Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series
Edited by Carla P. Freeman
Chapter 7: African traders in Guangzhou: a bridge community for Africa-China relations
In this age of globalization, migrant communities are becoming increasingly salient features in urban environments, particularly in the megacities of the world. At the same time, people never migrate empty handed. They carry their source cultures, values, and native languages with them. In addition to what migrants bring from their source communities, however, migration to new places also involves learning by migrants about the cultures, languages, and value systems of their host communities. Many decades after the Bandung conference in April 1955 marked the beginning of Afro-Asian relations, we are beginning to see the establishment of African communities in megacities across Asia. In China, African communities have emerged in most top-tier cities, including Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, in both Guangzhou and the nearby Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macau. Estimates of the number of African migrants in Guangzhou vary by source, but in 2009, the Guangzhou Municipal Academy of Social Sciences estimated the number at more than 100,000, with numbers rising every year.
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