Life of Foreigners in China
China: A Magnet to Foreigners
Foreigners living and working in China are mostly found in cosmopolitan cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Most of the time, foreigners take language classes from a foreign teacher, prefer food dishes cooked only by foreign chefs, seek a foreign beauty therapist only at beauty salons, or even sometimes enjoy performances by foreign artists.
Today, most foreigners have also come to China looking for exclusive job opportunities facilitating brilliant perks and job satisfaction in the booming economy. All this, coupled with the vivacity of regular life, boosts one to stay in China. As per recent statistics, over 60,000 foreigners have been granted work permits in China.
Many of them have been directly approached by Chinese companies to work in management, marketing, production, finance, education, and catering. Most foreigners arrive from across the world from over 90 countries, including Japan, the USA, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Germany. Most foreign workers live and work in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Since China has recently become a member of WTO, more foreigners are willing to work here.
Foreigners consider China a healthy place to work, where the monthly income of high-ranking management people in international companies is not less than USD 100,000, plus the taxes are payable on such income. But foreigners do not find any limitations to tax payments as such.
Many scholars believe that foreign workers significantly contribute to China’s increased strength. With further development in China’s booming economy, this phenomenon is expected to accelerate, resulting in the supply of foreigners exceeding the demand thereon. Recently, around 16,000 foreigners and about 5,000 compatriots from cities like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao have been given work permits in Beijing. In contrast, 85% of these foreign workers have obtained positions of senior and intermediate levels.
Foreigners as Workers
The employment sector in China is experiencing major changes in response to the increasing number of foreign employees in varied fields such as catering, hotel management, culture, entertainment, and IT. Foreign workers can also be helpful in the way that they can keep track of changes taking place in the rest of the world and China.
Even for shopping in China, foreigners can always use their international credit cards in major hotels, guest houses, and departmental stores, like Master Card, Visa Card, American Express, Diners Card, etc.
With the introduction of the green card system in China, foreigners can now also enjoy a freer life in China in terms of shopping, accommodation, traveling, and immigration purposes, and they do not require visas anymore.
Europeans in China
In modern China, the Chinese consider all the European intruders ruthless for their cruel acts in China, including the looting and damaging of the royal summer garden of the Qing Dynasty and the Yuanming Landscape Gardens in the city of Beijing, instances of the most barbarous atrocities.
At the same time, China admired the accomplishments of the modern European civilization for its attempts to learn from the West in the later years. From the 1870s, several students were sent to Central Europe, Japan, and the United States by the central government and local communities.
During the period of constant civil wars (1911-1937) and the Japanese attack (1931-1945), students studying in Europe found themselves perplexed between Western learning and the reality of the perilous political state of China. Later, when Europe brought prosperity in with its appropriate use of natural resources, China realized the need to be industrially strong too.
Chinese felt a need to learn modern science and technology from Europeans but could not implement it much because of its isolation from the West for three decades. Western literature and art were also given serious encouragement. The theme of Chinas association with the West at the government level was contention and cooperation, and the European countries were perceived as multi-dimensional and classy.
The open policy in China helped them interact more with Westerners and access the European culture. Though admirable, Europe was still confusing and unsettling for the Chinese.
China believes that western industrial nations are not relatively strong politically and economically compared to the US after the Second World War. Therefore, China will gradually emerge as a strong economy and will be handling world affairs majorly in the next century.
The USA and Europe as Models
Over the past two decades, the Chinese have admired ancient and modern European civilization, art, literature, science and technology, living, education, health care, transportation, landscape, social welfare, and philosophy. Chinese teenagers are believed to be more fascinated with American things, such as computer games, sports, fast food, NBA stars, etc., while the middle-aged and elderly admire European culture the most.
However, the post-industrialization period has also brought certain problems to Europe, such as high unemployment rate, pollution, drug addiction, AIDS, divorce, racial discrimination, aging population, etc. major cities in China like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have a strong passion for European classical music and arts. Today, modern China views the European continent as rich in cultural heritage, regardless of past difficulties and current problems.