In early December, non-Asian residents of Chino Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles, protested against a Mainland Chinese “maternity hotel” (月子中心). Hong Kong netizens are immensely amused that even the other side of the Pacific Ocean is hit by locusts and further criticise the Western media for being a hypocrite.
Chinese Threat: Chino Hills is Turning Into the Real Chino Hills
According to the article “Close to L.A but closer to Beijing” from Los Angeles Times in 2008, cities neighbouring Chino Hills – Diamond Bar, Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights and Walnut – have become a “Chinatown” for the rich ethnic Chinese.
San Gabriel Valley: Our Nation’s First Suburban Chinatown
The “Little Taipei” of the 1970s is today’s first “suburban” Chinatown: Alhambra, Arcadia, El Monte, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Rosemead, Temple City, and expanded areas such as Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights.
Parent volunteer Rosy Chong said she overheard a newly arrived Korean parent’s daughter ask her mother, “When are we going to America?”
“She thought Rowland Heights was a stopover” in Asia, Chong said.
- “Close to L.A but closer to Beijing” from 2008 Jun 19 Los Angeles Times
In 2010, schools in Hacienda Heights adopted a Chinese learning programme by Confucius Institute, which is funded by the Chinese government. The decision sparked controversy.
It’s a controversy that lays bare tensions in a community that has undergone a major demographic shift and is now more than a third Asian.
In January, the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District board voted 4 to 1 to adopt a new Chinese language and culture class at Cedarlane next fall, at no cost to the district.
Confucius Classroom is paid for by the Chinese government’s Chinese Language Council International, also known as Hanban.
“I am not against the teaching of foreign languages, but this is a propaganda machine from the People’s Republic of China that has no place anywhere in the United States,” said John Kramer, 73, a former superintendent of the district who has been vocal in the debate.
Hacienda Heights was more than 36% Asian, primarily Chinese, when the last census was taken in 2000. The area has changed dramatically since longtime residents such as Mary Ann King arrived.
“We don’t need to accept money from a Chinese government,” said King, who has lived in Hacienda Heights for 42 years and once hosted the children’s television show “Romper Room.” “If it’s funded by them, their doctrine will be part of the curriculum. It’s wrong. We don’t need to do this to our children.”
- “Chinese government’s funding of Southland school’s language program fuels controversy” from April 10 2010 Los Angeles Times
According to Nov 19 2012 Pasadena Star-News, the suburban Chinatown of Los Angeles is also known as “Asian Wall Street”.
The San Gabriel Valley has become the New Chinatown, not only for the plethora of Asian Restaurants that have popped up along Valley Boulevard, but the area is also home to a large volume of Chinese banks, earning it the nickname of “Asian Wall Street”.
Like Hong Kong, Mainland Chinese are Target Costumers of the Luxury Market in Southern California
South Coast Plaza, the upscale shopping mall mentioned in “Close to L.A but closer to Beijing”, was again mentioned in Los Angles Times on Dec 2 2012 for its strategies to attract visitors from Asia, especially from China.
…Escher is the director of foreign affairs at the center, though technically his title is director of domestic and international markets. He’s been on the job more than four decades and travels to China at least once a year to firm up connections with influence makers. He partners with Disneyland and the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum, ready to whisk dignitaries from Beijing and Shanghai to the shopping center, even providing them chauffeurs and guides.
One afternoon, Escher shows it to Shelley Chen, who is from Guangzhou, an economic hub on China’s southern coast. He bows and shakes her hand as she’s on her way to look for a Gucci purse, having just graduated from law school.
Concierge Stepheny Southa came to the aid of a pregnant guest recently. Speaking in Mandarin, the woman told her: “You’re my size. I need to buy some clothes that I can wear after having the baby.
- “Asian tourists flock to South Coast Plaza” from Los Angeles Time on Dec 2 2012
The article also mentioned that Yang Mi 楊幂, the popular Mainland Chinese actress who has 21.98 million followers on Weibo, Chinese Twitter, was invited to have a VIP shopping session in the plaza.
Meanwhile, Stores in Chino Hills Shut Down
According to the report of Singtao Daily Los Angeles on Sep 19 2012,
The Economy has Revived? The Public Doesn’t Feel it.
