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Human Rights & Social Issues

Would increasing Interracial Marriages help boost China’s rise?

Mr. Zou Qian-shun and his wife Ms. Sandra Made (from Cameroon) married in 2017 and are now living with their son in Liaoning, China (picture clip from Aljazeera Video).

“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.”

Aljazeera News reported on Sept 3 that “one of the consequences is a new generation of mixed race children.”

At least two reasons account for this phenomenon.

Firstly, there is an imbalanced gender “ratio of 104.81 males for every 100 females” in China, according to the data released by National Bureau of Statistics on Jan 18, 2018. “

Men outnumbered women by 32.66 million on the Chinese mainland. In other words, millions of men have a headache of finding a wife.

Secondly, many more Chinese people are learning various languages other than English. “There has also been an explosion in the study of Spanish — spoken in many Latin American nations — with about 20,000 Chinese undergraduates in 2016 choosing the language, up from just 500 in 1999, according to official figures …

Many of China’s Portuguese graduates still end up in African countries such as Angola, Mozambique or Cape Verde, where Beijing has a well-established presence. But as Beijing’s Latin American footprint grows, they are increasingly looking further west (to Brazil).” With the capability of communicating with other races, inter-racial marriages of course are more likely to happen.

With reference to some historical studies, around 500,000 inter-racial marriages between Chinese men (mostly from Guangdong province) and non-Asian women took place in the 19th to 20th centuries. Compared to the Chinese population size, it was a tiny number. Yet, when more northern Chinese become more open to interracial marriage, the impact can be huge.

Although the biological benefits and disadvantages of interracial marriages are inconclusive by now — some saying the consequences of greater genetic diversity are good for mind and health whereas some saying it causes many behavior problems — it seems that, with reference to the European and American experiences, it is better than worse.

Perhaps, what is more important is cultural mixing. It may take some time to overcome the barriers but in longer term, the more such kind of exchange is, the better mutual understanding between different nations will be.

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.

About keith K C Hui

Keith K C Hui is a Chinese University of Hong Kong graduate major in Government and Public Administration and the author of "Helmsman Ruler: China's Pragmatic Version of Plato's Ideal Political Succession System In The Republic" (2013).

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