China is today facing rapid economic development and the long-term implications of
China’s rise for European economy, society and culture, are constantly debated but still almost unknown.
Moreover, only recently a new volume edited by Kunzmann has clearly pointed out a particular field of research like the EU spatial impact of China’s convergence in the global market.
The aim of the present paper is to deal with the spatial issues related to the growing Chinese communities, especially in Italy, that are part of a more general and considerable transformation process of the traditional Chinese enclaves in EU cities: from recognizable “Chinatowns” to new hybrid urban formations where housing, retail, wholesale and even commodity production often tend to match.
Key-Concepts like rise, fragmentation, infringement and fear are useful in analysing some of the more controversial socio-economic dynamics of Chinese clusters especially in a traditionally manufactured-based country like Italy, where it’s recognizable a unique paradox of a “double competition” from outside and from inside. This statement poses a serious threat to local economic systems in terms of sustainability and social cohesion, making it necessary to rethink the role and the
nature of public action in facing new forms of marginality at urban and regional level.