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Duke East Asia Nexus ANGIE SHEN President SAKURA TAKAHASHI Editor-in-chief SABRINA TUCKER Managing Editor JACKSON XU Editor-in-chief – Online LUN (SAM) YIN Managing Editor – Online CHARLAINE CHEN Editor ANDREW LIN Editor ATTYAT MAYANS Editor


Special thanks to Tenzing Thakbe for the logo and graphics. Copyright © !"#$ by Duke East Asia Nexus at Duke University The edition of the journal received support from the John Spencer Bassett Memorial Fund.


About this journal The Duke East Asia Nexus (DEAN), founded in 2007, is a multifaceted student organization that seeks to enrich the community’s understanding of the political, economic, and cultural issues facing the region of East Asia. In addition to publishing student work in print and online, over the years DEAN has brought speakers, panels, film series, and other events to Duke University, and has had an integral role in running the Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit. DEAN first published a print journal of the same name in 2009, as a means of further enriching academic life across universities and raising awareness of East Asian affairs. For the 10th anniversary of the organization we are excited to present an edition of the journal that exemplifies the diversity of student work on East Asia: in formats ranging from academic papers to photo collections, on a variety of subject matters including history, politics, and economics, covering issues on every region of East Asia as well as South Asia and the US, and contributed to by authors at Duke and beyond.


Table of Contents The New Orientalism of Ferdinand Marcos Xavier Ante….................….................….................….................….....................! Poem: Rice Natasha Derizinski-Choo….................….................…...........….................…....!" Photographs From Duke Engage Zhuhai, Summer "#!$ Raquel Levy….................….................…............….................….................…..!% AIIB And China’s New Regionalism Nicholas Reiter….............….............….............….............….............…............"# Nanjing Narratives in Japanese Museums Abigail Sneider….................….................….................…...............….............."& Song of the Golden Lotus: The Science and Social Impact of Chinese Footbinding Christopher Veto….................….................….................…...............…...........'& Politics and Medicine in Korea and China Grant Wen….................….................….................…...............…......................%% China’s Decision to Enter the Korean War Michelle Xu….................….................….................…...............…....................() US-Asia Relations: A Historical Analysis of East Asian Epithets Helen Yang….............….............….............….............….............…..................$' The Evolution of Korean Politeness Annie Yin….................….................….................…...............….......................)% Migrants, Markets, Militaries, and Maritime Cooperation: Chinese Motives in Thailand Timothy Yin….................….................….................…...............…...................&' iii


The New Orientalism of Ferdinand Marcos: Examining Asian Identity and Rhetoric in the Marcos Visits to China, 1974-1975

Abstract: The 1970s were turbulent years for the geopolitical landscape of the East Asia, as China established relations not only with the West, but also with key allies in the region like Japan, Australia and the Philippines. This paper attempts to elucidate how the Philippines navigated these changes by examining the rhetoric of common Asian Identity used by the Marcos government as it moved towards formal diplomatic recognition of China in 197475. What I find is that fundamentally, the diplomacy of Marcos was still dictated by political exigencies from within and without the Philippines, and that the rhetoric of Asian regionalism was merely in character with the Marcos government’s ‘theatrical’ renditions of metanarrative.

Xavier Ante is a junior at NYU Shanghai, where he majors in the Humanities. His area of study is the maritime and environmental history of late-imperial China, but he has been engaged in a broad scope of research work, including the history of contemporary Chinese foreign relations, the Cold War, and global security.



