Chinese in New York City

The New York metropolitan area is home to the largest and most prominent ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, hosting Chinese populations representing all 34 provincial-level administrative units of China[1][2] and constituting the largest metropolitan Asian American group in the United States as well as the largest Asian-national metropolitan diaspora in the Western Hemisphere. The Chinese American population of the New York City metropolitan area was an estimated 893,697 as of 2017.[3] New York City itself contains by far the highest ethnic Chinese population of any individual city outside Asia, estimated at 628,763 as of 2017.[4]

New York City and the surrounding area, including Long Island and parts of New Jersey, is home to 12 Chinatowns, early U.S. racial ghettos where Chinese immigrants were made to live for economic survival and physical safety[5] that are now known as important sites of tourism and urban economic activity. Six Chinatowns[6] (or nine, including the emerging Chinatowns in Corona and Whitestone, Queens,[7] and East Harlem, Manhattan) are located in New York City proper, and one each is located in Nassau County, Long Island; Edison, New Jersey;[7] West Windsor, New Jersey; and Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey. This excludes fledgling ethnic Chinese enclaves emerging throughout the New York metropolitan area, such as Jersey City, New Jersey; China City of America in Sullivan County, New York; and Dragon Springs in Deerpark, Orange County, New York.[8] The Chinese American community in the New York metropolitan area is rising rapidly in population as well as economic and political influence. Continuing significant immigration from Mainland China[9] has spurred the ongoing rise of the Chinese population in the New York metropolitan area; this immigration and its accompanying growth in the impact of the Chinese presence continue to be fueled by New York's status as an alpha global city, its high population density, its extensive mass transit system, and the New York metropolitan area's enormous economic marketplace.


Crossing Canal Street in the Manhattan Chinatown (紐約華埠), facing Mott Street toward the south

Among the earliest documented arrivals of Chinese immigrants in New York City were of "sailors and peddlers" in the 1830s and again in 1847, when three students arrived to continue their education in the U.S. One of the scholars, Yung Wing, soon became the first Chinese American to graduate from a U.S. college in 1854, when Wing graduated from Yale University.

Many more Chinese immigrants arrived and settled in Lower Manhattan throughout the 1800s, including an 1870s wave of Chinese immigrants searching for "gold.[10]" By 1880, the enclave around Five Points was estimated to have from 200 to as many as 1,100 members.[10] However, the Chinese Exclusion Act, which went into effect in 1882, caused an abrupt decline in the number of Chinese who emigrated to New York and the rest of the United States.[10] Later, in 1943, the Chinese were given a small quota, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 caused a revival in Chinese immigration,[11] and the community's population gradually increased until 1968, when the quota was lifted and the Chinese American population skyrocketed,[10] and in 1992, New York City officially began providing language assistance for electoral materials in Chinese, given that this population had reached a critical mass in numbers.[12]


New York City boroughs

New York City has the largest Chinese population of any city outside of Asia[13] and within the U.S. with an estimated population of 573,388 in 2014,[14] and continues to be a primary destination for new Chinese immigrants.[15] New York City is subdivided into official municipal boroughs, which themselves are home to significant Chinese populations, with Brooklyn and Queens, adjacently located on Long Island, leading the fastest growth.[16][17] After the City of New York itself, the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn encompass the largest Chinese populations, respectively, of all municipalities in the United States.

Rank Borough Chinese Americans Density of Chinese Americans per square mile in borough Percentage of Chinese Americans in borough's population
1 Queens, Chinatowns (皇后華埠) (2014)[18] 237,484 2,178.8 10.2
2 Brooklyn, Chinatowns (布魯克林華埠) (2014)[19] 205,753 2,897.9 7.9
3 Manhattan, Chinatown (曼哈頓華埠) (2014)[20] 107,609 4,713.5 6.6
4 Staten Island (2012) 13,620 232.9 2.9
5 The Bronx (2012) 6,891 164 0.5
New York City (2014) 573,388[14] 1,881.1 6.8

Large-scale immigration continues from China

In 2013, 19,645 Chinese legally immigrated to the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA core based statistical area from Mainland China, greater than the combined totals for Los Angeles and San Francisco, the next two largest Chinese American gateways;[21] in 2012, this number was 24,763;[22] 28,390 in 2011;[23] and 19,811 in 2010.[24] These numbers do not include the remainder of the New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area, nor do they include the significantly smaller numbers of legal immigrants from Taiwan and Hong Kong. There has additionally been a consequential component of Chinese emigration of illegal origin, most notably Fuzhou people from Fujian and Wenzhounese from Zhejiang in mainland China, specifically destined for New York City,[25] beginning in the 1980s.

Quantification of the magnitude of this modality of emigration is imprecise and varies over time, but it appears to continue unabated on a significant basis. As of April 2019, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Hainan Airlines all served John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), while Air China and Cathay Pacific Airways served both JFK and Newark Liberty International Airport in the New York metropolitan area – and among U.S. carriers, United Airlines flew non-stop from Newark to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Hainan Airlines flies non-stop from JFK to both Chengdu and Chongqing in Western China; while China Southern Airlines is expected to start non-stop flights from JFK to Wuhan, in Central China, in July 2019. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines flies to Singapore, where Standard Chinese is one of the official state languages, both from Newark (with one of the longest non-stop flights in the world[26][27]) and from JFK.

Within the Chinese population, New York City is also home to between 150,000 and 200,000 Fuzhounese Americans, who have exerted a large influence upon the Chinese restaurant industry across the United States; the vast majority of the growing population of Fuzhounese Americans have settled in New York.

