foreign community


foreign community
During the Maoist era relatively few foreigners lived in China, and the sight of a foreigner remained a novelty even in the largest cities. Even in the 1980s foreign teachers and students at Chinese universities comprised the largest group of foreigners living in China. With the growth in foreign investment in the 1990s, employees of foreign firms formed a new foreign community centred in the cities of the booming coastal regions. By 2002, 80,000 foreign experts worked in Shanghai, 70 per cent as managers of the nearly 20,000 foreign enterprises in the city. In the same year, 167,000 foreign experts worked in Guangdong province, about 40 per cent of the national total. Increasing numbers of foreigners arrived in China with no employment contracts, competing with Chinese in the local labour market and bringing diversity to the foreign community. The numbers of foreign students continued to grow, mostly non-degree language students, with students from Japan and Korea numerically far in the lead. International schools, residential enclaves and entertainment facilities serviced this growing population.
Japanese, Korean and Western expatriates formed largely separate communities with their own distinct educational and leisure facilities. In 2002, Shanghai had more than 300 restaurants run by expatriates. Young Chinese mingled with foreign residents in the cosmopolitan nightlife scenes in Shanghai and Beijing, and international dating and marriages were becoming commonplace, with 3,338 such marriages registered in Shanghai in 2000 (nine out of ten involving local brides and foreign grooms). The Shanghai government, in particular, saw a large foreign community as a requirement of a global metropolis and aimed at increasing the expatriate population to 5 per cent of the total metropolitan population in the near future.
(2002). 2002 Statistical Abstracts of Shanghai. Available at http:/tij.sh.gov.cn/2002
Rusch, Beate (1997). ‘The Shanghai “Zeitgeist Bookstore”: A Case Study in the Practice of Intercultural Networking’. In R.D.Findeisen and R.H.Gassmann (eds), Autumn Floods: Essays in Honour of Marian Galik. Bern: Peter Lang.
Wagner, Rudolf (1995). ‘ZThe Role of the Foreign Community in the Chinese Public Sphere’. China Quarterly 142:423–43.
JAMES FARRER

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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