The town’s name is Guangdong, and it is known for its drove of black population and African immigrants. However, the town has also come to be identified with threats because of the prevalence of drug business and high occurrences of sexual harassment and violence. While America has remained at the centre of the discourse on racism, China has always eluded such discussion in the social and academic circles, but recent umbrage against the Blacks suggest many things about the Chinese and the fear of black identity.
Pan, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s top political advisory body, is one of the political agitators canvassing for the depopulating of blacks from all Chinese provinces. Pan, who lives in Tianjin near Beijing—and nowhere near Guangdong—held his proposal aloft for reporters to see. It read in part (links in Chinese):
Black brothers often travel in droves; they are out at night out on the streets, nightclubs, and remote areas. They engage in drug trafficking, harassment of women, and fighting, which seriously disturbs law and order in Guangzhou… Africans have a high rate of AIDS and the Ebola virus that can be transmitted via body fluids… If their population [keeps growing], China will change from a nation-state to an immigration country, from a yellow country to a black-and-yellow country.
Estimates for the number of sub-Saharan Africans in Guangzhou (nicknamed “Chocolate City” in Chinese) is about 150,000 long-term residents, according to 2014 government statistics. But what does the expression that blacks are ‘taking over’ signify for the black identity in a Chinese environment? If we may add, why is the Black experience in China jumped over in the discourse of racism?