Thursday, October 18, 2012

GROUP INCLUDING CHINESE ORDAINED TO THE ELDERSHIP OF THE CHINESE CHURCH, JUNE 12, 1904. At Bck. Rev. W. Hewitson, Elder Lo Kcong and Rev. A. Don. — Gill, photo. Front Row: Elders W. Chan and Paul Chan.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Kathleen Hall RGN, RM (1896 - 1970)

He Ming Qing (Kathleen Hall) Memorial Scholarship Our scholarship in memory of this courageous NZ missionary to China. Kathleen Hall RGN, RM (1896 - 1970) Kathleen Hall was a New Zealand missionary nurse in China who was swept up in the war against Japan. Not only did she nurse the sick and wounded, but time and time again she smuggled medical supplies through the Japanese lines to Dr. Norman Bethune, the Canadian surgeon who was in charge of medical services for the Chinese 8th Route Army. The He Ming Qing (Kathleen Hall) Memorial Scholarship was established by the New Zealand China Friendship Society Inc. to provide three-year scholarships for Chinese from poor rural areas enabling them to complete nursing training in order to return to their villages and work for improved health standards. This scholarship replaces the previous Kathleen Hall Centennial Memorial Scholarship, which ran for ten years. This picture of Kathleen Hall was probably taken at Songjiazhuang, 1936. Kathleen Hall – Biography Kathleen Hall was born in Napier, New Zealand in 1896 and later moved to Auckland. There she trained at Auckland Public Hospital. In 1922 she was accepted by the Anglican Society for the Propagation of the Gospel for missionary work in China. Before leaving New Zealand she successfully undertook midwifery training at St Helen’s hospital in Christchurch. In North China at that time there was one outstanding hospital where western medicine was practised, the Peking Union Medical College (PUMC). It was a very advanced institution, funded by the American Rockefeller Foundation and operated by British and American Protestant missions. After several years language training and professional practice there, Kathleen was appointed Sister-in-Charge of a provincial hospital at Datong, later being transferred to the same position at Hejian and Anguo in Hebei Province. She became acquainted with the deplorable living conditions in the Hebei mountains and in 1934 she obtained the permission of her Bishop to leave the cities and set up her own cottage hospital in the mountain village of Songjiazhuang. Kathleen Hall with four of her nurses, probably at Anguo Hospital, 1937. In 1937 she had to return temporarily to take charge of the hospital at Anguo on the plains and she was in charge there when the Japanese invaded. There was a great battle nearby, the Chinese were defeated and hers was the only hospital for hundreds of miles. The doctors fled and with a few Chinese nurses she was left to deal with many hundred casualties. As the Japanese pushed southwards, she was able to return to her own hospital in the mountains, to find that it was now in “no-man’s land” between the Chinese guerilla forces and the Japanese. With her British passport she could move comparatively freely, and before long she was making long journeys to Peking to purchase medical supplies, much of which she passed on to the Chinese army, until caught by the Japanese. Kathleen Hall’s statue at Songjiazhuang They put her on a ship for New Zealand, but she disembarked at Hong Kong and joined the Chinese Red Cross. She made a dangerous journey through inland China to rejoin the 8th Route Army. Eventually she was struck down with beriberi, and repatriated to New Zealand. After the war the helped to establish a model leper colony in Hong Kong, and in her final years of service she worked with the Anglican Maori Mission at Te Kuiti and Waitara. In retirement she devoted her life to telling New Zealanders the truth about China. She worked very hard to bring the various Friendship groups in Auckland, Hamilton, Napier, Wellington and Christchurch together to form the NZ-China Friendship Society, which was inaugurated in Wellington in 1958, with Kathleen as a member of the first National Committee. She was able to revisit China twice more, in 1960 and 1964. She died in Hamilton in 1970. In 1993 a delegation of friends and relatives carried her ashes back to China in accordance with her wishes. In 1996 the local people of Quyang County celebrated the centennial of