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Migration in the Time of RevolutionChina, Indonesia, and the Cold War$
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Taomo Zhou

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501739934

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501739934.001.0001

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The Chinese Communist Party and the Overseas Chinese

The Chinese Communist Party and the Overseas Chinese

(p.34) Chapter 2 The Chinese Communist Party and the Overseas Chinese
Migration in the Time of Revolution

Taomo Zhou

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the memoirs, diaries, poems, and theater scripts written by Ba Ren, an undercover member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and a writer, and those who used to work with him in the 1940s. It contends that the CCP was better able than its Nationalist rival to capture the hearts and minds of young overseas Chinese by expanding its political networks and promoting cross-ethnic alliances among the working class. In the 1940s, the CCP built its support base among the overseas Chinese through the education and publishing efforts of left-wing intellectuals like Ba Ren who traveled from Mainland China to Southeast Asia and worked as teachers and journalists in overseas Chinese communities. The subsequent rise of literacy and increasing availability of left-wing publications created a generation of revolutionary-minded ethnic Chinese youth. Through supplies, information, and refuge provided by these young people during the Japanese occupation, the CCP established underground offices in Sumatra, which were hidden behind the counters of pastry shops, Chinese medicine companies, soap factories, and wineries. It was the enthusiasm of these left-leaning youth that allowed openly active pro-CCP civic associations and political organizations to blossom during the Indonesian National Revolution.

Keywords:   Ba Ren, Chinese Communist Party, overseas Chinese, working class, left-wing intellectuals, Chinese communities, left-wing publications, Chinese youth, Japanese occupation, Indonesian National Revolution

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