For a long time, the Chinese diaspora living in the US has played a critical role in building the bridge between China and the US, a role that had been appreciated by both the American and Chinese governments and businesses. But the increasing hostility between the two countries in recent times has undermined these efforts. The deepening tensions have been broadly covered by the media but there has been a lot less attention paid to how this has created perilous situation for many Chinese living in the US.
Amid the rising nationalism in both countries, Chinese in the US are often looked at with suspicion, and some have been accused of spying for China. Meanwhile, Chinese immigrants are called “betrayers” of their motherland by fervent nationalists in China simply because they left the country. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adds to their stress level and makes every Chinese in the US vulnerable as anti-Asian hate crime surges.
The speaker, who has been covering the Chinese diaspora in the US for more than two decades and is the author of the New York Times’ recently launched weekly newsletter “Overseas Chinese Journal,” will discuss the struggles of Chinese living in the US in today’s heated political climate, the pain of connecting to both countries but not being accepted by either, their dilemma of picking sides (or not) between the two nations and their confusion about race, nationality, roots, and identity in a decoupling era. She will also shed light on how the media coverage sometimes helps promote the misperceptions about the Chinese community.
Rong Xiaoqing is the author of The New York Times’ weekly newsletter “Overseas Chinese Journal.” She is also a reporter for the Chinese language Sing Tao Daily in New York and an Alicia Patterson Fellow (2019). She writes for various English and Chinese language publications in the US and China. Her articles appeared in Foreign Policy, the National Review, The New York Times, the New York Daily News, the South China Morning Post, and China Newsweek, among others. Rong has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, and New America Media. She was the first reporter from a non-English language media to win an award from the Deadline Club. She was a grant recipient of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Fund for Investigative Journalism, and the California Health Endowment.