Highly skilled new Chinese migrants in the UK and the globalisation of China since 1990

  • Liyun Yao

Student thesis: Phd


This PhD dissertation is concerned with highly skilled new Chinese migrants (HSNCMs) in the UK and their transnational (or trans-boundary) careers and business practice between China and Britain. The research subjects are those HSNCMs who have established careers and business connections between China and the UK since 1990. This research pays special attention to relationships between the transnational practice of HSNCMs, brain circulation (or their knowledge exchange with China) and China's globalisation. Three main topics are discussed in this dissertation: First, it examines the states' engagement which has a direct impact on transnational mobility of HSNCMs in the UK. Second, it analyzes transnational network building of OCP associations (professional associations of HSNCMs) linking between HSNCMs and China. Third, it discusses individual transnational career and business activities and identity construction of HSNCMs in order to understand China's brain circulation in the UK context. The main theoretical object of this paper is to combine brain circulation studies with the theoretical framework of transnational migration studies.The findings of this research show that states' policy engagement (especially China's initiatives) is very powerful. Through transnational network building of OCP associations, HSNCMs integrate their personal development into the national projects of Mainland China. For individual HSNCMs, their transnational practice is diverse in terms of their different social backgrounds. For most HSNCMs with trans-boundary careers and business practice, their transnational identities are combined with Chinese consciousness. They have set up strategies to develop their careers and business between the sending country and receiving country. The multiple interactions between HSNCMs and China, therefore, have produced a significant impact on the brain circulation of HSNCMs and the globalisation of China.
Date of Award31 Dec 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester


  • OCP associations
  • transnational careers and business practice
  • globalisation of China
  • highly skilled new Chinese migrants
  • brain circulation
  • transnational migration

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