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Asian Migration and Global Cities

Anne Cong-Huyen, Jonathan Young Banfill, Katherine Herrera, Samantha Ching, Natalie Yip, Thania Lucero, Randy Mai, Candice Lau, Authors

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Beijing to Seattle

A recent popular Chinese made film about a kind of Chinese global migration: pregnant women who go to western countries in order to give birth, either for better facilities or to gain citizenship through their new children.

This story, a romance, follows a materialistic Beijing woman who is the mistress of a rich man. She is pregnant and flies to Seattle to live in a private home that is rented out by a Taiwanese woman. There she has a kind of romance with a Chinese doctor who has come to American and has to work as a cab driver.

Seattle was chosen for its romantic connotations, Sleepless in Seattle being an important romantic reference in the Chinese imagination. . . Seattle is always talked about as a romantic city. Oddly enough this film wasn't actually filmed in Seattle, but in Vancouver instead. 

How this film differs from past representations of migration stories to the US is that all the main characters are ridiculously wealthy in the Hollywood way, even when they seem to be presented as poor. They always have money to fly or shop. They live in giant clean houses or apartments. There is no real economic struggle. And thus this film represents a particular fantasy of global migration, as well as love and romance, catered to the new wealthy urban Chinese. 
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