he years that followed Nixon’s groundbreaking visit in February 1972 to the People’s Republic of China set in motion a shift in trade and diplomatic relations from the Republic of China in Taipei to the PRC on the mainland. In close succession, states in the region began to grant recognition to the government in Beijing, whose sovereignty over China had largely been rejected by the West and its allies since establishment in 1949. The United Kingdom, which still preserved an outpost in Hong Kong had established relations in 1972, as would Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and later in 1973, Malaysia, precipitating “[a] profound shift in the international balance of power”, especially within the context of the Cold War in East Asia (Jian). The Philippines under Ferdinand Marcos was no exception to this shift in the region’s tilt towards a pragmatic foreign policy. As early as 1972, Filipino delegations under then Leyte province governor Romualdez and Senator Laurel were sent to explore the possibility of opening formal relations with China, with Philippine efforts culminating in the successful mission of First Lady and special envoy Imelda Marcos in September 1974. These paved the way for the eventual arrival of Ferdinand Marcos and the establishment of diplomatic relations in June of 1975. The success of these efforts was attributed both at home and abroad to the awakening of a long dormant sense of Filipino belonging with its closest Asian neighbors, creating a new basis for Sino-Philippine relations that transcended diametrically opposite ideologies. A primordial identity of the Filipino as “Oriental” was appropriated by Marcos to great effect, imbuing his diplomacy and its parlance with an unearthed Asian character that—for the occasion at least—allowed the Philippines to drift away from its historical propensity to serve merely as “[America’s] surrogate in the region” (Mojares). Whereas the Bandung conference of 1955 marked the broader “flowering of the spirit of this new Asia and Africa,” the Philippine détente with the People’s Republic marked a belated ripening of the Filipino’s Asian, “Oriental” identity within a narrative of the Philippines’ metaphorical distance from neighbors in its own region (Romulo 225). In this paper I will attempt to evaluate this narrative of departure from American surrogation and rediscovery of “Oriental” identity towards an independent and regionally conscious Philippine foreign policy. In particular, I will use two interpretative lenses to understand the diplomacy of Marcos through its purported meanings. “Diplomacy as theatre,” exemplified by Naoko Shimazu’s essay on the symbolism of the 1955 Bandung Conference will serve as the paper’s foundational interpretative model for the 1974-1975 Marcos visits to the PRC. Her paper will allow us to pay particular attention to necessarily “[staged],” or manufactured processes of creating symbolism through diplomacy (Shimazu 225). To evaluate the role of Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos’ methods within the broader notion of “performative,” theatrical diplomacy, I will also adopt in part Vicente Rafael’s analysis of the Marcos presidency’s “tendentious reconstruction of history”, and its concomitant, purposeful manipulation of the relationship between the “spectators and spectacle, the seer and seen” (Rafael 282). These will allow the paper to touch on both the universals and the localized particulars of “diplomacy as theatre,” with attention towards


THE NEW ORIENTALISM OF FERDINAND MARCOS how their interaction permits a more subtle understanding of diplomatic history in the Marcos presidency and the Cold War. In evaluating this narrative, I posit that fundamentally, the diplomacy of Marcos was still dictated by political exigencies from within and without the Philippines. This indicates that the symbolisms and impressions of Marcos’ 1974-1975 visits to the PRC were merely articulations of a view that new dimensions of transcendent Asian affinity and Asian regionalism in Philippine foreign policy had indeed resurfaced. Furthermore, I posit that performative diplomacy in its adaptation during the Marcos visits to China of 1974-1975 was demonstrative of how appealing to the particularities of an audience was as central as any of the other elements of “diplomacy as theatre.” This suggests that more than just theatrics, diplomacy was also an involved process of weaving locally and politically relevant mythology and “metanarrative.” 1 Laying the Carpet for Mr. and Mrs. Marcos In 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos faced a triune of tests to his political fears and ambitions. He found his guarantor, the United States, just recovering from one of its lowest Cold War troughs, and suffering from a loss of confidence in its political and moral leadership. Abroad, the PRC was beginning to regain the favor of the international community after a long schism with its erstwhile natural ally, the Soviet Union. This caused a dramatic shift in the geopolitical balance of East Asia, and demanded a fresh approach from the Philippines towards a once galvanizing threat to internal stability and national security.2 Domestically, the political opposition and a resurgent leftist movement swamped the country’s universities with protests and its countryside with armed insurgents. As Chairman Mao remarked in parallel, it did seem at the time that indeed, “all under heaven [was] in great chaos.”3 The rebalancing that startled US allies in East Asia meanwhile provoked a complementary response by the Philippines to make amends with the communist bloc, with the apparent aim of pursuing independence in foreign policy from the United States. Diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia and Romania were established in 1972 as a “first step” in reaching out to Warsaw Pact signatories (Marcos 1972). By 1973, tangible outcomes of this pursuit had begun to manifest themselves, as trade growth coincided with Marcos’ bid to reorient the Philippines into an export-based economy. Exports valued at $44 million were declared to have come from trade with socialist economies in that year of opening up alone,


