Mark Twain famously said “history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme”. Now, it seems as if China’s emerging affluence and its tolerance of foreign traits are turning it into another “America”: the America that accepted millions of foreigners seeking a better life.
It is a very loose rhyme, to be sure. Of the more than half million foreigners in China, only 700 have green cards, and the article does cite considerable tension directed against African immigrants. Nevertheless, the reaction of one Arab immigrant from Iraq is quite telling:
Anwar said that despite the tensions he’s happier to be in China than elsewhere in the world.
“My brother lived in the Netherlands for nine years,” he said. “There, if you are a foreigner, you are below them. When he came to China, everything was different. Here, if you are a foreigner, you are treated better than Chinese.”
Given the number of reports about the State Department’s slow processing of Iraqi refugees, this testimony has considerable meaning beyond the few simple words.