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China Perspectives ; - (131):7-15, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2167768


The article examines recent transformations in diaspora governance at the local level, particularly the new, more integrated approach towards emigrated Chinese developed in places with longstanding and strong emigration movements. These places, known as "hometowns of Overseas Chinese" or qiaoxiang, have been actively reaching out to their expatriates for decades, but the initiatives and strategies for reaching out have changed recently due to central government policies, increased return migration, and the widespread use of information and communications technologies. Based on the case study of Qingtian County in the eastern province of Zhejiang, the paper examines different ways in which local government is reaching out to its members abroad, focusing on activities in the area of legal affairs and public administration, investments, digital transformation, public diplomacy, local urban restructuring, and response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The findings reveal innovation and experimentation at the local level rather than the passive implementation of central policies, and point to the need for further unpacking of the role of the state in diaspora engagement.