Sent by the Chinese government on medical missions, Chinese female ob-gyns have served in rural and small-town public hospitals in Algeria and Morocco for more than fifty years. Yet little is known about the medical encounters or how the ob-gyns perceived patients and their health cultures. Drawing on untapped Chinese medical-mission literature, this article shows that the ob-gyns have since the 1980s constructed certain images of North African women as an inferior other, either reckless biological reproducers or incompetent health providers. In their criticisms of reproductive practices and female professionalism, they viewed local health policies and institutions through the prisms of modern obstetrics and Chinese gender rhetoric and ultimately bolstered their professional status at home in China. The article also suggests that while the ob-gyns were not attached to a hard-power colonial state apparatus, they retained considerable situational power over their patients.

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