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Jin Li Lim

Abstract

This chapter (1958–1959) shows the radical change in Overseas Chinese policy after Mao’s heralding of ‘politics in command’ returned the party-state to the older ‘high-tide’ vision, especially in economic policy, and to an ideologically Maoist basis for policymaking. Previous ideas of convergence between Overseas Chinese and party-state interests were abandoned, and Overseas Chinese ‘specialness’ and/or ‘favourable treatment’ were deemed Rightist, while the pressures created by the Great Leap Forward for even more hard currency led Overseas Chinese policy to turn instead to coercive and exploitative methods. This was unwise at best; but with the turn towards large-scale, accelerated collectivisation and economic gigantism, this new variant of policy was self-destructive, and there was a drastic fall in remittances by 1959. Yet, while party-state and Overseas Chinese policy practitioners in particular flirted with reform and a return to ‘favourable treatment’, the Lushan Conference led to a renewed Anti-Rightist backlash instead, and this quickly resulted in the abandonment of reformist ideas. Even if Overseas Chinese policy was now clearly counterproductive, the party-state was set on Mao’s utopianism—and so the Overseas Chinese suffered.

Series:

Jin Li Lim

Abstract

The opening backdrop to this chapter rests in the combination of the heady CCP rhetoric heralding New China’s advent, its call for a united front and New Democracy, and the Overseas Chinese response to this long-anticipated fulfilment of their ‘rights and interests’. Against that backdrop, the chapter (1949–1950) shows how Soviet orthodoxy and CCP economic realism combined in the New Democracy. This was the basis for the Overseas Chinese inclusion in the united front, and the policy (and institutions) that was created to govern their affairs.

Series:

Jin Li Lim

Abstract

This chapter (1950–1953) situates the nascent policymaking in the context of the PRC’s coming to terms with its external pressures, domestic volatility, and the internal logic of the Chinese revolution. Overseas Chinese policy practitioners were confronted by the negative impacts of socialist transformation (i.e. Land Reform) and foreign pressure (i.e. the Korean War), specifically for Overseas Chinese remittance flows. Yet, this coalescence of pressures was key for recognising the transnationality of the interests that underpinned remittances, with the domestic interests of the Overseas Chinese as the crux. From this Overseas Chinese policy thus rationalised the convergence between ‘favourable treatment’ of Overseas Chinese interests, and the financial utility of this approach to the party-state.