Research Paper: Family History an Autobiographical

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Family History

An autobiographical history of my family in China, and the story of the events which led to my emigration to study in the United States, the stories intertwined the following essay explore the inherency of the history of China in the West, and source the various reasons Chinese emigrate (d) to the U.S. As a topic for personal expiation. Although extending back to the global seafaring culture of the mercantilist economy, the 'official' history of Chinese immigration to the country is typically told through the lens of the male railroad workers whom came to the West Coast in the nineteenth century as indentured labor during California's Gold Rush (Chew, 415). Indeed the history of economics within the international Chinese Diaspora perhaps supersedes all other factors from which the decision to leave China for the promise of opportunity elsewhere stem (Pendery, 201). Due to the economic forces that led to my decision to leave China to study in Los Angeles, California, I am keenly interested in the history of Chinese economy as impetus to the lineage of my emigration.

China's history of economics and its affect on the openness of the nation's politics and social relations with the rest of the world is one that has been subject to cycles of oscillation (Maddison). Commencing with the 13th c. Sung Dynasty, into the 14th c. Yuan Dynasty, and followed by the Ming Dynasty 1368 -- 1644, China embarked on extensive international naval expeditions. As early as 1300, China was a world economic leader in terms of per capita income. By 1500 Europe exceeded China's per capita real income, through technology and the intensity of natural resource utilization.

China's exposure to the seafaring mercantilist world economy in the 15th c. was uncannily marked by the medieval retraction of Europe's economies. The Silk Road had long served as a conduit between East and West, yet bureaucratic disinterest and demand also soon led to China closing its own shipping industry for a brief period. Structural elements to China's growth patterns may be best examined through its early status as a 'state' with comprehensive bureaucratic administration and sophisticated systems of fiscal accountability to taxes and vast public oversight with some attention to the rights of citizens by an official judiciary.

Finance, many have proposed, has been the single most threatening force in Chinese bureaucracy, as a history of 'squeezes' on allocations to public administration of rural subsidiaries, for instance, offers extensive record to retrospect acknowledgement of officially sanctioned corruption (Maddison). Corruption in China as elsewhere, it seems, has at times permeated the idealism of command economics to the extent that it is virtually impossible to disengage it from the selfishness of capitalization; despite the theory that such a model of economy should have interfered with such individualistic benefit with mechanistic equity.

European colonial intrusions into China's territory in 19th c. beginning with the 1842 capture of Hong Kong by Britain, resulted in a series of European port relationships that implemented 'tariffs' on the trade of goods with China, and continued until the late 20th c. It was at this time that Chinese citizens also sought to leave China in search of new lives, even if it meant working to freedom on the railroads of the West Coast of the United States. As a result of the colonial infraction on sovereign political control of China through WWII, from 1840 to the mid 20th c. China's economy again declined in response to closure of foreign policy to its Communist regime (Liang, 706).

Outline to this history includes two periods of U.S. immigration policy toward Chinese immigration characterized by the: 1) Free Period before 1882; 2) Prohibitive Period from 1882-1943 (Shen, 29). Notwithstanding the turn of the twentieth century U.S. immigration policy, since 1978 and shifts prompted in the Reform Period, China's market focused economy moved the national GDP above neighboring Russia in comparative growth shortly afterward which has greatly affected the scope of consideration of Chinese immigration to the country (Maddison). United States immigration policy toward political dissidents seeking emigration in response to political actions by the Chinese state have been given some special consideration, yet 'economic asylum' is not considered within the general protocol regarding all foreign nationals and is consistent with policy norms (Calavita, 203-206).

It is amidst the radical political-economic transformations of the mid-twentieth century, that my grandfather was born in July 17, 1937 in the city of Dongguang, China just prior to the emergence of the Maoist period (1949-78) which resulted in China's marked interest in a communist bureaucratic command economy which focused on statist development, and little on international market interests. His birth also occurred 10 days after the Second Sino-Japanese War, so that the early beginnings of his life were bound by a culture that had seen the traumas of war.

My grandfather has 7 siblings, 2 older sisters and 5 younger brothers. Four of my grandfather's siblings past away during the period second world was because of Hungry and the other three pass away during the civil war in China (circa 1945-1949), which is the war between fought between the Kuomintang, the governing party of the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China.

After Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China, my grandfather continued his study. According to my grandmother, he was really good with his studies and he was the only one chosen to study college in Beijing. However, my grandfather was a part time fisherman and he was selling fish in the market at that time. The governor said that he was a capitalist and will not support his school fees and living expenses. So my grandfather had to refuse the offer to go to college in Beijing since he could not afford the expenses.

My grandmother further said that my grandfather is a very good man and really fulfilled his filial piety to his parents and family. Since he was the only son left after the war, he fulfilled his duties to his parents to the best of his abilities. For instance, he would drop off money to his parents every morning so his parents would have some means to meet their daily expenses. Although it is not a lot of money, it already took half of my grandfather's salary but giving it to his parents is his way of thanking them for the life he gave him.

My grandfather had 4 sons and 3 daughters. He work really hard and tried to give them a better life. He always ensured that all of his sons and daughters (including to my father) studied hard. No matter how hard he had to work, he did not want his sons to help him because he wanted them to concentrate on their studies. However, my father and my uncle did not listen to him and they always went out to work to decrease the financial pressure on my grandfather.

My father was born in May 17, 1960. He is the second oldest brother in the family. After primary school, he quit school and started to help my grandparents. At six years old, he already helped my grandmother to cook and clean the house. He was a little mischievous when he was a child. My father started smoking at 14 years old. Since we are too poor and it is hard to afford smoke, sometimes he will steal from the store or from my grandfather.

At 17 years old, my father started planning to go in to Hong Kong. During the 1970s to the 1980s, everyone who was successfully get to go to Hong Kong. Anybody can get the legal resident permit to get in; however, it is really hard to get a legal statement or use an illegal way to pass though the border of China. My father is a really lucky one though, he tried 3 times and on the third try, he finally he swam for 7 hours and he got into Hong Kong. My uncle tried 12 times but he was caught by the Chinese border guards and was sent back to the mainland. My father became a Hong Kong resident in July 1980; he was with the last group who was allowed to become Hong Kong residents.

After 6 years of hard work, my father became an owner of a house remodeling company in Hong Kong. Also, my father started some trading together with my grandfather and my uncle. My father started getting electric products or cloths in Hong Kong and took it to China for my grandfather and uncle to sell at pretty good prices with a lot of profit.

After my grandfather passed away in December 1987, my uncle and my father caught the chance during the Chinese economic reform. We started building a factory to do some international trade and made some real estate investments in China. At the same time, we tried to build good relationships with different kinds of governors, so that we can work and do… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Family History an Autobiographical.  (2010, November 12).  Retrieved June 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/family-history-autobiographical/411610

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"Family History an Autobiographical."  Essaytown.com.  November 12, 2010.  Accessed June 20, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/family-history-autobiographical/411610.