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Tales of Hope, Tastes of BitternessChinese Road Builders in Ethiopia$
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Miriam Driessen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528042

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528042.001.0001

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Pushed to Ethiopia

Pushed to Ethiopia

(p.28) 1 Pushed to Ethiopia
Tales of Hope, Tastes of Bitterness

Miriam Driessen

Hong Kong University Press

What drives so many young Chinese to Ethiopia? Moving down to a less developed place rather than up to the developed world, Chinese migrants indicate that they are forced to move to Africa in pursuit of a better income and a chance to improve their lives and that of their (future) families. While the desire to migrate, which continues to be viewed as an avenue for upward social mobility, remains prevalent in Chinese society, the incentives for doing so have changed. Recent social, political, and economic transformations in mainland China have generated a sense of insecurity, of falling behind in a fierce competition for resources. This feeling is particularly strong among Chinese workers employed by domestic companies in Ethiopia, for whom moving to Africa is a way out. This way out, however, turns out to be one that offers no way back.

Keywords:   Migration, social mobility, transformation, rural, urban, way out

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