About the Author (关于作者)
The author was born in Taiwan, with ancestry one generation removed from the Mainland resulting from the KMT’s retreat to Taiwan upon defeat in the Civil War. As a result of his parents’ decisions, he was educated in Canada and the United States from grade school in the 1980s until graduate studies post-2000. He repatriated in 2007 and now splits his time between Taiwan and the Mainland.
1. Survey of Chinese Emigration to Western Countries (中国人向西方移民的概论)
1.1. Early Emigration and Creation of Chinatowns (早期移民与唐人街的建立)
Historical records indicate the earliest Chinese arrived in Western countries including the United States starting in the Qing Dynasty. Many were laborers imported by Western countries to perform dangerous and low-paid work. A large proportion, maybe even a majority of them died unnatural deaths as a result of their work or social status – i.e., a slave or a “coolie.” It is unclear if any of these early migrants intended to naturalize. In any case, that option was precluded by the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) in the United States and similar laws in other Western countries.
Historical records also show the earliest Chinese were perpetually abused, tortured or killed in Western countries, even aside from their dangerous and low-paid work. There are incidents of lynching or even mass lynching. There are incidents of collective living quarters of Chinese being burned along with their inhabitants. By law (Page Act of 1875), Chinese women were restricted from entry for fear the Chinese would increase in number and gain citizenship through birth. If an American-born woman of Chinese descent married a Chinese immigrant, she would lose her citizenship. Similarly, Chinese men would be killed if they befriended a white woman.
By the turn of the 20th century until WW2, small populations of [unnaturalized / alien] Chinese gathered in “Chinatowns” in various cities. San Francisco was one of the largest settlements in the world. By this time, the Chinese were working menial labor but not the extremely dangerous kind. Some Chinese owned land and opened shops and restaurants. As long as they stayed in their small communities, they could gain reprieve from abuse, torture and murder.
Toward the end of WW2, in the United States, while Japanese Americans were being sent to internment camps, the Chinese population gained the right to naturalize and become American citizens. Then in 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Act opened the floodgates to more Chinese immigration – much of it from Hong Kong and Taiwan after the CCP took power in 1949 in the mainland.
Considering the chaos experienced by China between the start of the Sino-Japanese War until 1949 liberation, it is likely that the living standards of Chinese in the United States were relatively higher than 2 of 8 that in the homeland during this period. However, especially after 1949, any Chinese suspected of pro-CCP sympathy would be abused, tortured or killed. The relatively more humane treatment of Chinese in this period was conditioned on their support for the Western bloc in the Cold War against USSR. Chinatowns served the same function as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and post-war Japan, which were all countries and regions in East Asia serving the Western bloc agenda.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea were all still very poor and underdeveloped. During this time, a Chinese (whether naturalized or not) working a menial job in Chinatown probably had a higher standard of living than the same working class in those countries and regions. This was the era when “making money in America (or other Western countries) and sending it back to China” could be considered a patriotic act.
Actually, it made little sense to naturalize since the mainstream society treated all Chinese, including naturalized US citizens, as perpetual foreigners anyway. It was precisely this foreign / alien / “the other” attribute, combined with Cold War-era sympathies, that maintained a “non-threatening” appearance for mainstream society and prevented or reduced abuse, torture and killing.
1.2. Rise of the Traitor Emigrants in the 1980s (卖国贼移民在八零年代的攀升)
By the 1980s, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea (the latter not ethnic Chinese, of course) were rapidly growing economically and collectively called the “Four Asian Tigers.” As their people grew wealthier, one might think that few of them would chose to emigrate to a Western country. However, the reverse turned out to be true: A significant number of the nouveau riche decided to emigrate to Western countries as soon as they had the means to do so because they were among the first to have discretionary income to spend on Western media products and these Western media products instilled in them the impression that the white people are racially superior to Chinese. The white supremacist racial theory is supported by the pro-West Cold War ideology of the Four Asian Tigers and, conversely, by their hatred for the Chinese ethnicity as exemplified by CCP-led mainland China.
