The 2 Child Policy in the 80’s

Whilst reading, I came across an article about China’s 2 child policy. Apparently, a 2 child policy has been around in some places with a majority Han population since the 80’s. I understand that the rule only applied to 4 small areas and was created as a result of Liang Zhongtang of the Shanxi Academy of Social Science. He thought that the population could be better managed, by encouraging later marriage and larger gaps between birth.

Elsewhere, I heard that  the average age at which women marry has gone up in Shanghai. It appears to me, from my basic knowledge, that some of Liang’s ideas about later marriage appear to be a direction that China is taking.

Published by Chris Fung on November 21st, 2015 tagged China News | Comment now »

Getting a foot in the door

Despite having a slowing economy, China’s economic growth is still exceeding that of many Western Countries. Slowing economies have had adverse effects on the legal industries within those countries and now many lawyers and firms are looking to China for growth and development opportunities.

However, things in life are rarely simple. One can’t just move to China and set up a law firm on a whim. Many opportunities are restricted to local lawyers and law firms. Recently, there has been official action taken towards international firms that have encroached on the territories of local firms.

The China Law Blog – written by Dan Harris and Steve Dickinson of Harris & Moure — views the actions taken as follows:

It is important to note that China’s legal practice laws relating to foreign lawyers are not draconian. They are not too dissimilar from the laws in most other countries. Foreign lawyers are not allowed to practice in any of the 50 U.S. states. Korea does not allow foreign law firms at all (I do not understand how this is not a WTO violation). I have been told China’s laws on this are actually quite similar to those in Japan.

So is China doing the same things as other countries? Well the answer is no, not entirely.

China is actually going through a period of liberalization with regards to its legal services sector. An example of this can be found in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, where foreign law firms can enter into Joint Ventures with local law firms to exchange staff and to share their income on a joint agreed basis.

The rules for joint venture law firms were promulgated by the General Office of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, in Hu Fu Ban Fa [2014] No.63….. Click on the link below to read more.

Getting a foot in the door

Published by Chris Fung on November 19th, 2015 tagged China News | Comment now »

A MOVEABLE FEAST – essentials every foreign business must know to succeed in the Chinese food Market

In the States, you can buy Chinese food. In Beijing you can buy hamburger. It’s very close. Now I feel the world become a big family, like a really big family. You have many neighbors. Not like before, two countries are far away. – Jet Li

If you’ve ever thought about opening a food import company in China, you should try to find out the answers to the following questions:

• What is the population?
• Do you know about the growth rate of the food market in recent years?
• Do you know what the change in income has been in recent years?
• Do you know how many Chinese households would prefer to purchase foreign food for their babies?
• What were the total wine imports in 2013?
• How many items are sold per minute on Taobao?
• What is the projected value for the 2020 food market in china?
• How many administrative divisions are there in China?

Knowledge of your market is important. This article will help you to understand the food import market in China a little better. If you want to know the answers to the above and more, please read on.

Food Safety
This is an important issue for anyone who eats… Which is most of the human race! Chinese people (who number over 1.3 billion) are very aware of food safety, thanks to scandals involving restaurant such a KFC, Burger King and McDonald’s selling food which was out of date, and scandals involving cooking oil made from recycled sewerage… yes, from sewers. Because of this it is estimated that around 60% of Chinese households would prefer to feed their babies imported food.

The food market in China is growing at a rate of around 30% per year and with the national income having increased by 1300% since 1990, many have more disposable income than ever before. However, for businesses to import those products the following must be done:

• Registration with the General Administration of quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China.
• Registration with the state entry-exit inspection and quarantine authorities.
• Some ingredients may need to be registered.
• Your products will need the right labels (in Chinese!).

HS Codes
When you bring things into China you have to get through Customs. To get through customs you need to have the right paper work. Different categories of goods require different amounts of paperwork, so it’s important to choose the right category code. China uses the HS (Harmonized Standard) code system which is an international system of categorizing goods for import.