Some readings that further explore the role of “metanarrative” and symbology in modern political structures include Gill, Graeme, Symbols and Legitimacy in Soviet Politics, University of Cambridge Press, 2011. 2 There was much antagonism towards the PRC in the Philippines at the time for its alleged support of Maoist guerrillas in the countryside, as well as the continuing absence of a solution on the status of Chinese nationals who stayed in the Philippines after 1949. These were issues that it shared with other Southeast Asian nations in dealing with China. 3 See Conversation between Mao Zedong and Beqir Balluku, 1 October 1968, and Conversation between Mao Zedong and E.F. Hill, 28 November 1968. Cold War International History Project Bulletin, No. 11, 1998, pp. 156-61, in Mao’s China and the Cold War, Footnote 31, Chapter 9. 1



XAVIER ANTE with 75% of this volume coming from informal trade with the PRC (Marcos 1973). This, in Marcos’ annual address, was the beginning of what he called an “accommodation with reality,” marked by “flexibility” as the “touchstone of the emerging foreign policy of the Philippines” (Marcos 1972). The most natural object of this emergent foreign policy was the PRC, with which the Philippines had endured a troubled relationship since its founding in 1949 for various causes including the Taiwan question, the Philippines’ treaty alliances, and Chinese migrants. For Mao and the Chinese, the reasons for the hiatus in relations were likewise self-evident. Ideological leanings and military partnerships, now laid aside in the PRC’s drive to court Southeast Asian nations after its breakdown of relations with USSR were the outstanding obstacles to the establishment of official contact. For Marcos, on the other hand, the persistent obstacle to the establishment of cordial relations with the PRC had always been the issue of purported material support given by China to Maoist guerrillas in the Philippine countryside. These included leftist factions such as the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), whose activities were among the primary justifications for the declaration of Martial Law in 1972. Thus, Marcos was simultaneously perplexed and infuriated by a message that summer from the US State Department and the CIA which claimed the NPA “[did] not pose a threat—numbering less than 100” armed insurgents, and that the Philippines had grossly overstated PRC support to native communists—a pretext for the reduction of military and economic aid from the United States (Rempel 172). Reflecting the damaged international standing of the United States at the time, Marcos noted to himself how it was “preposterous [for the Americans] to lecture to [the Philippines] on their estimate of the threat we face from the local communists,” to the point of commenting upon “how stupid [the Americans] can be” (Rempel 172). Marcos’ unvoiced turn of heart against the United States came despite his profound distrust not only of communism, but also in particular of the Chinese communists. Though as early as 1970, the PRC had already started to reach out to the Philippines, sending canned relief goods worth $50,000 at the time after a typhoon, and again in 1972, when the ship Anting—the first ship from the PRC to officially visit since 1949—donated several million pesos worth of relief goods through the Red Cross, the PRC’s overtures were privately met with suspicion by Marcos (Shi-Ching 129). He remarked to the contrary that he “[could not] believe that Red China can be trusted,” and that it would merely present itself as “house-broken” and yet grant every kind of assistance to revolutionaries while seeking to “establish Asian hegemony.” This confirmed a line of thinking that has prevailed in Philippine foreign policy through Marcos since the PRC’s establishment in 1949 (Marcos 1972). More telling was his reaction to an incident with the Anting’s crew, who refused to meet him personally after he met with the ROC ambassador, calling this behavior “indicative of the Red Chinese kind of manners and intentions [who] send in 2.5 Million Pesos of relief goods through the Red Cross, and then kick you in the face” (Marcos 1972). Nevertheless, Marcos’ sense of what was domestically and internationally exigent regarding the present situation seemed to override whatever misgivings he had on the PRC,


