In the mainstream society, the general view of the Chinese community is that it is homogenous— a group of migrants from China.  But the Chinese population has brought with it the diversity of south-east Asia. Nowadays the Chinese community in Wales is made up of a variety of different generation Chinese immigrants from different places, from different backgrounds, with different standards of education. There are also many British-born and Welsh-born Chinese.

Even though there is little evidence to show who was and when the first Chinese migrant settled in Wales. We believe that Chinese migration to Wales has a history of at least 100 years. The largest influxes came from 1940s to 1970s , mainly from Hong Kong and Guangdong province. A large proportion of Chinese Britons today are the second or third generation of these immigrants. In addition, one of other streams of Chinese migrants is comprised by asylum seekers and illegal migrants. Since 2000, due to China’s astonishing economic development, there are a significantly increasing number of students coming from mainland China to study in universities. Meanwhile, more and more, high skilled and well-educated Chinese from mainland China are settling in Wales.  Nowadays Mandarin has replaced Cantonese as the dominant language used within the Chinese community.

The early year immigrants are aging and the new immigrants are settling and growing.  The needs of this diverse community are complex due to the demographic transition. As a grassroots charity, CIWA provides support to the ethnic Chinese residents, especially the most vulnerable, by breaking language barriers and cultural difference, regardless of age, religion, and background. We promote community cohesion within the Chinese community and bring the ethnic Chinese people from different backgrounds together. We provide services to enable them to integrate into the mainstream society.


  • In 2011 census, the data shows that there were 13,638 people of Chinese origin in Wales, nearly half of these are in Swansea (2,052) and Cardiff (4,168). They make up the third largest ethnic minority group in Wales.
  • The 2011 Census data suggests the largest non-white ethnic group in Swansea is ethnic Chinese ( 0.9% of Swansea’s population)
  • The 2011 census provides data about main language by proficiency in English. It shows that 39% of Mandarin speakers, 40% of Cantonese speakers and 30% of all other Chinese speakers have little or no English-speaking skills.
  • Based on the latest available data, in the second quarter of 2016 the largest groups of asylum seekers in receipt of support under section 95 in Wales were nationals of China (364 people), mainly living in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Wrexham.