her birth by creating a beautiful marble statue and setting it up in the village of Songjiazhuang where she had established her clinic. A China Today article published in 1997 describes this moving event, and gives more details of Kathleen’s life. In 2000, her clinic was rebuilt with a donation of $15,000 from our Society, which has been tripled by a subsidy from the N.Z. Government. The completion of the rebuilding project was celebrated in June 2000 and the clinic was officially reopened in July 2001. Click here to view pictures of both celebrations. Notes and Quotes on Kathleen Hall from The Mind of Norman Bethune by Roderick Stewart ( Fitzhenry & Whiteside Lrd., 2002): Early in the Sino-Japanese war, Kathleen was temporarily posted to Anguo Hospital on the coastal plain of Hebei Province, east of her base at mountainous Songjiazhuang. A terrible battle there resulted in enormous casualties for the Chinese. Kathleen had first-hand experience of the overwhelming numbers of injured that Norman Bethune encountered daily and wrote of in his reports from the 8th Route Army. More than He Mingqing, he experienced chronic shortages of both funds and medical supplies. He was critical of both the Chinese and international agencies who didn’t provide adequate equipment for his mobile medical unit in the Taihang Mountains southwest of Beijing, a shortage that would eventually cost him his own life. Bethune’s reports 1938: “The supply of drugs and medicines is pretty poor in most places in Central Hebei. Difficulty is being found in getting supplies from Tianjin. The missionaries are being closely watched. One lot of drugs were examined on the way by the Japanese and when told that they were going to a mission hpspital, they made a note of all bottles and packages and later checked up on the Mission. The Mission reported that the drugs had been ‘stolen’ by the partisans–to account for their non-arrival.” (p.195) “Why oh why, are we not receiving more help from both China and abroad? Think of it! 200,000 troops, 2,500 wounded always in hospital, over 1,000 battles fought in the past year, and only 5 Chinese graduate doctors, 50 Chinese untrained ‘doctors’ and one foreigner to do all this work.” (p.196) Bethune’s monthly report to the China Aid Council in August 1939: “The medical supplies obtained in the past three months have chiefly been the result of the energy of Miss K. Hall of the Anglican Church Mission at Songjiazhuang. About $15,000 have been spent. This amount of supplies should see the SS through the winter. As a result of her activities, her Mission has been burnt by the Japanese. I have always felt and expressed some months ago that too much should not have been asked of these sympathetic missionaries, but more organization of an underground transport service would have prevented this attack. Again, the local press were unwise enough to print an article praising Miss Hall for her assistance. This paper is undoubtedly read by the Japanese. Of course, there are other factors such as spies and the current manufactured so-called ‘Anti-British Sentiment’ in China, which does not exist except in the minds of Japanese. There are still large amounts of supplies that have been bought in Peiping, Tianjin and Baoding that have not been brought out for the lack of Chinese organizaed transport. This work must be organized at once. Miss Hall cannot be used again. Her life is already in danger owing to her help to the Region. The same applies to other missions such as the American Board Mission in Baoding. There have been many arrests of the Chinese there, and the American Missionaries are nervous and dare do no more to help…. “I am trying to persuade Miss Hall to join the Canadian-American Unit and give up her own missionary work. Around her I propose to gather a nucleus of trained graduate nurses from the PUMC (we have two now already) and with such a staff, set up a small model hospital to be used in connection with the teaching of the Medical school. She is considering the matter. It would mean her leaving (resigning) from her mission. She is also thinking of going to New Zealand to raise more money for this Region. Between the two of us, I feel that we can raise enough for the medical educational work of the region, but it would mean that both of us would have to leave here temporarily for six to eight months.” (p.204-5)

