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CNN: Can China become a melting pot?   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-4-21 10:01:25 |Display all floors
Editor's note: Parag Khanna is a Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation and Senior Fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. His books include "The Second World," "How to Run the World," and "Hybrid Reality."
(CNN) -- In his first weeks as leader of the world's most populous nation, China's new President Xi Jinping has made frequent reference to an emergent "Chinese Dream," emphasizing prosperity, happiness, and a revitalized national ethos.
No doubt economic growth and infrastructure have been common themes in China's national rhetoric.

But as national pride rises in lockstep with economic growth, the added emphasis on a culturally based "unity of purpose" raises a new question: As China overcomes centuries of foreign intrusion and humiliation to emerge as a superpower, what will be the role of non-Chinese?


China has become not only a global center of economic gravity, but also a demographic magnet. Historically, great empires have been ethnically diverse and racially inclusive, absorbing talent from all corners to drive collective success. In short, they have been melting pots.

China's history has hardly been linear or peaceful when it comes to its inter-ethnic relations and openness to the outside world. Two thousand years ago, Buddhism came to China via the Silk Road, absorbing Central Asian monks and missionaries.

The 13th century Silk Road traveler Marco Polo spent 17 years serving in the Yuan Dynasty court of Kublai Khan. But China has also sought to be left alone.

The Great Wall was built and rebuilt many times since the Qin dynasty (221 BC) to fend off Mongol invasions. Were it not for the 19th century Opium Wars and perception of British and other Europeans' mercantile exploitation of the country for silver, it would have been even more difficult to unite its disparate regional power centers against "foreign devils."

China continued to suffer foreign occupation, notably by the Japanese during World War II, but after its own civil war rapidly undertook a process of territorial consolidation. Its western expansion led to the pacification of diverse ethnicities, creating today's mélange of the dominant Han, but also Zhuang, Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Tibetan, Miao, Mongol, and other ethnic groups.

Much of the country remained closed off, however, while Hong Kong and Macao remained foreign run. It was Deng Xiaoping who set the country on its present seemingly irreversible course of globalization. In the 1970s and 1980s, thousands of foreign investors and managers came to run factories taking advantage of China's enormous labor pool.

The outsourcing of manufacturing to China brought capital, technology, and knowledge that the country needed. Now that China has become one of the most trade-dependent nations, openness is no longer an option.

It is easier than ever to visit and reside in China, but do foreigners see themselves staying in China for a long time? And how "Chinese" can they become?

America is used to being the land of opportunity for immigrants, but it is has also become a source of economic migrants, particularly since the financial crisis. Over 6 million Americans now reside abroad, the highest number ever recorded, and the proportion of Americans aged 18 to 24 who plan to move abroad has risen from 12 to 40% since 2007.

Ever more young Americans are turning up in China, living cheap, learning Chinese, hustling for jobs, and diligently traveling Asia. At a lecture last year at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University, I heard from dozens of Westerners who turned down spots in MA programs in the U.S. and Europe in order to get a dual-language MA in China -- with guaranteed summer internships and great networking opportunities with multinationals and Chinese businesses. Across the board, young Westerners I have met in China came here on one-way tickets.

From executives in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Chongqing to diplomats and intellectuals in Beijing, China has become a country that scholars, journalists, and entrepreneurs are settling in for the long haul. Daniel Bell, a Canadian political philosopher and long-time China resident who lectures intellectual and Party elites in fluent Mandarin, points out that while China has become home to a global talent pool, with thousands of foreigners arriving each year with a great desire to learn about Chinese culture, "there is no expectation that they will become 'real' Chinese."

No matter how well foreigners learn Chinese, they cannot dissolve their original cultural traits the way many immigrants in America do within just a single generation. Perhaps that is part of the appeal: if one can never be truly "Chinese," then being in China is always exotic.

No doubt, there are high-profile cases of Chinese fleeing their own country, from the blind dissident Chen Guangcheng to ultra-high net worth individuals parking cash abroad. Some expatriates who had devoted their own careers to China have also packed up and left, citing air pollution, lack of free press, and intimidation after speaking their minds.

Companies fed up with the theft of their intellectual property now do not locate their most sensitive research and development operations in China. But still, the number of foreigners in China has crossed one million and continues to rise. Their presence has sparked debates about inclusion and xenophobia, welfare and generosity, democracy and free speech.

Much like long-term residents of Dubai and Singapore, Chinese too blame migrants (both internal and foreign) for crowded streets and rising crime, but also realize that migrants are the ones who often collect the trash and do the laundry. They also help Chinese businesses reach the rest of the world more efficiently.

Each year, more than 200,000 Middle Easterners travel to Yiwu, 200 miles west of Shanghai, to purchase wholesale goods for sale across the Arab world. Everything "made in China" is conveniently available in the city's giant International Trade Center expo halls. The city is now a major hub on the new Silk Road as China has risen to become the Middle East's largest trade partner.

