Aussie-Sino Studies

2017, (1) P1-P10

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Globalization and Chinese immigrants to Eastern European: Focusing on Russia

Dr. Nadia Helmy


Globalization is a term loaded with political, economic, and cultural implications. The benefits of globalization are typically said to include the increased availability of affordable products, the possibility of instantaneous communication, and the development of infrastructure in previously isolated regions. The drawbacks of globalization typically include the negative impact associated with it on a society's traditional way of life and the damage done to the physical environment because of rapidly developed infrastructures. How globalization appears to the people living in transitional economies and to transnational migrants is little understood in a world in which the process of globalization is often seen through a Western lens and is presupposed to be a homogenizing (i.e. “westernizing”) force. Nevertheless, globalization has concurrent narratives, one of which, explored in this paper, is the growing role of China in the process of globalization and, indeed, the influence of China on the world. The impact of globalization on Chinese migration to Eastern Europe is unique as it has a policy interest because in the past decade it has proven to be predictive of trends in Europe. A new flow of entrepreneurial migrants, who often had no connection to the historical, rural-based chains of migration that produced the earlier Chinese migrant populations of Eastern Europe, found it possible and profitable to do business and settle on the European periphery during a brief period of liberal migration controls. Erratic crackdowns on illegal migration in the absence of thought-through migration regimes resulted in a volatile situation, periodically generating migration flows from one country in the region to another. These were facilitated by, and gave further rise to, networks of kinship and information spanning both Eastern and Western Europe. While this paper focuses on East Europe and Russia, it also attempts to review information on other Eastern European countries (particularly Russia, Romania, Yugoslavia, and the Czech Republic) where it is available. In doing so, it intends to fill a gap in information on Chinese in Eastern Europe until more substantial research is produced, as well as to highlight the common features of, and links between, Chinese migration into individual Eastern European countries as well as into some states there, especially Russian.

关键词(KeyWords): Globalization, Chinese migrants, East Europe, Sino-Soviet relations, legally and illegally migration, Integration and transnationalism.




作者(Author): Dr. Nadia Helmy




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