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Back to Hong Kong: Return migration or transnational sojourn? - page 28 / 33

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28

Conclusion

Return migration is not a sufficient description of the hyper-

mobility of transnational citizens living, presently, in Hong Kong, and for

whom the two sides of the Pacific are part of a single life-world, a blended

social field. There are theoretical issues at stake here, such as the

creation of a social space that transcends national borders, the meaning

of citizenship in a fluid bi-national residential history, and, as Albert

Cheng expresses so courageously, the portability of political (and other)

values across space. These issues merge readily with policy questions

specific to different national territories, when, for example, the

jurisdiction collecting career stage taxes, is not the same jurisdiction that

dispenses retirement stage benefits. A larger calculus is required here

that systematises costs and benefits more fully than has been possible to

date (for example by Wang and Lo 2000).

Meanwhile at different stages in the life cycle the migrant

capitalises upon one or other site in this trans-Pacific life-world, passing

from one station to another, but always with the prospect of return. As

one focus group respondent reminded us, that process can go on even

beyond retirement.

I had no choice but to come back [to Hong Kong] to make a living.

  • But I still wish to live there after retirement, because I like the

lifestyle there. But I prefer dying in Hong Kong, not there.

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