CCTV-News / CNTV
behind children with foreign... 中国百科
December 31, 2012
Left behind children with foreign passports raise concerns
12-31-2012 10:50 BJT
By CCTV reporter Lin Nan
"Left-behind children" usually refers to those left by their migrant worker parents in rural areas of China. The grandparents look after them while the parents work in urban areas, far from home, to make a living. In East China’s Fujian Province, there’s a special group of such children. They are called the "foreign left-behind children."
4 year old Liu Yuanxin is no different from any other Chinese boy his age, except that he has an English name, Eddie, and a US passport. Born in America, he was sent back to China when he was only 3 months old. His mom works around the clock in a Chinese restaurant and couldn’t take care of him. He has lived with his aunt in Guantou, Fujian Province since then.
"Do you miss your mom?"
"Do you want her to come back?"
"What do you want to do with her?"
Eddie’s mom gives him as much as she can. But there is still something that she can’t provide that the little boy is longing for.
Liu Liqin, aunt, said," His mom came back and visited us this September. When Eddie saw the suitcase the morning she left, he tried to stop her from packing and cried for a long time."
Like Eddie, 80 percents of kids in this kindergarten hold foreign passports. They are taken care of by grandparents or relatives before going back and living with parents to continue their education at age 4 or 5. But nice preschools and family care can’t replace the absence of parental interaction.
Jiang Huizhen, principal of Jinbei' er kindergarten, said," Grandparents are more likely to spoil children and there is a lack of discipline. We have to tell them not to do things, and help the children become more independent. Grandparents can’t form the same kind of attachments as those between parents and children, no matter how hard they try."
The coastal town has seen a trend of emigration since the 1980s. Over 40,000 villagers out of the 56,000 population work overseas. Their long working hours gives them no choice but to send their children back to China for family members to look after.
Ni Falin, chairman of Guantou Fed. of Returned Overseas Chinese, said,"There are about 2000 left behind Children with foreign nationalities in this town. We see some 200 kids come and go every year. It is hard for both the children and their parents, but it seems the best choice for the family’s future. Young parents can work very hard and fulfill their dreams while knowing their kids are being taken care of well."
This belief makes families like Eddie’s think the separation is worth it.
Lin Nan, Fuzhou, Fujian Province, said,"Unlike other children left behind by migrant worker parents in rural China, these kids with foreign nationalities live a very comfortable life and are never short of expensive toys and clothes. But it is still hard for their material abundance to make up for the absence in their childhood, the care that is thousands of miles away."
CCTV-News / CNTV
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