In other words, the Cold War ideological divide mutated into an intense form of racial self-hatred and white supremacy supported by the wealth, political power and prestige of the West – which strongly appealed to those who are money grubbing, status climbing and vain (prone to making major decisions for the sole purpose of flaunting or bragging before their peers). These nouveau riche emigrants might initially make the decision to emigrate expecting that CCP will fail and mainland China will collapse into chaos with resulting geopolitical disruption across East Asia, but once they have emigrated and naturalized they begin to wish that CCP will fail and mainland China will collapse into chaos so their favorite champions – the white race – will be able to enslave all Chinese and thereby elevate the emigrant’s own status as an “early defector” to the white race.
1.3. Wretched Behavior of the Traitor Emigrants (卖国贼移民的恶叉白赖)
The mindset of the 1980s ethnic Chinese emigrants from the Asian Tigers is precisely a traitor or defector mindset: they anticipate or wish that all Chinese (especially CCP-led mainland) will be enslaved by superior white people whom they watch on TV and want to defect early so as to gain the favor and acceptance of the superior white people. Their mindset is quite unlike the ethnic Chinese diaspora from before 1980s who are in Western countries for economic rather than ideological reasons. Moreover, the traitor-emigrants seek to be (and believe they can be) accepted into mainstream Western society 3 of 8 through bribery, flattery and obsequious behavior while the earlier emigrants deliberately try to maintain distance to avoid abuse, torture and killing at the hand of mainstream society. Finally, the traitor-emigrants aggressively flaunt and boast to their peers and relations in the homeland about their Western residency and superficial symbols of acceptance in the West such as their children’s academic achievements. To advance their goal of being accepted into white society (and to ensure their retirement is materially comfortable), the traitor-emigrants have evolved the manipulation of their children as tools toward that end. The best description of this function is perhaps the “anchor” as in a tool to plant the traitor- emigrants into the soil of Western countries. This allows traitor-emigrants to maximize the pleasure they gain from flaunting and boasting to their peers and relations in the homeland about their Western residency and superficial symbols of acceptance in the West. The typical tactic for traitor-emigrants is to deploy their children like a vanguard in an army. The parents stay behind in Asia or stay insulated in an overseas Chinese community and speak almost zero English. Whenever, in the course of living in a Western country, a need to speak English arises for the family, the traitor-emigrants would deploy their children to deal with it (including all kinds of daily interactions, purchases, disputes and government affairs) to shield and pave the way for the parents. Despite being forced by traitor-emigrants to take on the role of a mature adult in Western society at a young age (since the parents are completely inadequate), minor children are not entirely independent and it is inevitable that the parents will need to spend money sustaining the unnatural situation. The money spent will be mentioned when the parents boast to their peers (“look at how much money I am spending on my children – I am a model parent”) as well as justify more cruelty toward the children (“look at how much money I spent on you and you have not given me any money yet”). For minor children, the traitor-emigrants have evolved “tiger parenting,” which is a euphemism for violent physical abuse of their own children to coerce the children into fantastic realms of academic performance for boasting to peers and relations in the homeland. To escape social opprobrium, “tiger parenting” is cleverly disguised as an actual parenting style rather than a textbook definition of child abuse. The term was coined by a diaspora Chinese mother, Amy Chua, in a book written to justify this form of child abuse. Life in the homeland is deliberately misconstrued as hell on Earth to justify severe child abuse as the only way to save the child from life in the homeland. At the same time, life in the Western country is deliberately misconstrued as heaven on Earth to justify severe child abuse as facilitating the child’s acceptance into mainstream society. Also, traitor-emigrants try to give child abuse a religious or cultural justification by saying it is just “Confucianism.” For mainstream society, this kind of justification is often enough to let them turn a blind eye to rampant child abuse in ethnic Chinese communities. If a child is abused in the homeland by the parents, teachers and extended family would notice and, at the very least, have a talk with the parents. Traitor-emigrants learned that children are the most vulnerable because there is no extended family for the children to turn to (the traitor-emigrants have monopolized all power and influence) and the teachers from mainstream society often turn a blind-eye when faced with a religious or cultural justification for child abuse in an ethnic minority community. Meanwhile, traitor-emigrants frequently gather among themselves to flaunt and boast about their children’s academic achievements and trade tips on enhancing “tiger parenting” effectiveness – thereby psychologically normalizing their child abuse. 