In and Out: China as a Country of Origin and a Country of Destination

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: In and Out: China as a Country of Origin and a Country of Destination
Stream: Sociology
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Ruoxi Liu, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (organizer, chair)
Hanwei Li, East China University of Science and Technology, China (presenter)
Zhengyi Li, Tsinghua University, China (presenter)
Lin Chen, KU Leuven, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium (presenter)
Yang Song, Fudan University, China (presenter)
Wen Zhou, Yunnan University, China (discussant)


China’s reform and opening up over the last forty years have brought out different waves of generations emigrating overseas, echoing the inclusion of the foreign population and cultures into the local context. Five papers of this panel have presented these developments and trends from different perspectives, e.g. economic, cultural and educational.

Among them, three papers are concerned with Chinese immigration and integration issues. Accordingly, Van der Baaren & Li’s and Liu’s work, respectively on Chinese immigrants in Portugal and France have revealed the economic immigration, while reflecting intergenerational differences. Comparatively, Li’s work on African-born Chinese enterprises is contextualised in a more localised background with indigenous features. Overall, the experience and practice of Chinese immigration shown in these articles are multi-level, showing different characteristics from each historical period. Significantly, these cases share the same characteristic of being in-between of the country of immigration and emigration so as to maximise the opportunities and benefits.

Back into China, despite increasingly incorporated foreign cultures have diversified the local context, lacking social concerns and limitations in practice still exist at different levels. As such, the other two papers from this panel constitute similar comments yet respectively from the cultural and educational aspect. By elaborating the division of on-line network, Chen’s paper analyses how digital space has (re) shaped the identity of African students in China. Through the case of International English-Medium-Instruction Programmes, Song argues that the internationalisation of higher education constructs an implicit hegemonic hierarchy among students.