Chinese of Romania

Chinese of Romania
Chinezii din România
Total population
2,243 (2002 census)
Regions with significant populations
Chinese, Romanian
Christianity[2] and Atheism.
Related ethnic groups
Overseas Chinese

The Chinese of Romania are one of the smaller minorities of Romania.

Migration history

China and Romania have a history of several decades of economic and cultural exchanges as part of the Communist bloc.[1] Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin lived in Romania for some time and speaks the language.[3] However, mass Chinese migration to the country only began in the 1980s and 1990s, consisting mostly of independent traders.[4] Later, in the early 2000s, as Romania began to suffer labour shortages due to out-migration of its people to western Europe, they imported migrant workers from China as a result.[5]

According to the 2002 census, there were only 2,249 Chinese in Romania.[1] However, popular media give much higher estimates. An International Herald Tribune report in 1998 stated that there were between 10,000 and 40,000 Chinese in the country.[4] A later estimate published by China's official Xinhua News Agency in 2004 also claimed there were as many as 10,000.[6] Romanian newspaper Adevărul stated in 2005 that there were around 4,000 or 5,000, which it also claims is a decrease from the 1990s when there might have been 20,000.[1] Most are men originating from Wenzhou and Henan.[6] Some migrant workers have also come from Jilin and Shandong.[7] They are concentrated in Bucharest, especially in the Colentina area of Sector 2. Most are already married at the time of their arrival, and have children while in Romania, which contributes to the expansion of their population as well.[1]

Business and employment

The China Daily estimated in 2009 that 3,000 of the Chinese in Romania consisted of migrant workers, in the textile, shipbuilding, construction, and agriculture sectors. Due to the global economic downturn, many have lost their jobs and sought the assistance of the Chinese embassy in returning home. As of February 2009, 209 Chinese workers had repatriated, with another 150 to follow.[7] Romania also has some small traders from China, who began flowing into the country as early as 1989. They purchase commodities on credit from state-owned factories in their home provinces and resell them in Romania.[4]

Chinese businesspeople, especially single women, often become the targets of robberies. The thieves show familiarity with their victims' habits and schedules. Chinese media suggest that local criminals are responsible for a rising wave of crime.[8] However, a report from Romanian media claims that much of the crime is due to activities of Chinese mafia who run people smuggling and protection rackets, and that they had murdered more than 20 Chinese between 1993 and 2001.[9]


A Chinese-language newspaper for Chinese migrants in Romania, Chinezii din Romania (旅罗华人报) was established in Bucharest in 1999. As of 2005, it was issued on a weekly basis with 20 pages, and had a circulation of 500.[10] Its editor-in-chief is Li Jianhua (李建华), who has resided in Romania since 1995.[1][11] Besides this one, there are also three other Chinese newspapers in Romania.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Vasiliu, Adrian O.; Vasileanu, Marius; Duţă, Mihai; Covaci, Talida (2005-08-01), "Chinezii din Romania - polul est-european al civilizatiei asiatice/Chinese in Romania - Eastern European pole of Asian civilisation",  
  2. ^ Nagy, Dorottya (2006), "Chinese Christian Community in Bucharest (Romania): A Missiological Approach to the Ecclesiogenesis", in Kumar, P. Pratap, Religious Pluralism in the Diaspora, International Studies in Religion and Society, Brill, pp. 33–50,  
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c Green, Peter S. (1998-12-26), "Chinese Find Romania No Land of Gold", International Herald Tribune, retrieved 2009-04-07 
  5. ^ Clej, Petru (2007-01-25), "Chinese in Romanian job protest", BBC News, retrieved 2009-04-07 
  6. ^ a b Gao, Ying (2004-12-01), "旅居罗马尼亚华人约有一万 当地姑娘爱嫁中国男人", Xinhua News, retrieved 2009-04-07 
  7. ^ a b "Chinese workers in Romania seek help", China Daily, 2009-02-18, retrieved 2009-04-07 
  8. ^ "一个月内多华商被抢 罗马尼亚华人忧心治安恶化/Many robberies of Chinese businesses in last month; Chinese people worry Romania's public safety deteriorating", Sohu News, retrieved 2009-04-07 
  9. ^ Candea, Stefan (2001-06-05), "The Chinese Mafia in Romania Enlarged Due to a New Group", Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism, retrieved 2009-04-07 
  10. ^ "罗马尼亚《旅罗华人》", Guangdong Overseas Chinese Affairs Web, 2005-09-09, retrieved 2009-04-07 
  11. ^ Liu, Xin (2008-09-28), "罗马尼亚《旅罗华人报》社长李建华/Head of Romania's Chinezii din Romania paper Li Jianhua",, retrieved 2009-04-07 
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