THE NEW ORIENTALISM OF FERDINAND MARCOS as attempts to tactfully reciprocate to the Chinese gestures demonstrated. In addition to secret meetings where the PRC agreed to trade with the Philippines despite the absence of formal relations, the Chinese also invited prominent political figures such as then Senator Salvador Laurel through informal channels, to which Marcos acceded.4 Laurel’s report to the Philippine Congress on his 1972 exploratory visit to China echoed the parlance of Marcos’ “accommodation with reality,” stating that the new attitude towards the PRC was “a policy we alone are charting, [response to comment] independent of the prompting of other countries,” and “a more enlightened, more perceptive, more realistic foreign policy” (Laurel 12). Trade missions and agreements that facilitated informal trade quickly followed these exploratory missions, as would well-publicized cultural and sporting exchanges. By mid-1974, with the watchwords of a new, “independent” and “realistic” foreign policy sufficiently inculcated in the public consciousness, and the public primed for an opening with the PRC, the President was prepared to announce a mission by his most personal of emissaries, the First Lady Imelda Marcos. Image, Theatrics and the Orient: Imelda Marcos Arrives in China Out of Ferdinand Marcos’ diplomatic and political tools, it was said that his wife Imelda Marcos stood out as the most potent, blessed by what then US Secretary of State Kissinger called an exceptional ability to “charm the scowls off the world’s most cantankerous leaders” (U.S. Department of State).5 She was demanding and audaciously intent on flattering, delighting and enchanting audiences on both the international and local political stage; she was perhaps best placed as the lead act in engaging the Chinese through performative diplomacy that would grant legitimacy to an otherwise contentious relaxation of tensions between China and the Philippines. The Chinese, perceptive towards this opportunity, seemed more than happy to oblige Imelda Marcos’ pretense for grandeur and habit for spectacular imagery. She arrived at Peking Capital Airport to a welcome fitting for a head of state, replete with minutiae commensurate with the degree of esteem that the Chinese wanted their visitor to appreciate. Within hours of her arrival, she would be in audience with a determined Zhou Enlai in the hospital to discuss matters of Sino-Philippine relations, in what was his first public engagement after seven weeks of seclusion due to poor health (Gao, Rand and Sullivan 2007).6 Celebrations of the unprecedented enthusiasm for the welcome through the media on both sides were immediate, commencing a stream of theatrical, “tendentious” imagery that marked the visits. The People’s Daily’s front page on the next day featured photos of Marcos with Zhou and other Chinese welcoming delegations hailing the “warmth and enthusiasm” of the welcome. The newspaper’s daily quotations from Chairman Mao on the


Laurel visited China under the invitation of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, and was welcomed by then Vice President of the State Council Li Xiannian. 5 Here, Henry Kissinger quotes program comments from an ABC program and sends them in a memo the U.S. embassy in Manila. 6 Zhou would refuse to see several African leaders and Senator Fulbright’s Congressional delegation. He would pass away in a year’s time. 4



