Africans in China Africans in Guangzhou Guangzhou Research

[Research] Global Change… International Migration in China: African Migrants in Guangzhou & Foshan >>EXCERPT<<

By Tabea Bork-Hüffer, Birte Rafflenbeul, Frauke Kraas and Zhigang Li (2014) Megacities

Micro-review: This article puts forward the not-so-fresh idea that Africans are moving away from Guangzhou and into Foshan – as there they find less document checks and laxer overstaying sanctions. I’m not so sure about when the article was written, though. At times it appears to have been written before 2010, although it was only recently published (2014). For those new to the topic of ‘foreigners in China’, this article presents a brief literature review and a historical overview of Guangzhou’s (and the PRD region) urban developments. Two interesting points made in the article are: a) that more attention needs to be paid to how the notion of ‘waishi‘ (a term referring to China’s strategy to deal with the ‘foreign’) influences/determines the (un)desirability of certain types of foreigners; and, b) how the notion of the ‘foreign/outsider’ is routinely deployed to highlight the ‘otherness’ of the non-Chinese, thus hampering any possible integration of those ‘fundamentally different’ into Chinese society. Moreover, the authors claim to have demonstrated that there are ‘illegal migrants without a valid visa or passport’ in the city, who did not enter  the country illegally, but that were ‘most probably only pushed into illegality by the tightening of entry regulations’ (p.149) – these are not new findings, however. Issues of (im)mobility and (un)documented African presence have been previously discussed by Haugen, 2012 and Lan, 2014, amongst others. Finally, on a slightly negative note, this is yet one more article that uncritically reproduces rumours about a figure of 200,000 ‘illegal’ Africans in the city (p.140). Rating: ★★★✩✩✩

1 comment on “[Research] Global Change… International Migration in China: African Migrants in Guangzhou & Foshan >>EXCERPT<<

  1. Tabea Bork-Hüffer

    Hi Roberto,
    Yap, the article was accepted for publication in summer 2010 and unfortunately only appeared 2013 with the publication year dated 2014 due to delays in the production of the edited volume. At the time when it was written migration to Foshan had just intensified which would have made it a new contribution – especially since we conducted the first quantitative survey to analyse that phenomenon.
    Tabea (the author)

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