The Chinese-African Kids And Identity Crisis

Posted in Africa, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Economics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2018-10-14 00:02Z by Steven

The Chinese-African Kids And Identity Crisis

Shorthand Social
2016-02-08

Ilelah Balarabe Shehu

INTRODUCTION

As the number of Africans coming to China for business keeps jumping up by 20-30% annually since 2011, so also the number of intermarriages between Africans and Chinese. This inter racial marriages has resulted in giving a new face to what is hitherto known as Chinese faces. Now the emergence of what is known in China as chocolate kids, a mixture of Asian and African colors. With over 4000 of these kids in Guangzhou alone, the Chinese society is divided on accepting these kids as Chinese or not, while the kids themselves are struggling with their identity crisis. Most of them in a fool of confusion regarding to where they actually belong. But despite the identity crisis, most of the kids have a dream here in China.

As the economy of China continues to attract global attention with its increasing participation in global politics and its desire to be seen and recognized as a global power, this has come with an increase of economic migrants from all over the world. The ones from Africa are more visible especially in the southern city of Guangzhou where at the moment, arrangement has been completed to build an African town. According to Africansinchina.net, with an estimated population of over two hundred thousand Africans in Guangzhou, the city is by no doubt the largest city with Africans not only in China but in Asia. As such, this is the city where more inter marriages take place between Chinese women and African business men or even students. As a result of this fast growing community of Chinese African families, a new generation of kids from Chinese and African parents is growing rapidly not only in the city of Guangzhou, but also in almost all cities and towns in China. Towards the end of the year 2014, there were over 4000 African Chinese kids in Guangzhou alone, according to Information and Resources for Urban Entrepreneurs.

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China has an irrational fear of a “black invasion” bringing drugs, crime, and interracial marriage

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Law, Media Archive on 2017-03-31 01:15Z by Steven

China has an irrational fear of a “black invasion” bringing drugs, crime, and interracial marriage

Quartz
2017-03-30

Joanna Chiu


Feeling it in Guangzhou. (Reuters/James Pomfret)

Beijing—Earlier this month in Beijing, amid the pomp of China’s annual rubber-stamp parliament meetings, a politician proudly shared with reporters his proposal on how to “solve the problem of the black population in Guangdong.” The latter province is widely known in China to have many African migrants.

“Africans bring many security risks,” Pan Qinglin told local media (link in Chinese). As a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s top political advisory body, he urged the government to “strictly control the African people living in Guangdong and other places.”

Pan, who lives in Tianjin near Beijing—and nowhere near Guangdong—held his proposal aloft for reporters to see. It read in part (links in Chinese):

“Black brothers often travel in droves; they are out at night out on the streets, nightclubs, and remote areas. They engage in drug trafficking, harassment of women, and fighting, which seriously disturbs law and order in Guangzhou… Africans have a high rate of AIDS and the Ebola virus that can be transmitted via body fluids… If their population [keeps growing], China will change from a nation-state to an immigration country, from a yellow country to a black-and-yellow country.”

On social media, the Chinese response has been overwhelmingly supportive, with many commenters echoing Pan’s fears. In a forum dedicated to discussions about black people in Guangdong on Baidu Tieba—an online community focused on internet search results—many participants agreed that China was facing a “black invasion.” One commenter called on Chinese people (link in Chinese) not to let “thousands of years of Chinese blood become polluted.”

The stream of racist vitriol online makes the infamous Chinese TV ad for Qiaobi laundry detergent, which went viral last year, seem mild in comparison. The ad featured a Asian woman stuffing a black man into a washing machine to turn him into a pale-skinned Asian man…

…Paolo Cesar, an African-Brazilian who has worked as a musician in Shanghai for 18 years and has a Chinese wife, said music has been a great way for him to connect with audiences and make local friends. However, his mixed-race son often comes home unhappy because of bullying at school. Despite speaking fluent Mandarin, his classmates do not accept him as Chinese. They like to shout out, “He’s so dark!”…

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Afro-Chinese marriages boom in Guangzhou: but will it be ’til death do us part’?

Posted in Africa, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive on 2014-08-05 17:42Z by Steven

Afro-Chinese marriages boom in Guangzhou: but will it be ’til death do us part’?

South China Morning Post Magazine
South China Morning Post
Hong Kong, China
2014-06-01

Jenni Marsh, Assistant Editor


Jennifer Tsang and Eman Okonkwo at their wedding in Guangzhou in April. Photo: Jenni Marsh

Guangzhou is witnessing many Afro-Chinese marriages, but the mainland’s lack of citizenship rights for husbands and a crackdown on foreign visas means families live in fear of being torn apart, writes Jenni Marsh

Eman Okonkwo’s foot-tapping at the altar is not a sign of nerves. The groom’s palms aren’t sweaty, there are no pre-wedding jitters and certainly no second thoughts. Today he is realising a dream imagined by countless African merchants in Guangzhou: he is marrying a Chinese bride.