XAVIER ANTE other hand reminded readers of the remnant spirit of the five principles of peaceful coexistence (“    ”). The Manila Bulletin, among the more popular broadsheets to survive the suppression of mass media that followed Martial Law, in the same manner would lavish the visit with attention, having it occupy its headlines for the next few days. It even noted how Imelda Marcos’ welcome in China reflected her welcomes in the Philippines. There, dressed in her trademark gowns, she would grace rural plebeians with her presence and melodies, in a manner Rafael described to be like “an actress putting on a stage appearance” (Rafael 283). It says: “As in rural Philippines, Mrs. Marcos was a hit at the [rural commune Shuangqiao], especially among the women who whispered words of admiration themselves” (Valencia). As Imelda Marcos had been so accustomed to doing in the Philippines, she managed to perform and charm her way with the Chinese people and a watching Filipino audience, who patiently observed how, in the manner of a celebrated luminary, she would allow the common man a well-scripted glimpse of elegance and measured refinement. Appropriately, the Bulletin declared, “[there was] a new star over China” (Valencia). Imelda Marcos’ performative diplomacy had gone beyond just manipulating the distance between the “seer and the seen” and allowing the seer a distinct experience of public spectacle (Rafael). Her visit also demonstrated her mastery of the visual image, and the utilization of its potential that parallels diplomacy as theatre in its ability to “confer symbolic meaning” and form the symbology of a narrative (Shimazu). Her image with Mao epitomized the success of her visit. What she called her “diplomatic plum” of securing an audience with the Chairman, however, was far from a straightforward task for dignitaries because of Mao’s increasingly eccentric habits, and like Zhou, for reasons of health (Lelyveld). Reports circulated in the press about his fragility, including reports of a supposed stroke, which were not entirely unfounded in that Mao suffered from a neural disorder, and was told that he would not live for much longer (Chang and Halliday 640). Marcos was consequently in an unfavorable position to meet with the Chairman, even if he had wanted to see her on his own accord. Vice Premier Li Xiannian, who was heavily involved in the welcome, was handed the unenviable task of relaying to a determined Mrs. Marcos the fact that she could not realistically meet with Mao. Zhang Hanzhi, who served as Mao’s English tutor and translator for Nixon’s 1972 visit, served as translator for the conversation between the two and offered an intriguing account of the occasion. According to Zhang’s memoirs, Li had repeatedly told a persistent Mrs. Marcos that she would be unable to meet Mao, and even that the Chairman was “unwilling” to meet her (Zhang). Marcos with characteristic resolution fell silent for a moment upon hearing this, took out her handkerchief, and remarkably, started to weep. Still sobbing, she gently threw her handkerchief to the side of a dumbstruck Li, “[who] did not know whether to ignore the handkerchief thrown his way, or politely hand it back to her.” Using her performative abilities in full measure, in the end, Imelda Marcos did get her way, and Li Xiannian eventually agreed to “consider” an opportunity to have her meet with Mao (Zhang).


THE NEW ORIENTALISM OF FERDINAND MARCOS On September 27, she flew by jet to finally have her unscheduled meeting [response to comment] with Mao Zedong, and it appeared the First Lady had at last earned her most coveted prize. Among the few non-heads of state to be granted an audience with the Chairman, she had to her credit not only the highest level encounter between the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China since 1949, but also a noteworthy media coup with a parade of images to dazzle an audience at home in the Philippines and abroad. When Mao made his first contact with Imelda Marcos, however, he was nondescript, shaking her hands with an understandable lack of vigor due to age. Mao, looking almost bewildered with his visitors, was held on his hand by Marcos’ son, Ferdinand Jr, and also by Imelda Marcos herself, glowing, smiling, and giving an unmistakable impression of extraordinary, filial closeness with the Chairman—an image reminiscent of an elderly patriarch with his kin that would surely resonate with a Filipino audience. With the media documenting their encounter closely, Imelda Marcos’ assuredly had her images for the press. What followed, however, passed by far more quickly than the photographs suggest: Mrs. Marcos, holding Chairman Mao’s hand, bent down and gently held it to her cheek, perhaps in another gesture of Filipino warmth and filial affection to complement Ferdinand Jr.’s beso.7 Mao, however, responded to Imelda Marcos’ gesture by taking a moment to gaze at her hand, transferring it to his right hand, raising it, and giving it a quick, but firm kiss. The images that journalists captured, of Mao with his lips on Imelda Marcos’ hand, who appeared to cringe in surprise was to become a definitive image of the visit in the press, and a symbol of the apparent exceptionality of its significance as an unusual display of closeness between the very highest of Philippine and Chinese representatives. Narratives of Kinship and Oriental Identity The process of “production and reproduction” of symbolism through the imagery and performative diplomacy of Imelda Marcos’ visit in 1974 could not be brought to closure without a narrative that is key to its broader significance (Shimazu). “Symbols,” as Graeme Gill suggests in a parallel study, “are important because of what they represent” (Gill 4). That is, “a representation of [a] more complex reality” and a “means of simplifying” that renders the symbol of little import in itself (Gill 4). The collection of performative symbols staging extraordinary intimacy with Mao, and the eagerness of Imelda Marcos’ reception in China could therefore be understood to be trivial without a separate account of an overarching truth. Insofar as suitably appropriating symbolism to the service of a more universal “metanarrative” in her performance was concerned, Imelda Marcos could hardly be found wanting. While in their opening banquet in Beijing, Li Xiannian merely evoked the idea of “traditional friendship” between the Philippines and China derived from centuries of cultural exchange and a shared struggle against colonialism, Marcos augments this dramatization of the history of Sino-Philippine relations. Tellingly, a government directed documentary on


