Interracial marriages on the rise in China

Mixed-race marriages still uncommon enough in China to evoke curiosity, but increasing African ties are boosting numbers.

    Interracial marriages between Chinese and Africans are on the rise as a direct result from China's increasing investment in, and trade with, Africa .

    More than a million Chinese migrants now work and live on the African continent, while the number of Africans in China is thought to be around half that. 

    But those mixed marriages are still a novelty.

    In the 70s, there were no interracial marriages registered in the country, according to government figures.

    Public displays of affection were inconceivable, and marrying a foreigner extremely difficult. 

    "Forty years ago it was all but impossible for a foreign man or woman to live in China, let alone marry a Chinese," Al Jazeera's Adrian Brown reported.

    "But today, marriages like this are no longer exceptional... marrying a foreigner is no longer regarded as marrying down in the way it perhaps once was here," he added.

    Sandra Made, from Cameroon, and Zou Qianshun married in 2017 after returning to his village near Dandong in north east China.

    And as their marriage still remains a curiosity, they have decided to stream their day-to-day lives on social media.

    The stream can be a profitable business; in a good month they can make $1,000 in advertising revenue.

    "I adore China. Everyone is envious of me. Everyone likes to see me happy. Everyone likes to see me dancing... they are all my friends. I am missing nothing," Made said.

    China's relationship with Africa

    China's economic courtship of Africa began twenty years ago, and one of the consequences is a new generation of mixed race children.

    "Nowadays there are more and more international marriages in China, even some of [my] friends also married foreigners," Qianshun explains.

    "Chinese have become more accepting to intermarriage," he added.

    However, it has not been easy for the couple. At the start Qianshun's parents were not accepting.

    "How can Chinese marry a black woman? She can leave at any time. That's why at the beginning, both my husband and I said NO to this marriage," Zhao Fu Qing, Qianshun's mum, explained.

    But their will prevailed, and now they form a family with one child.

    For many African's in China, the weather has also represented a challenge, as winters are harsh with the temperature dropping to minus 20C in some parts.

    But the couple has succeeded, and today Made is popular on social media, having mastered enough Mandarin to thank her followers in songs.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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