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Homeland divided : community newspapers, Chinese Americans and China politics, 1949-1955

Authors Guo, Xilin
Issue Date 2010
Summary This thesis examines the complex and evolving China-bound nationalism of Chinese Americans from 1949 to 1955 through the lenses of four Chinese newspapers published in the U.S., the China Daily News, the Chinese Nationalist Daily, the Chinese World and the Chinese Pacific Weekly. Through a focused analysis of their heated debates surrounding a divided homeland in the post-1949 era, it calls for greater attention to the previously understudied “discourse” dimension of diaspora nationalism, particularly that embodied in the ethnic press. By tracing the four newspapers’ different historical experience under the specter of the Cold War, it argues that to understand an immigrant group’ posture on homeland politics, one has to take into account not only the conditions and constraints in both the homeland and the host country, but also their uneven impact on different opinion groups of the community and the subsequent changes in the power balances among them. Chapter 1 reassesses Chinese Americans’ historical involvement in China politics by highlighting the constant state of divisiveness and fluidity of their diaspora nationalism. Chapter 2 focuses on the critical year of 1949 and examines the intense debate carried out in the four newspapers over an imminent power transition in China. Chapters 3 and 4 respectively discuss Chinese Americans’ relationship with and attitudes towards the two home governments competing for their support, the People’s Republic of China and the Nationalist Government in Taiwan. Chapter 5 surveys the experience of different political camps towards the mid-1950s under the shadow of the Korean War. As a whole, this thesis demonstrates that the image of the post-1949 Chinese American community as being either pro-Nationalist or unsympathetic with China politics in general was by no means a natural and unproblematic outcome, but the result of a complicated and intense political battle.
Note Thesis (Ph.D.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2010
Language English
Format Thesis
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