Guanzhou, China (A.W.)—The Armenian community of China, commonly known as ChinaHay, organized numerous gatherings across China on April 24, including in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
“Hundreds of Armenian survivors from across the Ottoman Empire escaped eastward across the Caucasus and Russia, seeking refuge in China. They not only rebuilt their lives, but reconstituted community life and built a church (Harbin) and community centers in different cities. They established a relief association, youth groups, Armenian language and history classes, and a choir,” said Dr. Khatchig Mouradian, a genocide scholar whose research has also focused on the Armenian communities in China in the 19th and 20th centuries.
“It is particularly moving that 101 years after the genocide, Armenians in some of these very same cities held commemoration events on April 24,” he added.
Small yet vibrant Armenian communities existed primarily in Harbin, Shanghai, Manzhouli, Tientsin, and Hong Kong from the late-19th to the mid-20th centuries. Most Armenians left for the Americas or for Soviet Armenia by the 1950’s. Today’s Armenian community in China is only a few decades old, and is primarily comprised of professionals and business people from the Middle East and North America, as well as university students from Armenia and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, noted Mouradian.