Ever since the current administration took office, the Government of Mexico City has focused on
recovering public spaces throughout the entire city. In this same vein, Embassies and foreign
communities in the city have collaborated to further these efforts.
On February 16th, 2008, as a symbol of friendship and appreciation for the cultural and
economic contributions made to Mexico City, the Mayor of Mexico City, Marcelo Ebrard,
together with the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Yen Hengmin, inaugurated the
Chinese Arch at the Plaza Santos Degollado, in the Historic Center.
On this occasion, the Mayor of Mexico City mentioned that the Chinese Arch is a tribute to all
those Chinese who decided to migrate to Mexico and put their energies and vitality into the
growth of this country. The presence of Chinese migrants in Mexico is very old. The first
Chinese ship, loaded with silk, spices and porcelain, reached the coast of Acapulco on October
8th, 1565. Many of the Chinese seamen to have arrived on this ship decided not to go back to
Asia and stayed in Mexico. Since then, their presence has been constant. It is estimated that,
currently, the Chinese community in Mexico has 50,000 members, of which almost 10,000 live
in the capital city. There are also 500 Chinese-owned businesses in the city.
The Chinese Arch was built in a record-breaking 45 days of continuous work and was installed
on José María Marroquí street, on the corner of Independencia. Ornamental materials such as
ceramics, granite, marble and paint were imported from China and put together by Mexican
artisans under the supervision of Asian technicians. The pictorial decorations were done by
Chinese workers with the support of Mexican restorers specializing in paint.
The arch creates a gateway to the Chinatown, and integrates it to this area that is being
developed. It also expands the possibility of national and international tourism in the area. Once
the inauguration was completed, the Mayor of Mexico City, together with the Chinese
Ambassador, signaled the beginning of a parade that covered the entire Paseo de la Reforma
and which was part of the Chinese New Year celebration, a celebration that has been growing
every year in Mexico City.
Media reports on the subject: