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How Chinese Americans are Perceived by US Society

New York City Chinatown
New York City Chinatown

As part of VOA’s continuing coverage of What Americans Think About China and Chinese products, series reporter Michael Lipin delves into three different aspects of the Chinese experience in America, answering some questions about the stereotypes faced by the country’s fastest-growing ethnic group.

Read all three reports, then decide for yourself.

Part 1: Don’t Call Us Model Citizens

A common U.S. stereotype is that Chinese Americans are a "model minority" in a nation of diverse ethnicities. That perception may seem flattering. But for many Chinese Americans, it's an offensive label – one that they have been trying to dispel for decades.

Part 2: Don’t Lump Us with Other Asian Americans

The American public's inability to distinguish Chinese Americans from Cambodian, Korean or Vietnamese Americans creates problems for each of these ethnic groups. Despite different languages, religions, and physical traits, such minorities are – like it or not – labeled as part of a generic “Asian American” group. It’s a phenomenon sociologists call "racial lumping."

Part 3: Don’t Treat Us Like Foreigners

Yes, America is a nation of immigrants. It always has been. But some Chinese Americans say they are made to feel like foreigners in their own country. While discrimination against Chinese Americans in the United States is persistent, it also appears to be on the decline.