chapter  4
25 Pages

Chinese State Regulation of Undocumented Africans in Guangzhou

This chapter attempts to tackle the paradox by identifying the gaps and contradictions in the Chinese state's efforts to regulate undocumented migrants from Africa. It examines the introduction, nature, and implementation of an anti-immigrant legislation in Guangdong Province and its larger implications in the regional, national, and international contexts. The chapter analyzes state regulation of undocumented African migrants, considering three aspects, such as the legal production of African 'illegality' in the Guangdong context; the contradictions in the implementation of the Guangdong Act and its unintended consequences; and the discrepancy between anti-African immigrant campaign at the local level and pro-African political ideology at the national and international levels. It discusses the possibility of structural racism against black Africans in China. The bi-directional nature of small-scale trade migrations between China and Nigeria not only challenges immigration policies in both countries, but stretches the limits of the official rhetoric of Sino-African friendship.