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Le sort des migrants africains en Chine : L'afrophobie entrave la course de la Chine pour les ressources et les marchés de l'Afrique

Kohnert, Dirk (2022): Le sort des migrants africains en Chine : L'afrophobie entrave la course de la Chine pour les ressources et les marchés de l'Afrique.

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The social fabric of the migrant’s host country largely embodies major traits of the exclusion of ‘strangers’. The latter often focus on ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender. This applies also to the Afrophobia which spreads in contempory China. Thus, current news focused on the eviction of African migrants from apartments and hotels in China. Actually, an estimated 500.000 Africans live in China. The Corona pandemic aggravated their situation. The scarcity of Chines immigration assistance posed a challenge for Africans looking to secure residence permits, renew visas, or amend their status in other ways. They had to rely on informal or illicit networks to remain in the country. The African Union, various African governments and even the United States put pressure on Beijing over the ill-treatment of migrants, predominantly from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. Shortly before, five Nigerians had been reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 in Guangzhou, the metropolis where most Africans live and work, nicknamed ‘Little Africa’. These reports seem to be what has sparked the current wave of suspicion and anti-foreigner sentiment. Many African students and other migrants had left China already at the start of the outbreak. The remaing got stranded and chased around. Yet, even Chinese state media admitted that non-African foreigners like Americans and Filipinos, who accounted for more than half of foreigners living in Guangzhou who had the virus, were not singled out as scapegoats. However, racist attacks on Africans in China had a depressing long tradition, related to the expansion of bilateral petty trade of Chinese in Sub-Sahara Africa since the early 2000s and the subsequent influx of African traders in China. Already in 2008 African migrants had blocked a major street in Guangzhou protesting against the death of a Nigerian in an immigration raid.

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