The Chinese immigrant population in New York City grew from 261,500 foreign-born individuals in 2000 to 350,000 in 2011, representing a more than 33% growth of that demographic.[28] Chinese immigrants represented 12,000 of the country's asylum requests in fiscal year 2013, of which 4,000 applied for asylum to the New York-area asylum office. Due to reports of widespread immigration fraud in the city that were uncovered in 2012, only about 15% of Chinese asylum applications in the New York asylum office were being approved annually as of 2013, compared to 40% of Chinese asylum requests nationwide.[29]

Movement within and outside the metropolitan area

As many immigrant Chinese to New York City move up the socioeconomic ladder, many have relocated to the suburbs for more living space as well as seeking particular school districts for their children. In this process, new Chinese enclaves and Chinatown commercial districts have emerged and are growing in these suburbs, particularly in Nassau County on Long Island and in the four counties of New Jersey which start with the letter "M": Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, and Morris County. The attractions of these New Jersey and Long Island counties to Chinese immigrants include affluent and safe neighborhoods comprising large numbers of professionals, vaunted educational systems, and ready accessibility to Manhattan by commuter rail.[30][31] Some Chinese New Yorkers are also migrating to Boston and Philadelphia.[32]


Chinatown manhattan 2009
Pell Street, Manhattan Chinatown

The Manhattan Chinatown was the original Chinatown.[33] Little Fuzhou in Manhattan is an ethnoculturally distinct neighborhood within the Manhattan Chinatown itself, populated primarily by Fujianese people. The Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn houses another such Little Fuzhou. Queens and Brooklyn are home to other Chinatowns. The Flushing as well as Elmhurst areas of Queens and multiple burgeoning neighborhoods in Brooklyn[34] also have spawned the development of numerous other Chinatowns. Most of Manhattan, as well as Corona in Queens, the Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope areas of Brooklyn, and northeast Staten Island, have also received significant Chinese settlement.[33][35]


Manhattan (曼哈頓華埠)

Manhattan's Chinatown holds the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere.[36][37][38][39][40] Manhattan's Chinatown is actually divided into two different portions. The western portion is the older and original part of Manhattan's Chinatown, primarily dominated by Cantonese populations and known colloquially as the Cantonese Chinatown. Cantonese were the earlier settlers of Manhattan's Chinatown, originating mostly from Hong Kong and from Taishan in Guangdong Province, as well as from Shanghai.[41] They form most of the Chinese population of the area surrounded by Mott and Canal Streets.[41]

Fukien American
The Fukien American Association is based in the Little Fuzhou (小福州, 紐約華埠) neighborhood within the Manhattan Chinatown.
Buddhist Temple, Chinatown
Mahayana Buddhist Temple (大乘佛教寺廟) on Canal Street in Chinatown, Manhattan

However, within Manhattan's expanding Chinatown lies Little Fuzhou or The Fuzhou Chinatown on East Broadway and surrounding streets, occupied predominantly by immigrants from the Fujian province of Mainland China. They are the later settlers, from Fuzhou, Fujian, forming the majority of the Chinese population in the vicinity of East Broadway.[41] This eastern portion of Manhattan's Chinatown developed much later after the Fuzhou immigrants began moving in.

Areas surrounding "Little Fuzhou" consist of significant numbers of Cantonese immigrants from the Guangdong of China; however, the main concentration of people speaking the Cantonese language is in the older western portion of Manhattan's Chinatown. Despite the fact that the Mandarin speaking communities were becoming established in Flushing and Elmhurst areas of Queens during the 1980s-90s and even though the Fuzhou immigrants spoke Mandarin often as well, due to their socioeconomic status, they could not afford the housing prices in Mandarin speaking enclaves in Queens, which were more middle class and the job opportunities were limited. They instead chose to settle in Manhattan's Chinatown for affordable housing and as well as the job opportunities that were available such as the seamstress factories and restaurants, despite the traditional Cantonese dominance until the 1990s. Eventually this pattern was repeated in Brooklyn's Sunset Park Chinatown, but on a much larger scale.

However, the Cantonese dialect that has dominated Chinatown for decades is being rapidly swept aside by Mandarin, the national language of China and the lingua franca due the influx of Fuzhou immigrants that often speak Mandarin and as well as there are now more Mandarin speaking visitors coming to visit the neighborhood.[42] Chinatown's modern borders are roughly Delancey Street on the north, Chambers Street on the south, East Broadway on the east, and Broadway on the west.[43]

Queens (皇后華埠)

‪ The busy intersection of Main Street, Kissena Boulevard, and 41st Avenue in the Flushing Chinatown (法拉盛華埠), Queens, New York City. The segment of Main Street between Kissena Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue, punctuated by the Long Island Rail Road trestle overpass, represents the cultural heart of Flushing Chinatown. Housing over 30,000 individuals born in China alone, the largest by this metric outside Asia, Flushing is home to one of the largest and fastest-growing Chinatowns in the world. ‬
The busy intersection of Main Street, Kissena Boulevard, and 41st Avenue in the Flushing Chinatown (法拉盛華埠), Queens, New York City. The segment of Main Street between Kissena Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue, punctuated by the Long Island Rail Road trestle overpass, represents the cultural heart of Flushing Chinatown. Housing over 30,000 individuals born in China alone, the largest by this metric outside Asia, Flushing is home to one of the largest and fastest-growing Chinatowns in the world.[44]
Bwy Elmhurst Chinatown jeh
The Elmhurst Chinatown (艾姆赫斯特) on Broadway in Queens is now a satellite of the Flushing Chinatown.

New York City's satellite Chinatowns in Queens, as well as in Brooklyn, are thriving as traditionally urban enclaves, as large-scale Chinese immigration into New York continues,[45][46][47][48] with the largest metropolitan Chinese population outside Asia.[49] busy intersection of Main Street, Kissena Boulevard, and 41st Avenue in the Flushing Chinatown (法拉盛華埠), in Queens. The segment of Main Street between Kissena Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue, punctuated by the Long Island Rail Road trestle overpass, represents the cultural heart of Flushing Chinatown. Housing over 30,000 individuals born in China alone, the largest by this metric outside Asia, Flushing is home to one of the largest and fastest-growing Chinatowns in the world.[44] Conversely, the Flushing Chinatown has also become the epicenter of organized prostitution in the United States.[50]

The Flushing Chinatown, in the Flushing area of the borough of Queens in New York City, is one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic Chinese enclaves outside Asia, as well as within New York City itself. Main Street and the area to its west, particularly along Roosevelt Avenue, have become the primary nexus of Flushing Chinatown. However, Flushing Chinatown continues to expand southeastward along Kissena Boulevard and northward beyond Northern Boulevard. In the 1970s, a Chinese community established a foothold in the neighborhood of Flushing, whose demographic constituency had been predominantly non-Hispanic white. Taiwanese began the surge of immigration. It originally started off as Little Taipei or Little Taiwan due to the large Taiwanese population. Due to the then dominance of working class Cantonese immigrants of Manhattan's Chinatown including its poor housing conditions, they could not relate to them and settled in Flushing.

Later on, when other groups of Non-Cantonese Chinese, mostly speaking Mandarin started arriving into NYC, like the Taiwanese, they could not relate to Manhattan's then dominant Cantonese Chinatown, as a result they mainly settled with Taiwanese to be around Mandarin speakers. Later, Flushing's Chinatown would become the main center of different Chinese regional groups and cultures in NYC. By 1990, Asians constituted 41% of the population of the core area of Flushing, with Chinese in turn representing 41% of the Asian population.[51] However, ethnic Chinese are constituting an increasingly dominant proportion of the Asian population as well as of the overall population in Flushing and its Chinatown. A 1986 estimate by the Flushing Chinese Business Association approximated 60,000 Chinese in Flushing alone.[52] Mandarin Chinese[53] (including Northeastern Mandarin), Fuzhou dialect, Min Nan Fujianese, Wu Chinese, Beijing dialect, Wenzhounese, Shanghainese, Suzhou dialect, Hangzhou dialect, Changzhou dialect, Cantonese, Hokkien, and English are all prevalently spoken in Flushing Chinatown, while the Mongolian language is now emerging. Even the relatively obscure Dongbei style of cuisine indigenous to Northeast China is now available there.[54] Given its rapidly growing status, the Flushing Chinatown may have surpassed in size and population the original New York City Chinatown in the Borough of Manhattan, while Queens and Brooklyn vie for the largest Chinese population of any municipality in the United States other than New York City as a whole.

Elmhurst, another neighborhood in Queens, also has a large and growing Chinese community.[55] Previously a small area with Chinese shops on Broadway between 81st Street and Cornish Avenue, this new Chinatown has now expanded to 45th Avenue and Whitney Avenue. Since 2000, thousands of Chinese Americans have migrated into Whitestone, Queens (白石), given the sizeable presence of the neighboring Flushing Chinatown, and have continued their expansion eastward in Queens and into neighboring Nassau County (拿騷縣) on Long Island (長島).[56][57][58]

Brooklyn (布魯克林華埠)

One of several Chinatowns in Brooklyn (布魯克林華埠) (above)[34] and Chinatowns in Queens (在皇后區唐人街) (below). Chinese in New York constitute the fastest-growing nationality in New York State and on Long Island,[59][60][61][62] with large-scale Chinese immigration continuing into New York, home to the largest metropolitan Chinese population outside of Asia.[1][2]

Brooklyn Chinatown
Flushing Main St, Kissena Blvd, and 41 Av crowded intersection

By 1988, 90% of the storefronts on Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, were abandoned. Chinese immigrants then moved into this area, consisting not only of new arrivals from China, but also members of Manhattan's Chinatown seeking refuge from high rents, who flocked to the cheap property costs and rents of Sunset Park and formed the original Brooklyn Chinatown,[63] which now extends for 20 blocks along 8th Avenue, from 42nd to 62nd Streets. This relatively new but rapidly growing Chinatown located in Sunset Park was originally settled by Cantonese immigrants like Manhattan's Chinatown in the past. However, in the recent decade, an influx of Fuzhou immigrants has been pouring into Brooklyn's Chinatown and supplanting the Cantonese at a significantly higher rate than in Manhattan's Chinatown, and Brooklyn's Chinatown is now home to mostly Fuzhou immigrants. In the past, during the 1980s and 1990s, the majority of newly arriving Fuzhou immigrants settled within Manhattan's Chinatown, and the first Little Fuzhou community emerged within Manhattan's Chinatown; by the first decade of the 21st century, however, the epicenter of the massive Fuzhou influx had shifted to Brooklyn's Chinatown, which is now home to the fastest-growing and perhaps largest Fuzhou population in New York City. Unlike the Little Fuzhou in Manhattan's Chinatown, which remains surrounded by areas which continue to house significant populations of Cantonese, all of Brooklyn's Chinatown is swiftly consolidating into New York City's new Little Fuzhou. However, a growing community of Wenzhounese immigrants from China's Zhejiang is now also arriving in Brooklyn's Chinatown.[64][65] Also in contrast to Manhattan's Chinatown, which still successfully continues to carry a large Cantonese population and retain the large Cantonese community established decades ago in its western section, where Cantonese residents have a communal venue to shop, work, and socialize, Brooklyn's Chinatown is very quickly losing its Cantonese community identity.[66]

Like Manhattan's Chinatown during the 1980s-90s before the gentrification period came in, Brooklyn's Chinatown became the main affordable housing center for the Fuzhou immigrants and of job opportunities ranging from seamstress factories and restaurants despite that it was also dominated by Cantonese immigrants in the earlier years.

Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, as well as Avenue U in Homecrest, Brooklyn, in addition to Bay Ridge, Borough Park, Coney Island, Dyker Heights, Gravesend, and Marine Park, have given rise to the development of Brooklyn's newer satellite Chinatowns, as evidenced by the growing number of Chinese-run fruit markets, restaurants, beauty and nail salons, small offices, and computer and consumer electronics dealers. While the foreign-born Chinese population in New York City jumped 35 percent between 2000 and 2013, to 353,000 from about 262,000, the foreign-born Chinese population in Brooklyn increased 49 percent during the same period, to 128,000 from 86,000, according to The New York Times. The emergence of multiple Chinatowns in Brooklyn is due to the overcrowding and high property values in Brooklyn's main Chinatown in Sunset Park, and many Cantonese immigrants have moved out of Sunset Park into these new areas. As a result, the newer emerging, but smaller Brooklyn's Chinatowns are primarily Cantonese dominated while the main Brooklyn Chinatown is increasingly dominated by Fuzhou emigres.[34]



New York City Chinatown Celebration 005
Street fairs (街頭慶祝活動) are commonplace and represent an integral institution in the cultural fabric of Chinatown in Manhattan.


For much of the overall history of the Chinese community in New York City, Taishanese was the dominant Chinese dialect.[67] After 1965, an influx of immigrants from Hong Kong made Cantonese the dominant dialect for the next three decades.

Later on, during the 1970s-80s, Taiwanese and Fuzhou-speaking immigrants began to arrive into New York City. Taiwanese were settling into Flushing, Queens when it was still predominantly European American, while Fuzhou immigrants were settling in Manhattan's then very Cantonese-dominated Chinatown. The Taiwanese and Fuzhou people were the earliest significant numbers of Chinese immigrants to arrive into New York who spoke Mandarin but not Cantonese, although many spoke their regional Chinese dialects as well.

Since the mid 1990s, an influx of immigrants from various parts of Mainland China began arriving later on eventually, with the increased influence of Mandarin in the Chinese-speaking world, and a desire of Chinese parents to have their children learn this language, Mandarin has been in the process of becoming the dominant lingua franca among the Chinese population of New York City. In the Manhattan Chinatown, many newer immigrants who speak Mandarin live around East Broadway, while Chinatowns in Brooklyn and Queens have also witnessed influxes of Mandarin-speaking Chinese as well as Min Chinese and Southern Min speakers.[68]

However, the different Chinese cultural and language groups as well as socioeconomic statuses are often subdivided among different boroughs of New York City. In Queens, the Chinatowns are very diverse, composed of different Chinese regional groups mainly speaking Mandarin although speaking other dialects as well, and who are more often middle- or upper-middle class. As a result, the Mandarin lingua franca is primarily concentrated in Queens. However, since Manhattan's Chinatown and Brooklyn's Chinese enclaves still hold large Cantonese speaking populations, who were the earlier Chinese immigrants to arrive into New York City with the popularity of Hong Kong Cantonese cuisine and entertainment being widely available, the Cantonese dialect and culture still hold a large influence, and Cantonese is still a lingua franca in those enclaves.

Even though there are very large Fuzhou populations in Manhattan's Chinatown and Brooklyn's Chinese enclaves, many of whom speak Mandarin as well, the influence of Mandarin in those enclaves is as only one of the lingua francas in addition to Cantonese, rather than being the dominant one – unlike in the Chinese enclaves in Queens, where Mandarin is the most dominant lingua franca, despite the presence of a high diversity of Chinese regional languages in Queens – since there are fewer Mandarin speakers besides the Fuzhou population in Manhattan and Brooklyn than in Queens. However, in Brooklyn, Fuzhou speakers predominate in the large Chinatown in Sunset Park, while the several smaller emerging Chinatowns in various sections of Bensonhurst and in Sheepshead Bay are primarily Cantonese, unlike in Manhattan, where the Cantonese enclave and Fuzhou enclave are directly adjacent to each other.

Chinatown cooks
Cooks at a Manhattan Chinatown restaurant taking a break


Given that the New York City metropolitan area has become home to the largest overseas Chinese population outside of Asia,[69][70] all popular styles of regional Chinese cuisine have commensurately become ubiquitously accessible in New York City,[71] including Hakka, Taiwanese, Shanghainese, Hunanese, Szechuan, Cantonese, Fujianese, Xinjiang, Zhejiang, and Korean Chinese cuisine. Even the relatively obscure Dongbei style of cuisine indigenous to Northeast China is now available in Flushing, Queens,[72] as well as Mongolian cuisine and Uyghur cuisine.[73] The availability of the regional variations of Chinese cuisine originating from throughout the different Provinces of China is most apparent in the city's Chinatowns in Queens, particularly the Flushing Chinatown (法拉盛華埠), but is also notable in the city's Chinatowns in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Kosher preparation of Chinese food

Kosher preparation of Chinese food is also widely available in New York City, given the metropolitan area's large Jewish and particularly Orthodox Jewish populations.The perception that American Jews eat at Chinese restaurants on Christmas Day is documented in media as a common stereotype with a basis in fact.[74][75][76] The tradition may have arisen from the lack of other open restaurants on Christmas Day, as well as the close proximity of Jewish and Chinese immigrants to each other in New York City. Kosher Chinese food is usually prepared in New York City, as well as in other large cities with Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, under strict Rabbinical supervision as a prerequisite for Kosher certification.