How long will the economic depression last? Even though the government and some experts stated that the economy of Southern California is slowly reviving. However, seeing stores nearby shut down one by one, many people doubt the statement. Recently, some people notice that nearby stores, including both mainstream and ethnic Chinese restaurants and supermarkets, had shut down one by one. As businessmen retreated, living functions of many cities decrease, directly affecting people’s daily lives and causing worries.
Annie, who lives in Chino Hills, wanted to dine at a nearby Chinese-owned buffet restaurant days ago, and she found that the restaurant shut down all of a sudden as she arrived. Therefore, she drove to another buffet restaurant nearby. However, she had never thought that it had also shut down, forcing the hungry family to change their plan.
Chino Hill’s Chinese Maternity Hotel is Just the Tip of the Iceberg
On the comment section of CBS’s coverage for the protest, American netizens say that Chinese maternity hotels are all over the San Gabriel Valley and Chinese mothers can apply for welfare even though they are just visitors.
Chinese Americans also called their local Cantonese radio station and said these women are using American resources as they scam welfare. According to the second part of Dec 3 2012 “Sunset Boulevard” of AM1430,
Female Host: There are many phone calls today. Among them, there is a male caller who refuses to be on air and is working for the Social Security Administration…. He doesn’t agree with the statement that all Chinese pregnant women pay their medical fees by cash. He doesn’t know the ratio of paid by cash to paid by the government . However, he found that many Mainland Chinese birth tourists claimed that they were poor and applied for welfare. And the government covered their medical fees. Therefore, not every Chinese birth tourists paid out of their own pockets and they use our resources.
World Journal reported on May 2 2011 that many of these expecting Chinese tourists have their medical bills paid by the California government.
Chinese Pregnant Women Give Birth in America for Free?
(3rd paragraph) Senior figures from the insurance industry stated that pregnant women held B1/B2 business and tourist visas to give birth in the U.S and paid a few dozen thousand USD to maternity hotels. Pregnant women and their relatives think that the amount covers hospital, doctor, anesthetist, nurse etc. In fact, some maternity hotels and a few insurance agents use false information to apply for maternal and child healthcare benefit (California Access for Infants and Mothers Program, AIM), which is for the middle to low income uninsured mothers, for these pregnant women, and earn profits by transferring the cost of labour to the American government. However, pregnant women don’t know that they may have crossed the line.
(5th paragraph) Lots of pregnant women successfully applied for AIM, making some maternity hotels and insurance agents became greedier. They “assisted” pregnant women to play the role of “extreme poverty” and applied for Presumptive Eligibility for Pregnant Women Medi-Cal Program – from prenatal checks to the delivery to the first month child care, everything is free of charge. It even includes maternal and child nutrition supplement, which allows the recipient to receives milk, yogurt, oatmeal and fruit for free.
Hong Kong Netizens’ Reactions
Ape大哥: I felt strange. Two months ago, I went to an outlet in L.A and saw tour buses send groups of Mainland Chinese to there, and one in several people was pregnant. In the outlet, there were more Mainland Chinese than Americans, and the scene was completely out of control. The most terrible thing is that some Mainland Chinese couldn’t stop speaking Mandarin with a Hispanic staff even though the staff didn’t understand.
芝麻人: There is an English video on Youtube in which a Hong Kong woman talks about Mainland Chinese pregnant women. Westerners left comments saying the woman discriminates against Mainland Chinese pregnant women. Gift them all the locusts and let’s see if they would be that generous.
隨遇而安的人: Last time when we advertised on the newspaper, they said we were racists. Now, they know what is going on.
脫支乃心聲: After the publication of the locust advertisement, American media said Hongkongers discriminated against Mainland Chinese. At that time, I explained to my friend who has immigrated to America for 20 years. He/She said we were all Chinese and told me to accept them. Now, finally, the fire spreads to them.
羅素克: Those overseas Chinese always think that they will be good if China is doing well, and they also talk bullshit that Hong Kong has to submit to China. F**k, (an overseas Chinese) told me that even if CY Leung is a Communist Party member, it will be no problem for him to be the Chief Executive, because Hong Kong is going to be controlled by the Communist Party sooner or later. Now, China has become better, many rich refugees have become locusts, making overseas Chinese be discriminated. (Overseas Chinese) f**king deserve it.
AC Eng: Yesterday, Hong Kong was ruined by locusts, which has become a fact. However, foreign countries told us to show tolerance. Today, the wheel of fortune turns, what goes around comes around.