Nigerian In China: Why Are People Here So Racist Towards Black People? | HuffPost
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We're here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. China's engagement in Africa is a distinctly 21st century phenomenon and, as such, is still poorly understood by most people, most notably among Chinese and Africans themselves who are still getting to know one another. In that spirit, we've started this new column as a way to help spark dialogue and cross-cultural communication in order to explore this fascinating, complex relationship.
In many instances, people are either too shy or embarrassed to publicly ask that question that could be misconstrued as insensitive or politically incorrect. In an issue like this that touches on questions of race, power and culture, things can get messy real fast. Instead, we'll take each question seriously, and with the benefit of our backgrounds in China-Africa journalism and academic scholarship, we'll do our best to give you a thoughtful, well-reasoned response.
So let's get started An African woman with a baby in a stroller passes a pedestrian bridge where Chinese street vendors are trying to attract customers, in Guangzhou, China. So we get that.
Before I go any further, though, I also want to point out that none of my explanations here are intended to justify people being jerks and their bad behavior. The Chinese will take every opportunity they can find to talk about their 5, years of history and that theirs is the longest continuous civilization on Earth which is pretty impressive.
For all of that history, including the present, China has been almost exclusively a mono-ethnic culture that is basically ethnic Han Chinese. Moreover, throughout Chinese history there has been a strong belief that they are superior to all other countries and people. Between China and Europe. This favourable situation is reinforced by the existence of solid mechanisms of cooperation between China through Macau with the Portuguese speaking countries.
Macau, as a long standing and renowned place influenced by the early Portuguese expansion, predisposes a favorable climate for multiples and interethnic encounters.
There is clear evidence that Chinese women are much open minded and eager to be associated or involved with Africans. Although a significant number of our respondents has intermixed unions or liaisons with Chinese women from the Mainland, Macau, and Hong Kong, this does not imply a complete acceptance and integration.
Yet, these unions have also been met with more opposition from Chinese males and several communities in Macau continue to perceive the Africans and other people in terms of racial differences, skin colour, and social status still prevailing.
They belong to different ethnic groups, religious creeds, and socio-economic backgrounds. The result is a fascinating kaleidoscope of cultural attitudes against a Chinese backdrop with still many traits of colonialism where these different Nigerian students wrestle with issues of education, language, and racism, and speak about their lives, hopes, achievements, and disappointments. Their thoughts as they reflected on how they saw themselves, how they felt that they were seen by society at large, and how they wanted to be seen.
Their recollectionshelped to construct the history of this emergent community and fill the void left by newspaper accounts and official reports. First of all, the PRC started taking initiatives with special emphasis in developing Sino-African business and trade links.
Most imports are allowed to enter Macau freely without tariffs being levied. Visitors from Portuguese-speaking countries, including top officials to the Mainland, routinely stopped over in Macao. The gambling liberalization created in in Macau favored the economic boom in the gaming, tourism, and construction sectors, thus attracting many newcomers.
Taiwan ‘feeling the squeeze’ as Nigeria tells island to close trade office
This factor was one of the motives that led many of our respondents to choose to come to Macau and that is probably one of the reasons they would like to remain if they were offered more incentives. During this Lusophone event, many Black and white Africans wear their African clothes, organize musical and cultural events, and showcase African gastronomy.
The majority of these Portuguese-speaking Africans were former civil servants under the Portuguese administration who remained or returned to Macau after the transference of sovereignty. They received financial support Macau SAR government to create or reactivate associations aiming to foster the relations between their respective countries and China.
All of them considered China a temporary place to stay and study as they planned to go back to their countries. Among the last cohort of Nigerian migrants to Macau one notices that there are more and more educated Nigerians migrants of both sexes and drawn from different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds.
The growing wealth of the middle class in Nigeria which is expected to increase, has contributed for a great number of international student enrolments. In Nigeria, despite the oil resources, there are limited or non-existent economic opportunities as manufacturing industries are extremely deficient and the great majority of every-day consumer goods are being imported. More and more Africans have recently turned their attention to China, Hong Kong, and Macau and are trying to get visas permits under a limited quota and sometimes they have to wait for one year.
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Those who came are very much business oriented and have no plans to establish themselves longer in the territory or China.
However, the recent Nigerian migrants to Macau, although they are impelled to improve their socio-economic status and wish to return, they want above all to get a diploma from local higher education institutions. Yet, if they were given job or academic opportunities in Macau after completing their studies, they might be tempted to remain in the territory. Most of the students who came from Nigeria to study in Macau at the Master of Arts level studies, in MBA for instance, hope to get future jobs in managerial positions or starting up their own business with China market as a starting link.
Unfortunately, the local economy, based exclusively on the gaming industry, policy, and conceived perception of Blacks, in general and of Nigerians in particular, do not give them the opportunity of getting either a part-time or a full-time job to support themselves according to their professional expertise and training. Consequently, the local employment recruitment agencies cannot help them in their career endeavors. Lusa, 3 November ; h Although subjected to visa and other legal constraints, they are showing strong signs that they are able to adjust rapidly, to understand either Cantonese or Puthonghua, and to be involved in joint-research projects on China and Africa with other people from their country of origin if given the right opportunities.
The majority of Nigerian students in Macau share common dreams with their country fellows who depend exclusively on business, they are interested to open a trade company, and be involved in the China African trade.
The process of getting visas for Chinese is much easier that for those Africans who apply for a visa to come to China.
Besides, in the particular case of Macau, a former Portuguese colony, people from Portuguese speaking countries have been getting their resident permit with ease but the case of persons from other African countries, especially, the case of Nigerians, is more complicated. In the case of Nigerians married to Chinese citizens according to PRC law, the spouse is denied the one—year permit.TVC Breakfast 12th September 2018 - Prospects of Nigeria-China Relations
Other African countries have been getting their resident permit with ease but the case of Nigerians is different. Wives of Nigerians who have a resident permit can never claim through her husband's residency. Spouses who wish to come to China should apply and get a one-month visiting visa or otherwise will be there as illegal alien. Even among their fellow students and teachers but, for personal reasons, they always declined to comment about it.
They also experienced discrimination when entering cafes, restaurants, shops, or are seated on the buses. They justify it as a result of still negative perception of Blacks and, pressures from friends and family members who oppose to intermixed unions especially with Black Africans.
Nigerian In China: Why Are People Here So Racist Towards Black People?
Some expressed the idea that having a relationship with a Chinese girl has been greeted with mixed feeling. At first, the girls are difficult to get along with. According to one interview, this attitude should not be perceived as racism but rather as an influence of the Chinese culture that inhibits them from socializing with aliens.
Most of our respondents consider that, despite of Macau being considered an international city, Chinese people in the enclave find it difficult to get along with a foreigner as local Chinese having been confined to a particular environment from birth without any opportunities of experiencing a different environment which could have provided considerable exposure.
They gave as an example the fact that it is very easy to know among the Chinese who has lived in other countries in the first few minutes of initiating a conversation considering their openness and the willingness to answer to questions. Some feel scared due to their mindset about Africans. Basically, this is based on the information acquired from Chinese media depicting Africans with all sorts of vices. However, the last group considers language as a great barrier to effective communication; hence, local Chinese shy away from foreigners because the medium of communication will be in English.