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|510 not found: the reterritorialization of Sino-Southeast Asian relations in the Chinese hinterland
|Zhou, T. (2022). 510 not found: the reterritorialization of Sino-Southeast Asian relations in the Chinese hinterland. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 43(3), 325-346. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sjtg.12430
|Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography
|Most existing studies use ‘reterritorialization’ to describe the outward expansion of Chinese power in Southeast Asia. This paper, however, flips this familiar narrative. It examines Sino-Southeast Asian diplomacy hidden in the Chinese hinterland and embedded in the everyday. I focus on the landlocked province of Jiangxi, where the Chinese government created two enclaves for communist exiles and displaced diaspora respectively—both hailing from Southeast Asia. I argue that this domestic operation of foreign affairs helped absorb the impact of unfavourable foreign policy outcomes or drastic policy reversals. As post-Mao China re-engaged with the world, the PRC state's management of Cold War migrants enabled its reconstruction of geopolitical relations with Southeast Asia. With China's foreign policy reorientation and the progression of market reform, the state's governing strategy in the two study areas changed from one of privileged segregation to a strong push for economic self-reliance. Meanwhile, the entrepreneurial individuals from these two communities represented, repackaged and retooled an inconvenient past the state tried to erase for the elevation of their individual socioeconomic statuses and the development of their respective communities. Through their creative mediation, the history of PRC's Cold War engagement with Southeast Asia is reinscribed in new time-space contexts.
|School of Humanities
|© 2022 Department of Geography, National University of Singapore and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd. All rights reserved.
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