The Chinese in South Asia by Zhang Xing and Tansen Sen
Source: Tan Chee-Beng (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Diaspora
The emergence of Chinese communities in South Asia (pre-colonial India and Ceylon/Sri Lanka) was linked to the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Chinese migrations to various parts of Asia, particularly to Southeast Asia. Population pressures, domestic turmoil, and the formation of colonial commercial and labor networks that triggered the migration of the Chinese to the ports and cities in the Malay Archipelago also contributed to the emergence of Chinese settlements in Calcutta (today officially Kolkata), Bombay (today officially Mumbai), Karachi, and Colombo. The patterns of Chinese migrations to South Asia and the experiences of these Chinese commu- nities were in many ways similar to those in Southeast Asia. Most of the early migrants, for example, originated from the southern coastal regions of China.