Nancy Goddard

Farewell to Nancy Goddard (1923-2012) Nancy Goddard It is with deep sorrow that we note the passing of Nancy Goddard in Palmerston North on 10 September. Nancy was received at the Ngati Poneke Pipitea Marae in Wellington followed by a funeral service at Karori Cemetery. NZCFS members attended the funeral and Mary Gray spoke on behalf of the Society. Below is the eulogy given by Nancy’s brother Frank Kwok. The Kwok ancestral village is Bak Shek (Baishi) Guangzhou in China. Mother (Chung Fung Kwai) and Father William Kwok (Kwok Kee Yee) had 10 children (9 girls and 1 boy). Born in Wellington in 1923, Nancy Wai-Lan Kwok was their 3rd eldest daughter and the first to be born in New Zealand. Nancy was educated at Mt. Cook School, Wellington East Girls College where she was Head Prefect in her final year, and Victoria University in Wellington. She was an accomplished pianist, and often played the organ in the Chinese Church. She also had a beautiful voice and sang at many church weddings. At Victoria University, Nancy met George Goddard, a Trade Union leader who introduced her to the modern history of China and the revolution which was under way there. George & Nancy married in 1944 and had 3 sons (Lee, Ben & Danny). They became very active in the protest movements aligned to justice and peace, anti-racism, a nuclear free New Zealand and Maori rights. Together they helped found the New Zealand China Friendship Society in the 1950s. Nancy & George worked tirelessly for the ongoing business of the NZCFS and for many years Nancy was Secretary of both the Wellington Branch and the National Executive of the Society. These early years were difficult for many local and recent Chinese immigrants since any sympathetic connection with socialist/trade union movements were suspected by the NZ Government to be communist fronts. Therefore membership of the NZCFS was suspected as another indication of infiltration of communism. NZ & China were allies in the Second World War but were now enemies since NZ troops were engaged in fighting Chinese soldiers who were allied to North Korea’s invasion of South Korea in 1950. During this period, few Chinese formally joined the NZCFS, particularly recent Chinese immigrants whose New Zealand immigration status would be jeopardised. However, many Chinese risked attendances at meetings, being shielded by members like Nancy & George. Older members of the Society will well remember these loyal members many of whom are still with us in our various branches today. Nancy’s efforts were finally vindicated when the NZ Government officially recognized the Peoples Republic of China in 1972. At the same time Nancy applied her interest in education towards the development of the early childhood sector through the play centre movement. Nancy also did voluntary work at the Wellington District Court helping young people in trouble particularly Maori. This and the interest of her husband and son Danny in their Maori culture led her to join the Ngati Poneke Young Maori Club where during her involvement over 15 years, she became a Kaumatua (elder). Over the years, Nancy has been deservedly honoured by many awards: 1987 City of Wellington Civic Award for outstanding voluntary service presented by Mayor Jim Belich. 1993 Nancy was recognized by the NZCFS for outstanding distinguished services. 1997 The Queen acting on the advice of the NZ Government made her a Companion of the NZ Order of Merit (CNZM) for community services – presented by Governor General Sir Michael Hardie Boys. 2002 Nancy Goddard was made a Life Member of the New Zealand China Friendship Society. 2003 On her 80th Birthday she was recognized by the Chinese Government with the honorary title of Friendship Ambassador for outstanding contribution to Sino-NZ friendship. This was presented at a special reception by Chen Haosu, President of the Chinese Peoples Friendship Association for Friendship with foreign countries. Nancy was also a life member of the Ngati Poneke Young Maori Club. Nancy is acknowledged for building support for China in New Zealand, and building a relationship with the local Maori people: a woman well ahead of her time who just kept working for what she always believed to be right.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Howe Young, chief executive of the Dominion Federation of New Zealand Chinese Commercial Growers, speaks to about 100 people gathered at Te Manawa for a book launch about Chinese market gardening in New Zealand. MURRAY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ BOOK LAUNCH:

