There is a small ethnic Chinese community in Belgium, compared to neighbouring Netherlands and France. The population is still small in size due to the necessity to be fluent in at least the two languages and also transportation factors, so most Chinese emigrants still choose the neighbouring countries.
Single male sailors who wished to reestablish their lives in a foreign country made up the first Chinese living in Belgium. Beginning in the 1950s people from the New Territories of Hong Kong began to settle Europe. They moved due to a lack of jobs in Hong Kong and political developments in Mainland China. Chinese people arrived until the end of the 1960s.
As of 1994 Belgium had 3,463 persons with Mainland Chinese citizenship, including 1,788 females and 1,675 males; and 489 persons with Republic of China (Taiwan) citizenship, including (278 females and 115 males). However, as of 1998 most Chinese in Belgium originated in Hong Kong. Prior to 1997 were counted as "British" when they arrived, and by 1998 many had naturalized as Belgian citizens. Therefore, they were not counted as ethnic Chinese people living in Belgium. Pang Ching Lin (彭靜蓮, Pinyin: Péng Jìnglián), author of "Invisible Visibility: Intergenerational Transfer of Identity and Social Position of Chinese Women in Belgium," stated that therefore there is a lack of records specifically tracking Chinese people, and therefore there is an element of invisibility.
There are multiple Chinese organisations in Belgium, but they do not regularly cooperate with one another. They sometimes cooperate during some political events supported by the Mainland Chinese government and during the Mid-Autumn Festival and the Chinese New Year.
Belgium–China relations began in the early 1970s about 20 years after mainland China came under communist rule.Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese (traditional Chinese: 海外華人/海外中國人; simplified Chinese: 海外华人/海外中国人; pinyin: Hǎiwài Huárén/Hǎiwài Zhōngguórén) are people of ethnic Chinese birth or descent who reside outside the territories of Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Although a vast majority are Han Chinese, the group represents virtually all ethnic groups in China.
1 An overseas department of France in the western Indian Ocean. See also: Hong Kong Diaspora
* Guyana and Suriname are physically in South America but are culturally a part of the Caribbean.