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The Diplomacy of MigrationTransnational Lives and the Making of U.S.-Chinese Relations in the Cold War$
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Meredith Oyen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700149

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700149.001.0001

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The Diaspora Goes to War

The Diaspora Goes to War

Human Capital and China’s Defense

(p.42) Chapter 2 The Diaspora Goes to War
The Diplomacy of Migration

Meredith Oyen

Cornell University Press

This chapter traces the roots of the Chinese Nationalists' faith in their diaspora as a major component of any political or military victory, with particular emphasis on how Chinese officials sought to help Chinese migrants and Chinese Americans mobilize men and money to fight the war in Asia. Nationalist China had strong incentives to maintain productive ties with the diaspora during World War II. The support of the Chinese diaspora in their overseas struggles, for example, could win their backing and remind the Allies to treat China as an equal. This chapter discusses overseas Chinese policy during World War II as it affected Chinese Americans and U.S.-China relations on three fronts: the central goals and the philosophy behind the policy, the mobilization of Chinese in the United States and elsewhere in Allied war efforts, and the solicitation of donations and remittances to aid China. It suggests that Nationalist “citizen services” in the name of the war effort form a clear example of the use of migration policy to negotiate equality for the Chinese state.

Keywords:   migration policy, Chinese migrants, Chinese Americans, Nationalist China, World War II, Chinese diaspora, Allies, U.S.-China relations, United States, remittances

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