Chinese Dissident Finds Struggles, Independence In America After Immigrating

Lauren Hilgers's new book Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown charts the journey of Chinese dissident Zhuang Liehong, who immigrates to Queens, N.Y., from his village in Guangdong, China.
Zhuang Liehong with his wife, Little Yan, and one of his sons, Kaizhi, in 2013 – a year before immigrated to the United States. Source: Courtesy of Zhuang Liehong

The Flushing neighborhood of New York's Queens burough is home to the largest population of Chinese immigrants in any city outside Asia.

Zhuang Liehong is one of those immigrants. He arrived in 2014 from Wukan, a small village in the Guangdong province of southern China.

When he first arrived in Flushing, he says it felt like a city in China.

"Other than the buildings and Chinese store signs, just look at the pedestrians on the streets," he says. "They're mainly Chinese people."

As much as Flushing felt like China, Liehong says there

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR4 min read
After Months of Steep Declines, Air Traffic Is Picking Up
The airlines have lost billions of dollars in revenue with virtually no demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Now they are seeing more bookings despite concern from passengers.
NPR4 min readPolitics
What To Know As Israel's Netanyahu Goes On Trial For Corruption Charges
The Israeli prime minister is due in court Sunday for corruption charges, including that he allegedly offered a media company regulatory favors for positive coverage.
NPR5 min read
What I Learned From Writing Letters To Strangers Across America
Writing letters to strangers in almost all 50 states became an outlet to process anxieties about the pandemic. And a reminder of all the ways we are connected.