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Vol. 1 (2003) through current issue
Published thrice yearly in April, August, and November by Singapore's East Asian Institute, China: An International Journal focuses on contemporary China, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, covering the fields of politics, economics, society, geography, law, culture and international relations.
The interactions and mutual perceptions of China and Indonesia were a significant element in Asia's postcolonial transformation, but as result of the prevailing emphasis on diplomatic and political relations within a Cold War and nation-state framework, their multi-dimensional interrelationship and its complex domestic ramifications have escaped scholarly scrutiny. China and the Shaping of Indonesia provides a meticulous account of versatile interplay between knowledge, power, ethnicity, and diplomacy in the context of Sino-Indonesian interactions between 1949 and 1965. Taking a transnational approach that views Asia as a flexible geographical and political construct, this book addresses three central questions. First, what images of China were prevalent in Indonesia, and how were narratives about China construed and reconstructed? Second, why did the China Metaphor -- the projection of an imagined foreign land onto the local intellectural and political milieu -- become central to Indonesians' conception of themselves and a cause for self criticism and rediscovery? Third, how was the China Metaphor incorporated into Indonesia's domestic politics and culture, and how did it affect the postcolonial transformation, the fate of the ethnic Chinese minority, and Sino-Indonesian diplomacy? Employing a wide range of hitherto untapped primary materials in Indonesian and Chinese as well as his own interviews, Hong Liu presents a compelling argument that many influential politicians and intellectuals, among them Sukarno, Hatta, and Pramoedya, utilized China as an alternative model of modernity in conceiving and developing projects of social engineering, cultural regeneration and political restructuring that helped shape the trajectory of modern Indonesia. The multiplicity of China thus constituted a site of political contestations and intellectual imaginations. The study is a major contribution both to the intellectual and political history of Indonesia and to the reconceptualization of Asian studies, it also serves as a timely reminder of the importance of historicizing China's rising soft power in a transnational Asia.
A Preliminary Survey of the Maritime Expansion and Naval Exploits of the Chinese People During the Southern Song and Yuan Periods
Lo Jung-pang (1912‒81) was a renowned professor of Chinese history at the University of California at Davis. In 1957 he completed a 600-page typed manuscript entitled China as a Sea Power, 1127‒1368, but he died without arranging for the book to be published. Bruce Elleman found the manuscript in the UC Davis archives in 2004, and with the support of Dr Lo’s family prepared an edited version of the manuscript for publication.Lo Jung-pang argues that during each of the three periods when imperial China embarked on maritime enterprises (the Qin and Han dynasties, the Sui and early Tang dynasties, and the Song, Yuan, and early Ming dynasties), coastal states took the initiative at a time when China was divided, maritime trade and exploration peaked when China was strong and unified, and then declined as Chinese power weakened. At such times, China’s people became absorbed by internal affairs, and state policy focused on threats from the north and the west. These cycles of maritime activity, each lasting roughly five hundred years, corresponded with cycles of cohesion and division, strength and weakness, prosperity and impoverishment, expansion and contraction.In the early 21st century, a strong and outward looking China is again building up its navy and seeking maritime dominance, with important implications for trade, diplomacy and naval affairs. Events will not necessarily follow the same course as in the past, but Lo Jung-pang’s analysis suggests useful questions for the study of events as they unfold in the years and decades to come.
Chinese cuisine has had a deep impact on culinary traditions in Southeast Asia, where the lack of certain ingredients and acess to new ingredients along with the culinary knowledge of local people led Chinese migrnats to modify traditional dishes and to invent new food. This process brought the cuisine of southern China, considered by some writers to be "the finest in the world," into contact with a wide range of local and global cuisines and ingredients. When Chinese from Southeast Asia moved on to other parts of the world, they brought these variants of Chinese food with them, completing a cycle of culinary reproduction, localization andinvention, and globalization. the process does not end there, for the new context offers yet another set of ingredients and culinary traditions, and the "embedding and fusing of foods" continues, creating additional hybrid forms. Written by scholars whose deep familiarity with Chinese cuisine is both personal and academic, Chinese Food and Foodways in Southeast Asia and Beyond is a book that anyone who has been fortunate enough to encounter Southeast Asian food will savour, and it provides a window on this world for those who have yet to discover it.
British imperialism profoundly influenced the development of the modern world order. This same imperialism created modern Singapore, shaping its colonial development, influencing its post-colonial reorientation. Winston Churchill was British imperialism's most significant 20th-century statesman. Churchill never visited Singapore, yet their two stories heavily influenced each other. Singapore became a symbol of British imperial power in Asia to Churchill, while Singaporeans later came to see him as symbolising that power. The fall of Singapore to Japanese conquest in 1942 was a low point in Churchill's war leadership, one he forever labelled by calling it "the worst disaster in British military history". It was also a tragedy for Singapore, ushering in three cruel years of occupation. But the interplay between these three historical forces -- Churchill, empire, and Singapore -- extended well beyond this most dramatic conjuncture. No single volume critically examines that longer interplay. This collection of essays does so by analysing Churchill's understanding of empire, his perceptions of Singapore and its imperial role, his direction of affairs regarding Singapore and the Empire, and his influence on the subsequent relationship between them.
