Chinese Attitudes about Granting Foreigners Citizenship: Data from the World Values Survey

global_citizenshipForeigners seldom qualify for naturalization in China. But what’s the relationship between government policy and Chinese attitudes about whether foreigners should be eligible for citizenship?

The World Values Survey is a mammoth global research project. In the most recent wave, running from 2005 to 2008, respondents were asked about the importance of four factors in deciding whether or not a person should have citizenship conferred upon him. They were having ancestors from the country, being born in the country, adopting the customs of the country, and obeying the laws of the country. One blogger refers to these factors pithily as blood, soil, culture, and law.

It turns out that on all four factors Chinese attitudes fall in the middle of the pack. In comparison to other countries, Chinese don’t have extreme views about whether ancestry (39.3%), birth (38.4%), culture (44.1%), or obedience to the law (78.2%) is “very important” to be considered for citizenship. Chinese attitudes appear less restrictive than government policy.

Blood

Is it “very important” that a person have ancestors from the country to be considered a citizen?

Mali 74.1
Morocco 66.9
Egypt 63.9
Burkina Faso 61.6
South Africa 61.1
Thailand 57.1
India 56.6
Jordan 54.2
Ghana 52.9
Indonesia 51.6
Ethiopia 51.3
Mexico 50.3
Malaysia 50.1
Vietnam 47.3
Georgia 46.2
Rwanda 46.1
Zambia 42.8
Cyprus 41.3
China 39.3
Uruguay 37.6
Poland 37.5
Turkey 34.4
Chile 33.4
Trinidad and Tobago 26.9
Bulgaria 26.6
Spain 25.3
South Korea 24.6
Serbia 24.0
Ukraine 22.9
Argentina 21.2
Moldova 20.8
Slovenia 19.4
Brazil 18.5
Romania 17.9
Italy 14.6
United States 14.1
Australia 11.3
Taiwan 10.2
Germany 9.6
Finland 9.4
Norway 6.7
Andorra 4.9
Switzerland 4.5
Sweden 3.3

Soil

The next table shows the percentages of respondents in each participating country who deemed it “very important” that a person be born in the country if he or she is to be entitled to citizenship.

Mali 68.5
South Africa 67.8
Ghana 67.7
India 66.3
Zambia 63.0
Malaysia 60.1
Thailand 59.4
Egypt 58.6
Mexico 58.5
Jordan 58.3
Indonesia 56.9
Ethiopia 53.9
Rwanda 52.3
Morocco 51.0
Burkina Faso 48.9
Chile 47.5
Georgia 45.5
Trinidad and Tobago 44.1
Uruguay 43.2
Vietnam 42.6
Poland 40.4
Spain 39.2
China 38.4
Cyprus 37.5
Turkey 34.3
Italy 32.1
Moldova 31.9
Serbia 28.4
Ukraine 28.3
Bulgaria 26.9
Romania 25.5
United States 25.3
Argentina 24.9
Brazil 23.5
Slovenia 22.9
South Korea 20.5
Andorra 17.7
Taiwan 16.0
Australia 15.7
Finland 15.7
Germany 11.4
Switzerland 8.4
Norway 7.9
Sweden 5.0

Culture

The following table shows the percentages of respondents in each participating
country who deemed it “very important” that a person adopt the customs of the
country to become a citizen of it:

Georgia 83.6
Mali 73.3
Egypt 68.7
Morocco 68.4
Australia 68.0
Ghana 66.5
Thailand 65.0
Turkey 63.6
Vietnam 63.4
Jordan 61.9
Indonesia 61.9
Malaysia 60.4
South Africa 59.4
Burkina Faso 59.4
United States 59.4
India 58.4
Mexico 58.2
Zambia 56.8
Ethiopia 53.9
Germany 53.4
Bulgaria 53.3
Chile 50.3
Slovenia 48.2
Spain 47.2
Rwanda 46.8
Finland 46.6
 China 44.1
Uruguay 43.3
Cyprus 43.0
Trinidad and Tobago 42.8
Switzerland 42.1
Taiwan 39.9
Ukraine 39.5
Moldova 38.5
Norway 36.7
Romania 35.7
Poland 34.7
Italy 34.7
Argentina 33.6
Serbia 33.5
Andorra 30.4
South Korea 27.1
Brazil 26.3
Sweden 24.1

Law

Is it “very important that a person obey the laws of the country to be considered a citizen?

Sweden 95.6
Norway 93.5
Australia 93.1
Finland 88.4
Switzerland 87.6
Taiwan 86.7
United States 85.0
Georgia 84.6
Germany 83.5
Trinidad and Tobago 83.2
Indonesia 82.9
Turkey 82.4
Bulgaria 82.1
Mali 81.7
Mexico 80.8
Ghana 80.4
Romania 78.7
China 78.2
Burkina Faso 78.1
Vietnam 78.0
Italy 77.7
Jordan 77.3
Egypt 76.9
Malaysia 74.8
Morocco 74.6
Uruguay 74.1
South Africa 72.9
Chile 71.3
Slovenia 71.2
India 70.9
Zambia 70.4
Moldova 68.1
Poland 68.1
Ethiopia 64.7
Argentina 63.5
Rwanda 62.1
Ukraine 58.7
Cyprus 58.2
Spain 58.1
Serbia 55.0
Thailand 54.4
Andorra 49.4
Brazil 43.5
South Korea 40.4

Hat tip to The Audacious Epigone

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