Chinese law magazine “Rule of Law Weekly” interviewed six Chinese people who are working in Africa. Each individual works in a different country and they all have a story to tell. The following is the first installment in the six-part series.
Chinese People in Africa: An Inside View into Their Daily Lives (Translation)
April 24th 2013 1:27am Source: Rule of Law Weekly Reporter: Gao Jin Translation by Erik Myxter
Although it acts as a major transportation hub for several continents, today the Dubai airport feels a bit like a Chinese airport. Look around and about 80% of who you will see are Chinese business men, company employees, government officials and workers. Their next stop: Africa.
On March of this year the newly appointed head of China, Xi Jinping arrived in Africa to make visits to Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo. He also was one of the major leaders to attend the fifth ever BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa.
Although Africa’s economy has a weak foundation and its infrastructure is in need of improvement, however the area is rapidly developing and the potential market is huge. With each passing day Chinese-African relations are becoming deeper, and more and more Chinese people are choosing this completely wild and hopeful land to work and live.
But for many people who have not been to Africa, Africa still is somewhat of a mystery.
Where in Africa are there Chinese people? What do they do for work? How do they live? What kind of “African Rules” have they encountered?
Rule of Law Weekly reporter Gao Jin
Five years ago, Zhou Yifeng (pseudonym) was sent to work for a company in Nigeria. Before this time he had already gone to Egypt, Kenya and a few other countries for short vacations, so when he was preparing to go to Nigeria, he wasn’t very worried.
When he arrived, Zhou Yifeng still felt the same: “It has been a little better than I expected. I hadn’t had any culture shock.”
More differences started to become apparent in his experiences with customers and his living environment.
As an employee of a major Chinese automotive parts company, Zhou Yifeng’s work in Nigeria made him often have to deal with other local businesses. “The local people have respect for big Chinese companies”, he said.
Outside of his time at work, Zhou Yifeng likes to hang out or stay at his home. In his eyes, Africa is like a semi-virgin land. “If it is a country with a good environment, and has law and order, I can lead a long life here”, he said.
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