18 Facts About Overseas Chinese


Overseas Chinese refers to people of Chinese birth or ethnicity who reside outside Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

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The government of China realized that the overseas Chinese could be an asset, a source of foreign investment and a bridge to overseas knowledge; thus, it began to recognize the use of the term Huaqiao.

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Overseas Chinese who are ethnic Han Chinese, such as Cantonese, Hokchew, Hokkien, Hakka or Teochew refer to themselves as, pronounced Tohng yan in Cantonese, Toung ning in Hokchew, Tng-lang in Hokkien and Tong nyin in Hakka.

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For example, in the early 1850s when Overseas Chinese shops opened on Sacramento St in San Francisco, California, United States, the Overseas Chinese emigrants, mainly from the Pearl River Delta west of Canton, called it Tang People Street and the settlement became known as Tang People Town or Chinatown, which in Cantonese is Tong Yun Fow.

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Term is added to the various terms for the overseas Chinese to indicate those who would be considered ethnic minorities in China.

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Some overseas Chinese were sold to South America during the Punti-Hakka Clan Wars in the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong.

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Overseas Chinese emigrants are estimated to control US$2 trillion in liquid assets and have considerable amounts of wealth to stimulate economic power in China.

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Overseas Chinese often send remittances back home to family members to help better them financially and socioeconomically.

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Overseas Chinese communities vary widely as to their degree of assimilation, their interactions with the surrounding communities, and their relationship with China.

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Overseas Chinese's predecessor, King Taksin of the Thonburi Kingdom, was the son of a Chinese immigrant from Guangdong Province and was born with a Chinese name.

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Early presence of Chinatowns in overseas communities start to appear in Spanish colonial Philippines around 16th century in the form of Parians in Manila, where Chinese merchants were allowed to reside and flourish as commercial centers, thus Binondo, a historical district of Manila, has become the world's oldest Chinatown.

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In Cambodia, between 1965 and 1993, people with Overseas Chinese names were prevented from finding governmental employment, leading to a large number of people changing their names to a local, Cambodian name.

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The anti-Overseas Chinese legislation was in the Indonesian constitution until 1998.

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In Malaysia, ethnic Overseas Chinese tend to support equal and meritocratic treatment on the expectation that they would not be discriminated against in the resulting competition for government contracts, university places, etc.

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The question of to what extent ethnic Malays, Overseas Chinese, or others are "native" to Malaysia is a sensitive political one.

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The policy was formally abolished in 1973, and in recent years Australians of Overseas Chinese background have publicly called for an apology from the Australian Federal Government similar to that given to the 'stolen generations' of indigenous people in 2007 by the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

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In South Korea, the relatively low social and economic statuses of ethnic Korean-Overseas Chinese have played a role in local hostility towards them.

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Many of the Overseas Chinese diaspora are now investing in People's Republic of China providing financial resources, social and cultural networks, contacts and opportunities.

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