China's Views On Race Changing With Expanded International Ties

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From the NY Times:

With trade and commerce drawing ever larger numbers of foreigners to China’s cities, tensions have become more common in a country of little racial diversity. This summer, African immigrants, mostly traders and merchants, who make up a growing enclave in the city of Guangzhou, protested police harassment.

And in a well-publicized cultural moment, a 20-year-old Shanghainese contestant named Lou Jing, who appeared on the Chinese “Idol”-like talent show, caused a national debate (and drew racist attacks on the Internet) about what it means to be Chinese. Lou, the daughter of a Chinese woman and an African-American man, whom she has not met, considers herself completely Chinese.

As China expands economic ties with the rest of the world — including Africa, where it has considerable investments — how might increased immigration alter Chinese perceptions of race? How has the society historically dealt with ethnic differences?

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