The right code will make life easier for you. If two codes apply, use some common sense and guidance from an expert to decide which code is best.

Import Price
When you import goods you have to declare how much they are worth. This will differ from company to company, and customer to customer. However, there is a reasonable band of values. If your goods are outside of this reasonable band, customs agents will probably pay closer scrutiny to you.

Remember to be conservative, as what you say will affect the taxes you pay and also everything will be stored on a computer system for future customs records.

Pick Your Port
China is a big country with many ports and many customs officials. Each region and each official has its own characteristics. This means that it is easier to import goods in some places, than in others.

Here is Chinese proverb for you to consider:

Heaven is high and the Emperor is far away.

It’s important to have a good customs agent or importer working with you, especially if you’re new to the market. Many things in China are easier to do, if you have a good relationship with the other parties involved. As a newcomer to China, you will not have all of the contacts that you need to ensure that things run smoothly. Find a good customs agent or importer as soon as possible.

Did you know that according to US Department of Agriculture, that during transportation, perishable products such as fruits and vegetables, total losses accounting for about 25 to 30 percent of total fruit and vegetable production? If your customs agent or importer is inexperienced, or lacks connections with Customs and Quarantine officials, delays are likely to occur.

The best importers provide a full service from Customs clearance all the way to marketing the product in one of China’s 34 administrative divisions. Food ingredients specialists will have good contacts among other manufacturers, and can advise on the products most likely to sell.

Did you know that in 2013, wine imports into China were worth US$1.56 billion?

Made in China
It can be cheaper to import raw materials or parts, and then to make your final product in China. This will take a certain amount of investigation in each case; however you may discover that you can pay less tax and face fewer losses by doing things this way.

If you don’t know Chinese, make sure that you get someone who does in-house. It’s better to know about all of the documents that you use and work with on a daily basis, this can lead to a more standardized streamlined process when importing your goods and also prevent expensive delays.

Every country has its own festivals and holidays… So does China! Not much gets done during some of these breaks, so plan for this in your business.

Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) are predefined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce. A discussion of the Incoterms themselves could fill a book, but in summary they specify who is responsible for certain import/export tasks.

For more information see:

Intellectual Property
Branding is important. The best brands can be spotted easily by their packaging, logos, etc. Brands are valuable and add prestige to products. This prestige is the reason the people make, sell and buy knock-offs. It is important to protect your brand by making sure that you register all of your Intellectual Property rights, before you invest too much money into the business.

It is also important to give your brand a distinctive catchy Chinese name, which is easy to recognize. A great example is the Chinese name of Coca-Cola, which roughly translates as ‘Allowing your mouth to rejoice,’ whilst sounding similar to its name in English i.e. 可口可乐 (“kekoukele”).

We can them “woofies,” which makes them sound cuddlier than they are. They are in fact Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises, a type of corporate entity in China which is owned by foreigners.

We always recommend having a corporate identity when doing business for 2 reasons:

1. They will give you a financial presence in China which will improve your credibility as a business.
2. They will protect your other assets should your business fail.

Other things to consider are:

• Do you want to sell directly to your end customers?
• Do you want to sell things to a subsidiary wholly owned by you?

The formalities and consequences of starting a company can be complex. If in doubt, contact a lawyer (our contact details can be found at the end of this article).

Trading Online
Approximately 48,000 items per minute are sold on Taobao. Taobao is one of the largest online retailers in the world. Opening a store on Taobao is a relatively simple way to gain an online presence.

However, to enter into any form of e-commerce online in China, an ICP filing must be made and to make an ICP filing you need a business registered in China.

Additionally, once you have made your ICP filing, you may not engage in delivery or facilitating online payments. Separate licenses are required for these.