Beso is a word borrowed from Spanish meaning “to kiss.” In a Filipino cultural context, it is a gesture or greeting between close friends and family. A good audio-visual source for observing this moment in the documentary China Welcome by the National Media Production Center in Manila. 7



XAVIER ANTE the 1974 visit China Welcome opens with her speech on that evening. In her speech, she says, despite having their histories “interlinked for more than a thousand years,” “historical forces” beyond their control had “temporarily set [China and the Philippines] apart,” suggesting a more dramatic inseparability in their destinies.8 A month later, she would grant the New York Times an interview to discuss her visit, focusing on her relationship with Jiang Qing and making reference to her newfound and now frequently acknowledged “Oriental” dispositions. Striving to be “as Oriental as [she] could, as open-minded as [she] could,” she attributed the very success of her encounter with Jiang and the Chinese to the “totality” of the “Oriental” character they had in common (Lelyveld). Philippine broadsheets were in concert with Imelda Marcos in their narrative interpretation of the visit, which underlined the Filipino people’s common Asian and “Oriental” identity with the Chinese. The journalist and Marcos supporter Teodoro Valencia, who wrote for the Manila Times before the declaration of Martial Law and moved his editorial column to the Bulletin afterwards opined: The warmth of reception for Mrs. Marcos was understandable to Asians only. The cultural and historical relations between China and the Philippines dictated no other course for Mrs. Marcos or for the high officials of the People’s Republic. In a similar vein, few understood why the Filipinos tolerate the Japanese presence here. Asian cultures dictate that whatever temporary differences there are among Asians they’ll gravitate towards a common bond. Watch Nationalist China and the People’s Republic of China in the near future (Valencia). In line with Marcos’ suggestion, Valencia implies that a positive relationship between China and the Philippines was an inevitability rather than an exigency, as established by the Filipino experience with the Japanese and, as he envisions, by the future of Cross-Straight relations. Cloaked in the vocabulary of Asian regionalism and the amorphous shape of the Asian people’s “common bond,” he begins to give form to an underdeveloped sense of who the Filipinos were as Asians, as well as the implications of this identification through the symbols of Mrs. Marcos’ visit (Valencia). In under a year’s time, in June of 1975, President Ferdinand Marcos himself would finally pay a visit to China in order to formally establish diplomatic relations. On this occasion, Deng Xiaoping led the reception at the airport, as the city of Beijing’s crowds littered the streets with red streamers of praise, and the Chinese press trailed their visitors for photos, Ferdinand Marcos, however, would only extend the narrative told by Imelda and his Philippine press that justified the foreign policy reversal towards the People’s Republic of China. In his evening speech to his hosts, he would make reference to the same “Orientalism” and sense of belonging with the Philippines’ Asian neighbors. Appealing to the Filipino’s sense of Asian regionalism, he said that it would now be more appropriate to be “more objective” and to “engage our emotions,” but on the “basis of an authentic Asian identity” (“President Marcos’ speech” 10). More profoundly, Marcos, harkening back to the

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See documentary China Welcome by the National Media Production Center in Manila.


