The Chinese Diaspora

Some readers on this blog are Chinese and so am I, so let me have my views on the Chinese in diaspora (sorry for others which isn’t cover in this post). The continuation of the current debate about the usage of English for maths and science in Malaysia prompted me to write this article.

China in Mandarin is the Middle Kingdom. The middle part of a body of nations is neither the head nor the tail. In general, China is right in the middle of economic wellbeing, political wellbeing, and social wellbeing. The Anglo-Saxon and other western European are taking the lead, although drinking too much at times. Armed with their military and intellectual might hey had been shaping the world for the last five hundred years or so. And you know where the tail is, normally countries that poverty and disease abound and never seem to get their political or economic system up and running.

In English term, China is porcelain, which also carries an extra meaning. Porcelain is easily fragmented; witness the fragmentations of China’s 5000 years history, continuous broken dynasties and civil wars. When the British Lion arrived, into looking for trade, China was knocked over, the dragon narcotized.

The Sovereign in Heaven had found the emperor on earth wanting. Dethroned and invaded, the emperor’s pretension as the Son of Heaven was unmasked, its national capital Beijing rampaged, the Porcelain shuttered on the floor, creating the Diaspora. One piece was thrown into the ocean and hadn’t recovered up till now (Taiwan). Another piece was thrown further south, its southern inhabitations fled for a better lifestyle. Not life style really, sorry, those days it was just sheer economic survival. Singapore. Malaysia. Some looked at those places as permanent homes, others as transit points and fled further south to Australia and New Zealand lol.

Taylors College was originally established by George Taylor in Melbourne to cater for non-English international students way back in 1920; then a branch (Taylor’s College) was established in Bangsar, KL, in 1969, sitting next to a slum. Since then the college had exploded into different branches and offering degree programmes.

But the original Taylors College had also exploded. From Melbourne it branched into Sydney, Perth and Auckland. Today heaps of students from China dominate these campuses and competing with all the best for the finest course in the most sought after universities in Australia.

In fact this phenomenon has been in operation for the last few decades. Some from China would find ways to settle here, other returned home to become the top brass of society from where they came from. Millionaires. Billionaires. Just one case that you should aware of. From a remote village in China came an unknown Shi Zhengrong to study in Sydney. He took odd jobs making burgers to help finance his study.

Struggling with English, he studied under one of Australia’s leading solar energy researchers, Martin Green from the University of New South Wales, and finishing a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1992. Within ten years Suntech Power Ltd in solar technology was founded. Exporting its solar products to all around the world, today Suntech is a global phenomenon. CNN called Shi the sunshine boy; ABC the sun king.

English in China is in great demand in any city there despite having a prominent language in Mandarin. English may not be the international language for culture, but English is a global language for commerce and definitely the international language for advance maths and science. Through Taylors College, special TV channels such as CCTV9m, and other language programmes in China, the nucleus for English speaking had been established.

Although the Chinese in Malaysia were given a head start, they’re now stuck in the mud with an aboriginal language. The Chinese in the mainland had started late, but they had started; they are jogging, they are coming. You can hear their hookbeats, beating louder each day. They are jogging closer, coming. They are jogging, they are definitely coming.

Joel Huan, researcher and author (Over Mount Fuji in Amazon and Barnes&Noble)

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~ by Joel on July 16, 2009.

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