Is 华裔 a term that means an ethnically Chinese person born and raised abroad? What about 2nd generation? Does it apply to, say, American born Chinese, Chinese-Canadians, Chinese-Australians, Chinese-Singaporeans, Chinese-Vietnamese etc?

It obviously does not apply to Chinese born and raised in mainland China. But does this term apply to people born and raised in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau?

Or let's say you are a Uyghur 维吾尔族 living overseas - do you identify as 华裔 Or 华人?

Maybe depends on political view and not the etymology of the word...

Also, how is 华裔 different from 华侨 or even 华人?

5 Answers 5





华人: All Chinese

华侨: Chinese Live overseas but no citizenship

华裔: 华侨's children, get the citizenship

Taiwanese, Hongkongese, Macanese, called 同胞

Uyghur living overseas, you can call him 华人, if you dont know his identity.

  • 1
    华侨: Chinese Live overseas, but not necessary no citizenship I think @KnixLee
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 17:42
  • 2
    华侨means Chinese people who live abroad, but still retain China citizenship. 侨民=长期住在外国而保留本国国籍的居民http://www.zdic.net/c/8/3e/97575.htm
    – ChaoYang
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 11:39

In Chinese, 裔 indicates consanguinity, the relationship by blood or by a common ancestor. It is usually used as 族裔. The other most related word is 同胞.

侨 is specially used for living in places other than that when one is born.

We need to be very cautious when use those words in west countries because those topics are very much related to indicating races. Let's focus at the original meaning of a Language.


Overseas Chinese is called 华侨, not 华裔.

华裔 means the descendant of overseas Chinese.

裔 means descendant.

A Chinese person living in America is 华侨, not 华裔. American born Chinese are 华裔.


华裔 is basically Chinese descents, for example like Chinese Americans. It is often used to refer Chinese people who are citizen of other country by means other than naturalisation.

华侨 is used to refer Chinese people who were born in China but lives overseas as residents or citizen by naturalisation.


华裔 means someone is ethnically Chinese (in a biological sense), but may or may not be a Chinese citizen in terms of nationality. So your understanding that the word means "overseas Chinese" in incorrect. A Uyghur is thus not a 华裔 no matter where he/she lives. Admittedly, the term is little confusing for English speaking people.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.