Ethnic enclaves of Transnational
Migrants in Guangzhou
——A case study of Xiaobei
Dr. Zhigang Li
Associate Professor
Centre for Urban and Regional Studies
Sun Yat-sen University
Guangzhou, China
Outline
1.Globalizing urban China and new enclaves
2.Transnational migrants and ethnic enclaves
3.An empirical Study: Xiaobei, Guangzhou
• Ethnic enclaves of Guangzhou
• African Traders in Xiaobei
• Residential Segregation?
4.Discussions and Conclusions
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Chasing the Chinese Dream
A Growing Number of the World's
Emigrants Are Heading East, Rather Than
West, in Search of Safety, Tolerance and
Opportunity
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, October 21, 2007; A16
•450,000, Residence permit
•700, Green cards(2004-)
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Ethnic enclaves + China
• Beijing, Wangjing
• Shanghai, Gubei and
Huamu
• Qingdao, Chengyang
• Shenyang, Ta’xi
• Yiwu, ‘Arabic street’
• Dongguan, HongKongese
Community
• …
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Wangjing, a large scale
commodity housing estate
of Chaoyang District in
Beijing, has become a South
Korean enclave where
above 60,000 South
Koreans live, making it the
largest South Korean village
in Beijing.
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‘…Larger and more permanent than those
frequented by expatriate businessmen on
temporary assignment, the new enclaves evoke
pre-revolutionary China, where cities such as
Shanghai bustled with concessions dominated
by French, British and Japanese…’ (Cha, 2007)
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Question
What is the implication of globalization upon
sociospatial restructuring of post-reform
Chinese cities?
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Transnational migrants
and ethnic enclaves
•
‘transmigrants’, ‘transnational social field/social space/community’,
‘Diaspora’ (Portes 1987; 1996 ), ‘Globalisation from below’
(Portes 1996; Guarnizo and Smith 1998; Schiller and Fouron 1998) ’
• Transnationalism:
‘…the process by which transmigrants, through their daily activities,
forge and sustain multi-stranded social, economic, and political
relations that link together their societies of origin and settlement,
and through which they create transnational social fields that cross
national borders…’ (Basch, et al. 1994; Gugler 2004)
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• The literature of transnational migrants, however,
preoccupied with migration to the global North.
• Especially, though the nations of transitional economy
embrace the West in the 1990s, while the residential
control upon foreign migrants is loosen, few empirically
studies have been conducted to look closely at the rising
number of transnational immigrants
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• In terms of the three forces that shape contemporary
urban China, i.e. market reform, migrants and
globalisation (Logan 2001), the impact of former two
forces have been extensively studied, the latter,
especially the practical undertakers of globalisation,
immigrants and their implications, has been largely
ignored (Wu and Webber 2004; Lin and Tse 2005).
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• Rural-urban migrants (Wu, 2000, 2001,2002;
Fan,2001) and their enclaves, such as
Zhejiangcun (Ma and Xiang 1998) and
Chengzongcun (Zhang, Zhao et al. 2003) have
been extensively studied, less is known about
the so-called international migrants (Guoji
yimin).
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Transnational migrants and
their enclaves in Guangzhou
• Guangzhou: a market city
• Guangzhou’s five enclaves
• Xiaobei, an enclave of African traders
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Guangzhou: A market of China
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CECF
(Chinese Export Commodities Fair)
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Thousands
15 00
14 00
13 00
12 00
11 00
10 00
9 00
8 00
7 00
6 00
5 00
4 00
3 00
2 00
1 00
0
2000
Asia
2001
Europe
2002
America
2003
Oceania
Africa
2004
Others
F igu re 3 F oreign ers sta ying overnight in G uan gzhou, 2000 -2005
(U nit 1,000 persons/tim es)
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Five sites
•
•
•
•
•
Sanyuan li
Huanshi dong
Tianhe bei
Er’sha Island
Dashi
Figure 4 Immigrants accumulation sites in Guangzhou
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Xiaobei
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The survey
• 2006,Questionnaire: 80(43), 40(35)
• 2007, Semi-structured interview: 46
Tab 1 Means and Standard Deviations of variables of the samples
S am ple
A frican
traders
(N = 4 3 )
Variables
M eans
t
sig
M ax
M in
SD
A ge
32.30
32.32
0.00
44.00
21.00
6.49
E ducation
2.44
16.29
0.00
4.00
1.00
0.98
G ender( M = 1, F= 2 )
1.00
32.64
0.00
1.00
1.00
0.00
E m plo ym ent
1.50
9.22
0.00
5.00
1.00
1.07
T he year of the first tim e
2.00
-
-
2.00
2.00
0.00
Tim es cam e to G uangzhou
1.55
18.23
0.00
3.00
1.00
0.55
Years stayed in G uangzhou
1.41
16.57
0.00
3.00
1.00
0.54
A ge
26.94
24.79
0.00
40.00
18.00
6.43
G ender (M = 1, F= 2)
1.66
20.36
0.00
2.00
1.00
0.48
E m plo ym ent
2.86
9.47
0.00
5.00
1.00
1.79
cam e to G uangzhou
Local
residents
(N = 3 5 )
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Who are they?
