Since its large-scale inception in the mid-nineteenth century, the Chinese immigration has been a noticeable factor in the development of both countries. The American society has been altered significantly because of the sheer volume of the incoming populace, as well as the inevitable changes introduced on the social, cultural, and economic levels.
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China has also been subject to influence – because of the returning immigrants, the involvement of the Chinese living in America into Chinese affairs to varying degree (Lai 21), and the multitude of inevitable tensions resulting from complications of immigration. Some of the aspects of U.S. immigration policies has led to the emergence of the new phenomena, like the businesses offering their services of attaining citizenship by exploiting legal gaps in the procedure.
According to the reports, the level of education among the Chinese immigrants is the highest when compared to those from other countries and even to American population, with 47 percent of the Chinese holding a bachelor or higher degree against only 28% and 30%, respectively (Hooper and Batalova par. 7). While such determination definitely benefits the median education level, it is met with unpredictable hostility in China.
Cases in which the Chinese government is applying sanctions of varying severity to the Chinese specialists who return to their homeland after receiving proper training in the United States are not uncommon. The most recent widely publicized case is that of Hu Zhicheng, an engineer who, after a successful career in the U.S. has decided to apply his talent in China.
While such turn of events is theoretically the most desired outcome for Chinese authorities, Hu Zhicheng’s endeavor has ended in him falling under unexplained and vague restrictions that forbid him both to continue his work and to leave China (Jacobs, “Engineer’s Return” par. 2). Mr. Hu is not the only immigrant experiencing such treatment, as his case is strikingly similar to that of Chen Guangcheng, a legal advocate who has resorted to fleeing the country in order to have an opportunity to study as well as to evade the harsh family planning policies (Liu par. 3).
Unfortunately, the intervention by American officials has resulted in the case gaining an unusual notoriety, and Guangcheng’s subsequent involvement in the controversial partisanship (Jacobs, “After Epic Escape” par. 2). Both cases show the adverse effects of the political agenda of the government in the otherwise beneficial process.
The political scene remains the powerful driving force behind the majority of issues connected to immigration communities. The 2012 “Humble Locke” phenomenon is another illustration of how the successful story can get in the way of the government agenda. In 2011, the occasional photograph of the American ambassador to China, Gary Locke, has gained tremendous coverage by media (“Flying coach” par. 1).
The reason for this is the stark contrast between his obviously simple and unpretentious lifestyle and the luxury displayed by Chinese officials of the similar position (Wong par. 1). While later some of the press got more rational in suggesting it could be a calculated political move intended for gaining the much-needed sympathy (Bodeen par. 5), none of them went as far as the official Chinese publications, which directly accused Locke of being deceptive and posing harm to Chinese society while masking his intentions with a helpful vibe. One of the leveraging points used by the critics was his ancestry (Locke is a second-generation immigrant), which allowed them to use racial slurs to emphasize his insincerity (“Official Chinese media outlet” par. 1).
Despite these highlights, the current situation is a far cry from that of the early twentieth century, when the immigration was largely outlawed, and the Chinese already present in the U.S. have experienced segregation and unfair treatment in their everyday life. Both the conditions of life and the possibilities of getting a citizenship have improved since 1965, which have led to the dramatic increase in the percentage of the Chinese population.
The reports show the stable increase in population, with roughly 400,000 increase from 2010 to 2013 and no sign of decline (Hooper and Batalova par. 2). In part, this is thanks to exploiting the gaps in the current immigration policies. The brightest example is the unique status of the children born in the U.S. The recent events indicate not only the tendency of exploiting this issue, but the emergence of the industry of questionable legality, offering services of assisting pregnant Chinese women in giving birth to their babies within the United States, thus granting them a leverage in opportunities later in life (Chang par. 1).
While there is no legal procedure to control this practice, specialists show growing concern with the phenomenon, pointing to various adverse effects. The unwanted consequences include the population stratum that reserves the right to reap social and economic benefits without taking part in contributing to country’s economy, not to mention the obvious hazards faced by women who are inclined to risk their own and their child’s health by taking the trip and often ending up in the unsuitable conditions (Chang par. 7).
In all, the immigration policy reform has had a positive impact on both countries, benefiting the education, the diversification of opportunities, and even the social climate of the local communities. However, the range of complications, mostly of political origin, still persists and remains an important issue to solve before the immigration can be treated as a source of unwanted controversies instead of ground for collaboration and mutual benefit.
Bodeen, Christopher. US Ambassador to Beijing Admired, Reviled. 2011. Web.
Chang, Cindy. In Suburbs of L.A., a Cottage Industry of Birth Tourism. 2013. Web.
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Hooper, Kate and Jeanne Batalova. Chinese Immigrants in the United States. 2015. Web.
Jacobs, Andrew. After Epic Escape from China, Exile Is Mired in Partisan U.S. 2013. Web.
Jacobs, Andrew. Engineer’s Return to China Leads to Jail and Limbo. 2011. Web.
Lai, Him Mark. China and the Chinese American Community: The Political Dimension. 2016. Web.
Liu, Melinda. Chen Guangcheng’s Blind Injustice. 2012. Web.
Wong, Edward. Photo of ‘Humble Locke’ Helps Biden as he Starts China Visit. 2011. Web.