The primary dilemma of any minority community is and always has been, whether to keep themselves inside the boundaries of the community or to integrate with the majority, which is the major issue of American-Chinese relationships.
The two different claims of “belonging” in the 1936 Chinese American essay contests
The radically opposing views presented in the 1936 Chinese American essay contests are not only the issue of allegiance to one or the other country. The contestants who defined themselves as belonging to America did not refuse on their national heritage and cultural values. They, probably, were the first to find a way to integrate into another foreign culture without losing their national identity. Similarly, the Chinese-Americans who in their 1936 essays identified their lives and future as part of China just did not find a chance to assimilate fully into the mainstream American culture because of the feeling of alienation. Those two positions can only be viewed in the context of the time period and circumstances of the life of Chinese-Americans in the 1930s.
How is it possible that there were more than 70,000 Chinese immigrants despite the US immigration quota is capped at 25,600?
However, there are still many Chinese who leave their homeland to live in the United States. The government has the quota for the immigration from China of 25,600 people. Nevertheless, there are many immigration practices that are not included in that quota, the illegal immigration still exists, and the US passage of immigration is favorable to the Chinese. The grounds for immigration not included in the quota are, for example, employment-based and family-sponsored preferences, immediate relatives of the U.S. citizens, asylees and other groups (Chen 171).
Gary Locke and his ambassadorial tenure in China
The integrity between America and China, and between the Chinese-Americans and the Chinese was improved during the ambassador tenure of Gary Locke. Locke’s family experienced America as immigrants, and the US Ambassador himself contributed to the bilateral cooperation between mostly Chinese mainland companies that received goods produced in the US, and the ability for the US companies to extend their markets (Chen and Yoo 15).
What did the Chinese American community do in resisting the SF City Hall attempt to relocate them after 1906?
After the ethnic conflicts, taking place in San Francisco, the Chinese and supporting protesters organized the meeting at “sand-lots” by the San Francisco City Hall (Yung 277). It became the beginning of the equality movement for Chinese-Americans in California.
How did Post-WWII political issues in China lead America to become a political refugee haven for the Chinese dissents?
From the perspective of political life, the post-war period is marked by some drastic changes in the norms of social behavior and morals towards more open and less formal society. The new wave of the Chinese immigrants was seeking the asylum in the US because of the Chinese Civil War. Leaving the homeland away from communist troops, the immigrants settled in America as the country opposing to communism. In the post-war years, the life of a younger generation of Chinese-Americans was impacted by the economic and urban shift that gave them opportunities to build careers and stop being associated exclusively with the working class (Lee and Zhou 6).
Response to the Chinese Exclusion Act
According to Ellen Wu, before the 1940s and 1950s, the Chinese were stereotypically deemed as “unassimilable aliens” (Wu 2). However, with the raising levels of the Chinese among the educated and professionally qualified strata and slow acceptance of their community as part of the American society, the dilemma became crucial for the Chinese-American themselves, for “the need and feasibility of staying connected to the ethnic identity” has many factors underlying and supporting it (Du 41). The story of Chinese American is in many ways a story of overcoming both challenges, preserving the native culture in the new environment, and eventually defeating the dilemma of choosing where belonging.
Chen, Shehong. Being Chinese, Becoming Chinese American. Urbana IL: University of Illinois Press, 2002. Print.
Chen, Edith Wen-Chu, and Grace J. Yoo. Encyclopedia Of Asian American Issues Today. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press, 2010. Print.
Du, Liang. Learning To Be Chinese American. Lanham, MD.: Lexington Books, 2010. Print.
Lee, Jennifer, and Min Zhou. Asian American Youth. New York, NY: Routledge, 2004. Print.
Wu, Ellen D. The Color Of Success. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013. Print.
Yung, Judy. Unbound Feet. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1995. Print.