4 of 8 Another clever tactic employed by traitor-emigrants is to brainwash their children about the homeland in a way that suits their agenda (i.e., justifying “tiger parenting” child abuse and keeping their children docile to serve them in retirement) and prohibiting the children from learning Chinese. Done thoroughly, this effectively “lobotomizes” any instinct of their child toward self-protection even when the child reaches adolescence and adulthood. The child believes that his or her parents are simply “very Confucian” so their physical abuse is a manifestation of their religious or cultural values and the love shown by saving the child from the wretched homeland and delivering him or her to the almighty West. Since the child does not even speak Chinese, he or she cannot even figure out from literature or media how the homeland actually regards child abuse much less travel to the homeland to understand its social norms regarding the parent-child relationship. Finally, for adult children, traitor-emigrants will manipulate their children to serve them in a comfortable retirement in the West. For sons, this is straightforward – keep the son docile through brainwashing and manipulate the son into providing for the parents economically. For the daughters, it usually involves a choice between manipulating the daughter into serving them in retirement versus encouraging the daughter to date and marry a white man as another superficial symbol of acceptance in the West for the purpose of flaunting and boasting to their peers and relations in the homeland as well as other traitor- emigrants in the diaspora community. Typically, if the parents feel they do not have economic means for a comfortable retirement, they will choose the former for a daughter because adult children in Western societies (including white man / Chinese woman married couples) usually do not provide for parents. Conversely, if they feel they have economic means for a comfortable retirement, then an additional superficial symbol of acceptance in the West will be preferred. This pattern of relentless flaunting of their white worshipping and abuse of their children eventually gets out of control. The emotional ties holding the family together eventually evaporate and all that remains is manipulation, exploitation, worshipping white people and boasting to peers in the homeland. Daughters often enter the sex trade and sons often die young. The traitor-emigrants will keep up the appearance for their peers in the homeland for as long as possible but when the truth becomes impossible to hide they become depressed from shame and die.
1.4. Opening of the Mainland in the 1990s (大陆在九零年代的开展)
The mainland China experience is exemplified by its much greater size and scale compared to various ethnic Chinese societies outside of the mainland and by the relatively greater independence of its political economy from the Western world compared to the Four Asian Tigers. In the decades immediately following the founding of the PRC in 1949, contact with the capitalist Western bloc was limited. Contact only earnestly began in the 1980s when university and post-graduate students were sent abroad on state funds. By the early 1990s, more of these university and post-graduate students were funded by their own families rather than by the state. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, as incomes rose in first tier cities in the mainland, families started to follow the same pattern of behavior as traitor-emigrants from the Four Asian Tigers. For the earlier wave of emigrants from mainland China, it is arguable that they are not traitors at all since the United States (as representative of the capitalist Western bloc) was an ally of PRC against the USSR during the 1980s. Moreover, mainland China during the 1980s and 1990s was poorer than the Four Asian Tigers during that time (outside of the major cities, much poorer) so some of the migration during that era may have taken place entirely for economic reasons and not for white worshipping 5 of 8 reasons. Of course, those who have strong sentimental ties to the homeland would presumably have returned by the mid-2000s when the Chinese economy was significantly more developed. For the mainland Chinese emigrating in the late 1990s and early 2000s as incomes rose, it is entirely appropriate to consider them traitor-emigrants since their discretionary income spent on Western media products instilled in them the impression that white people are racially superior to Chinese and that the poverty of their countrymen is shameful. Driven by money grubbing, status climbing and white worshipping, they saw an opportunity to defect early to the “winning side” before China is destroyed by the West and earn prestige by flaunting a fabricated “honorary white” status to their peers. Once they landed, the mainland traitor-emigrants learned quickly from the Taiwanese traitor-emigrants and behaved in exactly the same way by exploiting their children as anchors, abusing their children in the name of “tiger parenting” and boasting constantly to peers and relations in the homeland about their white worshipping.
