Life drains from Little Africa as China dream fades for its fortune seekersGuangzhou is what used to be Canton, right? But is it still “Cantonese cuisine?” Or is it now “Guangzhouese cuisine?” But I can’t pronounce that.
Dealmakers from Lagos to Luanda continue to descend but economic shifts and xenophobia causes exodus of African migrants
Tom Phillips in Guangzhou
Wed 7 Feb 2018 21.00 EST Last modified on Wed 7 Feb 2018 21.23 ESTHuh? “Man-catchers”? What are those?
… For at least 20 years dealmakers and dreamers from across Africa have been flocking to the area around Dengfeng village, an inner-city trading hub that teems with factory outlets hawking every conceivable made-in-China product, from prayer-mats and popcorn machines to police uniforms and political propaganda.
At its peak, about a decade ago, tens of thousands of Africans reputedly lived here, all hoping to repatriate a slice of the economic miracle that has made China the second largest economy on earth. Baohan Street, Little Africa’s main drag, buzzed with Malian merchants and snappily dressed Congolese sapeurs. “You would feel you were in Africa,” reminisced Moustapha Dieng, the leader of Guangzhou’s Senegalese community, whose office overlooks the place some locals call “Chocolate City”.
In recent years though the life has started to drain from Little Africa as Chinese authorities tightened visa rules and cracked down on overstayers amidst a surge in xenophobia some blame on President Xi Jinping’s increasingly jingoistic tone. Today, a Chinese flag and troops brandishing automatic weapons and claw-like man-catchers keep watch over the community’s recently re-urbanised main square.
I guess “man-catchers” are what the guys on the ends are holding:
The British cops could use a man-catchers:
… Dieng, who arrived in 2003, said the number of permanent Senegalese residents had halved over the last decade to about 150 now. The Malian and Congolese communities had seen similar drops. “Before it was Africa City. Now it is Africa Village,” he joked.Commenter Paul Rise observes:
The Chinese ICE guys on the African Village beat have it pretty rough, like those cops in War on Everyone looking for the black guy in Iceland: