For mainland Chinese who have come into contact with various overseas Chinese, they will classify them into several categories. There are over 80 million overseas Chinese, so the population is very diverse. When they encounter another Chinese person abroad, they quickly identify which group they belong to and respond accordingly.
1. Mainland Chinese born in China who left after the 1980s. These are the most familiar, no different from the Chinese people who still live on the mainland.
2. Hong Kong people who speak Cantonese or the nth generation immigrants from Guangdong. Most people don't speak Mandarin, so their first reaction is to start a conversation in English. This group may have less contact with and understanding of the mainland, but all Chinese concepts and terminology are still well understood. Therefore, you can still regard them as Chinese Mainland people, although sometimes the customs are different. But they are still very Chinese, despite their different lifestyles.
3. Immigrants from Taiwan. This group can be recognized from their Mandarin accent and needs to be treated with caution. they are usually very eager to make friends with mainland Chinese because their community is small and their culture and language are the same.
4. Malaysian Chinese speaking Mandarin. This group is the most friendly to mainland Chinese. The vast majority of people grew up in traditional Chinese schools, following the trend of the mainland. They occupy a place in the entertainment industry of the mainland and are the most eye-catching and well-known group of overseas Chinese among the mainland population. Therefore, they can be treated safely like people in Chinese Mainland without any preventive measures.
5. Chinese in Vietnam. They are mainly distributed in the United States, Canada, and Australia. After the end of the Vietnam War, 1 million people fled Vietnam as boat people. Many of them still spell their names in Vietnamese and are mistaken for Vietnamese. Most of them speak Cantonese and form their own communities. This group most identifies with China. If you mistake them for Vietnamese, they will be very angry, but they are not familiar with Chinese Mainland. Their identity is mainly formed around a desire to reintegrate into the broader Chinese community. This group is usually trusted by mainland Chinese, but there are still some cultural differences.
6. Chinese people from the Philippines. This group has a dual identity. Due to their proximity, they have a deep and close connection with the mainland, but still embrace their Philippine side. They mostly come from Fujian Province and only take 2 hours by plane to the Philippines. You usually find that they make friends with both Chinese Mainland people and Filipinos. They are a bit difficult to distinguish. Sometimes you won't know they're not from mainland China unless they confess to you.
7. Chinese people in Singapore. Most people speak Mandarin as their second language and English is more proficient. Many people are curious about mainland Chinese and because there are not so many Singaporean Chinese around these countries. You can try to establish friendships with them, but language may be a problem.
8. Indonesian Chinese. This group is so diverse, depending on which island they come from in Indonesia. Some still have Chinese names, while others donot. Some people speak Chinese dialects, while others speak Indonesian and English. Some retain traditional Chinese culture, while others are devout Christians. A large number of people are very wealthy, while others are very poor. They are the largest group of overseas Chinese with a population of over 10 million, but few people go to places outside Indonesia. They usually form a small circle and are unwilling to interact with other overseas Chinese. So for mainland Chinese people, they are mysterious and difficult to approach. They are still deeply rooted in their Chinese identity.
9. Foreign born Chinese who cannot speak Chinese. This includes the majority of Thai Chinese and people born in Western countries. These people usually have little knowledge and little interest in the mainland. They have formed their respective identities in the host country. They can be treated as another foreigner, such as a Japanese, German, or Latin.
For mainland Chinese who have not had contact with overseas Chinese, they will certainly not be aware of the differences. So if they see a Chinese with a Chinese name in China, they will automatically think that he is another Chinese Mainland person like them. If they later find out that the other person's ideas run counter to their own, they will be very confused and sometimes even angry.
The other answers are all very good, I just added a little bit of my opinion. Overseas Chinese, I think there are two types: emphasizing overseas, which means they have acquired a new identity and may speak Chinese, but I am not sure; No matter where they settle in the world, they are immersed in Chinese culture and deeply love this country.
Okay, since many overseas Chinese have written about it now, I hope you don't mind if I look at it from a historical perspective. From 1937 to 1939, before the entire world fell into the storm of World War II, China did not receive any actual and tangible support from major countries.
When unfortunate China was ravaged by the Japanese army, our coastal cities became ruins under the bombardment of the Japanese Empire, and our financial resources dried up, it was these overseas Chinese organizations who raised funds, some of whom voluntarily joined the National Revolutionary Army. You may argue that they are very wealthy and should do these things no matter what. I dare not agree. I admit that there are industrial tycoons like Chen Jiageng who invest their wealth in it, and there are also many less prominent overseas tycoons who may work in laundry shops or shop owners, all of whom strive to remit their hard-earned money back to China.