1.5. Rise of the Chinese State During the 2000s and 2010s (中国在零零和一零年代的升腾)
The Chinese economy grew rapidly every year starting from the 1990s. By the late 2000s this had the effect of creating a very large middle class in the first-tier cities. On the one hand, more people have the economic means to emigrate to Western countries. On the other hand, the economic boom motivates people to remain in China to participate in it. Many of them witnessed that those who emigrated in the 1990s and early 2000s completely missed the economic boom in the homeland while they were washing dishes in Chinatown restaurants and chasing their Western dreams. Eventually, it resulted in a bifurcation of the middle class into two factions: those who are traitor-emigrants or wish to be traitor- emigrants versus those who decline to be traitor-emigrants and even look down on traitor-emigrants as disloyal or foolish. Over the course of the 2010s, with increased political stability, the rise of privately-owned companies and the end of Western multinationals as the dominant economic force in China, the latter faction grew stronger and overpowered the former faction. As a result, international students no longer seek to naturalize abroad and those who naturalized abroad have largely returned to participate in the economy. There are almost no more Chinese citizens seeking to emigrate for economic reasons. Instead, emigration is associated primarily with money laundering for Chinese citizens who have illegal income from corruption or other illegal activities and associated with the lavish lifestyles of young adults living abroad on family wealth who are under no economic pressures. Another permutation is the dispatch of a young child as the anchor with the sole mission of naturalizing abroad and bringing the parents over for a Western retirement some decades later, although this permutation differs from the earlier traitor- emigrants in that boasting about superficial symbols of assimilation into Western society is not so prevalent. These recent waves of Chinese emigrants (or Chinese citizens living abroad) have a completely different set of motivations compared to the norm that has persisted for 30 years before – i.e., the traitor emigrants and their tiger parenting. Moreover, the two groups do not associate with each other very much and even look down on one another.
2. Status of Ethnic Chinese and Incentives to Repatriate (华人的地位与归国的激励)
As indicated by the foregoing survey of emigration to Western countries, there are separate distinct groups of ethnic Chinese in Western countries: (1) the descendants of the earliest wave, whose parents or ancestors were closely tied to Chinatowns; (2) the traitor-emigrants from the Four Asian Tigers and, later, from mainland China and their children whom they raised with tiger parenting in an effort to assimilate and accumulate wealth for the parents' retirement; and (3) the most recent wave who departed when the homeland was already economically strong and politically stable for whom tiger parenting is not as prevalent and naturalization is optional. Western society, especially American society, despises all ethnic Chinese. Men are viewed as threats while women are viewed as sex objects. The CIA and other government institutions collude with entertainment media to perpetuate these negative stereotypes about Asian Americans. Ethnic Chinese men who grew up in Western countries are particularly despised because their cultural immersion in the West is considered contamination of Western culture. Therefore, all of the above three groups are living, to a greater or lesser degree, in a state of constant repression and persecution from mainstream society. Individuals who are relatively better off include: (1) first generation emigrants who have savings or an offshore source of income so they can live in relative isolation from mainstream society and do not need to join the workforce; (2) women who chose to mate with white males in exchange for temporary acceptance into Western society, at least while they are still young; (3) earlier waves of emigrants who can earn good income by providing needed services to the latest, and much wealthier, wave of emigrants; and (4) people in STEM industries who enjoy better opportunities because non-Asians tend to avoid those industries. Conversely, individuals who are relatively worse off include: (1) men, who cannot date or marry because the women only date and marry whites in exchange for acceptance into Western society; (2) children who grow up emotionally damaged from tiger parenting; (3) children who grow up without basic Chinese skills because their parents decided their sole function in life is to serve as an anchor for the parents; (4) people who live in poorer neighborhoods and are under greater daily threat of physical harm; and (5) people who are in industries dominated by white and Jews such as media, entertainment, finance and law. Therefore, a Chinese American male descended from a traitor-emigrant, who is emotionally damaged from tiger parenting, does not speak any Chinese because his parents wanted him to be an anchor, cannot possibly provide any services to new wealthy emigrants, lives in a poor neighborhood and is not in a STEM industry faces an extremely bleak future. With increasing globalization and information dissemination, not only are international students returning to the homeland instead of naturalizing abroad but there is also a growing movement of foreign-born or raised ethnic Chinese (particularly men) who are aware of the discrimination and prejudice they face daily and are also aware of China’s economically strength and politically stability especially since 2010 and who have a strong incentive to repatriate to the homeland. A significant number of them have passable Chinese language skills and others are willing to learn.
