The Baltic Region

2018 Vol. 10 №3

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The Chinese Diaspora in the EU Countries



This article is a further contribution to the discourse of ethnic ‘diffusion’ in European countries. The debate started on the pages of the Baltic Region journal by three authors — Yu. N. Gladky, I. Yu. Gladky, and K. Yu. Eidemiller [4]. We assume that Europe has been a major centre of attraction for immigrants in recent decades and a site for the rapid emergence of ethnic communities. Unlike Muslim immigration, a product of the Arab Spring and often a measure of last resort, Chinese immigration is a result of a certain convergence between the ideologies of the host countries, committed to multiculturalism, and the country of origin pursuing a ‘go global’ policy. We chose the EU countries as a ‘demonstration site’ and the Chinese diaspora as the object of research. Our aim is to describe the process of migration from China and the formation of a Chinese diaspora in European countries. We analyse the timeline and the scope of Chinese immigration, qualitative changes in the composition of immigrants, factors affecting the choice of the country of entry, and the quantitative parameters and settlement patterns of today’s Chinese diaspora in the region. We suggest grouping the EU Countries by the number and ‘age’ of their Chinese diasporas. We consider ethnic ‘diffusion’ as part of the ‘European project’ within Beijing’s global strategy.