The History and Evolvement of the Employment of the British Chinese

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The History of the Chinese's Employment in the UK

Charlotte Jiayu LIu

Walking through the streets of London, especially the most bustling part of the highly multicultural city, apart from the native British citizens, perhaps the most race you would see is the Chinese. The UK, indeed, sometimes jokingly referred as an "undividable" part of China, probably is the largest Chinese community overseas where Chinese restaurants and groceries are boomed in every single city and the universities are crowded with the black haired students. The boost in the number of Chinese immigration in the 21st century is usually goes to the colonisation of Hong Kong in the past one hundred and fifty years, as well as the trend in Mainland Chinese students to study abroad. However, the history of immigration of the Chinese to the United Kingdom has started for a period much longer than most people imagine. Over these endless years, the Chinese immigrations' life in the UK has been changing tremendously, which is largely represented in terms of their jobs.

The first Chinese that ever recorded in the British history is Michael Shen Fu-Tsung, a Catholic, who had stayed in England from 1685 to 1688 and been called to the court by King James II for several times. He helped Thomas Hyde, the historian and linguist, to catalogue and summarized the Chinese books in Bodleian Library, Oxford, and taught him some Chinese. Though Shen was not actually the first Chinese who stepped in the land, as Thomas Hyde mentioned that he used to have a Chinese assistant, whose name and length of stay is unknown, previously who accidentally died for some certain disease, he indeed assist Hyde enormously to explore the Oriental culture. (Spence, J. 2010) After Shen's visit, the Chinese in the record of British became increasingly...