Marriage Immigration and Illegality in China’s Ethnic Borders

  • Elena BarabantsevaEmail author


Barabantseva examines the relationship between marriage migration and illegality in the context of China’s ethnically diverse Southwestern border. She traces the effects of the changing socio-political and economic developments on the state governing practices of customary Yao ethnic marriages across the Sino-Vietnamese border. In order to understand how and why the status of the earlier accepted forms of undocumented ethnic marriages changed from ‘common’ (shishi) to ‘illegal’ (feifa) marriages, the analysis looks to the shifting state discourses on marriage migration in Asia, biopolitical concerns about population security in China, and regional iterations of the global anti-human trafficking campaigns. The chapter shows how state bordering practices permeate the private sphere and transform common ethnic marriage partners into illegal migrants.


Migration Marriage Border Ethnicity Illegality China Vietnam 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ManchesterManchesterUK

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