The Umbilical Chord – Overseas Chinese and their Identity

This is an episode we have been looking for for quite some while. The Overseas Chinese are one of the largest migrant groups in the world – and they are very much thought after by the Chinese Communist Party. Again and again it stresses the notion of an umbilical chord that connects them to their „motherland“ – as it wants to awaken their patriotism. But many Overseas Chinese of the second or third generation are well integrated into their hosting countries and feel not so connected to China anymore. And with the stringent lockdown policies of the Zero Covid Policy many young Chinese just wanted to run away. Runxue or the study of leaving China became a trending topic. With the escalating power struggle between the US and China many Overseas Chinese are caught in between two worlds. They face two very different social media spheres with their opposing messages. And they have to deal with the fact that even in another country they still might be confronted with Chinese agents and spies.

We talk with Shi Ming, a renowned writer and journalist residing in Germany, and Yifei, a young tech investor in Singapore, about the White Paper Revolution, the traumatic experience of Zero Covid, business networks, geopolitics in tech, and why Chinese diplomats are suddenly becoming friendlier to Overseas Chinese they shunned before. 

This episode are edited by Thomas and Liwen.

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