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Overseas chinese

The meaning of «overseas chinese»

Overseas Chinese (traditional Chinese: 海外華人/海外中國人; simplified Chinese: 海外华人/海外中国人; pinyin: Hǎiwài Huárén/Hǎiwài Zhōngguórén) are people of ethnic Chinese birth or descent who reside outside the territories of the People's Republic of China (PRC), its special administrative regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macau, as well as the Republic of China (ROC or Taiwan). Although a vast majority are Han Chinese, the group represents virtually all ethnic groups in China.[33]

Huáqiáo (simplified Chinese: 华侨; traditional Chinese: 華僑) or Hoan-kheh in Hokkien (Chinese: 番客), refers to people of Chinese origin residing outside of China. At the end of the 19th century, the Chinese government realized that the overseas Chinese could be an asset, a source of foreign investment and a bridge to overseas knowledge; thus, it began to recognize the use of the term Huaqiao.[34] The modern term haigui (simplified Chinese: 海归; traditional Chinese: 海歸) refers to returned overseas Chinese and guīqiáo qiáojuàn (simplified Chinese: 归侨侨眷; traditional Chinese: 歸僑僑眷) to their returning relatives.[33]

Huáyì (simplified Chinese: 华裔; traditional Chinese: 華裔; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hôa-è) refers to people of Chinese descent residing outside of China, regardless of citizenship.[35] Another often-used term is 海外華人 (Hǎiwài Huárén). It is often used by the Government of the People's Republic of China to refer to people of Chinese ethnicities who live outside the PRC, regardless of citizenship.

Overseas Chinese who are ethnically Han Chinese, such as Cantonese, Hoochew, Hokkien, Hakka or Teochew refer to themselves as 唐人 (Tángrén), pronounced tòhng yàn in Cantonese, toung ning in Hoochew, Tn̂g-lâng in Hokkien and tong nyin in Hakka. Literally, it means Tang people, a reference to Tang dynasty China when it was ruling China proper. This term is commonly used by the Cantonese, Hoochew, Hakka and Hokkien as a colloquial reference to the Chinese people and has little relevance to the ancient dynasty. For example, in the early 1850s when Chinese shops opened on Sacramento St in San Francisco, the Chinese emigrants, mainly from the Pearl River Delta west of Canton, called it Tang people street (唐人街);[36][37]:13 and the settlement became known as Tang people town (唐人埠) or Chinatown, which in Cantonese is Tong Yun Fow.[37]:9–40

The term shǎoshù mínzú (simplified Chinese: 少数民族; traditional Chinese: 少數民族) is added to the various terms for the overseas Chinese to indicate those who would be considered ethnic minorities in China. The terms shǎoshù mínzú huáqiáo huárén and shǎoshù mínzú hǎiwài qiáobāo (simplified Chinese: 少数民族海外侨胞; traditional Chinese: 少數民族海外僑胞) are all in usage. The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the PRC does not distinguish between Han and ethnic minority populations for official policy purposes.[33] For example, members of the Tibetan people may travel to China on passes granted to certain people of Chinese descent.[38] Various estimates of the Chinese emigrant minority population include 3.1 million (1993),[39] 3.4 million (2004),[40] 5.7 million (2001, 2010),[41][42] or approximately one tenth of all Chinese emigrants (2006, 2011).[43][44] Cross-border ethnic groups (跨境民族, kuàjìng mínzú) are not considered Chinese emigrant minorities unless they left China after the establishment of an independent state on China's border.[33]

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