The Chinese international students are often portrayed in a monolithic manner in popular discourse. To offer a more comprehensive and critical representation of the Chinese international students, this paper conducts a thematic narrative review of 128 English-language and 74 Chinese-language peer-reviewed articles published between 2015 and 2020. Drawing on post-colonial theories, this review identifies four subject positions portrayed of the Chinese international students: the (1) neoliberal, (2) political, (3) pedagogic, and (4) racialised subjects. This paper celebrates heartening developments in the literature which affirms Chinese international students’ epistemic contributions, legitimate pedagogic needs, notable heterogeneity, and wide-ranging political, cultural and pedagogic agencies. It also highlights how aspects of these subject positions have exercised epistemic injustice on the Chinese international students. Meanwhile, it pinpoints the Chinese international students’ acquiescence in exacerbating global education inequalities. Among the first to bring the dominant English-language and ‘local’ perspectives of Chinese-language literature in dialogue, this article notes divergent focuses and indicates unique contributions to historicising research on Chinese international students made by the latter. This article challenges popular perceptions of Chinese international students, questions production of knowledge, and pinpoints future research directions.
Xu, C. L. (2022). Portraying the ‘Chinese international students’: A review of English-language and Chinese-language literature on Chinese international students (2015-2020). Asia Pacific Education Review, 23(1), 151-167. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12564-021-09731-8