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Africans in China: A Sociocultural Study and Its Implications for Africa-China Relati ...

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Africans in China:


In September 1997 when I arrived in Hong Kong to take up a position at the University of Hong Kong, the east Asian financial crisis, which began in July of that year and lasted until 1998, was already in full swing. Little did I or anyone at the time know that this now well-documented event (e.g., Mitton, 2002) would have pivotal consequences for a dramatic increase in African migration into China in the 21st century. Many Africans who were located in commercial centers such as Bangkok in Thailand, Jakarta in Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and many places in Southeast Asia that were the hardest hit by this crisis began to move in droves to places in southern China, especially Guangzhou, because China remained relatively stable financially throughout this crisis. The Africans set up shop there and began facilitating the shipping of Chinese manufactured goods back home to their various African countries, which encouraged traders in those countries to visit China to source out these manufactured goods themselves.