Deliveries from online stores in China are usually done via Kuaidi. Kuadi is a type of courier delivery service in China. Most online goods sellers use Kuaidi and it is relatively cheap. However, you do get what you pay for in life! Make sure that you try to get feedback about deliveries from your customers when you delivery after service care. As complaints about Kuadi services in China happen often.

The food industry in China is predicted to be worth around US$650 billion by 2020. If you want your company to have a stake in that market, it is important to pay attention to your customers and to be seen doing so. Chinese companies like Xiaomi have become successful in part by pursuing this type of strategy and using active communication with their customers.

Technology can help us to do this by connecting us with our customers. Recently, Grabtalk was launched. It allows users to request products directly from the seller, using an instant messaging service.

China is a unique country with its own unique history and culture. Try not to judge things by your own cultural standards if possible. It won’t do you any good, it won’t change anything.

Go with the flow is easy to say, but figuring out the flow is hard. Just remember to get to know locals with knowhow and to pay attention to national development policies i.e. the 5 year plans.

As per the old Chinese idiom:

创业难, 守业更难
To open a shop is easy; to keep it open is an art.

If you are ready to start your own food import business in China, we wish you luck!

By the way, have you got all the answers to the questions from the beginning?

Published by Chris Fung on November 11th, 2015 tagged China News | Comment now »

Lessons from Michael Jordan China Trademark Dispute

Earlier this year, reports emerged that famous Chicago Bulls Basketball player Michael Jordan had lost his case in China against Chinese sportswear company Qiaodan Sports Co. (Qiaodan Sports)

Qiaodan Sports owns the “Qiaodan” (乔丹- pronounced chiow-dan) trademark in China, as well as a symbol similar to the familiar “jumpman” trademark used on “Jordan” branded products around the world.

When the Beijing Higher People’s Court ruled against Mr. Jordan in this case, it seems as if the court is saying Mr. Jordan has no right to his own name. How did this happen?

Mr. Jordan’s lawsuit was brought on the basis of Article 99 of China’s General Principle of Civil Law, which grants each individual rights to his or her own personal name.

Coverage of Michael Jordan had begun in China as early as 1984 and in 1987, China state television, CCTV had begun showing NBA games with Michael Jordan in China. Mr. Jordan was always referred to by the Chinese transliteration of his name in China, “Qiaodan.” Unfortunately, Mr. Jordan did not think to register his name as a trademark in China.

Qiaodan Sports had registered “Qiaodan” as a trademark and had carried out a clear set of actions; including registering a trademark for the “jumpman” logo and advertising its sports apparel products at sporting events, to take advantage of the renown of the Qiaodan name. Survey’s of the Chinese consumer indicated that the Qiaodan brand was strongly associated with Mr. Jordan, though, in reality, he had nothing to do with such products sold in China.

Mr. Jordan brought a lawsuit in an effort to remedy the situation, and to regain control over his name in China. This year, the Beijing High Court ruled that despite Mr. Jordan’s claim, “Qiaodan” may refer to many other possible things and in any case “Jordan” was a very common surname in the USA. The court also found that the “jumpman” logo was a generic man without any distinguishing features. The court thus concluded that it was hard to associate “Qiaodan” or “jumpman” with Michael Jordan.

What are the takeaways? Most important is that, If Mr. Jordan had the foresight to register “Qiaodan” and the ‘jumpman” logo in China, all of this could have been avoided. China is a first to file Trademark system. The first party to register a trademark will have rights to ownership, regardless of another party’s prior use of the same or a similar mark.

The lessons here are relevant for other western sports figures, celebrities, fashion designers and companies. Your name is your brand. In a world connected by satellites and the internet, your brand is global whether or not you’ve spend one penny toward oversees marketing or sales. Individuals cannot rely on personal identity protections to protect their brand conducted under their personal name. Not in China and probably not in many other places.