3. Prescriptions for the Treatment of the Chinese Diaspora (针对华裔的配方)
The diaspora Chinese who did not voluntarily emigrate or surrender their citizenship but arrived in their situation as a result of parents’ or ancestors’ decisions do not deserve a bleak future. Many self-identify as Chinese, are loyal to the nation and despise the Western country that treats them poorly despite being born or raised there. Moreover, many have significant academic, career, business, or scientific achievements that can be a great boon to the homeland. The Chinese government should support a four-pronged approach to the treatment of repatriated Chinese diaspora.
3.1. Issue Proper Identification Cards (能发布正当身份证)
In China, there is the second-generation ID card that is universally accepted, and then there are a variety of other documents that are not accepted or usable half the time, especially when using automated machines. Repatriated Chinese diaspora do not need a new category of ID card to replace the foreign passport – but rather a second-generation ID card like everybody else along with a household registration, i.e. a bona fide Chinese citizenship. It would even be feasible for repatriated Chinese diaspora men to enlist in military service for some period of years to earn the right to citizenship. France has a foreign legion that allows foreigners to attain French citizenship by military service and China can do the same.
3.2. Dispel the Widely Held Misconceptions about the Diaspora (能反驳那些关于海外长大的华人的广泛谬论)
Due to decades of boasting by traitor-emigrants to peers and relatives in the homeland, people have deeply ingrained misconceptions about ethnic Chinese who are born or educated abroad. The government should proactively dispel these misconceptions because they negatively impact the lives of repatriated Chinese diaspora.
Firstly, contrary to widespread belief, the formal education system in Western countries is not a leisurely activity. Traitor-emigrants have disseminated this lie to make themselves appear superior to their peers in the homeland by making their children appear to be happier abroad than they would be in China. Actually, the formal education system in Western countries can be leisurely if students and their parents have low demands, or it can be very demanding if students and their parents have high demands. Children of traitor-emigrants are under the greatest pressure to academically succeed because the parents wish to flaunt academic achievements as a superficial symbol of assimilation into mainstream society.
Secondly, contrary to widespread belief, diaspora Chinese are not well accepted in mainstream society of Western countries. The reasons are already discussed above. Thirdly, contrary to widespread belief, diaspora Chinese might not be as white worshipping as their traitor-emigrant parents. The reasons are already discussed above.
3.3. Connect with the Diaspora through the Confucius Institutes (能通过孔子学院来跟海外长大的华人相联)
As described above, large numbers of Chinese parents are manipulating and exploiting their children as anchors. The parents often discourage their children from learning Chinese because it may jeopardize their mission to serve as the parents’ anchor. Yet the lack of Chinese language skills will preclude the possibility of repatriation to China once the child becomes an adult. The child does not deserve a lifetime of persecution and oppression in the West and so the Chinese government should seek to enable them by teaching them basic Chinese while they are young and able to pick up languages more easily.
3.4. Criminalize the Act of Removing Children from the Country (能把撤走孩子这个行为变成犯罪)
Living in a Western country is extremely dangerous for an ethnic Chinese person. Parents who take their child out of the country for emigration are deliberately putting their children in danger. It is no different from putting their child in a basket on a motorcycle and riding very fast. Parents who do this should be put in prison, and the child should be taken away from those inadequate parents and placed in the state’s care. Criminalization should cover both the parent who emigrates with the child in tow, and those who send the child abroad alone for anchor emigration. An exclusion can be made for emigration to safe countries and communities such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.