Writing for the Chinese Diaspora

Good morning.

The past year has been momentous for so many reasons it’s hard to even begin to describe them. A harsh spotlight has been cast on deep inequities in American life and on the myriad ways that racism and hatred afflict our nation.

But if there’s one thing I hope we carry forward, it is a greater understanding of the history, breadth and growing power of the diverse Asian communities in California and across the country. Among them is the Chinese diaspora.

Today, I’m excited to introduce Rong Xiaoqing, a journalist who each Friday will write a revamped version of The New York Times’s Chinese-language newsletter. (The rest of the week, the Chinese Daily Briefing will highlight the best of our journalism in Chinese.)

I asked Rong to tell me about the launch. Here’s our conversation:

First, tell us a little bit about the new newsletter — who will it be geared toward and what can subscribers expect?

The newsletter is designed for Chinese language readers, especially the Chinese diaspora in the U.S. Here readers can find a hot topic interpreted from a Chinese perspective, such as how to understand rising anti-Asian hate, and where Chinese-Americans fit in an increasingly diverse Asian community. It also provides a recommended list of Times stories that Chinese readers are likely to be interested in but may not have had time to find themselves given the large number published every day.

And Rong, tell us a little about yourself. Where do you live, and what issues are you most interested in?

I grew up in China but have lived in the United States for the past 20 years. I am a bilingual journalist based in New York, and I have been covering the Chinese community here for almost two decades. I am interested in any and all issues relevant to this community, from the struggles and tensions people face to their achievements and their intricate relationships with their home countries.

If the newsletter is geared toward the Chinese diaspora, I’m guessing you’ll have lots of California readers. What will you be paying attention to that might have particular resonance in the Golden State?

As the state that has the largest population of Chinese-Americans, California has been in the center of many hot topics among Chinese readers, be it the application of affirmative action, the rising political clout of Chinese-Americans, the hate attacks on Asians in the past year, and real estate investment by mainland Chinese in California’s major cities. I envision that sooner or later, all of these will be discussed in our newsletter.



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