Chinese market gardens in NZ

JILL GALLOWAY Last updated 09:46 11/10/2012 During their heyday in the 1970s, there were 600 Chinese market gardeners in New Zealand, but now there are only 157. Many young people watched their parents work hard in the market gardens and they became lawyers and doctors, choosing not to work like their parents, said the chief executive of the Dominion Federation of New Zealand Chinese Commercial Growers, Howe Young. He was one of the speakers at the Palmerston North launch of two books last week: Sons of the Soil and Success Through Adversity. Sons of the Soil covers the history of Chinese market gardening through the personal stories of more than 100 ordinary people from market gardening communities around the country. Success Through Adversity is about the Chinese Federation's history and how it has upheld the rights of market gardeners through its almost 70-year history. Palmerston North Deputy Mayor Jim Jefferies said there were 150,000 people of Chinese descent living in New Zealand. "They are an integral part of a multicultural New Zealand. In Manawatu, we have 100 different nationalities and we're proud of it." President of the Manawatu Chinese Growers Association William Young said that the books told the story of the history of Chinese people, and "paid homage to all our forefathers who came to New Zealand for a better life and to give their children a better life". Howe Young said 40 per cent of Chinese in New Zealand were market gardeners, providing 80 per cent of all green vegetables grown. "Market gardening by Chinese used to be a family business and the federation had influence with the marketing companies. Now, it's the supermarkets that have the power." The harder a person worked, the more money they made, he said. "That's not the case now. You can work hard and lose money, as the cost of production can be more than the produce is worth." William Young said the height of the Chinese growers in New Zealand was during the period spanning the late 1960s through to the late 1980s. "These were the golden years for the Chinese growers, as many families had their grown-up children coming back on the farms to help, mechanisation was becoming more widely used and affordable, costs of production were low and returns to the growers were very good." But things had changed, he said. "Growers' children are going to university, getting professional jobs and not returning back to the traditional family business of growing vegetables." At the same time, William Young said the cost of machinery had risen, the cost of production - seeds, fertilisers, sprays and fuel - had gone up markedly and there were a lot more compliance regulations. "Our margins have been squeezed, and growers are price takers now, not price makers. "We get given a price for our produce and we cannot set our prices to reflect the cost increases of our inputs." Author Lily Lee said one of the best things about the six-year labour of love writing the book Sons of the Soil was that she got to talk to many older people who had since died. The book included their stories. "Women were often the unsung heroes. The wives toiled tirelessly in the market garden." She said the book would be great for children, because they could trace their ancestors and ancestral villages through them. Sons of the Soil and Success Through Adversity were given to the Palmerston North City Council, the library, the city archive, Massey University, a primary school and five secondary schools. There is also a website on the role of Chinese market gardeners in New Zealand. - © Fairfax NZ News

Saturday, October 6, 2012


China's decision to declare war on Japan is being viewed complacently by the Chinese of It was stated this morning that a collection had been taken up in Auckland and that £2000' had been subscribed towards China's war fund, but this is officially denied by a member of the committee of the Chinese Nationalist party in. New Zealand (the Kuomintang). Auckland Star, Volume LXIII, Issue 26, 1 February 1932, Page 7
MEMBERS OF THE CHINESE COMMUNITY in Auckland attending a gathering in the Tivoli Theatre this afternoon to mark the thirty-third anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese Republic Auckland Star, Volume LXXV, Issue 240, 10 October 1944, Page 6
MR. C. H. PAO, Chinese consul in New Zealand, who is at present paying his first visit to Auckland. He was welcomed by the Chinese community last evening. Auckland Star, Volume LXV, Issue 3, 4 January 1934, Page 3

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Remarkable History of Kaifeng’s Jewish Community

