GUANGZHOU : The Ghanaian university student was roused after midnight by police shouting and pounding on his door in the Southern Chinese city of Guangzhou -

Where a crackdown on illegal immigration has left many residents of its ''Little Africa''  neighborhood feeling scared and angry.

After demanding to see his visa, the agents carefully checked his papers before leaving to knock on other doors.

The commercial hub has long been a magnet, for fortune-seeking Africans, but traders and students  say they face unfavorable visa rules and increasingly heavy policing.

''They do this because Africans live here,'' the Ghanaian student said as he stood on a pedestrian bridge in the bustling city, still upset after last summer's after-dark visit.

''I was sick of being treated like a criminal. I had to move to another neighborhood,'' he said, gesturing at a nearby police station and lamenting the omnipresent security had made life more complicated.

Migration from Africa has risen in recent years as China has stepped up its diplomatic links and investments with the continent.

Guangzhou draws  merchants who come to buy goods such as jewellery and electronics in bulk, which they ship back to their homelands.

But in January, the official Xinhua news agency reported that the African population in Guangzhou had decreased as ''police have tightened enforcement on illegal immigration.''

There are now 15,000 Africans living in the city compared to 20,000 in 2009. but  ''the real number, including illegal immigrants and overstayers, is believed to have been much higher,'' the report said.

Estimates from Chinese researchers have put the actual number of residents at over 150,000, making Guangzhou home to the largest African community in Asia.

The publishing of latest  Operational Research on the state of the world and immigration continues to Part 2.


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