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ISSN : 1229-9618(Print)
ISSN : 2671-7506(Online)
Chinese Studies Vol.74 pp.319-343

A Study on the Background and Status of Overseas Chinese in Latin America in the 19th Century

Kim Dong-Ha
부산외국어대학교 중국학부


Unlike Asia, which borders China on land and sea, Latin America was not physically a distance that could be easily crossed from China's Guangdong and Fujian provinces. Therefore, economic and social conditions could not be created for Chinese individuals to immigrate freely to Latin America in the 19th century or earlier. The first Chinese in Latin America is believed to be Chinese who immigrated from the Philippines, which was colonized by Spain from the late 16th century to the early 19th century. The full-fledged Chinese transmission to Latin America is attributable to the Coolie trade. The first phase(1800-1874) was the abolition of slavery, which replaced the necessary manpower in plantations by Coolie, who became the first generation of Overseas Chinese in Latin America. In the second phase(1874–1949), legal immigration to Latin America diversified after the abolition of the ‘Debtor Chinese Worker System(1874)’, which was an unequal contract. Chinese people who started out as coolies will start their own businesses as cooks, barbers, and tailor. With the establishment of the ‘Zong Li Ya Men’ as Foreign Ministry in Qing Dynasty(1861), and the establishment of a consulate in Cuba in 1879, Chinese began to be protected. The third phase(1949 –2000) is a period of ‘localization’ of Overseas Chinese in Latin America. In 2019, there are 2.27 million Overseas Chinese in Latin America, which is 4.6% of the total population of Overseas Chinese around the world.

19세기 중남미 지역 화교 생성 배경과 특성


최초 중남미 화교는 16C후반~19C초까지 스페인이 식민 지배하던 필리핀에서 재이주한 중국인으로 판단된다. 중남미에 본격적으로 화교가 송출된 것은 쿨리(화공) 무역에 기인한다. 1단계(1800~1874)는 노예제도 폐지로 서구 열강이 플랜테이션에서 필요한 인력을 화공으로 대체하였고, 이들은 중남미 화교 1세대가 된다. 2단계(187 4~1949)에서는 불평등 계약이었던 ‘채무화공’ 제도가 폐지(1874)되면서, 합법적인 중남미 이민이 다양화 되었다. 쿨리로 시작했던 화교들은 요리·이발·재단사로 창업하게 된다. 총리아문이 설치(1861)되고, 1879년 쿠바에 영사관이 설치되면서 화교들도 보호를 받기 시작했다. 3단계(1949~2000)는 중남미 화교들의 ‘현지화’ 시기이다. 2019 년 중남미에는 227만명의 화교가 있고, 이는 전 세계 화교 중 4.6% 수준이다.