Seven days earlier, Jennifer Tsang’s family was oblivious to their daughter’s romance. Like many local women dating African men, the curvaceous trader from Foshan, who is in her late 20s – that dreaded “leftover woman” age – had feared her parents would be racially prejudiced.

Today, though – having tentatively given their blessing – they snuck into the underground Royal Victory Church, in Guangzhou, looking over their shoulders for police as they entered the downtown tower block. Non-state-sanctioned religious events like this are illegal on the mainland.

Okonkwo, 42, doesn’t have a single relative at the rambunctious Pentecostal ceremony, but is nevertheless delighted.

“Today is so special,” beams the Nigerian, “because I have married a Chinese girl. And that makes me half-African, half-Chinese.”

In Guangzhou, weddings like this take place every day. There are no official figures on Afro-Chinese marriages but visit any trading warehouse in the city and you will see scores of mixed-race couples running wholesale shops, their coffee-coloured, hair-braided children racing through the corridors…


Guinean trader Cellou with his wife, Cherry, and their children. Photo: Robin Fall

…Chinese prejudice against Africans is normally based on three aspects: traditional aesthetic values, an ignorance of African culture and society, and the language barrier.

Furthermore, until the 1970s, foreigners were not permitted to live in the mainland, let alone marry a Chinese. When a child is born, the parents must register its ethnicity with the authorities: of the 56 boxes they can tick, “mixed-race” is not an option.

But there are factors other than racism that might lead a family to reject a mixed marriage.

Linessa Lin Dan, a PhD student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong researching Afro-Chinese relations in Guangzhou, says many African men who propose already have wives in their home countries – Muslims are permitted by their religion to take multiple spouses. Furthermore, Lin has heard tales of husbands returning to Nigeria on a business trip, leaving a mobile-phone number that doesn’t connect and disappearing.

“The Chinese wife is left with their children, and shamed for marrying a hei gui [black ghost],” says Lin…

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In China, mixed marriages can be a labor of love

Posted in Africa, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Social Science on 2013-09-22 20:36Z by Steven

In China, mixed marriages can be a labor of love

The Christian Science Monitor
2013-09-21

Yepoka Yeebo, Contributor

In one major Chinese city, marriages between Chinese and Africans are on the rise. In a country known for monoculture, it isn’t easy.

GUANGZHOU, China

The restaurant that Joey and Ugo Okonkwo own was packed on a recent Saturday night, with meal-time banter alternating between English, Cantonese Chinese, and Nigerian dialects among the mainly Nigerian patrons and the occasional Chinese girlfriend. In this bustling southern port city, it’s not an uncommon sight.

Nor is the sight of marriages like Joey and Ugo’s. In Guangzhou, just next door to Hong Kong, a growing number of African traders and immigrants are marrying Chinese women, and mixed families like Joey and Ugo are grappling with questions about race and nationality, in a country that is often proud to be monocultural and is known for sometimes harsh xenophobia.

Joey, who is native to Guangzhou, speaks English with a West African lilt, which she picked up from Ugo, who is from Anambra State in southeastern Nigeria. Joey, whose Chinese name is Li Jieyi, says people regularly look at her 2-year-old daughter Amanda and wonder about her origins.

“Foreigners say she looks like me, Chinese say she looks like her father. I don’t know why,” Joey says as she bustles around the restaurant…

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Two Cities: Guangzhou/Lagos

Posted in Africa, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Economics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2013-08-19 04:34Z by Steven

Two Cities: Guangzhou/Lagos

Nokoko
Institute of African Studies
Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Volume 2 (Fall 2011)
pages 174-197

Wendy Thompson Taiwo

I was in Nigeria in May, the year I turned twenty-nine. And aside from the few hours of electricity per day, the way most of the food twisted my stomach or burned my tongue, and that the terrible stifling heat made life difficult at times, I was excited to be exactly where I needed to be: Lagos. Once the political center of Nigeria, it is still reigning as the financial and economic capital. And from what I saw, it was a thriving, bustling, chaotic metropolis where swindling police officers, savvy market women, racing okadas, and the occasional goat shared the streets with everyday Lagosians.

I was pursuing the second leg of a research project devoted to examining the everyday lives of Yoruba traders I had met in Guangzhou. In 2009, a series of news reports shifted focus to a sizable West African trading community in southeastern China following a protest by an approximated two hundred African men in front of a police station that drew a crowd and shut down traffic. The protest was in response to earlier events in which an immigration raid staged by Chinese police in a clothing mall frequented primarily by Nigerian traders led to at least two reported injuries, one critical…

…I had so many questions and saw this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to sort out some of the anxieties I had about race, borders, and the bodies of my parents—one black and one Chinese. I assumed that many African traders would have had to interpret and negotiate these same themes and embarked on my journey to encounter these new global citizens…

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