Importing Chinese Students to export American lifestyles

American Sinophobes—and there are many—probably won’t want to read this but millions of Chinese students from Communist China have attended American universities and colleges and earned degrees. In fact, according to, only 37% of Americans see China favorably.

But that hasn’t stopped some of China’s top leaders sending their children to attend universities in the West. For instance, the Daily reported that China’s new ‘first daughter’ attends Harvard under a pseudonym and is protected by Chinese officials 24-7.

Next time you visit USC, MIT, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford or UCLA, look around.  How many Chinese do you see?

PBS reported in November 2013, that “Hundreds of thousands of Chinese students are flocking to U.S. colleges and universities, helping drive the number of international students studying in America to record levels.”

This didn’t start recently and it isn’t free. In fact, it’s expensive for a foreign student to attend a college or university in the U.S.

Since the door out of China opened as early as 1980, more than a million Chinese students have graduated from U.S. colleges and returned to China, which may explain China’s Sexual Revolution in the late 1990s.

It might shock Americans to realize that most of the people in China that have the money to send their children to the US belong to the Communist Youth League or the Communist Party and few who earn a university degree in the US stay. The South China Morning Post reported, “For decades, the rate of return to China remained low as students with advanced degrees did not see opportunities for research at home. Last year, more than 272,000 Chinese returned after completing their education abroad, 86,700 more than in 2011; a 46 percent increase, according to the Ministry of Education.”

Many of these students return to mainland China influenced by what they learned in America.

Imagine, when China’s growth to become a modern nation is complete, the country might turn into a republic and/or democracy influenced by America’s “so-called” socialist, liberal institutions of higher education.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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2 Responses to Importing Chinese Students to export American lifestyles

  1. merlin says:

    I’d like to ponder a thought. The Chinese coming to US are usually from wealthy families that throw down cash on homes and college tuition rather than credit with a payment plan. If more Chinese are attending colleges in the US, wouldn’t it cause a slight increase in tuition especially for those of other nationalities?

    • The tuition is higher, much higher, for foreign students from any country. In fact, there was a story last year about one college (I don’t remember which one) that favored foreign students because it boosted profits there.

      You’re probably right about wealthy Chinese sending their kids here but the parents need not be filthy rich. The Chinese are savers.

      Forbes did a piece on this:

      “The household savings rate in China rose from about 16% of disposable income in 1990 to over 30% today, which is much higher than most countries. (The comparable rate in the U.S. was about 3% before the crisis, and 6% in recent months.)

      The Forbes’ piece asked why Chinese save so much. The New York Times answered that question with: In China, Families Bet It All on College for Their Children

      And the BBC did a piece on the sacrifice Chinese parents are willing to make to send their child to college.

      In richer Asian countries such as South Korea and emerging countries like China, “education fever” is forcing families to make choices, sometimes dramatic ones, to afford the bills.

      There are families selling their apartments to raise the funds to send their children to study overseas.

      It is not just middle-class families. Workers also want their children to do better than themselves and see education as the only means of ensuring social mobility. Some go deep into debt.

      “Families are spending less on other things. There are many cases of rural parents not buying healthcare that their doctors urge on them… Part of the reason is that they would rather spend the money on their children’s education,” said Mr Kipnis.

      In short, Chinese parents tend to sacrifice for their children starting before the child’s even born. They will do without to save for the child’s college education and if the child doesn’t make it into a Chinese college, then they may send them to the U.S. or Europe. In fact, my wife—who was born in China and didn’t come to the US until she was in her twenties—started saving for our daughter’s education (she graduates this year and already has a job) before birth and had enough to pay for Stanford without borrowing money.

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