China - Africa

In: Social Issues

Submitted By sarumwn
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Chinese Immigration in Africa

To talk about Chinese immigration in Africa we have to present first the ties that link China with the continent. Modern political and economic relations began in the era of Mao Zedong, the first leader of the Chinese Communist Party, following the Chinese Civil War. His Chinese international policy paved the way to both modern Chinese-African relations and immigration trends.
In 1956 China signed the first official bilateral agreement with African countries (Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, and Guinea); it focused primarily on trade relations.
By the 1960s, 19 African countries had official ties to Beijing. To help cement new diplomatic relations, Mao sent a number of Chinese to the continent in the 1960s, as well as 150,000 technicians between the 1950s and 1970s, to work in agriculture, technology, and infrastructure. Most returned to China after completing their contracts.
Those were not the first wave of immigrants coming from China to Africa. For that we have to go way back in the 17th century. The first Chinese immigration took place in South Africa. They were prisoners, usually debtors, exiled from Batavia by the Dutch to their then newly founded colony at Cape Town in 1660. From that time until the late 19th century the number of Chinese people in the Cape Colony never exceeded 100. Chinese people began arriving in large numbers in South Africa in the 1870s through to the early 20th century initially in hopes of making their fortune on the diamond and gold mines in Kimberley and the Witwatersrand respectively. Most were independent immigrants mostly coming from Guangdong Province then known as Canton. Due to anti-Chinese feeling and racial discrimination at the time they were prevented from obtaining mining contracts and so became entrepreneurs and small business owners instead.
Nowadays, The BBC reports the Chinese presence…...

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