The mysterious death of a Nigerian man on June 18 while being held in police custody set off another wave of unrest among African migrants in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. The crowd, estimated to be around a thousand, protested in the streets in the area known as ‘Chocolate City’ (巧克力成) where they demanded an investigation into the man’s death.
The disturbance in Guangzhou comes amid a crackdown on foreigners across China as part of thesanfei（三非）campaign that is making life increasingly difficult for those without proper papers to live and work in China. African migrants in Guangzhou, though, content this is not usual for them as they have been the subject of particularly harsh treatment by local security officials.
The incident in Guangzhou received widespread coverage across Africa and exposes a sensitive nerve in Sino-African relations given that hundreds of thousands, if not more, of Chinese migrants, now live on the continent, many without proper immigration papers.
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