Interview on post-Mao Chinese Immigrants in US (Part 2) 屏蔽留存

Interview on post-Mao Chinese Immigrants in US (Part 2)

屏蔽已有 1939 次阅读 2014-12-6 00:51 |个人分类:立委随笔|系统分类:人文社科| Chinese, Immigration

W: by the way, a study on my generation of immigrants is of considerable interest and value
as it is not well studied and it is still developing and evolving with no solid social analysis yet

T: i'm actually quite interested in this

W: the early generation of Chinese immigrants is very different
they are purely kuli
hard labor demanded at the time when this land needs infrastructure construction
after they were used, it became an issue or burden

T: i like your interview a lot
you tell me a lot of hard facts
and make it easy for me to research the push/pull factors
and driving forces
"why are young people all choosing to leave the country"
that type of stuff

W: that generation of Chinese did not adapt to new environment
with cultural and language barriers so tough

As for your questions on how well my peers did in the West

in general they have been doing well
many became professors, scientists/researchers and engineers
based on their education and talents as well as their hard working spirit which is fairly typical for all first generation immigrants

For myself, I was lucky to come to the US at a time
of economic boom under Clinton's administration
in fact it was at a time of overheat of economy
so called dot-com bubble

I came in 1997 and it was not difficult for us to get the Venture Capital of first 10 million dollars in 1999 for the IT sector innovation
although the market crashed in 2000-2001,
I was lucky to keep my team
having survived the crash due to the government funding we got

T: trying to think of time period
you've mentioned berlin wall
tian an men
mao's rule
is this cold war era?

W: Cold War ended in 1989
with the fall of Berlin Wall
Tiananmen event happened before the fall of Beilin Wall in the same year
in a sense, it helped speed up the fall of Berlin Wall

Mao's Era ended in 1976
way before 1989
in between there were a decade of Deng's crippled Reform
crippled in the sense that Deng the new leader was only willing to reform the economy to make it a market economy just like the Western capitwalist countries
but he was not ready to reform the political system
so the nation was still under totalitarian government
in the name of socialism although the economic fundamentals were changing hugely
many aspects of life and society especially the economy
have been transformed to be more like the west than the old Red China systems

T: organizing
+ have to make more questions
this is coming together nicely

W: history can be very fun and revealing
as a side note, when I mentioned the cons of immigration
those pains, blood and tears in adapting to an entirely new land with cultural shocks
having to cut the old ties and started everything from ground zero
this reminds me of your difficulty in adapting to a new school
if you feel depressed and the pain in adapting to the new school
I can only tell that the pains in first generation immigrants in adapting to a new culture in a new land
is 10 times what you feel today
it was overwhelmingly pain
I was already 30 years old when I came out of China for UK
supposed to be fairly mature
but I was still feeling the overwhelming pains and emptiness
like a tree pulled out of the old soil
and transplanted to a new land with no familiar sources of support
a tree standing on itself with roots cut or deeply hurt
it was just awful as you can imagine
but again, this is a common pain experienced by all immigrants
when this pain was added by the lack of abilities to earn a living in a new land, it can be devastating
that's why the suicide rate is fairly high for new immigrants
it is just too much to bear
Fortunately for us
I have never been pushed to the extreme situation that I ran out of living resources
our pains are more from the cultural shock and inability to adapt soon
not from the physical inability of making a living and surviving in the new land
so we managed to overcome the pains with time
time is a cure for everything

T: i see
i was gonna ask
what was the early period of deng's rule like
anything in particular?
you said that he only bothered to change things economically instead of politically

W: right
Deng is a great man
it opened a new era post-Mao
but he came from Mao's team historically
so he could only reform that much
he has his own historical limitation
he himself suffered a lot from his wrong decision in 1989
and was criticized and attacked by the entire world
for a time, he lost almost all the friends
after the event
but he was not stupid
soon he realized that he could not go back to Mao's government style
so he decided to re-energize the economic reform
that made his reform continue for another decade with amazing development speed
gradually the world resumed relationship with him and China
because after all, China was still on the path of reform
and the society became more open
and the economy became the second biggest in the world
only second to the US and surpassed Japan
almost like a miracle, China became a power in the world

T: i meant to ask something like
since deng's reign would be drastically different from mao's
therefore the initial change between mao's and deng's reign would seem strange to you?
what was that adjustment like?

W: that was a great feel
after Mao died
we were confused a while
but soon after Deng took the power and started the reform and open-door
everyone was happy
we were the beneficiaries
so we were extremely happy in the first few years of his reform
the change was great
every change seemed to provide new opportunities
the society was in a very good shape under the new reform
until 1989
when the reform came across some obstacles and there have been anger
and complaints in the society for the rise of high price due to the free market fluctuations and also due to some government officials corruption
as a response, students in Beijing University
which is like UC Berkely
started the movement for freedom and democracy
which they believed could cure the problem of corruption and other problems caused by
reforming only economy without political system

T: what reform caused tian an men
what were the initial reforms deng made

W: when the economy transitioned from so called planned economy
decided and controlled by government
to the free market economy in the reform
problems may occur
especially the reform is transitional in the beginning
so two systems ran parallel
which left a lot of room for corruption
people in power can use the loopholes of the two running systems
one planned economy and the other free economy
to gain personal interest and wealth which angered the people
at the same time, the price fluctuations were too big
once something was put under the control of market
which is called "invisible hand"
in economics
that price fluctuations, mainly the quick rise of price for basic commodities such as food and necessities
rose to a point that people could not tolerate any more
so people went to the street to protest against the corruption and the price rise
demanding freedom and democracy which were believed to help solve these problems

T: i see
so the new reforms --> price raise/corruption --> protests
then why did you think deng was so great
if it seems he couldn't control the economy?

W: it was trial and error
nobody could predict all problems in such a drastic reform in such a big country
Deng's greatness was his courage to take an anti-Mao path
to lead the country to the modern society and made China strong
without Deng, China was just a huge North Korea
we would be suffering from minimal living standards and sometimes from hunger
and would never be strong in the world and could not even see the world

T: i see
but i meant
that is the case
but at that very moment
was it the same feelings?

W: the first 5 years of reform by Deng
made Deng a favorite leader among all people
especially among students
that was the happy time
this was like liberation
we were slaves
under Mao
spiritual slaves for sure
as well as physical slaves to a large extent
for example, farmers are not allowed to move to the cities
all farmers and their children cannot enjoy medicare
and other benefits enjoyed by city residents
very strict classes in Red China under Mao
with Deng's reform
it was like liberation of slaves
of course there were genuine feelings of gratitude to him

T: i see
why only 5 years/

W: because the honey moon got to end
and side effects and problems would occur
the initial happiness of seeing the liberation and finding the economy benefits will
gradually be weakened by the day-to-day worries of
how we could tolerate the crazy rise of prices
even if the living standards were way better than before in general,
by human nature, they would still be angered by those side effects
there was a strong sense of unfairness due to the corruption they see everyday
people in power can turn power into benefits and money

T: i see
i think i can research an economic graph
of deng's time
see what happens after roughly 5 years
thank you
if i have any more questions
i'll ask them
for now
i think this is more than enough
communist china
really looks a lot like north korea
mao ze dong looks a little like kim jong jun

W: exactly like North Korea, just in a bigger scale

the Mao's death account in your reference
was talking about the power vacuum after Mao died before Deng took the power
it was about one year
there was a transitional leader named Hua Guofeng
during that time, Hua decided to get rid of the leftist wing
headed by Mao's wife Jiang Qing, so called the Gang of Four
that was a brave measure
which helped to end Mao's era
but Hua was a weak leader
so with political skills, Deng replaced Hua and opened the Deng-era
those are details
you do not have to get into
the key is Deng's reform
opened the door
so emigration became not only possible but fashionable as a trend

T: this is just really interesting to me
didn't know any of this

T: dot com boom is basically the same as
gold rush
some differences i'll find

W: Tiananmen event was the key to make those emigrants who may return to their country
after seeing the world and got the education degrees abroad
decide to become immigrants
both spiritually and materially
spiritually those Chinese were disappointed at the government of their homeland
so they no longer wanted to go back to that land
materially the event triggered the immigration law passed in the congress very quickly
to make the otherwise very lengthy journey of immigration short and tangible
tens of thousands of overseas Chinese got the green cards over night


Interview on post-Mao Chinese Immigrants in US (Part 1) 2014-12-06

Is Deng called Chairman Deng? 2014-12-05

下一篇:也说不上是“学八” ......


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发表评论评论 (1 个评论)

删除 回复 |赞[1]冯国平   2015-1-15 02:40
W: by the way, a study on my generation of immigrants is of considerable interest and value
as it is not well studied and it is still developing and evolving with no solid social analysis yet

I am going to pick this topic for the dissertation 🙂

By the way, this interview reminds me of Tanya's family album book she wrote at grade 4 (I read that at xjchi). I have been eager to know where she has gone to study, but I believe I can find it out from your blog.




立委博士,问问副总裁,聚焦大模型及其应用。Netbase前首席科学家10年,期间指挥研发了18种语言的理解和应用系统,鲁棒、线速,scale up to 社会媒体大数据,语义落地到舆情挖掘产品,成为美国NLP工业落地的领跑者。Cymfony前研发副总八年,曾荣获第一届问答系统第一名(TREC-8 QA Track),并赢得17个小企业创新研究的信息抽取项目(PI for 17 SBIRs)。


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