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 | By: The Editors You might be surprised to know that there exists a small Jewish community in Henan Province’s Kaifeng region. Even more astonishing, however, is that the community claims to have descended from the same Jewish merchants who arrived in China during the 8th century, in the late Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.). History tells us that the prosperous trade route of the Silk Road proved irresistible to China’s sole Jewish community. Sometime after its arrival, the community united to vow adherence and loyalty to China’s laws and emperor, thus affording them the right to settle down in what was then one of the early Northern Song Dynasty’s (960-1127A.D.) most thriving business centers, Kaifeng. A photography of two Kaifeng Jewish descendants taken in 1906. The community held steadfast in the practice of the beliefs and traditions of their ancestors, until China came under the rule of the mid-Qing Dynasty in 1644. By the time the dynasty’s influence had passed in the year 1911, the community had undergone a significant metamorphosis, as a result of intermarriage with the Han Chinese and nearly 300 years of isolation from its place of origin. In 1952, two Jewish representatives from Kaifeng were invited to attend National Day celebrations with state leaders of China, an occasion that would mark the peak of the community’s fortunes with the government. Largely due to assimilation, the population has dwindled to around 1,000 inrecent years, many of whom are unable to read or write in Hebrew. The commune’s claim has been repeatedly challenged by skeptics who doubt the ancient tribe’s unique heritage, but DNA tests have shown that the blood of those within the community bears a striking resemblance to that of the ancient Jews of Iraq and Iran. Some members even sport the long beards for which those of Jewish descent are famous. But despite all this and the fact that they still consider themselves Jews in a cultural sense, Judaism has not been practiced since the early 20th century. As a result, the Jewish synagogue in Kaifeng now only exists in a few historical photographs and people’s memories. In order to restore some of the traditions lost, several of the community’s members, led by Mr. Zhang Xingwang, have recently taken the initiative to seek outside help from experts. Their search has led them to the gates of Nanjing University, where they are now attending classes on Hebrew. In addition, the members are also making efforts to observe the Sabbath every week. The seemingly anomalous juxtaposition of the community with China’s native population has garnered international attention, and as a result, more and more tourists are arriving each and every month. The locals have embraced this fortune, evident in one family by the name of Zhao, receiving waves of guests from abroad and other parts of China into their home every month. Perhaps this attention will help those remaining descendants of the brave explorers, who long ago entered the borders of a far and distant land in hopes of prosperity, to further explore the realms of their profound heritage and cherish not only who they are but what they can be. -Information provided by MKJourneys

Guide to Laws and Policies relating to the Chinese in New Zealand 1871-1997

Guide to Laws and Policies relating to the Chinese in New Zealand 1871-1997 One of the main difficulties facing those researching Chinese New Zealand history is the complex, confusing and daunting number of laws, policies and regulations relating to the Chinese in New Zealand. Compared with the actual size of the Chinese New Zealand community, the sheer number of these laws, policies and regulations is enormous. This is significant, not only because it shows what New Zealand has felt about the Chinese, but because each law, policy and regulation has been a barrier against which generations of Chinese New Zealanders have had to struggle to survive. The complex legislative and administrative process, combined with the number of laws and policies enacted against Chinese, has until recently made this area of history almost inaccessible. Nigel Murphy’s Guide to Laws and Policies relating to the Chinese in New Zealand 1871-1997 aims to rectify this situation. As its name implies its intention is to provide an easy-to-use guide to the Kafkaesque world of the laws, regulations and policy decisions relating to the Chinese in New Zealand. Commissioned by the New Zealand Chinese Association in 1994 and completed in 1996, it was intended to supplement the work done on the poll tax research book, and to provide a comprehensive guide to all laws, regulations and policies relating to Chinese New Zealanders enacted by the New Zealand government between 1871 and 1997. A detailed index was compiled in 2008 thanks to a grant from the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust, and it was finally published in June this year. The Guide consists of a chronological listing of all laws and policies relating to and affecting Chinese New Zealanders. In also contains essays on key topics such as the poll tax, naturalisation, thumbprints and education tests, re-entry certificates, the permit system of entry relating to Chinese, Chinese business manager and student concessions, women, the 1939 refugee scheme, remittances, Chinese ownership of land, war service and registration of aliens. It also has a number of appendices, including the full text of Customs Department circular memos—a primary source of information on immigration policy relating to Chinese in New Zealand between 1882 and 1945—, and the texts of all surviving petitions by Chinese New Zealanders relating to immigration. The Guide is 405 pages in length and is as complete a survey of the subject as possible. It will be an indispensable research tool for historians, researchers, genealogists and anyone interested in Chinese New Zealand history. Copies are available from the New Zealand Chinese Association PO Box 6008 at a cost of $50.00
Moon Festival New Lynn, Auckland 2012

