Young Chinese Migrants in London

Written by:
Caroline Knowles
Read time:
45 mins

Focusing on young people aged 23-39, this report significantly updates our understanding on Chinese people living in Britain. Chinese people are the fastest growing ethnic group yet little is know about them, reasons behind their move to London and how they conceptualise migration.

The research explores the connection between London, Beijing and Hong Kong. It is said that routes between these cities are as follows; Beijing is the capital of the world's largest economy and Hong Kong has significant ties to UK and China. Directly or indirectly, young, highly skilled (only child) migrants from Beijing are securing family resources in London against uncertainties in China. Similarly, young migrants from Hong Kong are hedging their political future in London, waiting to see how Hong Kong's fractious relationship with the Mainland will develop.

Both groups are a resource in developing UK connections of all kinds with China, as it becomes the new centre of a realigned global world. Meanwhile the new architectures of UK border control which facilitate millionaire migrants further marginalize those with fewer resource leaving them with only undocumented routes to London, at the mercy of traffickers and travelling by unsafe means. Chinese London speaks to broader realignments in the capital which privilege the wealthy and further marginalize the poor.

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