Chinese diaspora in Africa: structure, identity, influence. Part 2

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Research Fellow
Affiliation: Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 7

In this article, the author aims to give a concentrated exposition of the evolution of the Chinese Diaspora in Africa, including its origins, modification in time of its character and size, transformations of its structure and alterations in geographical distribution on the continent. On the basis of the undertaken analysis she assesses the potential of its 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, and on the bilateral relations of the latter with China and Taiwan.

As a result of the analysis, the author arrives to the conclusion that although at different stages of history, the quantitative component has influenced these aspects of the socio-economic life of Africa to varying degrees, it has never played the role of the main determinant of such influence. The numbers of the Chinese in any one country in Africa have never reached a point to influence the politics and economy of African States by virtue of the Diaspora’s very size proper. On the contrary, the analysis of recent trends points to a tendency towards an increase of such influence due rather to qualitative changes in the characteristics of the Diaspora, in particular, in the context of the growth of the global influence of their Chinese homeland.

The second article in the series analyzes the structure of the Chinese Diaspora in Africa, its relations with the surrounding African society, and its influence on the development of the host country as well as the relations of China and Taiwan with those States. The article also contains a critical assessment of arguments used by both the critics and the proponents of the positive spillovers of the growth of Chinese diasporas in Africa.

KeywordsAfrica, Chinese Diaspora, huaqiao, identity construction, political influence, power, economy, international relations
Publication date27.08.2020
Number of characters28970
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