and hostile. By the year 1851, there were 25000 Chinese, most of which centered in and out of the Gold Rush area, working in California. During that time, more than half of the Chinese in the U. S.

lived in that region (Robinson 37). As time passed by, the situations had already changed a lot. It is necessary to know more about the migration trend for the Chinese in the 19th century. There were two main reasons for the people leaving China to make a living overseas especially in America and some other countries that were more bustling. The first reason was that South China was troubled by overpopulation, land shortages, famine, drought, banditry, and peasant revolts so that a great number of young men sought their fortunes overseas (Ip).

Forced by such troublesome situation, those able-bodied men made their living first in South-East Asia and then further dug out more opportunities in western countries. The second reason for most of the Chinese immigrants choosing to move to western countries was that the discovery of gold in California, New Zealand and Canada provided them with those valuable chances of works (Ip). At that time, Chinese laborers became the best choices for the miners because white people were not as willing as Chinese men to be paid with low salary. Whats more, Chinese workers were thought to be hardworking, inoffensive.

For instance Nigel Murphy says that in New Zealand, the Otago goldfields attracted the first batch of organized Chinese migrant workers. They were recruited by the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce when European miners left Otago for the newly discovered West Coast goldfields (Murphy). And those Chinese workers intended to make their fortunes and then return to China rather than settling permanently in other lands. Besides the two main reasons for the Chinese migration in 19th century, there were several extra features for the migration at that time. The first one was the extremely unbalanced sex ratio of community.

For the data showed that there were only nine women to 4,995 men in 1881 the year that saw the highest number of Chinese in New Zealand prior to the Second World War (Kashima 39). Moreover, most of the male immigrants were married. Instead of taking their wives abroad together, women remained at home looking after the children and parents. The second feature was that most of the men who moved to western countries worked as employees and got much lower payment than the local people, so as to the social status.

As time passed by, China gradually plays a more important role in the world so that the migration trend is already changing a lot in 21st century. There are three main groups of Chinese that want to migrate to the developed countries. The first group of immigrants is the students. Students are usually eager to receive better education in the developed countries in order to make themselves become more competitive in the future (Robinson 43). For instance, according to Times World University Rankings, over ninety percent of the top 100 world universities are in developed countries, while there are only four Chinese universities on the list (Ip).

In todays society, owing to the one-child policy, there are more and more Chinese parents in the big cities hoping that their only child can be permitted into the world famous universities. That is why students have become one of the largest groups that move to other countries (Ip). For the second group of Chinese immigrants leaving China, they are generally well-educated professionals or business people with internationally transferable skills. Many have chosen to migrate because they want to raise their children in a less competitive educational environment, lead a more leisurely lifestyle, and have new employment opportunities (Dewan).

In contrast to the pioneers of a century ago, the new Chinese migrants tend to be well informed and articulate, and therefore less likely to tolerate discrimination. Their desire for recognition and integration has also made them active in philanthropy and politics. Also, those people do not care about the employment issues because they are not as poor as the Chinese immigrants labors in the 19th century. Last but not least, the third group of the immigrants is in order to some investment that we call them immigrant investors.

For instance, those investors are willing to pay a lot for American green cards because they want their children to be an America and enjoy the brilliant welfare in that country (Dewan). And now, we can figure out some specific features for the Chinese migration in the 21st century. The first is the change of their purpose. They are not just to earn money in the residence of the places as before. For todays trendy migration, Chinese purposes can be the career options and the societal issues.

For example, China is one of the few fully functioning communist countries left in the world, and this means there is a high level of government control over the people. China is also host to many human rights violations, from human trafficking to child labor. People who are trying to escape these situations today make up much of the Chinese immigration to the democratic countries. Whats more, the second feature is that the rich in China are more willing to go abroad according to the Chinese Immigrant Reports (2012), about seventy-eight percent of the Chinese immigrants are super rich people or the intellectual elites.

Basically the situations and the differences for the migration trend in19th and 21st centuries differ from each other from the researches all above. So what are the differences between the two periods? The first one is the immigrants purpose. As it is obvious to see that in the 19th centuries, almost all the Chinese went abroad to America and Canada mainly for the gold. They returned to China when they made enough money (Saxiton 28). But now Chinese immigrants possibly want to settle abroad to live a better new life.

