The journey to the West is called "sneaking across the water." It's made possible by Fujainese guides known as "snakeheads." They are important figures in their homeland. "Everybody knows who the snakeheads are," says Chen Mei Xing, a Fijianese who slipped into England a few weeks ago. "He's a businessman with a very hihg status." According to USA authorities, snakeheads are also part of Chinese gangs known as Triads or Tongs. They Charge as much as 60000 dollars for a trip to the United States; half as much for Britain. Typically, a down payment of 5 to 19 percent is made up front. A migrant who uses the snakehead's services can spend years repaying the debt. The Fijianese who emigrate see the fee as a smart investment. In the end Fujian benefits too. Fujianese migrants pump large sums of money into the economy they left behind. City officials in Changle ( population: 600000) estimate that locals who have gone abroad put 100 million dollars back into the city's economy each year in remittances to their families and property investments back home.
Not that long ago the destination more often than not was America ("The beautiful country"). But in 1993 a freighter called the Golden Venture ran aground off Long Island, and 10 Chinese immigrants drowned trying to swim to shore. The incident promted a series of crackdowns by the U.S. government. Thousands of Chinese still migrate to America - earlier this year, three Fujiance were found dead in a shipping container in Seattle - but some of the traffic had shifted to other countries.
Increasingly, Britain seems to be the alternative country of choice. The largest Chinese community in Europe is there. Language is an important draw. Even though the government is cutting back benefits, they are still relatively generous: food vouchers (instead of cash) and housing ( though asylum seekers can no longer choose where to live). Another reason for the rise in asylum seekers to Britain is that Germany has tightended up it is border controls. Anyone can claim asylum in Germany and stay for years while the case goes through the courts. But under a 1994 law German authorities can turn away refugees along it is border before they set foot on German soil and have a chance to apply for asylum. This has caused the annual number of refugees coming into Germany to plunge from 513000 in 1993 to fewer than 100000 last year.
People - smuggling networks adjust quickly to such changes. In Fujian, one family's 18 years old son left home in April. Jin Xicai (not his real name) wanted something more then this job repairing mobile phones in Fujian. The family couldn't afford to send him to the Unites States, so it settled for the less costly trip to Britain. On April 3, Jin hopped a train to Beijing, joining other would-be emigrants in the capital. Snaakeheads had promised him a plane ride to Europe, but instead Jin was hustled onto a train for the week - long trans - Siberian trek to Moscow. He crossed the China - Russia border using a genuine Chinese passport. It had been procured on the black market; the original photograph had been carefully razored off and replaced by a photo of Jin.
When Jin phoned home from Moscow; he said he was being held under armed guard. Snakeheads had confiscated his documents, luggage and spare clothes to prevent him from escaping. His next phone call came from somewhere in the Czech Republic. To get there he had apparently traveled by train, truck, even a horse - drawn cart. Then came a few more phone calls - from Germany and, finally, Holland.
Jin's phone calls point to a well - traveled route from Fujian to Europe (map). Moscow is a fovered transit point because of relaxed visa requirements for Chinese citizens. At any given time there are said to be more than 200000 Chinese in Moscow en route to other countries. Belgrade is another favorite, for the same reason. Serbian press reports say that 40000 Chinese have settled in Yugoslavia since 1995. From Belgrade it's easy to slip into Western Europe via Bosnia's porous frontiers.
"THE PEOPLE TRADE".
Europe needs workers: immigrants want a better life. Inside the shadowy - and dangerous - world of human smuggling. People-smuggling networks are the travel agents of illegal immigration. Their business is big and growing. The networks trafficking in Chinese migrants alone are said to take in three billion dollars a year.
Fujian – the most impotant place in the China, from people illegally emigrate on west.
Fujian – the center of human smuggling. In the Asian countries life very heavy and the people search of more worthy existence. They choose the countries which are very rich and in which it is possible to earn. The people try to get over through border by any ways. They are ready even to go in inhuman conditions to get in other country. Many died trying. The emigrants often choose England and Italy, as the country of the future residing, but these countries do not want them to see at themselves. Because many emigrants, which come, render harm to economy, they fill in all hospitals, all parks, all premises of city, are engaged in illegal earnings, and some who could not find job, become criminals. England and Italy actively struggle against illegal entrance of the emigrants on territory of the country.
It is favourable business - human smuggling. Many try on it to earn. For the large money they promise to transport the people in other countries, even without the documents. These organizations search for ways to these countries not directly through China, and transit through Russia or Czechia for example. Therefore it is very difficult to the countries to trace a flow of the emigrants. Now countries of Europe have a new task. To struggle not it is so much with the emigrants, how much with organizations, which carry out an illegal way of emigration of the people.
Smuggling – контрабанда.
Suspicious – подозрительный.
Authorities – власти.
Hunch – догадка.
To trundle – ехать.
Piles - груды.
Calamity – бедствие.
Political turmoil - политическая суматоха.
Europe's robust prosperity - здравое процветание Европы.
Desperately – отчаянно.
Asylum-seekers - ищущие убежища.
Blurred – cтертый.
Prosperous – преуспевающий.
Pressures – давления.
Lifeboat - cпасательная шлюпка.
Benefits – выгоды.
Slack – слабый.
Experience – опыт.
Trying to lighten - попытка облегчать.
Lush – пышный.
To estimate – оценивать.
Grieving – огорчение.
Terrified – испуганный.
Increasingly - все более и более.