Li Anshan : A History of Overseas Chinese in Africa to 1911
Li Anshan’s History of Overseas Chinese in Africa to 1911 (New York: Diasporic Africa Press, 2012)
This book explores early Chinese knowledge of and contacts with Africa through Chinese literature on Africa and current archeological
evidence, suggesting Sino-African trade existed as early as the seventh century. Li provides readers with an uncomplicated history of
Chinese in Africa, examining their story from multiple perspectives, using approaches and sources found in economic history, social
history, international relations, and migration in world history. While Li maintains the first group of Chinese were prisoners brought by the Dutch from Southeast Asia in the seventeenth century, the vast majority of early Chinese in Africa were free immigrants and contract labors that established key communities and organizations. It is these early Chinese which laid foundations for and provide important context in interpreting the recent flow of Chinese migrants and capital into various parts of Africa. The book should be of value to African and world historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and students of African and Asian studies.