News media

The World Journal, one of the largest Chinese-language newspapers outside of Asia, has its headquarters in Whitestone (白石), Queens,[77][78] while The Epoch Times, a multi-lingual, multinational newspaper with a significant Chinese language presence, is headquartered in Manhattan.[79] The Hong Kong-based, multinational Chinese-language newspaper Sing Tao Daily maintains its overseas headquarters in Chinatown, Manhattan. The Beijing-based, English-language newspaper China Daily publishes a U.S. edition, which is based in the 1500 Broadway skyscraper in Times Square.[80] In addition, the Global Chinese Times is published in Edison, Middlesex County, New Jersey,[81][82] to serve both a growing global readership and New Jersey's growing Chinese population of over 150,000 in 2016.[83]

MOCA car-free jeh
The Chinese American experience has been documented at the Museum of Chinese in America in Manhattan's Chinatown since 1980.
Dragon in Chinatown NYC Lunar New Year
Chinese Lunar New Year (農曆新年) celebration in Manhattan Chinatown


The Museum of Chinese in America is located in the Manhattan Chinatown, at 215 Centre Street, and this prominent cultural institution has documented the Chinese American experience since 1980.

Chinese Lunar New Year

Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated annually throughout New York City's Chinatowns. Chinese New Year was signed into law as an allowable school holiday in the State of New York by Governor Andrew Cuomo in December 2014, as absentee rates had run as high as 60% in some New York City schools on this day.[84]


Beginning in 2006 many Chinese Catholics began worshipping at St. John Vianney Church in Flushing.[85]


The Shuang Wen School is a public school in Manhattan's Chinatown, also known as P.S. 184M, as part of the New York City Department of Education, that offers a dual-language instructional program in Mandarin and English.[86] The Huaxia Edison Chinese School operates in Edison, New Jersey as a branch of the Huaxia Chinese School system. Chinese Americans compose a disproportionate enrollment relative to the general population in the nine elite public high schools of New York City, including Stuyvesant High School and Bronx Science High School.[87]


Numerous New York City Subway routes directly serve the multiple Chinatowns of New York City. The BMT Fourth Avenue Line (D​, ​N​, and ​R trains) and BMT Brighton Line (B and ​Q trains) connect Chinese communities in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Little Fuzhou neighborhood within Chinatown, Manhattan, hosts the East Broadway station on the IND Sixth Avenue Line (F train). Avenue U is served by the B and ​Q trains, while Sunset Park is served by the N​ and ​R trains, and Bensonhurst is served by the D train. The IRT Lexington Avenue Line (4, ​5, ​6, and <6> trains) serves the burgeoning Chinese community of East Harlem in Upper Manhattan. Meanwhile, Flushing in Queens is served by the IRT Flushing Line (7 and <7>​ trains) of the New York City Subway, as well as by four stations of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)'s Port Washington Branch.[88]

Subway and commuter rail routes in New York City's Chinatowns
Borough Line Route Neighborhoods served Notable stations
Brooklyn BMT Brighton Line "B" train"Q" train Avenue U Avenue U
BMT Fourth Avenue Line "N" train​​"R" train Sunset Park 53rd Street, 59th Street
BMT Sea Beach Line "N" train Eighth Avenue, Fort Hamilton Parkway
BMT West End Line "D" train Bensonhurst 20th Avenue, Bay Parkway
Manhattan IND Sixth Avenue Line "F" train Little Fuzhou East Broadway
"B" train"D" train Manhattan Chinatown Grand Street
BMT Broadway Line "N" train"Q" train"R" train"W" train Canal Street
BMT Nassau Street Line "J" train"Z" train Bowery, Canal Street
IRT Lexington Avenue Line "6" train"6" express train Canal Street
East Harlem 110th Street, 116th Street
Queens IND Queens Boulevard Line "M" train"R" train Elmhurst Elmhurst Avenue, Grand Avenue–Newtown
IRT Flushing Line "7" train"7" express train Flushing Flushing–Main Street
LIRR Port Washington Branch Flushing–Main Street, Murray Hill, Broadway, Auburndale

A system of dollar vans operates between the different Chinatowns in New York City. The dollar vans (which are distinct from, and not to be confused with, Chinatown bus lines), go from Manhattan's Chinatown to places in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; Elmhurst, Queens; and Flushing, Queens. There is also a service from Flushing to Sunset Park that does not pass through Manhattan. Contrary to their name, the dollar vans' fares cost $2.50, which is cheaper than the New York City transit fares of $2.75 as of 2015.[89][90][91]

There are also intercity bus services that operate from the Chinatowns in New York City.[92][93]

As of 2016, the two largest Taiwanese airlines have provided free shuttle services to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City for customers based in New Jersey.

