Saturday, February 21, 2015

Chinese influence growing in Mexico



It was an unexpected sight in a desert city on the northern border of Mexico. One recent Sunday, children were pouring out of a school classroom into a hall hung with fringed lanterns and calling out to one another in Mandarin and Cantonese. Others were preparing decorations in another room for this month’s Chinese New Year celebrations.

Outside, restaurants lining the dusty streets displayed signs in Spanish, English and Chinese.

This is Mexicali, home to the largest Chinese community in Mexico and one of the largest in Latin America. It is the face of a new era in Mexico’s relationship with the emerging superpower across the Pacific Ocean.

“People say that Mexicali was founded by Chinese about a hundred years ago,” said Anna Yu, 39, a language teacher at the school.

Yu came to Mexicali from China about 10 years ago to join family who had settled there. “I heard Mexicali was famous for a community like this,” she said.

Since then, she has married a Mexican, learned Spanish and taught her husband Mandarin.

Yu is one of an estimated 20,000 people of Chinese descent living in Mexicali. The school where she teaches is housed in the Asociación China de Mexicali and exists to teach language, writing and history to younger generations in an effort to keep Chinese culture alive.

Chinese immigration to Mexico is rising rapidly. The 4,743 Chinese who arrived in 2013 made up the second-largest group of immigrants after the 12,000-odd Americans who were granted permanent residency.

Mexico is also seen as a prime destination for Chinese foreign investment, thanks to its abundance of natural resources and proximity to the U.S.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

China a threat to Mexican Artisans

China overwhelms craft production and invades the whole country

La Jornada
Monday February 16, 2015, p. 35

Heirs of ancient techniques and preservers of customs and rituals of the people, artisans are overwhelmed by Asian competition. Wooden toys, guitars, hats, embroidered blouses, figures typical Mexican ceramics, now have the seal made in China and they invade traditional artisans of Michoacan, Jalisco, Chiapas, Mexico State, Puebla, Campeche, Guerrero, even the shopping area Villa de Guadalupe.

There is a decline of artisans from lack of support, have made us a decorative and promotional object; extinguiéndonos are said Socorro Oropeza, leader of the National Union of Producers Craft Coyolxauhqui, which groups 15 000 artisans from 23 entities, mostly peasants without land.


He said that 18 small companies have disappeared that were affiliated for 12 years of fighting for the preservation of this activity, and-most women who continue to exceed 45 years engaged in other activities because "there is no market for handicrafts. Shoppers want low prices, do not care quality: the Mexican flag, made in China, costs 2.50 pesos and hundreds of small shops have disappeared in the center of the capital and the state of Mexico

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Exhibit remembers Chinese massacre

300 immigrants were killed in Torreón in 1911 because of racial intolerance


Mexico has dealt a couple of blows to the Chinese in the past few months, but it wasn’t the first time.

It was in May 1911 that the army massacred at least 300 Chinese immigrants in Torreón — half the Chinese population, a slaughter that has since been blamed on racial intolerance and hatred.

Like some other Mexican massacres, it was also covered up.

But an uncovering is taking place this week in Mexico City in the form of an exhibition entitled “303: the Chinese massacre in Torreón,” a collection of photos, documents and video that focus on a historical event that doesn’t appear in any history texts.

It took place during the height of the revolution, when Francisco Madero’s army took control of the city. By three o’clock in the afternoon of May 15 the streets were covered in bodies.

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