, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 25-43
Date: 30 Apr 2010

China in the global migration order—historical perspectives and new trends

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Abstract

China has a long history of internal and international migration and has a significant number of diasporas around the globe. From being predominately a country of emmigration, China has now witnessed growing rates of return migration, due to its rising economic status in the world. This article seeks to provide a historical review of international migration from China in different periods, from ancient China to after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It also examines the recent trends of new waves of Chinese migration such as student migration to Europe and touches on issues of government policy and the role of overseas diasporas in the course of Chinese history. By analysing a wide range of data, including published statistics and published papers, this paper illustrates the evolution of changing patterns of international migration from China and its impact for China on the rest of the world.