Field Research of the Economic and Cultural Chinese Emigrants Activities in the Far East and Siberia (1949-2019)

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Senior Researcher
Affiliation: Heihe University
Address: 1, Xueyuanlu Str., Heihe, Heilongjiang Province, 164300, The People’s Republic of China
Occupation: Senior Lecturer
Affiliation: Heihe University
Address: 1, Xueyuanlu Str., Heihe, Heilongjiang Province, 164300, The People’s Republic of China
Journal nameProblemy Dalnego Vostoka
EditionIssue 3

The article is devoted to the study of labor migration in the system of Russian (Soviet)-Chinese relations 1949-2019. The article is based on unique previously unpublished archival data and field research. The authors consider the circumstances that had a significant impact on the migration policy of the USSR, which, in conditions of a small number of its own population, needed to attract immigrants from China to the Far East and the Siberian part of the USSR; analyze the reasons and benefits of the PRC, allowing the leadership of the republic to send its citizens to study and work in the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. Using concrete examples and archival data, the authors studied the dynamics of Chinese migration, the reasons for their moving abroad and returning to their homeland, highlighting two periods of active Chinese migration to Russia: 1) 1949-1966; 2) 1990-2019. The authors studied the activities of Chinese communities in Russian (Soviet) territories in both periods and came to the conclusion that these two periods are radically different from each other. During the "Soviet period" of labor migration, Chinese workers, on the one hand, easily assimilated in the Far East and Siberia, easily made friends among the local population, married Soviet women, on the other hand, maintained contact with their native culture, transported their wives and children to the USSR, who had a specially created kindergarten and school program for them with the study of Chinese lingua and culture. The "Russian period" is distinguished by the isolation of the life of Chinese communities, many of whose members have illegal status and are engaged in corruption. Nevertheless, labor migrants from China feel very comfortable living in the Far East and Siberia. Most Chinese emigrants have the goal of improving their economic situation and getting an education, achieving which more than 99% of Chinese return to China.

KeywordsChina, USSR, archives, history of the USSR, Far East, Siberia, labor emigration
Publication date21.06.2022
Number of characters20718
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