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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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Crossing the Bamboo Curtain

Crossing the Bamboo Curtain

Using Refugee Policy to Support Free China

(p.154) Chapter 6 Crossing the Bamboo Curtain
The Diplomacy of Migration

Meredith Oyen

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how refugee policy was used by Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China (PRC), Nationalist China, and the United States to subject Chinese migrants to national security and foreign policy goals. The Cold War transformed what had been a common migration pattern between the British colony on Hong Kong and the people of Guangdong Province into a hotly contested and heavily politicized battle. In 1951, both the government of Hong Kong and the PRC tried to stem the tide of the crossings by placing new controls on the traditionally open border. This chapter considers the 1950s and 1960s refugee crisis in Hong Kong that highlights the interconnectedness of refugee policy and migration policy. It explains how the situation of Chinese refugees in Hong Kong was used by Nationalist China to demonstrate its legitimacy as the one true government of China and by the United States to further its public diplomacy goals in Asia.

Keywords:   refugee policy, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China, Nationalist China, United States, Chinese migrants, national security, foreign policy, migration policy, refugees

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