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FLUSHING IS CHINA

The rise of China has created a new kind of Chinatown

By Nikhil Sonnad, Tony Lin
Flushing, QueensPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

This story is part of an ongoing series on how China is reshaping our world.

Chinatowns aren’t what they used to be. A newer, more modern version of them is emerging across the English-speaking world. These new Chinese settlements have established themselves in New York, Sydney, LA, Melbourne, Vancouver, Toronto, and beyond.

Historically, old Chinatowns were urban and almost exclusively settled by low-skilled laborers. Settling in one those old Chinatowns was a necessity, not a choice. Racist host countries were happy to relegate immigrants to segregated ghettos, and sticking together offered safety in numbers.

But as the Chinese economy has grown, as its people have become wealthier and better educated, and as job markets have become more global,  immigrants from China can do as they please. The result is areas like Flushing, New York, or Richmond, Vancouver, where many new arrivals do professional, white-collar work and live in freshly built high-rises with amenities catered to Chinese tastes.

For our latest episode of Because China, Quartz spent time in Flushing to understand how this Queens suburb—where the largest single ethnic group is now Chinese—became one of the fastest-growing economies in all of New York City. Along the way, we sample some excellent noodle dishes, hear from locals who say that “Flushing is China,” and explain why the very same thing is happening in cities around the world.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

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