Beijing: China’s Attitude Towards Overseas Chineseeggplant2019-02-28T17:04:52+00:00
Beijing: China’s Attitude Towards Overseas Chinese
China has traditionally regarded itself as the center of all the world’s civilization. As a consequence, it has tended to frown upon citizens that choose to leave the ‘Middle Kingdom’ for foreign, supposedly barbaric countries. Overseas Chinese were often regarded as traitors, hurting China’s pride. On the other hand, China’s pragmatic side has been forced to recognize that millions of overseas Chinese have acquired money, skills, and resources abroad, all of which are potentially useful for the country’s own development.
These conflicting views meant that, over the centuries, China’s attitude towards overseas Chinese has shifted back and forth from (modest) support to willful neglect. Typically, this shifting attitude can be linked to China’s own confidence and strength, as is shown in the table below (OCN = overseas Chinese).
China’s Attitude towards OCN
OCN’s Attitude towards China
1680-1842: Strong Qing empire
Emigration was prohibited; China neglected or was indifferent to OCN