Author: Tu T. Huynh, Yoon Jung Park, Anna Ying Chen.
Contrary to media arguments that Chinese migration to Africa is part of a Chinese state project, the vast majority of new Chinese migrants in South Africa arrived (or made decisions to stay) independently, motivated by their desires to improve their lives. Newer Chinese migrants tend to follow paths cut by those who came earlier; some of these earlier migrants from the PRC came with Taiwanese businesses or state-owned enterprises. Today’s Chinese migrants are quite diverse: they come from various parts of China, with different levels of education and experience, and from different class backgrounds. Migration processes and migration successes are linked to sending country, receiving country and global conditions; however, Chinese migrants themselves play an integral role in shaping perceptions, constructing new identities and changing spaces, giving substance to the idea of a “global south”.