Political influence

Tuidang Center in Flushing, NY
The Tuidang Service Center headquarters on Main Street in Flushing Chinatown, including the literal translation of its name, urges the renunciation of the Chinese Communist Party by China.[96]

The political stature of Chinese Americans in New York City has become prominent. As of 2017, Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire turned political activist, has been in self-imposed exile in New York City, where he owns a $US68 million apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, overlooking Central Park. He has continued to conduct a political agenda to bring attention to alleged corruption in the Chinese political system from his New York home.[97] Taiwan-born John Liu, former New York City Council member representing District 20, which includes Flushing Chinatown and other northern Queens neighborhoods, was elected to his current position of New York City Comptroller in November 2009, becoming the first Asian American to be elected to a citywide office in New York City.[98] Concomitantly, Peter Koo, born in Shanghai, was elected to succeed Liu to assume this council membership seat. Margaret Chin became the first Chinese American woman representing Manhattan's Chinatown on the New York City Council, elected in 2009. Grace Meng is a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing New York's 6th congressional district in Queens since 2009. Of the more than 2,100 Asian Americans within the uniformed ranks of the New York Police Department in 2015 – about 6 percent of the total – roughly half were Chinese American, police statistics show, a number which has grown tenfold since 1990.[1] Yuh-Line Niou (Chinese: 牛毓琳) is a Taiwanese-American Democratic Party member of the New York State Assembly representing the 65th district in Lower Manhattan, elected in 2016, taking over the seat previously held by Sheldon Silver.[99]

Economic influence

The economic influence of Chinese in New York City is growing as well. The majority of cash purchases of New York City real estate in the first half of 2015 were transacted by Chinese as a combination of overseas Chinese and Chinese Americans.[100] The top three surnames of cash purchasers of Manhattan real estate during that time period were Chen, Liu, and Wong.[100] Chinese have also invested billion of dollars into New York commercial real estate since 2013.[101] According to China Daily, the ferris wheel under construction on Staten Island, slated to be among the world's tallest and most expensive with an estimated cost of US$500 million, has received US$170 million in funding from approximately 300 Chinese investors through the U.S. EB-5 immigrant investor program, which grants permanent residency to foreign investors in exchange for job-creating investments in the United States, with Chinese immigrating to New York City dominating this list.[102] Chinese billionaires have been buying New York property to be used as pied-à-terres, often priced in the tens of millions of U.S. dollars each,[103][104] and as of 2016, middle-class Chinese investors were purchasing real estate in New York.[105] Chinese companies have also been raising billions of dollars on stock exchanges in New York via initial public offerings.[106] The major Chinese banks maintain operational offices in New York City.

Notable people

Academia and humanities

Academia and sciences


Entrepreneurship and technology

Law, politics, and diplomacy


Theater, arts, and culture

See also



  1. ^ a b c d Vivian Yee (February 22, 2015). "Indictment of New York Officer Divides Chinese-Americans". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Chinese New Year 2012 in Flushing". January 25, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  3. ^ "SELECTED POPULATION PROFILE IN THE UNITED STATES 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA CSA Chinese alone". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  4. ^ "ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates Chinese alone - New York City, New York". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  5. ^ Goyette, Braden (November 11, 2014). "How Racism Created America's Chinatowns". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  6. ^ Kirk Semple (June 23, 2011). "Asian New Yorkers Seek Power to Match Numbers". The New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
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Asian Americans in New York City

Asian Americans in New York City represent the largest Asian American population of any city in the United States.


Nora Lum (born June 2, 1988), known professionally as Awkwafina, is an American actress and rapper. She made her film breakthrough in 2018 with her roles in the films Ocean's 8 and Crazy Rich Asians. She has released two studio albums, Yellow Ranger and In Fina We Trust. Awkwafina first gained popularity for her song "My Vag", a response to Mickey Avalon's "My Dick". The music video has garnered over four million views on YouTube. Notable television appearances include Girl Code, Future Man, and Saturday Night Live.

Beijing dialect

The Beijing dialect (simplified Chinese: 北京话; traditional Chinese: 北京話; pinyin: Běijīnghuà), also known as Pekingese, is the prestige dialect of Mandarin spoken in the urban area of Beijing, China. It is the phonological basis of Standard Chinese, the official language in the People's Republic of China and Republic of China and one of the official languages in Singapore. Despite the similarity to Standard Chinese, it is characterized by some "iconic" differences, including the addition of a final rhotic -r / 儿 to some words (e.g. 哪儿). Lexically, the dialect has absorbed influences from the Mongolian language and Manchu language, legacies of Beijing's "tumultuous history" including the Mongol invasion and Manchu invasion. Between the Yuan and Qing, the Ming dynasty also introduced southern dialectal influences into the dialect.

Chinese restaurant

A Chinese restaurant is an establishment that serves Chinese cuisine outside China. Most of them are in the Cantonese restaurant style, often adapted to local preferences, as in the American Chinese cuisine and Canadian Chinese cuisine. The Chinese restaurants in the Netherlands usually combine Cantonese and Indonesian meals on their menu.

Chinese takeouts (United States and Canada) or Chinese takeaways (United Kingdom and Commonwealth) are also found either as components of eat-in establishments or as separate establishments, and serve a take out version of Chinese cuisine.

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians is a satirical 2013 romantic comedy novel by Kevin Kwan. Kwan stated that his intention in writing the novel was to "introduce a contemporary Asia to a North American audience". He claimed the novel was loosely based on his own childhood in Singapore. The novel became a bestseller and was followed by two sequels, China Rich Girlfriend in 2015 and Rich People Problems in 2017. A film adaptation of the novel was released on August 15, 2018.

