Interesting article in the Globe:
From the jungles of Papua New Guinea to the deserts of Libya, some of the wildest and most dangerous corners of the world have one thing in common these days: Chinese workers.
They are the front-line soldiers in China’s new commercial empire. But as Beijing’s global investment rises dramatically, reaching about $60-billion today, its foreign workers …
Although this is not a direct analogy, it is clear that China treats its foreign citizens much better than the U.S. treats its foreign citizens. Every country except the U.S. views its citizens abroad as ambassadors. This is one more reason why the U.S. is on the decline.
It is interesting to read that a country that at 1 billion people is over 3X’s the size of the U.S. has almost just as many of its citizens working abroad as does the U.S., which has an estimated 6.3 million citizens living abroad.
Of course the U.S. also incarcerates more people than does China. It kind of makes you wonder if the U.S. has any rights to be lecturing China on its human rights violations?
The U.S. is also a country that murders its own citizens. That is something else that it has in common with China. The U.S. view of human rights is that it is something other countries have to do.
The current generation of Chinese leadership is full of people who never really studied or worked abroad. I don’t know if they have a “gut feeling” about what will work or not work for diaspora policy, or if they really care about the issue as much as this article portrays. China’s leaders are obviously concerned about big companies overseas, but not so much the average little import/export guy on the ground
30 years ago the situation was a lot different. Diaspora policy was important and it was normal for the top leadership to have worked or studied overseas in their early careers. E.g. when China revived the post of vice-president in the early 80s, it almost went to Liao Chengzhi (a guy who was born in Japan and had previously been head of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office); but he died of a heart attack that year and the post went to Ulanhu (an ethnic Mongolian who had studied in Moscow) instead. But China was a lot weaker back then and didn’t have the money or power to provide meaningful support to its diaspora.
China has been changing —
When I was in China, it was really poor and cheap. My monthly salary was $30 working as a faculty at a university. In Shanghai, there were stores only open to for foreigners.(we called it friendship store) I had a privilege to company our university foreign visitors to be inside the store. That was in 1980s.
When I lived in Canada, I went back visit China a few times in 1990s. There was no such restriction on for friendship store anymore. Anyone could go.. Some famous tourist spots like Great Wall, Forbidden City had two different fare, and foreigners had to pay twice as much as domestic visitors.
Now, China is rich, so most Chinese people, Foreigners are treated same, maybe more friendly by the government — this has been always the policy, and perhaps it is more culture. As the Chinese saying
主雅客来勤 — nice host has more visitors.