China's Sea Turtles

The article seeks to analyse the reasons for the chauvinistic sentiments among the young generation of Chinese who are studying or have studied overseas and returned to China. “Such sentiments are common on the mainland. But people like (Charles) Zhang were supposed to be different: he's what Chinese call a hai gui—‘sea turtle’--referring to someone who has lived overseas. (The phrase is a pun on haiwai guilai, meaning ‘returned from overseas’.) Their numbers are growing by the tens of thousands every year, and as the sons and daughters of the elite, they have an outsize influence once they move back to China. In the West there's long been an assumption that this cohort would import Western values along with their iPods. They were envisioned as the bridge to a more open, liberal, Western-friendly China.”

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