Whats more, the living places and conditions for the immigrants in 19th century in The United States showed the evidence that due to exclusion from the American public, the Chinese were confined to inner city ghettos, where they founded Chinatowns out of the discrimination they received from all racial groups. These Chinatowns had substandard housing and were overcrowded, leading to many of the problems that come with a densely populated urban area (Murphy 66). While a great number of Chinese immigrants live in the rich area nowadays.

Likewise, in New Zealand, Chinese today are generally high achievers, with significant skills and substantial savings (Ip). Yet while both locally born and immigrant Chinese are very well educated, their income level and participation in the labor force are below the national average of The United Srates. And for the second aspect of difference, the change is the occupational problem. Unlike the very few occupational choices for Chinese in the 19th centuries, now they work in various fields and lots of elites even compete with the local people in Wall Street in the United States. Moreover, the third kind of difference is the sex ratio.

Before World War II, Chinese men in New Zealand could not afford the price for their wives to go abroad together so that most of the immigrants were males. For nowadays, men and women have the same right to study abroad, work abroad and live abroad so that the ration of the sex is balanced (Jocosban 31). And the last obvious difference for the China migration trend is the increasing multiple choices of nowadays. Compared with the developed western countries, now more and more Chinese would rather consider migrating to Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries. In conclusion, with the development of China, Chinese legal immigrants get more alternatives to go abroad which also means that their international status have been promoted a lot.

Through the ages, Chinese always took an active part in migrating. The reason is that that migration brings lots of benefits to them such as better welfare, excellent education and the medical treatment. However, too many immigrants also cause burden to the residence of the countries they move to. For one thing in the USA, there is more immigration each year than the community can absorb. In all aspects jobs, education, housing, health, social services, etc.

the Chinese community cannot cope with such a high rate of influx of immigrants each year, says Po Wong, an executive director of the Chinese Newcomers Service Center in San Francisco (Dewan). Also, for the education, Norman Matoff says that our schools in California are getting poorer and poorer. California ranks 43rd out of 50 states in per-pupil spending! Whats the problem? The problem is that we have too many kids, and that problem in turn is mainly due to immigration (Robinson). In conclusion, the over-numbered immigrants cause inconvenience and financial burden to the countries.

For all the reasons for Chinese migrating to the other countries, their main purpose is to acquire a better life of high quality both in the 19th and 21st centuries. At the very beginning of the migration, they moved to the big countries to earn money easily. And for now, they choose to migrate for better living. However, migration remains considerable because kinds of problems can also exist after the migration such as language, cultural distinctions and the housing burden to the countries as mentioned previously. Word count: 1913 Works Cited 1. Murphy, Nigel. A guide to laws and policies relating to the Chinese in New Zealand, 18711996.

Cambridge: Polity, 2002. Print. 2. Ip, Manying. Unfolding history, evolving identity: the Chinese in New Zealand. Auckland: U of Auckland P, 2003. Print. 3. Jacobson, Matthew. Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917. New York: Norton, 2000. Print. 4. Robinson, Courtland. Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability. Publishers Weekly 20 Oct. 2010: 26-28. Print. 5. Dewan, Wang, Cai Fang, and Gao Weshu. Globalization and Internal Labor Mobility in China: New Trend and Policy Implications. Postmodern Culture 3 (2005): n. pag. Web.

20 March 2013 6. Kashima, Tetsuden. Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Citizens. Washington: U of Washington P, 1997. Print. 7. Takaki, Ronald. Strangers From a Different Shore. Boston: Little Brown, 1989. Print. 8. Saxton, Alexander. The Indispensable Enemy: Labor and the Anti-Chinese Movement in California. Berkeley: U of California P, 1971. Print. 9. Ng, James. Windows on a Chinese past. 4 vols. to date. Dunedin: Otago Heritage P, 1993. Print. 10. Le,C. N. The First Asian Americans. Asian-Nation. 1. 1 (2003): n. pag. Web. 24 April 2013.

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