Living in China

Living in China

Postby Clarence » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:23 am

Dear all,

I don't know whether or not this is the best place to ask (if not, mods, please move to an appropriate section of the forum) but I was wondering how a westerner could live in China for longer than just the 6 months of one's tourist visa. I have a friend who is a Buddhist monk who really wants to live in China for some time, i.e. a few years. Are there monk/meditation visas? What are one's options? I know so little about it I am probably not even asking enough questions but I hope someone will be able to answer me.

Many thanks,

Clarence
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Re: Living in China

Postby Mr. G » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:48 am

If you have a Bachelor's degree, you can teach English in China.

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Re: Living in China

Postby Clarence » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:58 am

Thanks Mr. G. but I think my friend just wants to practice there and do pilgrimage. Any other ideas?
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Re: Living in China

Postby maybay » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:40 pm

6 months should be enough to start with.
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Do nothing and everything
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Re: Living in China

Postby Clarence » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:46 pm

maybay wrote:6 months should be enough to start with.


Well, without being able to go into detail, in this case it isn't.
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Re: Living in China

Postby maybay » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:20 pm

Let me guess, he can't afford return fair? You know the Chinese reduced poverty to a science.
I ran out after 3 months. Anyway, that's just my personal experience poisoning the objectivity here.
Just remember desperation never got anyone anywhere. Especially in China. I wish your friend luck.
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Re: Living in China

Postby Clarence » Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:10 pm

maybay wrote:Let me guess, he can't afford return fair? You know the Chinese reduced poverty to a science.
I ran out after 3 months. Anyway, that's just my personal experience poisoning the objectivity here.
Just remember desperation never got anyone anywhere. Especially in China. I wish your friend luck.


Hi Maybay,

No, that is not the problem. He just wants to stay there for a long time. He is not there yet and he is not desperate. :smile:
I just want to see if I can help him.
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Re: Living in China

Postby Wesley1982 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:45 pm

If you were to live there (longer than 6 months) you would have to familiarize yourself with the locals and follow their government rules.
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Re: Living in China

Postby Indrajala » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:01 pm

Taiwan is probably the better option. If you're with a Buddhist organization there visas can be arranged. The state in Taiwan is also comparatively much nicer and responsive to these kinds of things.
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Re: Living in China

Postby Clarence » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:11 pm

Thanks Huseng. When I said China, I should have mentioned the Tibetan part of China (though Wutaishan would be good as well :-) ). I will mention the Taiwan option though.
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Re: Living in China

Postby Indrajala » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:11 am

There are a lot of Tibetan Buddhists in Taiwan. It is actually somewhat popular among local Buddhists. Taipei also has a Tibetan community.

If your friend goes to Taiwan they'll have the freedom and respect to pursue whatever they please. They won't have to deal with censorship and red tape. The Chinese state is suspicious of religion. In Taiwan politicians cater to the religious vote, so they're quite friendly to Buddhist organizations.
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Re: Living in China

Postby Infinite » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:44 am

Huseng gives good advice. The PRC in its current form is rather hostile to what it perceives as alien religions and thus is less likely to be friendly especially in regards to allowing free travel throughout the country. Taiwan is easily the best bet as the Mainland at this current point is rather hostile religiously. There are plenty of good business opportunities in the PRC but if you are looking for religious kinship then Taiwan is the place to go.
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Re: Living in China

Postby Huifeng » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:30 am

Clarence wrote:Dear all,

I don't know whether or not this is the best place to ask (if not, mods, please move to an appropriate section of the forum) but I was wondering how a westerner could live in China for longer than just the 6 months of one's tourist visa. I have a friend who is a Buddhist monk who really wants to live in China for some time, i.e. a few years. Are there monk/meditation visas? What are one's options? I know so little about it I am probably not even asking enough questions but I hope someone will be able to answer me.

Many thanks,

Clarence


Hi,

From experience, I would very strongly recommend going to Taiwan, rather than mainland (communist) China, especially for the Buddhist scene.

In short, there are really NO legal options for non-Chinese nationals to live as monastics in the PRoC, and even as a lay meditator options are extremely limited and not at all ideal. There are many possible options in Taiwan, though depending on your ability with the language and fluency in Chinese culture, only a few may be practically feasible. Likewise for Hong Kong, though Taiwan is still a much better option.

If you need details, please let me know, I've spent the last decade between PRoC, Taiwan / RoC and HK, in various monasteries, etc., and have a fairly good idea on what is possible and what is fantasy.

~~ Huifeng
Fo Guang University,
Jiaosi, Ilan, Taiwan
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Re: Living in China

Postby uan » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:54 am

bump.

Wondering if your friend decided on what he was going to do. Shi Feng Monastery in Wutaishan would be one place to start (Gelug sect). Get to know some of the lamas there. One thing that he may able to get when there is a "Student of Buddhism" license (it's been 15 years since I got mine, so I don't know what they current situation is with them). He'd need to have a sponsor though. It allows lay practitioners to stay in monasteries. But most important is developing connections.

No disrespect for Taiwan (having never been there), and this is just a personal opinion, but having been to numerous places in China (Labrang, Kumbum, Putuoshan), there really is something special about Wutaishan.
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Re: Living in China

Postby xnewx » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:34 pm

Staying there isn't a problem.

Clarence wrote:

... how a westerner could live in China for longer than just the 6 months of one's tourist visa.


I assume this is the thing you are really asking... you can get longer than 6 months.
On a Tourist Visa you'll need to renew your visa so you'll probably need to travel to Hong Kong or return home at least once per year.
There are many students, tourists and expats living in China. I've met a few students that stayed in China, lived in the temple during their study only stating "Tourist" for their visa... but usually their plans are no longer than 1 year. Unless you want to risk not getting your visa renewed... you should apply the visa that meets your needs.
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