Perhaps it is time to revisit the NI Executive’s as yet non existent strategy on Cohesion Sharing and Integration… but not from the point of view of a negative (sectarianism, whose pervasiveness can be overwhelming for policy makers).. Rather from the point of view of embracing diversity…
Belfast’s large and well established Chinese community (not to mention those arriving each year at Queens and UU could be one of its most positive assets). Here’s the Economist from yesterday:
Some 500,000 Chinese people have studied abroad and returned, mostly in the past decade; they dominate the think-tanks that advise the government, and are moving up the ranks of the Communist Party. Cheng Li of the Brookings Institution, an American think-tank, predicts that they will be 15-17% of its Central Committee next year, up from 6% in 2002.
Few sea turtles call openly for democracy. But they have seen how it works in practice, and they know that many countries that practise it are richer, cleaner and more stable than China.
As for the old world, its desire to close its borders is understandable but dangerous. Migration brings youth to ageing countries, and allows ideas to circulate in millions of mobile minds. That is good both for those who arrive with suitcases and dreams and for those who should welcome them.