|The Dalai Lama|
The reason that I say this is symbolically interesting is that I think this little issue reflects the growing entanglement of our country with China in ways that go far beyond trade. Immigrants from China constitute one of our largest sources of population growth. Nearly 600,000 people from that country gained admission to the United States in 2011 alone, according to the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. China also sends more students to our institutions of higher education than any other countries except our neighbors, Canada and Mexico. In 2011, well over a quarter-million individuals from China (277,742) entered on student and exchange visas.
Both the immigrants and the students bring financial benefits to this country. Certainly many universities actively seek to pull in tuition dollars from China. One can safely predict though, that Chinese political and social issues will loom much larger in our future.