China is regularly either #1 or #2 in the number of international students in Brittany, typically over a thousand every year.
This is because there is a structured, long-term relationship between Brittany and China. Rennes was the first city in France to welcome Chinese students in 1965 and for instance the exchanges between the region and the province of Shandong started formally in 1985. This lead to a number of exchanges between the schools and universities of both regions. Thus Rennes started to cooperate with Jinan in 1985 and both cities officially became twin cities in 2002.
Since there are so many Chinese students and the cultural gap with Brittany is wide, it is often difficult for them to connect with the Breton community and too easy to remain within a Chinese group. There are many ways to overcome this difficulty, though.
Several Breton cities have Chinese twin cities, Brest with Qingdao since 2005, Saint Nazaire with Haikou since 1992, Qimper with Yantai…
A number of institutions are involved in activities:
- Bretagne Commerce International
- The Confucius Institute of Brittany, in Rennes and Brest, and the Confucius Institute of Nantes (Rezé)
- The Atlantique Nantes Chine association
- The Rennes-Chine association
- The Franco-Chinese association in Morbihan
- The Bretagne-Chine association in Saint Malo
- The China club of the World Trade Center Nantes Atlantique
- There used to be a Breton association in Beijing, Zhong Breizh, now apparently inactive (to be reanimated?)
Mandarin Chinese being increasingly taught in higher education and high school in Brittany, there is also a number of organizations or student associations involved there, such as Xiongmao at the UBO in Brest.
Until 2018, students at Sciences-Po Rennes organized the Open Bretagne-Chine every year.
Chinese people who live in Brittany have also started businesses related to China, in tourism or translations for instance.
There are no local groups of Bretons From China yet.