Although Chinese emigration has a long past, its modern phase dates from sixteenth century, when European colonialists began to collaborate with Chinese emigrants to develop a worldwide trading system. In this book, distinguished historian Philip A. Kuhn tells the remarkable story of five-centuries of Chinese emigration as an integral part of Chinas modern history. His account explores both internal and external migration as complementary parts of a far-reaching process of adaptation the enabled Chinese Families to deal with changing social environments. Skills and institutions developed in the course of internal migration were creatively modified to serve the needs of the emigrants in foreign lands. The resulting "new migration", the author argues, is but the latest phase of a centuries-old process by which Chinese have sought livelihoods away from home.