Yes, illegal immigration is a major issue. However vast majority of construction workers and those working in the agricultural industry are illegals, primarily from Mexico. They still play an important role in the economy, and take up a lot of jobs most Americans aren't willing to work. Wish there we had a better labor worker visa program so we could actually tax these people though. I worked in construction a while back in Miami and I was the only non-Spanish speaker in my crew. They work their asses off. We always struggled to find legal laborers so we had to resort to illegals since most Americans bitch about having to work hard under the sun and quit after day one. But still, having a porous border causes lots of issues and allows for rampant human and drug trafficking to happen. Pretty sad.
To answer the original question, I'd say it's a mixture of 'home' and elsewhere in SE Asia.
I find it funny, how westerners here constantly bicker about Chinese treating them poorly, where in fact Chinese are some of most hospitable people towards foreigners in the northern hemisphere. As a person of West-Asian decent, I'd say living in China is a paradise compare to living in the West.
I grew up in North Europe (Finland), and there was not a week in my adult life that some drunk guy didn't come to my face cursing about my existence; blaming every possible problem he could think of "on my kind". Even most European governments are openly racist (including Finland's). Not to mention, all the local hatred towards foreigners that are being reinforced and amplified via bias western coverage on West- and Central Asian issues. I mean, seriously: how many films & TV-series does Hollywood spit out every years with all the minions and henchmen having black hair and thick beard; trying to look like a typical West-Asian? We're probably talking triple digit numbers here. Yet how many heroes does come out of Hollywood with the same characteristics? Closer to none.
My point being: I have no problem tolerating an isolated poor demeanor from a Chinese person every second year, when I'm used to getting cursed at on a weekly basis for the better part of my life. In fact, being looked down on in the West was so prevalent that it wasn't until after moving to China did I realize such behavior is NOT normal. I have a great respect to Chinese culture for being so hospitable towards foreigners; and kudos to Chinese government for containing xenophobia despite all the reasons not to.
I see you have issues. From all the recent posts. The good thing is nobody cares here. Gokunming repliers are few nowadays. If you have issues with westerners, keep it to yourself.
I think that most of the concerns brought up on this thread are not about any specific ethnicity of foreigners, but merely holding a foreign passport and as such denied (sometime without legal basis) services.
Registering at hotel for example, where one is required to present a Chinese ID or foreign passport, I don't think that it would make difference whether the passport says USA, Finland, Iraq or Korea (with face matching the mainstream ethnicity in given country) - treatment would be same.
I would not attribute those toward central government policies as much as ignorance of local establishments and local government entities supervising them.
Kunming is still not a civilized city - even by China's own standards, right?
@JanJal I agree. They just don't want to be bothered. The hotels that have received foreign guests know what to do and how to do it so generally it's no big deal.
We are still here - checking in on the articles (I wish they were posted more often though). I talk with members of this site on wechat almost every day. Waiting for my return to Kunming!
Being here and posting are not the same.
Yeah, fair enough. I'll try to think of some posts to put up to get conversation going :)