Selected Papers from the 13th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists
Drawing on a broad range of disciplines, the contributions gathered in this volume focus particular attention on early state formation, development of material cultures, and the transfer of iconographic concepts from late prehistoric to historic times. With chapters on the archaeology and history of the Indonesian archipelago, the multi-directional flows of Buddhist art in Southeast Asia, art and architecture of the Khmers, traditions and actions of various ethnic groups, specific regional phenomena are addressed in order to provide a resource for comparative perspectives. Connecting Empires and States contains 29 papers presented at the 13th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists (EurASEAA). Held in Berlin in 2010, the conference was jointly organized by the Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology at the Freie Universitat Berlin and the German Archaeological Institute. The peer-reviewed proceedings bring together archaeologists, art historians and philologists who share a common interest in Southeast Asia's early past.
Contestations of Memory in Southeast Asia applies a new theoretical literature on social memory to remembered eveents in Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia. Highlighting connections between theorizing based on European examples and unresolved memory issues in East and Southeast Asia, the authors show how comparative study of the interpenetration of politics and lived bodily experience, of communal and personal memories, and of dominant and suppressed narratives, can yield insights into the human potential to become either perpetrators, victims or bystanders. The memories found within different groups in any society are open to negotiation, suppression, contestation, or revision in the ever-evolving politics of the present. The searching and close-grained analyses of contemporary issues found in the volume vividly illustrate the essentially plural and multivocal nature of social memories, and demonstrate the intricate connection between transnational, national and sub-national politics. Readers seeking a more nuanced and complex understanding of the past and of its continued relevance to the present and future, will find here much food for thought.
Power Relations and the Urban Built Environment
In the British colonial city of Singapore, municipal authorities and Asian communities faced off over numerous issue. As the city expanded, disputes arose in connection with sanitation, housing, street names, control over pedestrian “five-foot-ways”, and sacred spaces such as burial grounds. Brenda Yeoh’s Contesting Space in Colonial Singapore details these conflicts and how they shaped the city. The British administration structured the private and public environments of the city with an eye toward shaping human behaviour, following scientific principles and the lessons of urban planning in other parts of the world. For the Asian communities, Singapore was the place where they lived according to their own values, priorities and resources. The two perceptions of the city frequently clashed, and the author reads the cityscape of Singapore as the result of this contest between discipline and resistance. Drawing on meticulous research and a theoretically sophisticated use of cultural and social geography, post-colonial historical discourse, and social theory, the author offers a compelling picture of a critical stage in Singapore's past. It is an important contribution to the study of colonial cities and an indispensable resource for understanding the shape of modern Singapore.
Selected Papers from the 13th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists
Based on recent field research and excavation finds, the contributions in this volume focus on cultural practices and materials which reflect processes of integration, specification and diversification in the prehistory and early history of Southeast Asia. With chapters on the variability and distribution of lithic assemblages, funerary practices, the spread of Neolithic cultures and field agriculture, and the development of Metal Age remains, different approaches are presented to interpret these phenomena in their specific environmental context. Crossing Borders contains 25 papers presented at the 13th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists (EurASEAA). Held in Berlin in 2010, the conference was jointly organized by the Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology at the Freie Universitat Berlin and the German Archaeological Institute. The peer-reviewed proceedings bring together archaeologists, art historians and philologists who share a common interest in Southeast Asia's early past.
Purple Qi from the East
De Jiao ("Teaching of Virtue") is a China-born religious movement, based on spirit-writing and rooted in a tradition of "halls for good deeds", that emerged in Chaozhou during the Sino-Japanese war. This book relates the fascinating process of its spread throughout Southeast Asia in the 1950s, and, more recently, from Thailand and Malaysia back to post-Maoist China and elsewhere. Through a richly-documented multi-site ethnography of De Jiao congregations in the PRC, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, Bernard Formoso examines the adaptation of Overseas Chinese to sharply contrasted national polities, and the projective identity they build in relation to China. De Jiao is of special interest because its organization and strategies strongly reflect the managerial habits and entrepreneurial ethos of Overseas Chinese businessmen. It also utilizes symbols of the Chinese civilisation whose greatness it claims to champion from the periphery. A central theme of the study is the role that such a religious movement may play to promote new forms of identification to the motherland as substitutes for loosened genealogical links. The book also offers a comprehensive interpretation of the contemporary practice of fu ji spirit-writing, and reconsiders the relation between unity and diversity in Chinese religion.