This is the 1938 Chinese parade in New York City opposing Japan's invasion of China
Later, during the Pacific War, Japan's occupying forces in Southeast Asia retaliated by punishing those who helped China resist Japanese aggression. Some people who were unable to escape even paid the price of their lives. As a native of Chinese Mainland, I would like to thank all of them, especially the overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and the United States, for their heroic deeds in the Sino Japanese War.
In short, the specific situation requires specific analysis.
If you have a true Chinese heart, no matter where you are, we will treat you as a compatriot. A true Chinese always wants to contribute to his country. If you can speak our mother tongue, we will be more receptive to you. All true Chinese people have only one motherland - China.
If you intentionally lose your mother tongue and think you are a Westerner, we also respect your choice.
If you think you are a Westerner, but you always represent us Chinese to cater to the West and strongly slander China, we look down on you.
One of our company's collaborators was founded by an overseas Chinese. I estimate that 20% of the employees of that company are overseas Chinese, and most of them donot speak Chinese. I doubt if their parents can also speak Chinese, as many overseas Chinese descendants have lived in that country for about a few hundred years. Most of my work is dealing with these people through email.
I used to treat them as ordinary foreigners because I believe the only similarity between us is our appearance.
Until I went to that country and worked with them for a few months. It has been proven that the same bloodline automatically brings us closer. Generally speaking, when I communicate with foreigners, I feel a bit nervous, but when I talk to them, this situation does not happen. I feel more comfortable with them.
There is another more important thing that completely changed my mind. Yes, they don't speak Chinese, and their behavior is the same as that of the locals. But they celebrate Spring Festival! You can easily find some Taoist decorations in their cars, and some of them even know Confucius' Analects! Some of them send their children to study in China.
Even though they have never been to China, they are still influenced by some of China, which makes me feel closer to them.
A veteran employee once attended a university in Taiwan, so his Chinese has a strong Taiwanese accent. Once when we were chatting, he said, "We Chinese people work very hard..." I was moved by this old man. He was born and raised in this country, but he still considers himself Chinese.
Although we always argue with each other, or sometimes I should call it an argument in emails, I like them.
Do you want an honest answer or a hypocritical response? I think we should be more honest!
People in Chinese Mainland recognize overseas Chinese who still believe in "Chinese culture". We can talk about Chinese cuisine, Spring Festival, and so on
The fact is that most mainland Chinese donot really care whether overseas Chinese accept "Chinese culture". Chinese culture is not a fossil in a museum, but a living thing. The identity of modern Chinese people is constantly shaped by citizens of the People's Republic of China, rather than a certain tradition that overseas Chinese can identify with. Modern Chinese people identify with the identity of the People's Republic of China, rather than some vague and abstract "Chinese culture".
Let me give you a few examples:
China has just successfully completed the Chang'e-5 mission and obtained its first sample from the moon. All citizens of the People's Republic of China, regardless of their race, are proud of this and believe that it is something they can share in their pride. Will all overseas Chinese feel proud of this?
The People's Republic of China is not a simple continuation of Chinese culture or traditional "Chinese identity", but a rebirth built on the ruins of old China. For us, this is a new chapter in history.
Chinese Mainland is very different from traditional Chinese and overseas Chinese communities. For example, overseas Chinese believe in religion more devoutly than mainland Chinese, who are mostly atheists. Mainland Chinese, especially the young and well-educated generation, are basically materialists and atheists.
The changes can be compared in depth and scale to the changes in the late 3rd century BC, when the Qin Dynasty unified China, abolished centuries of aristocratic system, and established an elite bureaucratic system.
Since 1949, the entire Chinese society has undergone thorough reforms in politics, culture, and economy. In Chinese history, for the first time, most Chinese people were able to read, write, and receive education; The private ownership of land has been abolished; The collapse of the traditional feudal clan system, and so on.
Most mainland Chinese now believe that these changes are necessary for China to eliminate outdated old culture, achieve modernization, and catch up with the West in science and technology. The ancestors of the vast majority of mainland Chinese were farmers and manual laborers before 1949, while the ancestors of most overseas Chinese became wealthy and usually engaged in business in Western or Western colonies.
Due to these changes, it is difficult for the vast majority of mainland Chinese to share any social and cultural identity with overseas Chinese communities or their second generation who grew up in the West. For us, the most important thing is the modernization project, which has historical significance. If you view the People's Republic of China as a constantly self revolutionary country, it is inseparable from this modernization plan, and most overseas Chinese have not truly participated.