June 26th, 2012 | Global Times Trying to blend in
Recently a lot of news stories have tackled the lives of the foreign community in China. In a tragic event, a Nigerian citizen died last week in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, renewing public attention toward the large African community in South China’s biggest city.
A preliminary police investigation into the death showed the man died during questioning by the police after he got into a dispute with an illegal taxi driver over the fare. However, the authorities are yet to release detailed information.
It is estimated that more than 200,000 Africans have settled in Guangzhou, many doing business by selling made-in-China clothes and other commodities to Africa. They work in the wholesale markets and ship goods, mostly produced in Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces, to their home countries.
Nigerians account for the majority of the African community in Guangzhou, followed by people from Ghana, Kenya and Cameroon.
Although the community is big and densely populated in certain areas, ties between them and the locals have remained loose. In many areas, Africans account for more than 70 percent of the foreign population, many of them unregistered and in China illegally.
The Guangzhou authorities have reportedly started paying more attention to the trend and tried to boost communication and understanding between locals and expats, by establishing service stations to provide rental and medical services among other policies. African employees were recruited to help staff these posts.
However, the mass incident in which hundreds of Africans took to the streets in protest of the death of the Nigerian citizen last week shows there may be a long way to make them feel completely at home in Guangzhou.
By Global Times