Watch: China’s Immigrants

A short documentary that looks at the atypical experiences of foreigners in China, including the excitement of arrival, the challenges of staying here long-term, and finding acceptance or choosing to leave. The film is a masters degree project at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, in Suzhou, and was produced by Krystal Soroka, Bryan Song and Danny Abbasi.


  1. Uh, China doesn’t have “immigrants”. You’re using the wrong word. We are all temporary visitors, even those married to Chinese. Work visas expire on the completion of the job, and marriage visas expire on divorce (80% rate of foreigner-Chinese divorce in Shanghai) or death of spouse.

    The only true “immigrants” to China are those with the Chinese green card, and that program is a joke. Please stop misusing words.

    “The Beginning of Wisdom is Calling Things by Their Right Names”
    — Chinese saying attributed to Confucius

    • I’m going to further your suggestion about misusing words to also mistaking your opinion about a word’s definition as The One True Definition™.

      Merriam Webster: Immigrant
      a person who comes to a country to live there

      Oxford: Immigrant
      A person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.

      Cambridge: Immigrant
      A person who has come into a foreign country in order to live there

      Wikipedia: Immigration
      Immigration is the international movement of people into a destination country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle or reside there, especially as permanent residents or naturalized citizens, or to take-up employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker.

      Tzu Kung asked about the character of the Superior Man. Confucius said, “First he practices what he preaches and then he follows it.”
      — Confucius in ‘Analects’

    • Do you want to be called expat ?

      I think is a fancy way the Americans and Europeans used to describe themselves and difference them from person of poor countries , while working abroad .

      If you are an Indian working in USA or Canada you are an Immigrant , If you are a Mexican working only until winter you are called immigrant , but if you are from USA working as a teacher for a whole year you are an Expat …

      The correct word is Immigrant

  2. We should lobby to get Permanent Resident status, by bringing to public attention that any Chinese can get Permanent Residency in any Western country, and citizenship right after that, while CHina applies a double standard!

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