Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/234264
Title: 新马的中国观之硏究(1949-1965) = A STUDY OF THE CHANGING PERCEPTIONS OF CHINA IN SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA, 1949-1965
Authors: 鲁虎
LU HU
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: 鲁虎, LU HU (2008). 新马的中国观之硏究(1949-1965) = A STUDY OF THE CHANGING PERCEPTIONS OF CHINA IN SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA, 1949-1965. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis examines the interaction between Singapore/Malaysia and China from 1949 to 1965 with an emphasis on the perceptions of China within these Southeast Asian states. Both China and Southeast Asia experienced political transformation during this period, which resulted in their traditional interactions also changing accordingly. The flow of migrants, investment, goods and printings greatly declined. However, interactions between two sides not only continued, but also assumed an unprecedented vitality. The exchange of ideas and concepts, which had already been occurring in the pre-war period, came to be the main form of interaction. In Singapore and Malaysia, various changing perceptions of China became a prominent element of such phenomena. Through correspondence, books from Hong Kong, a few field visits and the new media such as radio, much information about China arrived. Chinese newspapers and schools, governments, political parties and some writers represented and disseminated various images of China. The construction of perceptions was a selective process due to the Cold War and local nation-building agendas. The banishing of Leftists to China also highlighted the role of China as the Other vis-a-vis Singapore and Malaysia. The diverse perceptions of China can be categorized into three main groups. The idea of "New China" was created by the leaders of Chinese communities, concerning themselves with the social progress which China had achieved. The perception of “Communist China’’ was concerned with the political implications of China's transformation一 the Leftists lauding “People's China’’ as their model, and the Southeast Asian governments criticizing it as a "Communist threat". Those who saw China as a “Rising Asian Power" considered it from the perspective of its Asian neighbours, paying balanced attention to the various changes in China, both positive and negative. The presence, changes and conflicts of these perceptions of China were internalized as dynamic forces, influencing to varying extents racial relations, political evolution, cultural integration, foreign policy and even the formation of Malaysia in 1963.The interactions between the two sides were thus raised to a higher stage, as the reaction of Singapore and Malaysia towards China was extended from simply perceptions of the Chinese community to involve the whole country. Due to historical links, racial proportions and relative openness to the outside, Singapore and Malaysia hosted perceptions of China of much greater varieties and complexity, if compared to other Asian countries. Even Singapore and Malaysia, once parts of the same political entity, had different perceptions and attitudes towards China. Malaysia tried to eliminate any presence of China, while Singapore showed more tolerance towards the grassroots' affection for China. In addition, Singapore refused to accept the discourse of equating Chinese persons with the Left or with China. This thesis also suggests new understandings of the role of the China factor in the post-war history of Singapore and Malaysia. Political transformations and social experiments in China attracted interest and discussion from nearly all social classes and racial groups. The presentation of and conflicts between the various perceptions of China resulted in China, though far away, being drawn into Singapore and Malaysia and playing a role much more significant than expected. China was thus an extremely important external factor in Singapore and Malaysia in the post-war years.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/234264
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Restricted)

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