Oxford Dictionaries defines it as a district of any non-Asian town, especially a city or seaport, in which the population is predominantly of Chinese origin. Some Chinatowns are in fact pan-Asian, meaning they could also be counted as a Koreatown or Little India. Emigration to other parts of the world from China accelerated in the 1860s.
About Chinatown in brief
A Chinatown is an ethnic enclave of Chinese people located outside mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan. Oxford Dictionaries defines it as a district of any non-Asian town, especially a city or seaport, in which the population is predominantly of Chinese origin. Some Chinatowns are in fact pan-Asian, meaning they could also be counted as a Koreatown or Little India. Emigration to other parts of the world from China accelerated in the 1860s with the signing of the Treaty of Peking, which opened China’s borders to free movement. As conditions in China have improved in recent decades, many Chinatowns have lost their initial mission, which was to provide a transitional place into a new culture. In some cities in Spain, the term barrio chino denotes an area, neighborhood or district where prostitution or other businesses related to the sex industry are concentrated; i.e. a red-light district. Those Asian Chinatowns, although not yet called by that name, have a long history, although they have not yet been called Chinatowns. Those Chinese settlements in Southeast Asia of the 16th century, according to He’s travel accounts, had a large number of Chinese population. They settled down at port towns under European colonial authority for trading. After the European colonial powers seized and ruled the port towns, Chinese traders and colonists, created autonomic settlements and created Chinatowns in Jakarta, Glodhok and Bao Vinh, all in central Vietnam. Those in Japan, Kobe, Yokohama, Kobe and Yokosuka have long existed, although those in Nagasaki and Yokoyama, Japan, were not yet known as Chinatowns at the time of their establishment in the 19th century.
The term has been used to refer to areas of Chinatowns across the world, including Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Middle East. It can also refer to Chinese ethnoburbs which by definition are suburban ethnic clusters of residential areas and business districts in large metropolitan areas where the intended purpose is to be as isolated from the white population as Hispanics. This contrasts with narrower definitions, where the term only described Chinatown in a city setting. Some of these Chinatowns may have little to do with China, such as Asiatown in Cleveland, Ohio, which acts as a unifying factor for the Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Nepalese and Thai communities of Cleveland. As net migration has slowed into them, the smaller Chinatowns have slowly decayed, often to the point of becoming purely historical and no longer serving as ethnic enclaves. A more modern example, in Montville, Connecticut, was caused by the displacement of Chinese workers in the Manhattan Chinatown following the September 11th attacks in 2001. It was initially referred to as a Chinatown but was subsequently renamed due to the influx of non-Chinese Asian Americans who opened businesses there.