Fleeing the People's Paradise

02/24/2012 Fleeing the People's Paradise Successful Chinese Emigrating to West in Droves By Wieland Wagner A graduation ceremony at Huazhong University of Science & Technology: Many successful Chinese professionals are eager to leave the country despite newfound prosperity. Despite their country's stunning economic growth, many successful Chinese entrepreneurs are emigrating to the West. For them, the Chinese government is too arbitrary and unpredictable, and they view their children's prospects as better in the West. Info Though the room is already overcrowded, more listeners keep squeezing in, making it necessary to bring in additional chairs for the stragglers. Outside on the streets of Beijing, the usual Saturday afternoon shopping bustle is in full swing. But above the clamor, in the quiet of this elegant office high-rise, the audience is intent on listening to a man who can help them start a new life, one far away from China. Li Zhaohui, 51, turns on the projector and photographs flicker across the screen behind him. Some show Li himself, head of one of China's largest agencies for emigration visas, which has more than 100 employees. Other pictures show Li's business partner in the United States. Still others show Chinese people living in an idyllic American suburb. Li has already successfully arranged for these people to leave the People's Republic of China. Li's free and self-confident way of speaking precisely embodies the Western lifestyle that those in his audience dream of. Originally trained as a physicist, Li emigrated to Canada in 1989. In the beginning, he developed microchips in Montreal, but he says he found the job boring. Then he found his true calling: helping Chinese entrepreneurs and businesspeople escape. Of course, Li doesn't use the term "escape." Emigration from China is legal and, with its population of 1.3 billion, the country certainly has enough people left over. Likewise, hardly anyone in the audience is actually planning to burn every bridge with their native country. Almost everyone in the room owns companies, villas and cars in China. Many of them, in fact, can thank China's Communist Party for their success. But along their way to the top, they've developed other needs, the kind only a person with a full stomach feels, as the Chinese saying goes. It's a type of hunger that can't be satisfied as long as the person is living under a one-party dictatorship. These people long to live in a constitutional state that would protect them from the party's whims. And they want to enjoy their wealth in countries where it's possible to lead a healthier life than in China, which often resembles one giant factory, with the stench and dust to match. These longings have led many people in China to pursue foreign citizenship for themselves and their families. The most popular destinations are the US and Canada, countries with a tradition of immigration. "Touzi yimin" are the magic words Li impresses tirelessly upon his listeners. Loosely translated, it means "immigration by investment." Benefitting at Home, But Hoping to Get Out Several months a year, Li says he travels through the US selecting suitable investment projects for his clients -- construction projects, for example, that would qualify Chinese investors and their families for long-term American visas. Li's clients value discretion. A hyped-up sales pitch would only scare them away or push them into the arms of competitors. There are more than 800 similar agencies throughout the country, all offering their services in procuring "touzi yimin." Some simply send their advertisements as text messages. Zhang Yongjun, 41, and his family already have one foot out the door. Zhang sits at his company's long, leather-upholstered conference table on the 31st floor of Beijing's Overseas Plaza. Outside his window, the sun's rays barely penetrate the brown smog. In just a few weeks, Zhang plans to start a new life with his wife and two daughters in Vancouver, Canada. It took the entrepreneur four years to obtain a "Maple Leaf Card," the Canadian equivalent of the American green card. Canada's permanent resident card also offers the option of applying for citizenship after three years. To obtain it, Zhang put the equivalent of €300,000 ($400,000) in a Canadian investment fund. "I'm taking this step for my children's sake," Zhang says. The plan is for his wife to settle permanently in Canada with the children. There, they can breathe clean air and attend schools that will teach them to be more cosmopolitan. Zhang himself will hold onto his Chinese citizenship and commute between Beijing and Vancouver since he doesn't want to lose the source of his wealth back in China. Zhang pushes his two smartphones back and forth on the table in front of him. He brings in several million euros worth of profit each year from making software and devices for the national lottery. Although he dresses modestly, he owns property in Beijing and two other cities. His wife is a homemaker. Urban couples are legally only allowed to have one child, but for a 60,000 yuan (€7,200/$9,500) fine -- an amount it would take a migrant worker three years to earn -- Zhang bought himself the right to a second child. "The expense