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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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Chinese Migrants as Cold Warriors

Chinese Migrants as Cold Warriors

Immigration and Deportation in the 1950s

Chapter:
(p.99) Chapter 4 Chinese Migrants as Cold Warriors
Source:
The Diplomacy of Migration
Author(s):

Meredith Oyen

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501700149.003.0005

This chapter examines Chinese immigration to the United States during the 1950s as well as the dilemma of deportation in the context of closed borders to explain how the Cold War made it necessary for some migration policies to serve national security imperatives and promote national prestige at the same time. The fracturing of China into two rival governments—Communist China and Nationalist China—complicated the lives of Chinese migrants. Chinese people in the United States both fell victim to fears of Communist infiltration and supported “free China,” and in each case struggled with Nationalist China's efforts to use their experiences to maintain standing in American eyes. This chapter considers how migration policy became a tool for governments pursuing security and prestige and how Chinese migrants acted as “cold warriors” in order to avoid falling victim to Cold War politics while also seeking to benefit from it.

Keywords:   immigration, United States, deportation, Cold War, national security, national prestige, Communist China, Nationalist China, Chinese migrants, migration policy

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