China is promising “intellectual property reform” but Chinese reforms rarely take the form which is expected by the West. Western companies should not expect the first to file system in China to change. More likely, intellectual property reform in China will see greater protection for Trademarks (and other IP) duly registered in China. Those seeking to do business in China, or regionally in Asia, should be proactive about registration of their Trademark in China at an early stage. The best way to protect your brand in a first to file system, reforms or not, is to be the first to file.

Published by Jacob Blacklock on October 27th, 2015 tagged TRADEMARK | Comment now »

15 Thoughts on How to Succeed in China

On June 17, 2015, Mr. Lehman, , the Managing Director of Lehman, Lee and Xu, is invited to present a lecture on the topic of 15 Thoughts on How to Succeed in China in the Interactive Seminar Sessions with Polish Companies as part of the activities with high level Polish delegation.

In the session, with regards to the thoughts on how to succeed in China, Mr. Lehman introduces the current social situation of China and shares his thoughts on how to do a due diligence, the importance of intellectual property and some tips on how to do business in China based on his own experience in several aspects, including how to make decision, how to express oneself, how to manage the way of presenting all information, and how to start a business in China, and so on.

China has experienced the greatest economic transformation in the history of the world with huge market potential and drawn the attention of the whole world, and China-based legal professional will be absolutely necessary. Lehman, Lee and Xu has very professional legal team with extensive experience on assisting to start and operate a business in China and will be very glad to assist you in this area.

Published by admin on June 24th, 2015 tagged China News | Comment now »

Mr. Lehman speaks on Extradition of China’s Corrupt Officials

June 15, 2015, Beijing – Mr. Edward Lehman recently appeared as Legal Analyst on CCTV’s Dialogue to discuss China’s efforts to corrupt official’s which have fled overseas. (Link here) A prominent case is that of Yang Xiuzhu who has recently been apprehended in the USA. Yang Xiuzhu, a senior official who oversaw construction projects in the booming eastern province of Zhejiang, is wanted by China for corruption. She fled China in 2003.

Western countries such as Australia, Canada and the USA are popular destinations for such Chinese fugitives. This is partly or primarily due to the fact that these countries do not have mutual extradition treaties with China. An extradition treaty is a agreement between two countries to return accused criminals to a country to stand trial for alleged crimes. Extradition treaties have not been forthcoming between such Western countries as China due to concerns over the fairness of the Chinese criminal system, and the reluctance to extradite criminals to countries where they may face the death penalty.

As part of President Xi Jinping’s Anti-Corruption Campaign, China has increasingly focused on the “Fox Hunt” to bring in corrupt officials which have fled the country to face justice in China.

Published by admin on June 23rd, 2015 tagged China News | Comment now »

8 Things They Didn’t Teach You at the INTA Conference in San Diego this Year

Hope all is well, I am back in China following the INTA meeting in San Diego. On my long plane ride back I jotted down these random thoughts and recollections I would like to share with you based on my perspective of attending INTA over decades. There is always something to learn.

I was lucky enough to have been one of two of my four siblings to accompany my father, an intellectual property attorney, and my mother in attending the first INTA conference in 1974, then called the USTA, which took place in Florida. The event took place around the pool and as disinterested teen far more focused on jumping into the pool than walking around it, I couldn’t quite grasp what I was experiencing. My parents branded my as “incorrigable”, perhaps a premonition that I would one day work in the most chalenging place to work as an intellectual property attorney on the planet: China. I have since been to my fair share of conferences as a professional and have even had the opportunity to attend more with my father and mother. Although the pool is no longer the center of the event at INTA as it was 41 years ago, my father and mother have long since passed away, the conference has expanded and I joined almost 10,000 registered attendees in San Diego.. Over my years at the conference I have created and maintained long-term sustainable relationships and learning how to be a better intellectual property profesional which is the goal… isn’t it? Without further adieu-