Crazy Rich Asians (film)

Crazy Rich Asians is a 2018 American romantic comedy film directed by Jon M. Chu, from a screenplay by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan. The film stars Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, and Michelle Yeoh. It follows a Chinese-American professor who travels to meet her boyfriend's family and is surprised to discover they are among the richest in Singapore.

The film was announced in August 2013 after the rights to the book were purchased. Much of the cast signed on in the spring of 2017, and filming took place from April to June of that year in parts of Malaysia, New York City, and Singapore. It is the first film by a major Hollywood studio to feature a majority cast of Asian descent in a modern setting since The Joy Luck Club in 1993. Despite praise for that, the film did receive some criticism for casting biracial actors over fully ethnically Chinese ones in certain roles. Additional criticisms were directed at the film for failing to have non-Chinese Singaporean ethnic groups—notably Malay and Indian actors—as characters.

Crazy Rich Asians premiered on August 7, 2018, at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles and was released theatrically in the United States on August 15, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film received positive reviews from critics, with praise for its acting, production and costume design. The film grossed over $238 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing romantic comedy in a decade. The film received numerous accolades, including at the 76th Golden Globe Awards earning nominations for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for Wu. It also received four nominations at the 24th Critics' Choice Awards, winning one for Best Comedy, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Two sequels, based on the novel's follow-ups China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems, are currently in development.

Jason Wu

Jason Wu (Chinese: 吳季剛; pinyin: Wú Jìgāng; born September 27, 1982) is a Taiwanese-Canadian artist and fashion designer based in New York City. Born in Taiwan and raised in Vancouver, he studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design, and trained under Narciso Rodriguez before launching his own line.

He is best known for designing the dresses of Michelle Obama on several occasions, including those worn during the first and second inauguration of American President Barack Obama.

Jeff Yang

Jeff Yang (Chinese: 楊致和) is an American writer, journalist, businessman, and business/media consultant who writes the Tao Jones column for The Wall Street Journal. Previously, he was the "Asian Pop" columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle. Yang lives in New York City. Yang is also known for his books, including Once Upon a Time in China: A Guide to the Cinemas of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China, I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action (with Jackie Chan), Eastern Standard Time: A Guide to Asian Influence in American Culture, from Astro Boy to Zen Buddhism, and Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology. He recently co-wrote the second graphic novel in the Secret Identities series, Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology. In addition, he has written for the Village Voice, VIBE, Spin, and Condé Nast Portfolio.Yang is also a business/media consultant on marketing to Asian American consumers for Iconoculture, Inc. Before joining Iconoculture, Yang was CEO of Factor, Inc., another marketing consultancy targeting Asian Americans. From 1989 until 2002, when it went out of business, Yang was publisher of A Magazine, then the largest circulating English-language Asian American magazine in the United States. The magazine grew out of an undergraduate publication that he had edited while a student at Harvard University. Yang produced the first Asian American television show, Stir.Yang graduated from Harvard University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. He is a member of the Asian American Journalists Association and has served on the advisory boards of the Asian American Justice Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and the China Institute in America.Yang was married to Heather Ying, a physician assistant in cardiothoracic surgery. They divorced in 2013. They have two sons, Hudson and Skyler. Their elder son, Hudson Yang, is a star of the 2015 ABC television series Fresh Off the Boat, based on Eddie Huang's memoir, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir.

Li Baodong

Li Baodong (Chinese: 李保东; born April 1955) is a Chinese diplomat who served as the Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations from 2010 to 2013. He was later succeeded by Liu Jieyi.

Li Hongzhi

Li Hongzhi (Chinese: 李洪志; pinyin: Lǐ Hóngzhì, born 13 May 1951) is the founder and spiritual leader of Falun Gong (or Falun Dafa), a "system of mind-body cultivation" in the qigong tradition. Li Hongzhi began his public teachings of Falun Gong on 13 May 1992 in Changchun, and subsequently gave lectures and taught Falun Gong exercises across China.

In 1995 Li began teaching Falun Gong abroad, and in 1998 he settled as a permanent resident in the United States. Li's Falun Gong movement gained significant popularity in the 1990s, including in government and qigong circles, but was suppressed by the Chinese government in 1999.

Ling Tan

Tan Mang Ling (born 9 October 1974 in Kuala Lumpur), usually credited as Ling Tan, is a Malaysian supermodel, of Chinese descent, based in New York City. The first supermodel from Southeast Asia, she participated in hundreds of fashion shows and has been captured by top fashion photographers such as Richard Avedon, who photographed Tan for the Pirelli Calendar in 1997.

Liu Jieyi

Liu Jieyi (Chinese: 刘结一; pinyin: Liú Jiēyī; born December 1957) is a Chinese diplomat and politician. As of March 2018, he is the current Director of the Taiwan Affairs Office. From 2013 to September 2017, he was China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) in New York City.

Liu was born in Beijing. He attended Beijing Foreign Studies University and from 1981 to 1987 worked as a translator at the UN offices in Geneva. In 1987, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, where he worked in various positions until 2009.

From 2009 to 2013, Liu was the Vice Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

In 2013, Liu succeeded Li Baodong as China's Permanent Representative to the UN in Manhattan. Liu acted as President of the UN Security Council four times - in November 2013, February 2015, April 2016 and July 2017.

Starting October 2017 and up to March 2018, Liu served as Deputy Director of the Taiwan Affairs Office. He was promoted to Director in March 2018, replacing Zhang Zhijun.

