Books

03.29.18

Patriot Number One

Lauren Hilgers
Crown Publishing Group: In 2014, in a snow-covered house in Flushing, Queens, a village revolutionary from Southern China considered his options. Zhuang Liehong was the son of a fisherman, the former owner of a small tea shop, and the spark that had sent his village into an uproar—pitting residents against a corrupt local government. Under the alias Patriot Number One, he had stoked a series of pro-democracy protests, hoping to change his home for the better. Instead, sensing an impending crackdown, Zhuang and his wife, Little Yan, left their infant son with relatives and traveled to America. With few contacts and only a shaky grasp of English, they had to start from scratch.In Patriot Number One, Hilgers follows this dauntless family through a world hidden in plain sight: a byzantine network of employment agencies and language schools, of underground asylum brokers and illegal dormitories that Flushing’s Chinese community relies on for survival. As the irrepressibly opinionated Zhuang and the more pragmatic Little Yan pursue legal status and struggle to reunite with their son, we also meet others piecing together a new life in Flushing. Tang, a democracy activist who was caught up in the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, is still dedicated to his cause after more than a decade in exile. Karen, a college graduate whose mother imagined a bold American life for her, works part-time in a nail salon as she attends vocational school and refuses to look backward.With a novelist’s eye for character and detail, Hilgers captures the joys and indignities of building a life in a new country—and the stubborn allure of the American dream.{chop}

New Documentary Portrays Nuanced View of Africans’ Experience Living in China

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
When filmmakers Zhang Yong, Hodan Abdi, and Fu Dong set out to make a new documentary on the African migrant experience in China, they were determined to ensure that their own voices and experiences came through in the story. Until now, most if not...

Hunan to Encourage People Living in Poverty to Work Abroad

du juan
China Daily
Central China’s Hunan province plans to encourage people living in poverty to work abroad to achieve its goal of poverty alleviation, according to Xinhua, citing information from the province’s poverty relief authorities.

Kushner Company a No-Show at China Visa Event After Ethics Uproar

TRACY CONNOR
NBC News
Richard Painter, who was an ethics attorney for President George W. Bush, told NBC News last week that Saturday’s meeting in Shenzhen came “very, very close to solicitation of a bribe” and amounted to “corruption, pure and simple.”

The Curious Rise of the ‘White Left’ as a Chinese Internet Insult

chenchen zhang
If you look at any thread about Trump, Islam or immigration on a Chinese social media platform these days, it’s impossible to avoid encountering the term baizuo (白左), or literally, the ‘white left’. It first emerged about two years ago, and yet has...

The Princeling in the West Wing

JILL ABRAMSON
New York Times
Over the weekend, there was the unseemly spectacle of Jared Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, hawking golden visas to connected Chinese investors if they would put $500,000 into one of the Kushners’ real estate projects in Jersey City.

U.S. Investigates Work at Pacific Island Casino Project with Trump Ties

NEIL GOUGH, CAO LI
New York Times
Officials say contractors illegally hired Chinese workers in Saipan, part of an American commonwealth, to build a casino overseen by a former Trump protégé.

Depth of Field

12.06.16

From West Africa, the Czech Republic, and Home

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
In this month’s Depth of Field, Chinese photojournalists explore foreign terrain, both beyond China’s borders and within them. Independent photographer Yuyang Liu traveled the open seas to document the lives of Chinese and African workers who fish...

New Wave of Chinese Restaurants Challenge “Cheap” Stereotype

Esther Wang
NPR
A new generation of immigrant restaurateurs is aiming to offer an updated spin on the Chinese restaurant, with prices to match

Why Are So Many First-Generation Chinese Immigrants Supporting Donald Trump?

Kaiser Kuo
Sinica Podcast
Based on dozens of conversations with Chinese and Chinese Americans, Kuo explains the chief reasons behind the popularity of Trump

Sinica Podcast

09.20.16

What is the Chinese-American Identity?

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
What is the Chinese-American identity? How has the rise of China affected American attitudes toward ethnically Chinese people in the United States and elsewhere? How do the 3.8 million Chinese-Americans impact U.S.-China relations, and what role...

Sinica Podcast

09.07.16

Yiwu, a City at the Core of Cheap Chinese Goods

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
Renowned as a trading town during the Qing dynasty, the eastern city of Yiwu again became famous for its markets after China’s economic reforms kicked in during the 1980s. Since then, the metropolis of 1.2 million people has transformed into a hub...

Race, Culture, and the Politics of Being Black in China

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Being black in China is not easy, but it’s not as bad as many would have you think, according to our two guests this week, who are both black immigrants currently living in Beijing. Sure, people stare a lot and there are often some inappropriate...

Sinica Podcast

02.22.16

Allegiance

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser and Jeremy recorded today’s show from New York, where they waylaid Holly Chang, founder of Project Pengyou and now Acting Executive Director of the Committee of 100, for a discussion on spying, stealing commercial spying, spying, and Broadway...

U.S. to China: Take Back Your Undocumented Immigrants

MARK HOSENBALL AND TIM REID
Reuters
China was taking steps to provide the paperwork needed to expel undocumented immigrants from the U.S.

Learning to Speak Lingerie: Chinese Merchants and the Inroads of Globalization

Peter Hessler
New Yorker
All told, along a three-hundred-mile stretch, I found twenty-six Chinese lingerie dealers: four in Sohag, twelve in Asyut, two in Mallawi, six in Minya, and two in Beni Suef. It was like mapping the territory of large predator cats: in the Nile...

NO! China is NOT Exporting Convict Labor to Africa!!!!

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Fifteen minutes into almost any conversation about the Chinese in Africa, the question about Chinese labor invariably comes up. “The Chinese are exporting convicts to work on construction sites,” according to one of the pervasive myths, or, “Chinese...

Chinese Racist Views Towards Blacks and Africans

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
When riots broke out in the U.S. city of Baltimore in May 2015, the reaction across the Chinese social web was sadly predictable as Internet users posted countless anti-black racist comments. However, what was interesting about their posts is how...

A Chinese Perspective on the #RacistRestaurant Scandal in Kenya

Cobus van Staden & Huang Hongxiang
The Chinese restaurant in Nairobi that barred Africans after 5pm sparked a frenzied week of news coverage on both local and international media and, of course, on Twitter. The actions of this small, inconsequential restaurant seemingly took on much...

Flash of Anti-Chinese Xenophobia in the DR Congo

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Anti-government protestors filled the streets of the Democratic Republic of the Congo capital Kinshasa on January 19 and 20 to protest against a new election law making its way through the National Assembly. The new law calls for a national census...

Religion Among African Immigrants in China

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
Nestled in apartments and offices throughout the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are dozens of improvised churches that cater to the region’s Pentacostal Africans, largely from Nigeria. These churches not only serve the community’s religious...

Sino-African Marriages in China: ‘Til Death Do Us Part’?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
A marriage boom of sorts is underway in China, where a growing number of African men are tying the knot with Chinese women. While these new families are breaking long-held cultural stereotypes, they are also confronting a whole set of new challenges...

Why Eating Chinese Food on Christmas is a Sacred Tradition for American Jews

Marc Tracy
Tablet
The Hebrew year is 5774 and the Chinese year is 4710. That must mean, the joke goes, that against all odds the Jews went without Chinese food for 1,064 years. In fact, Jewish love for Chinese food is neither hallucinated nor arbitrary. It is very...

Chinese Immigration to U.S. Still Rising

Kelly Chung Dawson
China Daily
The number of foreign-born Chinese Americans in the US doubled between 2000 and 2010, according to a UN report, and experts attribute the increase in large part to China’s growing middle class.