The death of Chinatown?

A firestorm has erupted over the idea that the rise of China could lead to the fall of American Chinatowns.

Bonnie Tsui from The Atlantic argues that two factors are at play: gentrification, and fewer Chinese immigrants because of China’s booming economy.

“The exodus from Chinatown is happening partly because the working class is getting priced out of this traditional community and heading to the “ethnoburbs”; development continues to push residents out of the neighborhood and into other, secondary enclaves like Flushing, Queens, in New York. But the influx of migrants who need the networks that Chinatown provides is itself slowing down. Notably, the percentage of foreign-born Chinese New Yorkers fell from about 75 percent in 2000 to 69 percent in 2009.”

But a response by Our Chinatown argues that:

“Even if Chinese immigration did slow to a trickle, it’s unimaginable to me that we would allow Chinatown to simply fade away.”

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