China and Southeast Asia's Ethnic Chinese: State and Diaspora in Contemporary Asia

China and Southeast Asia's Ethnic Chinese: State and Diaspora in Contemporary Asia

China and Southeast Asia's Ethnic Chinese: State and Diaspora in Contemporary Asia

China and Southeast Asia's Ethnic Chinese: State and Diaspora in Contemporary Asia

Synopsis

Bolt uses the relationship between China and Southeast Asia's ethnic Chinese as a case study, and he focuses on the potential role of a diaspora in the economic and political development of its "homeland" as well as the role of the state in dealing with transnational economic actors.

Excerpt

This chapter examines the international implications of both China's policies to attract economic contributions from ethnic Chinese and the investments of ethnic Chinese in China, with a primary focus on Southeast Asian Chinese. in terms of the diaspora triangle described in the first chapter, connections will be drawn from the first leg of the triangle (China's relationship with the, ethnic Chinese) to the second and third legs (the relationship of ethnic Chinese to the states of Southeast Asia and the relationship of China to Southeast Asia).

More specifically, ethnic Chinese investments in China highlight the long-standing issue of the place of Chinese in Southeast Asia. While ethnic Chinese insist that they belong in Southeast Asia and their transactions with China are primarily economic, others raise questions as to their motivations and loyalties. At the same time, ethnic Chinese investments impact state-to-state relations between China and the countries of Southeast Asia in a complex manner. On the one hand, Southeast Asian states fear that China will siphon off investments from their own economies. They are also concerned about growing Chinese power in the region. On the other hand, Southeast Asia is eager to benefit from China's economic growth and peacefully tie China to the region's economy.

The chapter is divided into four sections. the first examines fears, justified or exaggerated, in Southeast Asia regarding China and the ethnic Chinese. These concerns center around potential Chinese ambitions as a great power, the destabilizing influence of an ethnic minority in whose hands are concentrated large proportions of national wealth, and competition from China in attracting investments. the second part looks at the difficulties ethnic Chinese face in Southeast Asia. the third section analyzes how renewed interest in Chinay . . .

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