Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Unbearable Lightness of Chinese Citizenship

While many Chinese look for a better life in New York, Tokyo and Moscow, many overseas Chinese decided to keep their Chinese citizenship rather than become American, Japanese or Russian. However, it's never easy. Chinese citizenship comes with a burden, a burden that not many can withstand.

For example, Liu Fengjun of Osaka visited China last year. The Liu family has stayed in Japan for 11 years, all have permanent residency. All but one member of the Liu family choose to keep their Chinese citizenship although they had been eligible for applying Japanese citizenship. Their arrival at the Harbin International Airport was embarrassing and humiliating. For his 19 years old daughter, it was a shadow from the remote home country that would never be easily wiped out.

At the Chinese customs, passengers were divided into two groups as Chinese citizen and non-Chinese citizen. Non-Chinese citizen were let go, but all Chinese citizens were charged 99 RMB and were forced to take an AIDS vaccine. Foreigners do not have to do it, and those Chinese who naturalized to foreign countries do not have to do it. Chinese have no option, but to take the burden of a Chinese citizenship.

Liu's daughter asked Liu in tears, how could Chinese government abuse its own citizen like this? A question with no easy answer. The Communism Chinese government loves Japanese, or even Chinese Japanese; but not Chinese.

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