Here is that New Yorker story that has again focused on the new kids of Vancouver – the fuerdai, which means “rich second generation.”
The West is the plan for many of China’s new rich. In the past decade, they have swept into cities like New York, London, and Los Angeles, snapping up real estate and provoking anxieties about inequality and globalized wealth. Rich Chinese have become a fixture in the public imagination, the way rich Russians were in the nineteen-nineties and rich people from the Gulf states were in the decades before that.
The Chinese presence in Vancouver is particularly pronounced, thanks to the city’s position on the Pacific Rim, its pleasant climate, and its easy pace of life. China’s newly minted millionaires see the city as a haven in which to place not only their money but, increasingly, their offspring, who come there to get an education, to start businesses, and to socialize.
It’s one of those pieces that make you wonder why the principals participated. Did they not understand how their portrayal was going to be interpreted, or not care?
Regardless, like any group who come together at one time, whether by migration or birth, and have a high impact (there have been many before, some with considerable resources), they are part of the community of Vancouver. Emphasis on community. Everyone – them, us, and all the other pronouns – have to work to make it so.