  1. If you can make it they can fake it. Is that the definition of a paradox? The universe is expanding and so are counterfeit markets. Rumor has it that even INTA meeting ID cards have been counterfeited; how ironic is that? Real life is indeed stranger than fiction. Some people who’s profession is to protect intellectual property rights, infringe on the INTA’s intellectual property to enter a conference about intellectual property to maybe discuss how to stop intellectual property infringement. In China we call that “Rule by Law” not “Rule of Law”. Nice there are always some surprises at the event.
  2. Much like the American elections, this thing is starting earlier and earlier. There are so many pre-conference events that when I arrived for check in I felt like I had already missed half of it!
  3. Beware the dreaded Shadow INTA there are another 3,000 unregistered representatives lurking around the city. Just because the person staring at you from across the lobby doesn’t have a nametag doesn’t mean they don’t want your business… whatever that means.
  4. They say the best things in life are free, well I say the best things at these meetings are unplanned. The word of the game is serendipity- opportunities are everywhere, so just let them happen. While you’re waiting for someone to get out of the bathroom you might end up having your most genuine conversation with someone you wouldn’t have ordinarily sought out.
  5. A feeling unique to this crazy conference is feeling lucky when the bar is closed, yes I said CLOSED. With parties going until sometimes 2am and having to wake up everyday at 7am there is no room for the “how about another beer” situation, I lucked out this time when the bar had shut down, I can only wish the same for you.
  6. When it comes to programs on sessions on Asia, its like bringing water to the dessert- there is never enough. There will assuredly be more at future conferences but the push to the east is undeniable.
  7. F. Scott Fitzgerald knew what he was talking about when he said, “I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” Don’t be afraid to talk to people because the best thing about these big parties is you have the freedom to walk away if you feel uncomfortable.
  8. Just because you don’t have a ribbon that says mentor doesn’t mean you can’t be helpful, there was a man who I met who asked if I wouldn’t mind if he followed me around for the day. My family doesn’t even want to hear me talk so of course I said yes. As cheesy as it sounds these types of experiences remind me of  “the joy of why you got involved.”

If  I could conduct a conference and only have 8 lessons that I didn’t teach, I would consider it a huge success. I am continually impressed with the INTA’s remarkable planning as to the uploading of data to their portal, how did they know I would only be able to make it to only two sessions? I was glad to watch all of the material online once I got home.

I have lived away from my siblings and the USA for 28+ consecutive years, yet here it is 46 years later and back to Florida, the Sunshine State. When I include my Father and Grandfather, who was also an intellectual property lawyer, this will make it three generations of our family proudly participating in this organization for 94 years. And so it goes.

Most importantly, we would like to show our appreciation to the organization for the praise and accolades (whether or not we deserved it) LEHMAN, LEE & XU has received for our firm’s modest contribution as the first private mainland Chinese firms to develop China for the INTA organization itself with then Executive Director Alan Drewson and then President Kim Mueller of Shell (both long time family friends). I was in a unique position in mainland China as I was the first foreign lawyer to work at a Chinese law firm. Because of that, my longstanding role in the Chinese mainland media and our law firm’s unique standing in the development of intellectual property laws in China, we were tasked by Alan and Kim at the INTA to establish ties with the CTMO and Chinese regulatory authorities, recruit Chinese brand owners and foreign associates, and obtain an invitation by the Chinese government to have INTA officially open an office in Shanghai, China.

