An Increasing Number of Africans Settling in China


Original Chinese Language Article: Translated By Zhang Bao Yu (张宝钰)

(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

In recent years the relationship between Africa and China has become increasingly close, as a large number of Chinese people have travelled to Africa to work, whilst at the same time an equally large number of Africans have took the decision to settle in China (a country that welcomes their presence). These people have come to China in order to better achieve their personal ambitions.  An example of this migration is that of Francis Jiegai (弗朗西斯·杰盖 – Fu Lang Si Xi Jie Gai) who came to live in China (from the Cameroon) ten years ago.  He said:

“When you really love something, your purpose is not motivated just by making money, but you do work hard from the heart, and it is like falling in love.”

As Francis was sat in a covered fast-food hall in the centre of Beijing, he enthusiastically added:

“As a child I used to watch Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee films and this made me fall in love with everything ‘Chinese’.  These men jumped and leaped, scaled high walls, and cleared high buildings!  I was impressed with what I saw and thought it was very cool.  I fell in love with Chinese martial arts and from that early age set my mind on going to China to study with the Chinese people.  After-all, China is the land of martial arts.”

Decades after this Francis (who is now 39 years old) got his wish and came to live in China.  He now speaks fluent Putonghua and is often a guest on CCTV demonstrating his language skills.  He can even sing Chinese Opera and pronounce the most difficult of phrases clearly and correctly.

In 2009 the Government of China appointed him the ambassador for the China-Africa Art Exchange Program.  However, after successfully completing the appropriate training, Francis decided not to take the ambassador post (as this would have meant leaving China), but instead he took a translator post at an African Embassy in Beijing.  He said that he loves China and does not want to leave.  He and his Russian partner have now settled in Beijing and have three children.

In the past there has been many Africans coming to China to study and work, but after the completion of their ambitions they returned home, but things ae very different now, and more and more African people want stay in China and live – and China welcomes them with open arms.  Scholars have said that in the past there was discrimination against African people – but today the Chinese people are more familiar with African people and African culture – and the two peoples are very close.  African people now live and work happily in China.

Another example is that of Huan Jing (欢晶) who came to China from Mozambique.  She studied Professional International Development at the Qinghua University, and after graduation, instead of going home, transferred to another school to study Chinese language skills with the intention of getting a job in China and greatly improving the chances of fulfilling her life ambitions.  She said:

“I am aware of the ‘brain drain’ phenomenon, and I never forget where I come from, but in my case, my parents are teachers and leaders and so they encouraged me to be educated.”

She went on to explain that sometimes after experiencing life in China it can be difficult for African people to re-integrate back into their indigenous cultures because the differences can be too great.  Sometimes those who have studied in China become shunned and isolated, and find it difficult to get on with life.  As a woman China has offered her a sense of ‘equality’ that has enabled to her to build a better life for herself.  For many Africans, China offers a great opportunity for education and work, and is becoming a place where many feel they can develop themselves to their fullest capacity.

(Translated into Chinese from Voice of America)

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2016.

Original Chinese Language Source Text:













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