The Chinese Immigrants from Wenzhou in France since the 1970s

par Hongyi Ke

Projet de thèse en Histoire

Sous la direction de Philippe Rygiel et de Guang Lin.

Thèses en préparation à Lyon en cotutelle avec l'East China normal university (Shanghai) , dans le cadre de École doctorale Sciences sociales (Lyon) , en partenariat avec Laboratoire de recherche historique Rhône-Alpes (Lyon) (laboratoire) et de École normale supérieure de Lyon (établissement opérateur d'inscription) depuis le 01-10-2019 .


  • Résumé

    In the century since the First World War, Chinese immigrants traveled to France in different periods for seeking a livelihoods or to study in France. During the First World War, most of the Chinese immigrants to France were laborers. At that time, the Chinese government hoped that China would also participate in the First World War in order to obtain more benefits later, but because of the obstruction of the United Kingdom and other western countries, China could not directly send troops to Europe to participate in the First World War, so the Chinese government at that time negotiated with the United Kingdom, France and other countries, and finally reached an agreement to participate in the first World War by sending workers instead of soldiers. Therefore, about 140,000 to 200,000 Chinese workers went to France to help the Triple Entente forces build their fortifications. This is the first large-scale immigration activity from China to France. With the end of the First World War, most of the Chinese workers returned to China, and a small number of people stayed in France to settle. Later, most Chinese who went to France were students under work-study programs. Later, after the founding of New China in 1949 until the 1960s, current research shows that there were no large-scale migration from mainland China to France. In the late 1970s, a large number of immigrants from Wenzhou city began to travel to France on a large scale to start businesses and settle down In order to stay in France, most of these Chinese immigrants applied for refugee asylum to O.F.P.R.A (L¿Office Français de Protection des Réfugiés et Apatrides. However, most applications were to be rejected by O.F.P.R.A.in this period Chinese immigrants are hoping to make money in France. Though O.F.P.R.A rejected the application, the written note of the rejections also means something for the Chinese immigrants, because there are arrival dates of the immigrants, then the most of the Chinese immigrants will then begin a long period of illegal work, during which they have no identity, dare not show their faces, and can only engage in simple physical labor provided by relatives or acquaintances. Then, after the amnesty of 1981, the illegal Chinese immigrants could reappear and go to the government to submit a naturalization application. At this time, their previous written notice of rejection by the O.F.P.R.A would become an important evidence of their stay in France. After illegal residence in France for more than5 years, they were be able to obtain a long-term residence permit during the amnesty. Most of the Chinese immigrants in this period came from Wenzhou City or its surrounding areas. They use a unique dialect which is different from mandarin and have their own social circles. They live in the Place d¿Italie, Belleville and the northern suburbs of Paris and the surrounding areas of Paris, operating restaurants, clothing stores, tobacco shops. As the number of immigrants increased after 1970, the number of Chinese associations also increased. These unions can be mainly divided into fellowships by region, guilds of different businesses, and public welfare groups that help Chinese compatriots to be naturalized or protect women's rights. These immigrants exchange life and economic information through these associations, and hold ¿Cheng Hui¿¿¿¿¿which is a meeting especially for the new immigrants who wanted to start the businesses in France, and the old immigrants would donate some money for the newcomer. In addition, the Chinese community can also serve as an informal venue for dispute resolution, and the leaders of the Chinese communities will come forward to resolve disputes between immigrants. There are also some Chinese language school held by the unions to teach the immigrants¿ children in the weekends. However, due to the rapid quantitative increase of Chinese communities, it has also caused conflicts between Chinese communities. Since these adult refugees may not have obtained the legal residence certificate, their children were naturally in an unidentified state. In some cases, parents of these underage immigrants would place their children at the gates of an orphanage and let them to live in an orphanage for a period of time so that the orphanage can give the child a legal status for future education. Once the child was identified, the parents would return to the orphanage where the child was placed before and re-claiming the child. At present, academic researches on Chinese immigrations in France are mostly concentrated in the field of sociology, involving less history. Even if there are academic works in the field of history, the focus are mostly on the subjects of Chinese workers during the first half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Chinese students, and the activities of the Chinese Communist Party in France. There has been no in-depth historical study of the Chinses immigration from Wenzhou in France since the 1970s.The French governmental archives and the oral historical materials are not fully explored. Therefore, I wish that during the Ph.D. period in ENS Lyon, I will have the opportunity to study the French governmental archives and dig out more oral materials from Chinese immigrants in France, learn more about the French governmental policy on reception and resettlement for Chinese immigrants, also the integration of Chinese immigrants.

  • Titre traduit

    The Chinese Immigrants from Wenzhou in France since the 1970s


  • Pas de résumé disponible.