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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?

Mali74.1
Morocco66.9
Egypt63.9
Burkina Faso61.6
South Africa61.1
Thailand57.1
India56.6
Jordan54.2
Ghana52.9
Indonesia51.6
Ethiopia51.3
Mexico50.3
Malaysia50.1
Vietnam47.3
Georgia46.2
Rwanda46.1
Zambia42.8
Cyprus41.3
China39.3
Uruguay37.6
Poland37.5
Turkey34.4
Chile33.4
Trinidad and Tobago26.9
Bulgaria26.6
Spain25.3
South Korea24.6
Serbia24.0
Ukraine22.9
Argentina21.2
Moldova20.8
Slovenia19.4
Brazil18.5
Romania17.9
Italy14.6
United States14.1
Australia11.3
Taiwan10.2
Germany9.6
Finland9.4
Norway6.7
Andorra4.9
Switzerland4.5
Sweden3.3

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.

Mali68.5
South Africa67.8
Ghana67.7
India66.3
Zambia63.0
Malaysia60.1
Thailand59.4
Egypt58.6
Mexico58.5
Jordan58.3
Indonesia56.9
Ethiopia53.9
Rwanda52.3
Morocco51.0
Burkina Faso48.9
Chile47.5
Georgia45.5
Trinidad and Tobago44.1
Uruguay43.2
Vietnam42.6
Poland40.4
Spain39.2
China38.4
Cyprus37.5
Turkey34.3
Italy32.1
Moldova31.9
Serbia28.4
Ukraine28.3
Bulgaria26.9
Romania25.5
United States25.3
Argentina24.9
Brazil23.5
Slovenia22.9
South Korea20.5
Andorra17.7
Taiwan16.0
Australia15.7
Finland15.7
Germany11.4
Switzerland8.4
Norway7.9
Sweden5.0

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:

Georgia83.6
Mali73.3
Egypt68.7
Morocco68.4
Australia68.0
Ghana66.5
Thailand65.0
Turkey63.6
Vietnam63.4
Jordan61.9
Indonesia61.9
Malaysia60.4
South Africa59.4
Burkina Faso59.4
United States59.4
India58.4
Mexico58.2
Zambia56.8
Ethiopia53.9
Germany53.4
Bulgaria53.3
Chile50.3
Slovenia48.2
Spain47.2
Rwanda46.8
Finland46.6
 China44.1
Uruguay43.3
Cyprus43.0
Trinidad and Tobago42.8
Switzerland42.1
Taiwan39.9
Ukraine39.5
Moldova38.5
Norway36.7
Romania35.7
Poland34.7
Italy34.7
Argentina33.6
Serbia33.5
Andorra30.4
South Korea27.1
Brazil26.3
Sweden24.1

Law

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

Sweden95.6
Norway93.5
Australia93.1
Finland88.4
Switzerland87.6
Taiwan86.7
United States85.0
Georgia84.6
Germany83.5
Trinidad and Tobago83.2
Indonesia82.9
Turkey82.4
Bulgaria82.1
Mali81.7
Mexico80.8
Ghana80.4
Romania78.7
China78.2
Burkina Faso78.1
Vietnam78.0
Italy77.7
Jordan77.3
Egypt76.9
Malaysia74.8
Morocco74.6
Uruguay74.1
South Africa72.9
Chile71.3
Slovenia71.2
India70.9
Zambia70.4
Moldova68.1
Poland68.1
Ethiopia64.7
Argentina63.5
Rwanda62.1
Ukraine58.7
Cyprus58.2
Spain58.1
Serbia55.0
Thailand54.4
Andorra49.4
Brazil43.5
South Korea40.4

Hat tip to The Audacious Epigone

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