Higher up the value chain, Chinese in cosmopolitan Beijing and Shanghai also appreciate the role foreigners have played in the country's rise. As one Beijing native working for an American university put it, "We admire foreigners because they represent advanced technology and management expertise; we can learn from them."

China has made the recruitment of the global "best and brightest" an official policy, and not just the "sea turtles" (hai gui) of whom more than 500,000 have returned after studying abroad, and now account for half of Chinese companies' launching on the U.S. stock exchange.

Reversing brain drain is not enough. Recently the government has launched its own "green card" program (casually dubbed the "red card"), granting permanent residency to growing numbers of foreigners. As a next generation of leaders with international educations rise in business and government, they are recruiting their talented classmates to come to China, pointing to a continuity of openness to foreign expertise.

Much as China welcomed Jesuits in the 16th and 17th centuries that transferred scientific knowledge to the Ming and Qing dynasties, businessmen, scholars, scientists, and non-governmental organizations are welcome today if they help to improve productivity, innovation, supply chain standards, or bring affordable technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For foreigners using China as a base, residency access is becoming like the Chinese RMB currency: flexible and convertible. But as with the currency, such liberalization takes time and careful management. To thrive, one must not only learn Mandarin but adopt some Chinese views, such as prizing social stability over rapid political reform.

Chinese also don't want foreigners to get too native. According to one Chinese entrepreneur, "just because you might learn Mandarin fluently, we don't like seeing Westerners haggling abrasively in restaurants and bazaars. These are Chinese habits, often crude ones, but when foreigners do them it comes across as exploitation, which we resent."

The foreign population of China won't rise over 1% for many years, a mere drop in the ocean of 1.4 billion people. And like Japan, China is a country where foreigners will never be considered locals even if they adopt local customs. Rather than a melting pot then, China is more of a salad bowl in which foreigners are a mere sprinkling of pepper. Still, foreigners are considered an essential part of achieving the "Chinese Dream."




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Post time 2013-4-21 18:46:17 |Display all floors
Historically, great empires have been ethnically diverse and racially inclusive, absorbing talent from all corners to drive collective success. In short, they have been melting pots.


Incorrect.  Roman Empire fell after it got to big, including too many non-Europeans.  Mongolian empire fell too: too big and too many different cultures that had no unity and harmony.  USA is now falling: ethnic war zone.  Europe is an ethnic warzone too: Muslims versus secular whites.  Diversity leads to national ruin.  

So, why did you lie in your article?

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Post time 2013-4-21 18:48:25 |Display all floors
Mr.Caffeine Post time: 2013-4-21 18:46
Incorrect.  Roman Empire fell after it got to big, including too many non-Europeans.  Mongolian em ...

But, that being said, China really wants diversity, and I respect that: whatever makes them happy.  It will ruin them in the end, but it is their right to choose that path.

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Post time 2013-4-21 19:36:24 |Display all floors

RE: CNN: Can China become a melting pot?

This post was edited by sansukong at 2013-4-22 04:24

Historically, China is already a melting-pot with 56 ethnic groups living within China. Further adultering the compositions of its present population make-up is not to China's advantage. For sure, China is not short of people or lack of talents!


Translating .....

从历史上看,中国已经是一个有56个民族居住在中国境内的大熔炉。
另外,污染其现有人口的组成是不是中国的优势。
如需肯定的是,中国并不缺少人,或缺乏人才!





FIRST NATIONS ( LAKOTA PEOPLE ) Heartbreaking - (Google Search for video) "to stay true to who you are. Never allow anyone make you different or think different about what it is you are created to be ...

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Post time 2013-4-21 21:12:18 |Display all floors
Mr.Caffeine Post time: 2013-4-21 18:46
Incorrect.  Roman Empire fell after it got to big, including too many non-Europeans.  Mongolian em ...

One of the major factors in Rome's success was that it wasn't xenophobic at all and was a melting pot. This worked extremely well for most of its existence, providing huge pools of man power and fighting men. In comparison to Sparta which was completely xenophobic of anyone not Spartan and as a result, their numbers declined eventually they basically died out. The knowledge that merit got you accepted in Rome and that you were not looked down upon for different culture meant that everyone was fighting for Rome, including immigrants and those taken into the empire. This was similar to early U.S up until recently.

When Rome became too large, and had too many people, especially non-europeans, coming, to not to be Roman, but to take their culture and live in Rome's safety, then it became a problem. This is what I fear is happening in the U.S and Europe. You have ethnic Turkish communities that have lived in Germany for 4 generations that still do not speak German. The same occurs in the U.S, especially with some Latino's. China should become a melting pot, but only accept those that contribute, and are not just there for the benefits of a first world country and free stuff like some immigrants in the West.
I may disagree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - Voltaire

The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them
ignora

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Post time 2013-4-22 02:16:05 |Display all floors

RE: CNN: Can China become a melting pot?

