Chinese diaspora in Africa: Spatial evolution and stages of development. Рart 1

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of the Russian-African Relations and African States’ Foreign Policy, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Affiliation: Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 6

In the following series of two articles the author provides a concentrated analysis of the evolution of the Chinese diaspora in Africa. The series cover the origins and the emergence of the diasporic communities, their evolution through the history, changes in their character and size, transformations of structure and alterations in geographical distribution over the continent.

On the basis of the undertaken analysis the author assesses the potential of the diaspora’s influence on host societies, as well as the impact it produces upon historical and economic development, political and socio-cultural life in the host nations, as well as on the bilateral relations of the latter with the homeland. As a result of the analysis, the author arrives to the conclusion that although at different stages of history, the quantitative parameters the diaspora have indeed to varying degrees influenced some aspects of Africa’s socio-economic life, they have never played the role of the main determinant of such influence.

The numbers of the Chinese in any one country in Africa have never approached the level beyond which they have could have influenced the politics and economy of African States by virtue of the diaspora’s size alone. On the contrary, the analysis of recent trends indicates a tendency towards an increase of such influence due not to quantitative, but rather qualitative changes in the characteristics of the diaspora, in particular, in the context of the emerging global influence of their Chinese homeland.

The first article in the series explains the categories used in the research, the size and the spread of overseas Chinese in Africa. It exposes the nuances in approaches of the Chinese and Taiwanese authorities to individual contingents of the Chinese diaspora and the differences in their legal status. The paper reveals the history of spatial distribution of Chinese diaspora communities over the African continent, and exposes the evolution and the stages of development of the Chinese diaspora in Africa.

KeywordsAfrica, Chinese Diaspora, Overseas Chinese, history, colonial politics, economics, international relations, international influence
Publication date27.06.2020
Number of characters29896
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