Each year INTA staff, Brand Owners, and leadership refer to me as the first foreign trademark lawyer in China, or the “father” of the China development within INTA. Or, a person who has helped shape Chinese trademark law and practice through my work with the Chinese Government, as a fellow at the China Academy of Social Sciences, and advise to the World Bank China office, providing guidance on interpretation, implementation of IP laws, and regulations. While I am grateful for these thoughtful words, frankly, it is mostly hyperbole, simplistic, and undeserved. The Chinese are the best lawyers, and the Chinese government and judiciary has helped shape intellectual property within China. The best days and opportunities for foreign and domestic lawyers in China are in front of us. We have a good firm, I like to think a great firm, but I am proud to report China has many dynamic outstanding intellectual property firms. My role in China has been largely due to hubris, stubbornness, coupled with being simply in the right place at the right time due to my exposure to Chinese language in high school starting in the same year I attended the INTA, 1974. I am like so many of my almost 10,000 colleagues at INTA, doing a job as a passionate trademark professional as best as can be expected. I have been flattered to have been drafted by the INTA leadership as China based member to serve in higher office within the INTA and take charge of various committees within the INTA. I have respectfully declined because I think it important that other China based attorneys, brand owners, and firms have the opportunities instead. The other firms in China are not my “competition” we are own competition. Our reward as a firm, my reward, is the China work keeping clients and associates happy, pushing the envelope among courts, administrators, and regulators, and a job well done. Last year for example our firm (Grace Wang and Yolanda Li) argued three of the top ten Seminole cases before the China Supreme Court.

It would seem that this conference has some full circle for me, I am excited to join everyone again next year in Orlando, but doubtful we would all “fit” in the same hotel that my teenage self and my father stayed in when we were there in 1974 (now maybe only the INTA staff could fit in that hotel). I am a little worried for the attire attendees might wear these days around the pool… because if there is one thing worse than seeing IP lawyers on the dance floor, it’s seeing them in casual dress (myself included).

See you all in Orlando. Please email me with any thoughts you might wish to share about the INTA San Diego or the upcoming INTA Orlando.

Yours truly,

Edward Lehman

Published by admin on June 1st, 2015 tagged China News | Comment now »

Mr. Edward Lehman Comments on the Death of John Nash

Beijing –May 25, 2015 – The CCTV (China Central Television) invited Mr. Edward Lehman, the managing director of Lehman, Lee and Xu, to take part the CCTV live show “Dialogue” discussing American mathematician and Nobel Prize winner, John Nash who died in a car accident with his wife on May 23, 2015. Mr. Lehman discussed the intellectual legacy of John Nash and his developments in game theory as well as his struggle with schizophrenia and how he overcame it.

Game theory is the study of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers in a mathematical context in an attempt to explain complex human behaviors.

A classic representation of the theory is the “prisoners dilemma” which is a scenario where two prisoners are held separately by authorities and given the opportunity to either stay quiet or to testify against the other prisoner. If both prisoners remain quiet, both will be held on a lesser charge for lack of evidence of a more significant crime, if one testifies against the other, and the other prisoner remains silent, the prisoner which testifies will be released and the other prisoner will be held on the stronger charge.

In practice, the prisoners, as rational self-interested actors, each end up testifying against the other, resulting in both being convicted for the greater charge. In this way, the prisoner’s dilemma demonstrates that rational self-interested actors can actually hinder mutual cooperation.

The panel discusses the nature of genius and abnormal behaviors that often comes along with it.  Princeton University is praised for being such an accepting social environment. Mr. Lehman commented on the love story between Alicia and John Nash, and the tolerance of mental illness in the home and how important that acceptance is in the face of the social stigma associated with mental illness and schizophrenia. The host of Dialogue, Yang Rui, and co-panelist Liu Ke also bring up the state of mental illness in China and the three agree that there needs to be a push for a more open discussion on mental illnesses to eliminate the stigmas that often surround it both in China and in America.

Published by admin on May 28th, 2015 tagged China News | Comment now »

Edward Lehman comments Rise of Birth Tourism on Dialogue

Beijing –May 24, 2015 – The CCTV (China Central Television) invited Mr. Edward Lehman, the Managing Director of Lehman, Lee and Xu, to take part the CCTV live show “Dialogue” to discuss the boom of birth tourism to the United States. “Birth Tourism refers to the practice of foreign women visiting the USA in the late stages of pregnancy in order to have their child in the USA. Under USA law, being born in the USA automatically confers USA citizenship on these children.

Topics covered on the show included: what’s behind the phenomenon of swift growth of the birth tourism industry, what are the legal issues affecting birth tourism, and why does US citizenship hold so much allure?

