Abstract: This article attempts to provide a comparative analysis of new Russian and Chinese skilled immigrants in the United Kingdom. Russia and China share important national economic, political and cultural similarities and differences, which has implications for Russian and Chinese migration patterns and their communities in the UK. Russia and China are widely referred to as being among the BRIC countries, which represent emerging powers in terms of their economic capacity and potential impact on global development. Chinese migration to Europe, although a relatively new trend compared to migration to North America and Australia, has received increasing coverage in the literature. However, little research has specifically focused on Chinese migration to the UK or provided a comprehensive overview of the Chinese immigration community in this country. The phenomenon of Russian migration flows overseas, which resulted from the collapse of the Soviet Union, has also attracted considerable interest among researchers. To our knowledge, however, Russian migrants in the UK have not been thoroughly examined in the literature, and no research has compared China and Russia in relation to corresponding migration patterns in the UK. This paper aims, therefore, to fill a gap in this research area by examining Russian and Chinese migrants in the UK in a comparative perspective. It draws an overall comparison of China and Russia with regard to economic, political and cultural aspects and, based on this, provides an overview of Russian and Chinese migration patterns and analyses similarities and differences between Chinese and Russian immigrant communities in the UK. The article also presents the legal framework of British immigration policies and discusses their implications for non-EU immigrants, including Russian and Chinese, and further explores their future options.
Esuna Dugarova: Former Research Analyst at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD, 2012–2016). Originally from the Republic of Buryatia in Russia, Esuna obtained PhD in Asian Studies from the University of Cambridge. She speaks Russian, English, Chinese, French and Burmese. Her current interests include social dimensions of sustainable development, social policy, social protection, family policy, inclusion and empowerment of marginalized groups and global development. She came to the UNRISD in 2012 and worked with former Director Sarah Cook on social policy for inclusive and sustainable development in emerging and developing economies. She then provided support to Director Paul Ladd on substantive and strategic areas and conducted research on issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. During her time at UNRISD, Esuna also acted as an external expert at the European Commission and lectured at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Prior to joining UNRISD, Esuna worked as a research associate at the CCPN, London School of Economics and Political Science, on new migrants from the BRIC countries to the UK, with special reference to Russian and Chinese migrants. She also did consultancy work for the World Bank (East Asian and Pacific Region), which touched upon the issues of civic engagement, governance and accountability in China, and taught at the University of Cambridge.
Cite this article
Russian and Chinese migrants in the UK from a comparative perspective
Journal of China in Comparative Perspective
Vol.2 Issue 2. 2016, p79-99