Diasporic Chinese Ventures: The Life and Work of Wang Gungwu (Chinese Worlds)
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This collection of essays by and about Wang Gungwu brings together some of Wang's most recent and representative writing about the ethnic Chinese outside China giving the reader a deeper understanding of his views on migration, identity, nationalism and culture, all key issues in modern Asia's transformation. The book collects interviews, speeches and essays that illustrate the development and direction of Wang's scholarship on ethnic and diasporic Chinese.
came to, and the place in which he has spent more years than anywhere else, was Australia. In fact, he did not seek it. And to the best of my knowledge he was not even looking for another place to go to, or a haven where intellectual freedom was not under threat. He was actually sought out, by the Australian National University, as a ﬁtting replacement for the great C. P. FitzGerald in the Department of Far Eastern History, perhaps the ﬁrst 43 STEPHEN FITZGERALD occasion on which an Australian
Hong Kong, although in a colony, enjoys intellectual freedom as universities do in Australia. Universities under the government of the People’s Republic of China do not. The assumption of control over Hong Kong by that government will not be a simple turn of the switch in 46 WANG GUNGWU IN AUSTRALIA 1997. It will happen gradually and is happening now. The guidelines are being set, the “indirect directives” are being felt, the inﬂuence is there. The next 5 years will be the testing period for
Chinese get together for their festivals and Chinese New Year. They will also look for a new business partner among 49 LAURENT MALVEZIN Malvezin Wang Malvezin Wang Malvezin Wang Malvezin Wang their community as a matter of convenience, but really, all the overseas communities have their own characters, they can rarely communicate with one another, and there is a myriad of them. To me, instead of saying there is one big Chinese diaspora, which brings negative commentaries, it would be
with two pioneers who guided me in my early work: Chen Yusong (Tan Yeok Seong) and Xu Yunqiao (Hsu Yun-ts’iao). There was here also a clear contrast between the two. Tan Yeok Seong was a Hokkien descended from generations who were committed to the Nanyang and who called Malaya his home. He was closer in spirit to my Straits Chinese friend, with the important difference that he had studied in Xiamen University and knew Chinese well.15 Hsu Yun-ts’iao, on the other hand, was a newcomer to Southeast
decision to settle outside China. What I would become eventually was still uncertain, but learning to be a citizen of the Federation of Malaya was a beginning. Nevertheless, the commitment to know China remained: that is, to ﬁnish what I had started to do, to understand what could have gone wrong with that ancient civilization, and what future it still had. Between sojourning and settling down in one place, I discovered that being Chinese was not a handicap but an anchor. Turning thus to the