Liu Wen

Liu Wen (simplified Chinese: 刘雯; traditional Chinese: 劉雯; pinyin: Liú Wén; born January 27, 1988) is a Chinese model. In 2012, The New York Times dubbed her "China’s first bona fide supermodel". She is the first model of East Asian descent to walk the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, the first spokesmodel of East Asian descent for the Estée Lauder Companies, and the first Asian model to ever make Forbes magazine's annual highest-paid models list. In 2017, Liu became the first Chinese model to ever appear on the front cover of American Vogue. She is currently represented by The Society Management and is based in New York City.

Malan Breton

Malan Breton (born June 16, 1973) is a Taiwanese-born, New York City-based fashion designer, film, and music video director, columnist, costume designer, television and film producer, actor, and Goodwill Ambassador to Taiwan. He launched his namesake label "Malan Breton" in 2005, Malan Breton Homme in 2010, and Fantôme Malan Breton in 2012.

The labels are associated with menswear, womenswear, accessories, underwear, fragrance, cosmetics, and bridal. In 2019 Malan Breton was named UK “Ambassador of the Arts” for his work in fashion by Zac Goldsmith MP, UK Parliament and the Parliamentary Society

Min Chinese

Min or Miin (simplified Chinese: 闽语; traditional Chinese: 閩語; pinyin: Mǐn yǔ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Bân gú; BUC: Mìng ngṳ̄) is a broad group of Chinese varieties spoken by about 30 million people in Fujian province as well as by 45 million descendants of migrants from this province in Guangdong (around Chaozhou-Shantou, or Chaoshan area, Leizhou peninsula and Part of Zhongshan), Hainan, three counties in southern Zhejiang, Zhoushan archipelago off Ningbo, some towns in Liyang, Jiangyin City in Jiangsu province, and Taiwan. The name is derived from the Min River in Fujian, which is also the abbreviated name of Fujian Province. Min varieties are not mutually intelligible with each other or with any other varieties of Chinese.

There are many Min speakers among overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. The most widely spoken variety of Min outside Fujian is Southern Min (Min Nan), also known as Hokkien-Taiwanese (which includes Taiwanese and Amoy).

Many Min languages have retained notable features of the Old Chinese language, and there is linguistic evidence that not all Min varieties are directly descended from Middle Chinese of the Sui–Tang dynasties. Min languages are believed to have a significant linguistic substrate from the languages of the inhabitants of the region prior to its sinicization.

Tsung-Dao Lee

Tsung-Dao Lee (T. D. Lee; Chinese: 李政道; pinyin: Lǐ Zhèngdào; born November 24, 1926) is a Chinese-American physicist, known for his work on parity violation, the Lee Model, particle physics, relativistic heavy ion (RHIC) physics, nontopological solitons and soliton stars. He is a University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University, where he taught from 1953 until his retirement in 2012.In 1957, Lee, at the age of 30, won the Nobel Prize in Physics with Chen Ning Yang for their work on the violation of the parity law in weak interactions, which Chien-Shiung Wu experimentally verified in 1956, with her so-called Wu experiment.

Lee remains the youngest Nobel laureate in the science fields after World War II. He is the third youngest Nobel laureate in sciences in history after William L. Bragg (who won the prize at 25 with his father William H. Bragg in 1915) and Werner Heisenberg (who won in 1932 also at 30). Lee and Yang were the first Chinese laureates. Since he became a naturalized American citizen in 1962, Lee is also the youngest American ever to have won a Nobel Prize.


Wenzhounese (simplified Chinese: 温州话; traditional Chinese: 溫州話; pinyin: wēnzhōuhuà), also known as Oujiang (simplified Chinese: 瓯江话; traditional Chinese: 甌江話; pinyin: ōujiānghuà), Tong Au (simplified Chinese: 东瓯片; traditional Chinese: 東甌片; pinyin: dōngōupiàn) or Auish (simplified Chinese: 瓯语; traditional Chinese: 甌語; pinyin: ōuyŭ), is the language spoken in Wenzhou, the southern prefecture of Zhejiang, China. Nicknamed the "Devil's Language" for its complexity and difficulty, it is the most divergent division of Wu Chinese, with little to no mutual intelligibility with other Wu dialects or any other variety of Chinese. It features noticeable elements in common with Min Chinese, which is spoken to the south in Fujian. Oujiang is sometimes used as the broader term, and Wenzhou for Wenzhounese proper in a narrow sense.

Due to its long history and the isolation of the region in which it is spoken, Wenzhounese is so unusual in its phonology that it has the reputation of being the least comprehensible dialect for an average Mandarin speaker. It preserves a large amount of vocabulary of classical Chinese lost elsewhere, earning itself the nickname "the living fossil", and has distinct grammatical differences from Mandarin.Wenzhounese speakers who have studied Korean and Japanese note that there are words that sound like Korean and/or Japanese but have different meanings.Wenzhounese is one of five varieties of Chinese other than Standard Mandarin used for broadcasting by China Radio International, alongside Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew, and Hakka.

Yuja Wang

Yuja Wang (Chinese: 王羽佳; pinyin: Wáng Yǔjiā; born February 10, 1987) is a Chinese classical pianist. She was born in Beijing, began studying piano there at age six, and went on to study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. By the age of 21 she was already an internationally recognized concert pianist, giving recitals around the world. She has a recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon. In an interview with the LA Times, she said “For me, playing music is about transporting to another way of life, another way of being. An actress does that.” Yuja Wang lives in New York City.

Zhang Yesui

Zhang Yesui (Chinese: 张业遂; born October 1953) is a Chinese diplomat who served as the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Party Committee Secretary for the People's Republic of China. He was formerly the Chinese Ambassador to the United States. He has previously served as Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations in New York City.

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