• Nationality: Sub-Saharan Africans
• Profession: Traders
• Language: French, English, Chinese, Cantonese
• Religions: Muslims and Christians
• Capital: Rich and poor
• History of relation with China: Long and short
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How many?
• 20,000-200,000
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How long…?
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What kinds of business?
• Salesman (行商-Xingshang) (Monthly, yearly)
• Tradesman (坐贾-Zuogu) (500, Cargo)
‘They sell everything’
‘Shoes, clothes, cell-phones, MP3, from toothpick to motorcycle’
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• One wife and three children in New York
• 200 containers a year
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However…
‘… T hey don’t even ha ve 100 dollar s in their pockets, and c ould hardly pay
for
bills
of
hotels
in
the
first
few
days
w hen
arrived
in
G uan gzhou … ’(Interview ee N o. 22 ).
‘… U nlike those w ho have m oney for tw o -w eeks in their pocket, w e A fricans
start from nothing … In order to ha ve the m oney for m eals tom orrow , w e have
to w ork im m ediately w hen w e arrived in G uangzhou … ’ (Interview ee N o. 2 5).
So, Africans immigrants VS Sichuan migrants
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Segregation?
‘… I like G uangzhou. It is very free here. In E urope, people alw ays consider
A fricans to be poor and asking for help, w hile people here do not. R espect w e
get here and people treat us just as businessm en, w ithout any prejudice’
(Interview ee N o.27 ).
T able 1 : E valuation of X iaobei’s B lacks tow ards the local society
A ttitudes of local residents to you
C om m unication w ith local
residents
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S am ple
%
S am ple
%
V ery good
3
7.00%
O ften
1
2.30%
G ood
5
11.60%
S om etim es
7
16.30%
OK
28
65.20%
R arely
29
67.40%
N ot good
7
16.20%
N ever
6
14.00%
W h ether you can stay w ith local
W ould yo u like to live w ith
residents harm oniously
C hinese in the sam e com m unity
S am ple
%
Y es
17
39.50%
No
16
37.20%
N o com m ent
10
23.30%
S am ple
%
Y es
13
30.20%
No
30
69.80%
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Local responses
‘… It m akes X iaobei nearly a pure B lacks area … ’. T he m anag er of T ia nxiu
B uilding said, ‘… for the sake of business interests, w e do not m ind the B lacks
to do business and live here; H ow ever, the high m obility of the B lacks, cou pled
w ith
the
language
barriers,
has
created
difficulties
for
our
m anagem ent… esp ecially, som e B lacks are often linked to rent evasion… ’
(M anager, T ianxiu B uilding).
‘… T he blacks are ha rd to m anage… their hygiene condition is poor… ’
(M anager, Y idong B uilding).
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Why Guangzhou
• Rather than Shanghai, Beijing…?
•
•
•
•
•
Wholesale Market
Muslim history
Regional context
Entrepreneurial cultural
Climate and weather
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World factory
• Differ to the theory of transnational migrants
such as the segmented labour market in the US,
the rising of transnational ethnic enclave in
Guangzhou is largely attributed to the ‘world
factory’ status of the PRD
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Transmigrants
• Transnational migrants in Xiaobei are
composed of a highly diversified group.
Though they mainly come from Middle-West
Africa, they hold different socio-economic
background, trading different goods, sharing
various religions, different culture and
languages.
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Segregation
• Xiaobei serves as a vital, albeit unorthodox, economic
institution for the welfare of transnational African
traders.
• Nevertheless, it is found that some local residents,
businessmen and property managers have begun to
take measures resist the newly arrival of Blacks. They
either remove from Xiaobei, or curb the Blacks to
move in.
• Add a new dimension of sociospatial segregation for
urban China, i.e. ethnicity
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Future research
• Social networks of transnational African
traders
• The links between Guangzhou, Yiwu and
Dubai in terms of global trading
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Thanks
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