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Africans in China

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					Africans in China
                Dr. Adams Bodomo
           The University of Hong Kong
                abbodomo@hku.hk
  Africans in China/Chinese in Africa Conference,
       Johannesburg, RSA, 29th August 2009


                                                    1
                      Outline
• Introduction
• Africans in China: main cities
   –   Yiwu
   –   Hong Kong
   –   Guangzhou
   –   Macau
   –   Beijing
   –   Shanghai
• How Africans are received in China
• Conclusion

                                       2
                  Issues…
• How many Africans are in China?
• Which African countries and regions are mostly
  represented among these migrants?
• Where in China are they found?
• Why do they come to China and how are they
  received?



                                                   3
             Africans in China
• While it has been estimated that some one million
  Chinese are living in Africa, there are only about a
  quarter of that number of Africans in China.
• They are mainly students, professionals, traders,
  diplomats or other official representatives from
  Africa.
• African traders constitute the largest African group
  in China. They come in search of cheap
  manufactured good in China to buy and sell them
  back in Africa.
• They are distributed in cities such as Guangzhou,
  Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Beijing, and Yiwu.
                                                         4
Yiwu
• A new metropolis as a centre
  for sourcing commodities
• There is a growing
  population of black Africans
• Mostly Africans from the
  Maghreb are found here
Pic: Yiwu International Trade City

                           Hong Kong
                           • There are more Africans of
                             southern African origins,
                             especially white Africans
                           • A sizeable population of black
                             Africans in the Chung King
                             Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui,
                             Kowloon.
                           • Pic: Chungking Mansions    5
Guangzhou – Chocolate City
• The richest province in China
• The ‘world factory’
• Most West Africans are found in the
  African population in Guangzhou
• 77% Nigerian
• Others are from Guinea, Mali,
  Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, and the
  Democratic Republic of Congo
Pic: Tianxiu Building (L)
    Sino-African Trading Centre (R)     6
Pic: Africans at a Catholic Church in Central Guangzhou
Won’t you think this is a picture taken in Africa?
                                                          7
Macau
• Former Portuguese
  colony
• A sizeable African
  population of about 300,
  mostly from Lusophone
  African countries like
  Cape Verde, Guinea
  Bissau, Angola, and
  Mozambique.
• The most well-
  established African
  communities in China
                             8
     Beijing – the capital of China
     • There is a preponderance of
       Africans who officially represent
       their countries
     • Also, there is a sizeable number of
       African students in Beijing and
       some African Studies Centres


Shanghai
• The most cosmopolitan city in China
• Similar to Beijing
• Surprisingly, not many Africans in    9
   How are Africans received in
            China?
• There are reported cases of racism and other
  kinds of discrimination but this is not
  entrenched and systematic…
• This may stem from linguistic and cultural
  misunderstanding
• However, there is sometimes “positive curiosity”,
  which Africans benefit from in terms of dealing
  with ordinary Chinese

                                                  10
                 Conclusion
• African migration in China
  – An important dimension in the burgeoning
    relationship between Africa and China
• Both African and Chinese government ought to
  encourage and facilitate the peaceful mingling of
  Africans and Chinese
  – These migrants serve as important cultural and
    economic bridges between the two ‘countries’


                                                     11

				
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