The story of Chinese capital and migration in South Africa is one of contradictions — of state-driven capital flows and South-South diplomacy, and of Chinese entrepreneurial migrants and their reliance on precarious African migrant labor. Toward illustrating the contradictory facets of this geopolitical phenomenon, this essay juxtaposes the conjuring of transnational Chinese financial capital at Johannesburg’s premier airport with a story of a murder of a Chinese trader by an African employee. “China’s rise” in the Global South presents new frontiers for global capital and a new color line of racialized labor.

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