From their beginning in the seventeenth century, the migrations across the Strait of Taiwan took place between societies of the same ethnicity. This did not change by the cession of Taiwan to the Japanese Empire in 1895, but despite this, distinct migrant identities then emerged on both sides of the Strait. The new migrant regime in mainland China by Japan’s domineering position purposely privileged the Taiwanese who went there, and facilitated the activity of Taiwanese criminal gangs; this got them a bad name at the time, which persists in the existing, nationalist historiography. In Taiwan the new regime was exploitative and set the migrant workers from mainland China apart as foreigners; in doing so it created another migrant identity that is problematic for historians. This article contests this nationalist historiography, and shows, that for migrants to achieve a distinct identity, they need not be ethnically different from their host society.

In: Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives
In: Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives

This special issue contains a selection of articles, produced from papers presented at a workshop under the title Border Societies, Chinese descendants in East Asia under Japanese colonialism, 1895–1945, convened in Macao on 25 June 2013. Its purpose is to contribute to the writing of a global history of East Asia, as a counterpoise to the contestations over historical issues, which at present dominate the public debate in the region and keep the involved nations divided. To achieve this purpose, the historical exploration of controversial themes is required such as the existence and uses of multiple identities, the apparent dividedness of state institutions, and the possibility of ambiguous loyalties among citizens when these have vital interests in more than one national state. The Chinese cross-border business networks and the migrations of people in the region provide the vantage point for such a study in this issue. It tackles on questions as, how did commodities, people, capital and ideas flow transnationally during the Japanese occupation period, and how did these flows become embedded in the local societies? They thoroughly transformed the relationships among the nations involved, and contributed to the region’s rise in the modern world. (This article is in English.)

In: Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives


The Taiwan huaqiao are the migrants from mainland China who went to work in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945). They were mostly workers, who were ethnically akin to the local population, but had an official status as foreign migrants and were supposed to return to their country of origin. In fact many among them tended to settle permanently and as a result of the discrimination also tended to form a social underclass; their number grew to at least 60,000 in the 1930s. This article argues that they should be studied more systematically as part of Chinese foreign migration.

In: Journal of Chinese Overseas

This issue is devoted to the predicament of the Chinese population in Korea since its presence there from the 1880s onwards, and the consequences this had for the migrations from South Korea towards China, Taiwan and the us since the 1990s. A broader framework for the difficulties met by the Chinese in Korea is provided by a summary of a workshop held in Amsterdam, on 25-26 June 2015, entitled Japan, China and the Construction of History. This multi-disciplinary workshop intended to construct an alternative to the threat of national chauvinism in the East Asian region, and also to the neo-realist and neo-liberal approaches, which dominate among the International Relations schools in political science. The contestations between Japan and China during the long twentieth century left a deep imprint on their mobile populations; this makes the case of the Chinese population in Korea a telling example of the imprint left on mobile people by big power politics. (This article is in English.)

In: Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives
Editors: Leo Douw and Kwok-bun Chan
This book features China’s newly emergent transnational management culture. It uses established and new methodologies to analyze how different types of Sino-foreign joint enterprises manage cultural differences between various layers of managers and employees, while negotiating strategies that contain conflicts, uncertainties and frustrations.
Much of the book focuses on the relations among personnel and management within Sino-foreign businesses. It highlights how new elements have been introduced in the daily practices of management at the work floor and in the managerial offices, specifically in relation to improving human resource development and resolving conflicts. The book also examines how these transnational firms function in the broader context of Chinese society and politics.
In providing freshly researched cases and methodological studies by experienced researchers in the field, the book suggests alternative pathways toward innovative business management in China, thus making it attractive to academics and business managers alike.