Somewhere in the region of 9,000 Chinese people live in Northern Ireland – with the great majority of these based in Belfast. This makes the Chinese community the largest ethnic minority in Northern Ireland.
The first Chinese immigrants came from mainly poor, rural backgrounds in China and Hong Kong in the late 50s and early 60s.
These people set up work in the catering trade and its off-shoots, such as Chinese supermarkets.
Living in close-knit communities, they learned little English. However, the children of these 1st Generation Chinese have been brought up in Northern Ireland and are more westernised, primarily due to education.
But both first and second Generation Chinese living in Northern Ireland have seen their social needs neglected against the backdrop of 30-odd years of the Troubles.