Well, add Algeria to the list (the ever-growing list of countries where anti-Chinese sentiment is high: Zambia, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Namibia, Angola, Kenya....). Reports from Afrik.com suggest growing xenophobia against Chinese is now escalating in Algeria, where job seekers are blaming the country's growing unemployment rate on the increased number of emigrants living in the country and working for meager pay:
In July, an al-Qaeda-linked group threatened to target Chinese workers in north Africa, following June 26 Mass factory brawl between Han Chinese and Muslim Uighurs in southern China, where hundreds were killed. In response to the report, the Chinese embassy in Algiers urged all 50,000 Chinese who live and work in Algeria to be more aware of safety precautions.
Unfortunately such outbursts are popping up all over the place. In Zambia, the 2006 presidential election effectively turned on the Chinese presence, with opposition candidate Michael Sata vowing to expel all Chinese workers if elected. While he ended up losing the presidential seat, he did win in Lusaka and the Copperbelt - the two regions where the Chinese presence is most pronounced. Similar (albeit not political) dissatisfaction erupted in Lesotho last year, when rioters began attacking Chinese businesses; in Namibia this year with increased worker casualties; in Kenya, as the unemployment rate soars... And the beat goes on.
I'm inclined to suggest that such outbursts are not anti-Chinese outbursts per se, but rather symptoms of a much greater problem. With increased poverty, unemployment, a general lack of functioning institutions, it should come as little surprise that Africans are angry with those who appear to be exacerbating these pre-existing realities. There are, of course, serious concerns surrounding Chinese hiring practices for which the Chinese alone are responsible; at the same time, it seems that the burden of rising unemployment rests as much with African governments as it does with Chinese workers. Many governments have yet to implement policies regulating Chinese (or foreign more generally) entrepreneurship, or ones which might genuinely stimulate domestic economic activity. The underlying problem of all this xenophobia may indeed not be the Chinese themselves, but rather poor institutional environments with little opportunity for economic mobility and governments which are seemingly doing little about it. Indeed, it seems that there is more than just one issue at play here.