Karate

China once welcomed refugees, but its policies now make Trump look lenient

China once welcomed refugees, but its policies now make Trump look lenient

Nearly four decades ago, Mo Fengyue leaned over the boat carrying her to China and dumped her Vietnamese identity cards into the river. With a flick of the wrist, Mo sacrificed the land of her birth for an ancestral homeland she’d never known.

“You had to make a choice once you came back, so I became a Chinese citizen,” said Mo, a 12-year-old girl then fleeing discrimination for her heritage.

Her story is a rare reminder of a time when China opened its borders. In the first three decades of the People’s Republic, through the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, leaders welcomed hundreds of thousands escaping persecution and violence in Southeast Asia. Most were ethnic Chinese. Authorities...

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