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Zhang told the Global Times that sometimes she feels that shuangfei children like her daughter have been left to "sink or swim." "No one is helping us but ourselves," said Zhang, "now there is no way back, we can just hope Hong Kong will not make it too hard for us to stay."
Some media reports call this group "sandwiched." On the one hand, the education resources in Hong Kong are limited, so they are not so welcomed by Hong Kong locals. On the other hand, the public in the mainland, particularly Shenzhen, don't welcome them back either for the same reason. A netizen submitted a post on a local Shenzhen new portal sznews.com in 2014 which supported the government's ban on shuangfei children going to Shenzhen public schools, and many people left supportive comments.
But they are not forgotten by all. In 2010, a service center for shuangfei children was co-established by the International Social Service Hong Kong Branch and Luohu women's committee in Shenzhen to help these children and their families better integrate into Hong Kong society.
Chen Dieru, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference committee in Shenzhen, is concerned about the problem of shuangfei children. She submitted a proposal during this year's two legislative sessions in Shenzhen calling on public schools to accept shuangfei children, which is reportedly being "studied" by the Shenzhen Education Bureau.
While there is still no route to get a hukou in Shenzhen, home to most shuangfei children, things are loosening in other Guangdong Province cities like Foshan and Guangzhou.
A police station in Foshan confirmed to the Global Times that parents who want a Foshan hukou for their shuangfei children can get one, and parents have been able to renounce their children's Hong Kong identity.
Ma Li, an expert in population development, noted that it is a problem that can only be solved through the mainland and Hong Kong working together.
"For those who want to go back, I guess it will be more reasonable for them to give up the Hong Kong identity, as long as they could get a hukou in return," said Ma, "Like many said, you cannot take up resources at both places."
"For those who don't want to come back, since the Hong Kong government recognized them and has added them to its birth rate and labor reserve, it should provide more convenience for these children, like building more boarding schools, so that the children will not be so exhausted," Ma told the Global Times, adding that it this is not immediately possible and will take time, given the size of Hong Kong and its limited resources.