Chinese Associations in Zambia


Chinese associations are crucial in facilitating business and, in particular, political ties between China and Zambia. They function as intermediaries between individuals, the embassy and local society and actively participate in Beijing’s political outreach.

The idea for a China Association was first discussed at a dinner at the Thatched House Club in London on March 4, 1889. The Association was formally constituted in April 1889.


In the mid-1800s, thousands of Chinese men migrated to America, seeking jobs in gold mines and coastal fisheries. They came with little to no resources and were often subjected to extreme racism and discrimination. Family associations, modeled after China’s huiguen system, were established to support members’ economic and social needs.

The Association lobbied the British government on behalf of its members regarding commercial grievances in China, often working with the Foreign Office and local Chambers of Commerce. It also produced quarterly summaries of Chinese domestic and international affairs and provided translations of the Chinese press.

In 1973, CCBA was the founding chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA). The Association continues to promote the general welfare of the community through fund raising efforts and its involvement in disaster relief, enhancing senior and adult lives, and supporting youth education. The Association also supports research on modern Chinese history and sponsors a number of symposia at the annual meetings of the Historical Society for Twentieth-Century China and the American Historical Association.


The Association was formed in response to a growing demand in the mercantile community for a body that would deal exclusively with Anglo-Chinese affairs. It was the first incorporated body of its kind to be set up in Britain. It became the recognised representative of British trade interests in China, Hong Kong and Japan.

The organisation was also the intermediary between individual Chinese, local society and the Chinese embassy. In doing so, it facilitated the commercial and cultural relations between Zambia and China. This was accomplished through the sponsorship of social and cultural events, as well as through philanthropy. In doing so it also bridged cultural discrepancies, providing a platform for unity amongst members and introducing Chinese culture to the local community. Furthermore, it provided a platform for political activism by fighting anti-Chinese sentiment in society and supporting the broader community of Chinese in Zambia. This role is largely overlooked in previous studies of overseas Chinese associations.


A CSA membership helps you to develop your professional career through mentoring, collaboration in research and application, education, consulting and profession service. Members are expected to contribute and participate in community service.

Membership allows you to network with other Chinese American nurses and provides clinical, academic and management support. Many CSA members say their choice to join their society has positively impacted their career after graduation.

The China Association was formally constituted at a meeting held on 11 April 1889, and chaired initially by Sir Alfred Dent. It was established to meet a growing demand for a body exclusively concerned with Anglo-Chinese affairs. The China Association acted as an intermediary between British commercial interests in China and the government in Beijing. It produced quarterly summaries of Chinese domestic and foreign affairs, translations of the Chinese press and represented British merchants’ concerns over trade conditions in China. It also founded the Incorporated School of Practical Chinese.


After the Civil Rights Act and Immigration and Nationality Act brought Chinese Americans more into parity with other ethnic groups, a new need emerged to organize for social justice, civil rights, economic opportunities. The CCBA was one of those organizations.

Today ACA continues to provide its members with opportunities for learning and cultural enrichment, such as the Chinese Language and Culture Center and weekly language tables. ACA also helps to promote awareness of the importance of Chinese heritage and plays an advocacy role in legislation that affects the community.

One of ACA’s major goals is to own and operate a community center that will embody the spirit of ACA and serve as a home away from home for the Chinese/Asian community in our region. The center will be a gathering place for cultural activities and to celebrate the diversity of the Chinese/Asian community. It will be a place that will be open to the entire community.

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