Nationalist China in the Postcolonial Philippines: Diasporic Anticommunism, Shared Sovereignty, and Ideological Chineseness, 1945-1970s

Chien Wen Kung
2018
This dissertation explains how the Republic of China (ROC), overseas Chinese (huaqiao), and the Philippines, sometimes but not always working with each other, produced and opposed the threat of Chinese communism from the end of World War II to the mid-1970s. It is not a history of US-led anticommunist efforts with respect to the Chinese diaspora, but rather an intra-Asian social and cultural history of anticommunism and nation-building that liberates two close US allies from US-centric
more » ... raphies and juxtaposes them with each other and the huaqiao community that they claimed. Three principal arguments flow from this focus on intra-Asian anticommunism. First, I challenge narrowly territorialized understandings of Chinese nationalism by arguing that Taiwan engaged in diasporic nation-building in the Philippines. Whether by helping the Philippine military identify Chinese communists or by mobilizing Philippine huaqiao in support of Taiwan, the ROC carved out a semi-sovereign sphere of influence for itself within a foreign country. It did so through institutions such as schools, the Kuomintang (KMT), and the Philippine-Chinese Anti-Communist League, which functioned transnationally and locally to embed the ROC into Chinese society and connect huaqiao to Taiwan. Through these groups, the ROC shaped the experiences of a national community beyond its territorial boundaries and represented itself as the legitimate "China" in the world. Second, drawing upon political theory, I argue that the anticommunist relationship between the ROC, the Philippines, and the Philippine Chinese constituted a form of what I call shared, non-territorial sovereignty. Nationalist China did not secure influence over Chinese in the Philippines by exerting military or economic pressure, as a neocolonial regime might. Vast disparities in power did not obtain between Manila and Taipei, as they did between them and Washington. Rather, for reasons of law, culture, linguistic incapacity, and ideology, the Philippines selectively outsource [...]
doi:10.7916/d8rz0vhk fatcat:mlcmuz7cdra73jg6k2n6ore72i