This post was edited by sansukong at 2013-4-23 05:03

The ethnic minorities are proud of their own cultures and traditions and it is not wrong for them to show off their own ways of life and that, they are what they are. I would say, the Hans in China have a lot to learn from these ethnic minorities.

Translate  ....

少数民族在中国自己的文化和传统感到骄傲,他们炫耀自己的生活方式,这是没有错的。
我想说,汉族组在中国有很多东西需要学习从这些少数族裔人士

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Post time 2013-4-22 04:03:12 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abramicus at 2013-4-22 04:04

CHINA WAS A MELTING POT FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

PRACTICALLY ALL THE EAST ASIAN NATIONS HAVE MELTED INTO THE CHINA POT AND CALL THEMSELVES CHINESE.  A FEW WERE LEFT OUT WHICH WERE CONSIDERED THEREFORE BARBARIANS BY THE LATER CHINESE, LIKE THE JAPANESE AND VIETNAMESE, WHILE THE KOREANS ARE CONSIDERED BROTHERS, DIFFERENT BUT EQUAL.  ALL ETHNIC MINORITIES IN CHINA ENJOY MORE RIGHTS THAN THE HAN ETHNIC MAJORITY.

ETHNIC MINORITIES HAVE MORE RIGHTS:
1.  THEY CAN HAVE MORE CHILDREN UNDER THE ONE-CHILD-POLICY THAT APPLIES TO THE HANS.
2.  THEY DO HAVE MORE GOVERNMENT SPONSORED SCHOLARSHIPS TO NATIONAL UNIVERSITIES.
3.  THEY HAVE MORE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED ELEMENTARY EDUCATION, HOUSING, HEALTHCARE, AND NUTRITION.

ETHNIC MINORITIES DO NOT HAVE THE FOLLOWING:
1.  THE RIGHT TO KILL ETHNIC HANS JUST BECAUSE THEY MOVED TO TIBET TO MAKE AN HONEST LIVING FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES - THIS, THE HUMAN RIGHTS ORGS OBJECT TO, INDIRECTLY BY CONDEMNING THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT FOR SUPPRESSING THE RADICAL TIBETANS EVEN IF THEY WERE COMMITTING ETHNIC CLEANSING' IN SHORT, WHAT IS NOT WRONG MUST THEREFORE BE RIGHT.
2.  THE RIGHT TO DEMAND THE REST OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE FORFEIT THEIR SOVEREIGNTY OVER TIBET JUST BECAUSE THE LOCAL TIBETANS PREFER TO BE BRITISH SUBJECTS - THIS, THE HUMAN RIGHTS ORGS OBJECT TO, AGAIN BY CONDEMNING THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT STATIONING TROOPS TO ENFORCE THE LAW AGAINST ANARCHISTS; IN SHORT, IF ANARCHY IS RIGHT, THEN THE GOVERNMENT'S SOVEREIGNTY IS NOT.

THE PROBLEMS OF THE ETHNIC MINORITIES AROSE FROM THE INSTIGATION OF THEIR ERSTWHILE MASS MURDERERS, LIKE THE PERPETRATORS OF THE MASSACRE OF LHASA, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS "THE BRITISH EXPEDITION TO LHASA" FOOLING THEIR YOUNGER GENERATION THAT THE MURDERERS OF THEIR FOREFATHERS ARE THEIR CURRENT BENEFACTORS.

WIKIPEDIA HAS THIS TO SAY:

The expedition was intended to counter Russia's perceived ambitions in the East and was initiated largely by Lord Curzon, the head of the British India government. Curzon had long obsessed over Russia's advance into Central Asia and now feared a Russian invasion of British India.[2] In April 1903, the British received clear assurance from the Russian government that it had no interest in Tibet. "In spite, however, of the Russian assurances, Lord Curzon continued to press for the dispatch of a mission to Tibet," a high level British political officer noted.[3] The expedition fought its way to Gyantse and eventually captured Lhasa, the heart of Tibet. The Dalai Lama fled to safety, first in Mongolia and later in China; but thousands of Tibetans armed with antiquated muzzle-loaders and swords were mown down by modern rifles and Maxim machine guns. The expedition forced remaining low-level Tibetan officials to sign the Great Britain and Tibet Convention (1904).[4] The mission was recognized as a military expedition by the British Indian government, "who issued a war medal for it."[5]


SO MUCH FOR THE MANY CROCODILE TEARS FLOWING DOWN THE THAMES RIVER WHICH HAS BEEN TURNED RED A CENTURY AGO BY THE BLOOD OF THOUSANDS OF TIBETANS.

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