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Coming Home to a Foreign CountryXiamen and Returned Overseas Chinese, 1843-1938$
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Soon Keong Ong

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501756184

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501756184.001.0001

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(p.187) Conclusions
Coming Home to a Foreign Country

Soon Keong Ong

Cornell University Press

This chapter recalls the book's dual focus: Xiamen and the returned overseas Chinese. The chapter recounts the story of how individuals and businesses in Xiamen, and the mechanisms and connections they engendered through the port, facilitated the movements of Hokkiens overseas, and how returned overseas Chinese in turn helped determine the urban landscape and the development of the port city. Through an analysis of the relationships between returned emigrants and the port city, the chapter emphasizes the transformative impact of the migration process, which not only affected those who moved but also affected the place that they moved through. The chapter asserts that we cannot fully comprehend the activities of returned overseas Chinese in Xiamen unless we allow the emigrants to leave home. It argues that that the choice of whether or not to return was a conscious decision and was guided more by the emigrants' pragmatic and political concerns and their desire for personal and even selfish gains.

Keywords:   Xiamen, returned overseas Chinese, Hokkiens, urban landscape, port city, migration process, home, returned emigrants

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