This article assesses the Japanese diplomatic contribution through the prism of the Indochinese political situation in the early 1970s. The traditional literature depicts Japan’s non-existent proactivism in postwar foreign politics, based on its alleged unconditional dependence on Washington’s political agenda. However, throughout the 1970s there were occasions in which the country showed how it was independently engaged at a diplomatic level. This has often been overlooked by the literature produced in the field, but it is an irrefutable conclusion from the historical evidence and the analysis of the archival sources. Japan’s diplomatic commitment in solving the problem of peace in Cambodia, its double effort as a diplomatic intermediary between the political actors involved in the Indochinese issue and, at the same time, through the ODA policy, may offer the missing elements for a no longer univocal interpretation of its postwar diplomatic history—which is the aim of this essay.
Our article analyzes how Chinese capital inflows in the Philippines shape the self-identification of Filipino Chinese. Through a discursive analysis of five Filipino Chinese social media groups, which comprise at least 25,000 members, we argue that comment writers in Filipino Chinese groups readily interpreted Chinese capital in the Philippines, particularly in relation to the South China Sea disputes, Rodrigo Duterte’s rapprochement with China, Xi Jinping’s Philippine visit, and the rise of online gambling, through the prism of culture-based idioms. We find three contradictory discourses. First, there is a discourse of Sinicization that defines Filipino Chinese through a singular definition of Chineseness. Second, a discourse of brokerage has emerged, wherein Filipino Chinese positionality is represented by a synthesis of Chinese, Filipino, and Western identities. Finally, a discourse of distinction has also grown, framing Filipino Chinese as different from the mainland Chinese and the Filipinos.
The Chinese in Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, and Panama have had long histories of migration dating back to the nineteenth century, when British and Spanish colonial powers started to bring them to the Caribbean and Latin America from Guangdong province. The primary goal was to provide labor for the sugar cane, guano, bird nest, gold and silver mining, and other industries. In the 1870s, Havana could boast of having the largest Chinatown in the Caribbean, with more than 10,000 Chinese. Today, it has fewer than 100 Chinese Cubans. Trinidad and Tobago’s population of Chinese waned after the nineteenth century, but many Trinidadians have some Chinese ancestry, while Panama currently has the highest percentage (7 percent) of Chinese among Latin American countries. What stories, approaches, and lessons can be learned by comparing their histories to that of the Chinese in the Philippines? More specifically, how are the experiences of the Chinese in these three countries, whether citizen or recent immigrant, similar to those in the Philippines? What can we learn from the scholarship on the Chinese in the Caribbean that can help shape our own research agenda in studying the Chinese in the Philippines? Through a combination of historical and ethnographic research, this essay discusses the ways in which the identities of each Chinese diasporic community are being shaped by local and external forces, including China’s increasing presence in the region. This essay hopes to serve as a guidepost to Chinese diaspora scholars interested in examining further the transhemispheric connections between the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.