Liminal Spaces: Ethnic Chinese in the Borderlands of Southern Africa
This chapter, which builds on original research on Chinese people in Southern Africa and other ethnographic studies, makes two simple arguments. First, context matters. Different African countries, at different points in time, can be more or less welcoming to Chinese migrants. China’s global rise, the relative numbers of Chinese newcomers vis-à-vis local populations, the circumstances of their arrival, and the capacity of local economies to absorb new migrants matter. Secondly, the South African case shows us that despite a long history in the country, Chinese people—whether third-generation South Africans or newly arrived—continue to occupy an in-between status. Caught between racial categories and nation-states, they make their homes in liminal spaces. Perhaps, in a hyper-globalized world, in these metaphorical borderlands, this is the new normal.
- Adichie, C.N. 2009. The Danger of a Single Story. TED Talks, July. http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story/transcript. Accessed 9 Jan 2017.
- Anderson, B. 1991, 1983. Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Rev. ed. London/New York: Verso.Google Scholar
- Anzaldúa, G. 1987. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books.Google Scholar
- Biacuana, G. 2009. SA’s Clothing and Textile Sector Post “Chinese Quotas”. South African Institute of International Affairs, August 21. http://www.saiia.org/development-through-trade-opinion/saa-clothing-and-textile-sector-post-Chinese-quotas/. Accessed 16 Mar 2010.
- Cissé, D. 2013. South-South Migration and Sino-African Small Traders: A Comparative Study of Chinese in Senegal and Africans in China. African Review of Economics and Finance 5 (1): 17–28.Google Scholar
- Cornell, S., and D. Hartmann. 1998. Ethnicity and Race: Making Identities in a Changing World. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.Google Scholar
- Dittgen, R. 2010. From Isolation to Integration? A Study of Chinese Retailers in Dakar. South African Institute of International Affairs, March 2. http://www.saiia.org.za/images/stories/pubs/occasional_papers/saia_sop_57_dittgen_20100326.pdf. Accessed 9 Jan 2017.
- ———. 2015. Of Other Spaces? Hybrid Forms of Chinese Engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 44 (1): 43–73.Google Scholar
- Echikson, W. 2006. South Africa’s Textile Industry Gets Frayed by Chinese Imports. Wall Street Journal, September 6. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB115747769310154017. Accessed 9 Jan 2017.
- French, H. 2014. China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
- Giese, K. 2015. Adaptation and Learning Among Chinese Actors in Africa. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 44 (1): 3–8.Google Scholar
- Glick Schiller, N., L. Basch, and C. Blanc-Szanton. (1992). Transnationalism: A New Analytic Framework for Understanding Migration. In Towards a Transnational Perspective on Migration: Race, Class, Ethnicity, and Nationalism Reconsidered. New York: The New York Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
- Hanisch, S. 2013. At the Margins of the Economy? Chinese Migrants in Lesotho’s Wholesale and Retail Sector. Africa Spectrum 48 (3): 85–97.Google Scholar
- Harris, K.L. 1998. The Chinese “South Africans”: An Interstitial Community. In The Chinese Diaspora. Selected Essays. Volume II, ed. L. Wang and G. Wang. Singapore: Times Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Khan Mohammad, G. 2014. The Chinese Presence in Burkina Faso: A Sino-African Cooperation from Below. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 43 (1): 71–101.Google Scholar
- Kornegay, F. 2009. SA’s Credibility Could Be at Stake by Giving in to China. Business Day, March 24.Google Scholar
- Lam, K.N. 2015. Chinese Adaptations: African Agency, Fragmented Community and Social Capital Creation in Ghana. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 44 (1): 9–41.Google Scholar
- Lampert, B., and G. Mohan. 2014. Sino-African Encounters in Ghana and Nigeria: From Conflict to Conviviality and Mutual Benefit. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 43 (1): 9–39.Google Scholar
- Li, A. 2013. Minimum Wage Disputes: Is It Worth the Fight in Newcastle? Mail & Guardian, May 30. http://mg.co.za/print/2013-05-29-made-in-newcastle-cuts-from-a-different-cloth. Accessed 3 June 2013.
- Marian, P. 2011. South Africa: Clothing Factories Raided for Labour Violations, October 4. http://www.just-style.com/news/clothing-factories-raided-for-labour-violations_id112351.aspx. Accessed 9 Jan 2017.
- McNamee, T., G. Mills, S. Maneoli, D. Malani, S. Doran, and E. Chen. 2013. Africa in Their Words: A Study of Chinese Traders in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia and Angola, Discussion Paper. The Brenthurst Foundation. http://www.thebrenthurstfoundation.org/thought-leadership-2012-china-in-africa.htm. Accessed 9 Jan 2017.
- Mofokeng, M. 2011. ANC Continues Its Chinese Love Affair. IOL, October 9. http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/anc-continues-its-chinese-love-affair-1153177. Accessed 9 Jan 2017.
- Mudimbe, V.Y., ed. 1997. Nations, Identities, Cultures. Durham/London: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
- Mudimbe, V.Y., and S. Engel. 1999. Introduction. The South Atlantic Quarterly: Diaspora and Immigration Special Issue 98 (1/2, Winter/Spring): 1–8.Google Scholar
- Nduru, M. 2005. Southern Africa: Textile Industries in Turmoil, January 24. http://www.afrika.no/Detailed/8265.html. Accessed 16 Mar 2010.
- Park, Y.J. 2008. A Matter of Honour: Being Chinese in South Africa. Johannesburg: Jacana Media Pty.Google Scholar
- ———. 2012. Chinese South Africans Now Black! Race and Belonging in the “New” South Africa. In Politics and Minorities in Africa. Nova Collectanea Africana/2. Rome: ARACNE.Google Scholar
- Portes, A., and R.G. Rumbaut. 1996. Immigrant America: A Portrait. 2nd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Sautman, B., and H. Yan. 2009. African Perspectives on China-Africa Links. The China Quarterly: 729–759.Google Scholar
- Schmitz, C.M. 2014. Significant Others: Security and Suspicion in Chinese-Angolan Encounters. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 43 (1): 41–69.Google Scholar
- Xiao, A.H. 2015. In the Shadow of the States: The Informalities of Chinese Petty Entrepreneurship in Nigeria. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 44 (1): 75–105.Google Scholar
- Yap, M., and D.L. Man. 1996. Colour, Confusion and Concessions. The History of Chinese in South Africa. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.Google Scholar
- York, G. 2010. For South African Workers, a Chinese-Supplied Job Comes at a Price. Globe and Mail, December 7.Google Scholar