Linxiang Zhu

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This thesis will detail the actual reasons behind the passage of the Chinese Student Protection Act (CSPA) of 1992. It will demonstrate that the passage of this act is rooted in American political desires, American partisan conflicts, and a sophisticated lobbying effort on the part of Chinese students and scholars, who had their own, often complicated, reasons for not wishing to return to China.

To set the stage for this work, it will provide significant background information on three topics: Chinese-American immigration history prior to 1989, the "Crisis of 1989" itself, and the respective responses of the American Congress and the Bush administration to the Tiananmen Square tragedy. This wall provide the backdrop against which the most important parts of this thesis will be set: the response of Chinese-American students to the Tiananmen Square tragedy and their lobbying efforts for legislative "protection" in the U.S.; and a critical evaluation of the CSPA and its actual results.

Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were employed to analyze the various primary sources used in this thesis, including one source—the China News Digest—which is the most popular, and for its time, the most important electronic news forum for Chinese students in North America.