was worth it," he says. In January, the family celebrated Chinese New Year abroad, as they do every year. Zhang estimates that he was on vacation for about half of the last year. If he's doing so well, Zhang is asked, why does he even need permanent residency in far-away Canada, and why does he want to get his family citizenship there? Zhang gazes at the ceiling of the conference room and looks as though he's already regretting having entered into a conversation on this subject. Indeed, few would-be emigrants are willing to talk publicly about their plans to move away, especially if they hope to continue earning money in China. Traitors or the Lucky Ones? The Global Times, a nationalist mouthpiece of the Communist Party, recently printed an online survey whose results suggest that this exodus of the wealthy sparks jealousy in many of their fellow citizens. The newspaper quoted one anonymous Internet user as saying, "Many of the people who want to emigrate are nothing more than traitors. Leave your money here if you want to emigrate." This type of name-calling deters those thinking of getting out from talking about it publicly. Zhang, too, offers only a vague hint as to why he wants to give himself and his family this second leg to stand on in Canada. "In an environment where power determines everything, there's ultimately no clear standard, no feeling of security," he says. In recent years, China's Communist Party has liberated hundreds of millions of people from poverty. With the slogan "one world, one dream" China celebrated not only the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, but also its rapid ascent to superpower status. Amid the muddle of the global financial crisis, some Western politicians and businesspeople went so far as to hail the supposed superiority of an authoritarian system. In reality, though, the children of those who have prospered in China's economic revolution also dream of Western freedoms. Latent cynicism toward the party has spread well beyond the wealthy, becoming prevalent among the emerging middle class, as well. Anxious to Get the Whole Family Out For a 36-year-old man we will call Wang Qiang, it's the beginning of one of his last days working in Beijing. He also plans to permanently emigrate to Canada with his whole family, in this case to Quebec. This morning, Wang once again battled his way through city traffic for an hour and an half. Now he's at work in a skyscraper belonging to a state-owned telephone company. Wang is part of the upper management, is popular among colleagues and essentially has his job for life. Yet, he and his wife think about nothing but how they can get away from here -- and as soon as possible. It started, Wang says, when his daughter was born and he held her tiny hand for the first time. "I suddenly realized that under no circumstances did I want to raise her in China," he recalls. Soon, Wang plans to apply for immigration at the Canadian Embassy. He's kept quiet about his intentions so far at work, but says that each day only strengthens his resolve. Wang tells of a colleague who bragged about having sent his child to an expensive elite school. "Where's the fairness in that?" Wang asks. "Without connections, children don't have a chance in China's education system." Wang glances around to see if any of his colleagues are nearby. For the time being, he needs to remain cautious, but he's finding it increasingly difficult to keep his dissatisfaction to himself. Each day, his life strikes him as more pointless than the day before. As an example, he mentions elections for the local People's Congress, a farce held by Beijing over the past few months in a storm of propaganda. "They let us vote," Wang explains, "but we don't know a single one of the candidates." Wang says that several of his friends have already emigrated to Canada and that "None of them has tried to talk me out of my plan." He eventually wants to bring his parents to Canada, as well, so they can benefit from a Western welfare system. Party Leaders and the American Dream Li, the emigration coordinator, is finished with his seminar for investors and sitting contentedly on a red-brown leather couch in his office. "Every time the media reports something on successful emigrants, we get even more requests," he says. Even many Communist Party functionaries send their children to study abroad. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, for example, who is tapped to become the country's next leader and visited Washington last week, has a daughter studying at Harvard University. Another example is Bo Xilai, a prominent politician and party head for Chongqing, a major city in southwest China. Bo may drive his citizens into the city's parks in the mornings to sing revolutionary songs, but his son, Guagua, attends Harvard. The fact that so many leading party members dream the American dream for their children has given rise to a new joke in China: It's a good thing, people say, that parents' days at elite universities such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton don't coincide with the Chinese Communist Party convention. If they did, half the seats in the Great Hall of the People would be left empty. Translated from the German by Ella Ornstein