Mr. Lehman used his experience of over 28 years working as a legal professional in China and growing up in the US to answer several questions regarding birth tourism. He described the allure of an American passport and why so many Chinese want their children to have one. The new 10 year visas for Chinese citizens traveling to the US and how this affects the future of birth tourism. He also discussed the question of whether such birth tourism is a fair practice or if these people are merely exploiting the system. Mr. Lehman’s CCTV interview can be found on Youtube, Tudou and on our LehmanLaw site under “Press Room.”

To find out more about our firm, please visit our website at .

Published by admin on May 26th, 2015 tagged China News | Comment now »

Birth Tourism: A New Style of Immigration to the US

By: Austin Brown and Joy Nemerson

Throughout American history there have been many who have wanted to limit immigration to the country.  The most recent rise of arguments against birth tourism is just the most recent example of these attitudes.  Many of the arguments used today to display displeasure with the birth tourism phenomenon are the same arguments used against immigrants in all periods of American history.  As America is a nation made up of immigrants it is simply shameful the way the country year after year discriminates against people of all types and turns them away from a land that is supposedly full of promise.

The 14th amendment is the reason birth tourism is a common occurrence in the US.  The first section of the amendment states

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Without this section there would be no birth tourism because it states that citizenship is granted to any person born on US soil regardless of the origin of their parents.  Some have advocated for laws to be made that close this perceived loophole. Any laws made against birth tourists would be no different than previous laws that have restricted immigration.  In particular, there is a history of laws in the US that were created that explicitly target Chinese people and immigration from China.

Some of the first and most extreme of these anti Chinese laws were the Anti-Coolie Act of 1862 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The Anti-Coolie Act was an act to protect free white labor against competition with Chinese “coolie” labor and to discourage immigration of Chinese people to California. In the height of the gold rush the California legislature sought to pacify white laborers about salary competition by placing a tax that required anyone of Chinese origin who applied for a license to work in a mine or to do business of any kind to pay $2.50 a month. As the Chinese workers were only getting $3 to $4 a month, at least one full dollar less than American workers, this tax was a huge burden for them to endure.

Even with the implementation of the tax Chinese immigrants did not give up on their attempts of seeking the American dream. The Chinese Exclusion Act came following the long period of high Chinese immigration and job competition.   By 1870 over 8% of the population and 25% of the labor force in California were Chinese. This competition combined with an economic downturn led to fierce anti-Chinese feelings, which culminated in the passing of this act in 1882. The act became the first law to exclusively restrict immigration of a specific ethnic group or race to the US.  The goal of the act was mainly to limit the immigration of “unskilled laborers” but in reality was applied to all Chinese, as it was hard for them to prove that they weren’t unskilled.  Originally it was intended to only be in place for 10 years but after many renewals it was not completely removed until 1943, 61 years later.  Over that period immigration from China was almost nonexistent and the Chinese already in America faced fierce discrimination.

Today there is a rising amount of discussion over whether laws should be passed to restrict birth tourism. Much in the way that the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Anti-Coolie movement was intended to only apply to “unskilled laborers,” any law against birth tourism would be used in a manner that only applies to certain groups. As the birth tourism is mainly associated with Chinese and Latin American immigrants these current anti immigration sentiments seem to serve as ways for people to target these specific groups.  It would be much more likely that pregnant Chinese woman would be turned away as opposed to a pregnant English woman.

America is a nation that was founded and built by immigrants.  Instead of creating laws that oppose any form of immigration, we should be embracing and welcoming immigrants.  If a person follows all citizenship or naturalization laws, the way in which citizenship is obtained or the reason for obtaining it should not matter. These birth tourists are merely seeking a better life for themselves and their families.  Why should anyone try to restrict people from finding a better life?  Is that not what the American Dream is all about?


Published by admin on May 21st, 2015 tagged China News | Comment now »