The recent unprecedented scale of Chinese migration has had far-reaching consequences. Within China, many villages have been drained of their young and most able workers, cities have been swamped by the ‘floating population’. Many rural migrants are unable to integrate into urban society. Internationally, Chinese have been increasingly more mobile. This Handbook provides a unique collection of new and original research on internal and international Chinese migration and its effects on the sense of belonging of migrants.
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Jiaping Wu and Robyn R. Iredale
The paper discusses policy-induced or planned migration of ethnic minorities in Guizhou province. The migration program in Guizhou, which may be the most ambitious program of this kind in China, started in 2012 and proposes to relocate 2 million of ethnically diverse population from their rural home villages to resettle in nearby towns and cities. I visited some of their villages and the settlements. The paper focuses on ethnic migrants and cultural issues of resettlement.
Margaret Maurer-Fazio, Rachel Connelly and Ngoc-Han Thi Tran
China’s linguistic and geographic diversity leads many Chinese individuals to identify themselves and others not simply as Chinese, but rather by their native place and provincial origin. Negative personality traits are often attributed to people from specific areas. People from Henan, in particular, appear to be singled out as possessing a host of negative traits. Such prejudice does not necessarily lead to wage discrimination. Whether or not it does depends on the nature of the local labour markets. This chapter uses data from the 2008 and 2009 migrant surveys of the Rural-Urban Migration in China Project (RUMiC) to explore whether native-place wage discrimination affects migrant workers in China’s urban labour markets. We analyse the question of wage discrimination among migrants by estimating wage equations for men and women, controlling for human capital characteristics, province of origin, and destination city. Of key interest here are the variables representing provinces of origin. We find no systematic differences by province of origin in the hourly wages of male and female migrants. However, in a few specific cases, we find that migrants from a particular province earn significantly less than those from local areas. Male migrants from Henan in Shanghai are paid much less than their fellow migrants from Anhui. In the Jiangsu cities of Nanjing and Wuxi, female migrants from Anhui are paid much less than migrants from other parts of Jiangsu.
Xiao Niu and Tim Turpin
This chapter is based on a study of international mobility and migration of Chinese scientists moving between China and Australia. It investigates the social dynamics of relationship building between scientists working across the two countries. Chinese scientists in Australia provide an important human resource for science and technological development. However, this chapter also documents their capacity to maintain and extend scientific networks in their home country. Researchers in both countries build, maintain and extend their scientific networks that endure beyond their physical location in one country or the other. The concept of dual identities is a common feature among transnational migrants. Chinese respondents in this study reflected a ‘global scientist’ identity but also a more localized Chinese identity. While the two identities and associated roles co-exist, Chinese scientists have the choice of responding more to one or the other as they managed their relationships with colleagues, friends and employers. Chinese scientists in Australia utilize their different identities to navigate professional and social networks involving their home country, the Chinese diaspora in Australia and elsewhere, and scientists and colleagues of other backgrounds. They are contributing to the expansion of diaspora knowledge networks as well as global dispersed knowledge networks. While they recognize and respond to their Chinese identity in dealing with scientists in China, their research partners in China are also findings ways to meet expectations in the West. Thus both sides are trying to find a common place to establish and maintain relationships. Far from being constrained within either component of their dual identity these mobile scientists negotiate their progress through their careers making strategic decisions through a process of social exchange. The process involves scientists, their colleagues, employing institutions and their national science systems.
The stock of international migrants from China increased from 4.1 million in 1990 to 9.3 million in 2013. China is now the fourth largest source country representing 4 per cent of the world’s migrants in 2013, having moved up from the seventh representing 2.6 percent in 1990. Apart from the numerical increase, Chinese emigration is characterized by a trend of ‘upward concentration’ in emigration – meaning that more wealthy and/or well-educated people are moving to a small number of the most advanced countries in the global north. By contrast, unskilled labour migration has increased much slower, the financial returns of migration remain stagnant and the conditions of migration are uncertain, and thus migrants more vulnerable. This chapter explores how these emigration trends are related to the general developments in China over the last 30 years. The author argues that migration from China is increasingly a means of reinforcing and reproducing social inequality rather than a means of mitigating it.