THE NEW ORIENTALISM OF FERDINAND MARCOS prehistoric times, laments the now gone land bridges that connected the Philippine archipelago to the Asian continent, while celebrating their metaphoric renewal: The wise men say that a long, long time ago, land bridges connected my country to the mainland that is China. Today, as I flew over the [sea] I could see beneath us the bridges to China once again abuilding. But in a sense, we do not need to build the bridges all over again […] The land bridges may have been flooded by the rising waters of the ice age and washed away by the tides of colonialism, but the bridges of culture, of the spirit and of the heart have always been—and shall always be there” (“President Marcos’ speech” 10). Here, Marcos hearkens back to a primeval narrative basis in rationalizing the sudden turn in Sino-Philippine relations, speaking of temporally distant and obscure notions of “culture,” “spirit,” and “the heart,” and underlining the certainty of a common future for both China and the Philippines, irrespective of ideology or exigency. In doing so, more than solely “narrative,” or even “metanarrative,” Marcos could also be said to have engaged his audience in recreating mythologies of origin and identity in order to find a place for the Philippines within what he believes to be a new geopolitical “reality”—or perhaps more appropriately within the context of their narrative, an inevitability—that happened to run counter to his personal convictions (Marcos 1972). This could also be said to reflect Marcos’ “manufactur[ing]” of his own past, where his history “confirms [his] destiny […] in the interest of projecting a spectacle of personal prowess” (Rafael). Marcos was not entirely alone in subscribing to a similar narrative mythology of Asian unity as the basis of intra-Asian relations in the context of a rebalanced Cold War. Deng Xiaoping echoed his thoughts to some degree in the opening banquet, where he again recalls a “traditional friendship [that dates] back to ancient days” (“President Marcos’ speech” 9). Yet Deng’s speech also suggested the underlying pragmatism that formed a more natural basis for the renewal. Deng, surveying the state of international affairs at the time observes that “the current situation is more favorable for the Asian peoples to carry forward their struggle against imperialism and hegemonism and for the Asian countries to pursue an independent foreign policy,” signifying the extraordinary opportunity at hand for both sides was just as well a product of circumstances that best accommodated their pragmatism (“Vice Premier Teng”). Evaluating “Performative Diplomacy” and “Tendentious” Mythology In evaluating the Marcos visits to China in 1974-75 within the analytic framework of “diplomacy as theatre” and the propensity of Marcos for the manufacture of “tendentious” history, two conclusions come to the fore, allowing us to locate this moment’s significance within the subset of the Marcos presidency’s history and the broader development of diplomatic history. The more self-evident of these is that the move to ease tensions and establish a positive relationship with the PRC was a product of what Marcos perceived to be the demand of the present geopolitical situation. The Philippines’ own strategic concerns, in the words of the US Embassy in Manila, had merely helped it “move towards a more rational bilateral relationship with China” (“Initial impact of Marcos visit”).



XAVIER ANTE This ideology-blind rationalism in foreign policy at the core of Ferdinand Marcos’ approach seemed to have been confirmed by his discussions with former British ambassador to China and the Philippines Sir John Addis in August of that year, just after his first visit to China. Marcos initially relayed to Gaddis his discussions with Mao and Deng on the matter of rebellions by the New People’s Army, Islamic separatists in the southern Philippine islands and, discreetly, Soviet attempts to court Filipino businessmen (Addis 1975). Moreover, he tells Gaddis of a curious conversation he had with Deng Xiaoping while he was on a flight to Shanghai. Though there was hardly any open discussion of ideology between the two sides, Marcos supposedly asked Deng on the Sino-Soviet split, and whether it was “fundamentally a question of ideology” (Addis 1975). Deng, ever prudent, told Marcos to wait for the reporters to leave, so they can discuss the matter in private. As they were left to themselves, Marcos reports Deng saying that “[i]t is not a question of ideology at all. It is a question of straightforward power politics” (Addis 1975). In the context of his discussion with Gaddis, it is suggestive of Marcos’ own thinking, and his rationalization of the Philippines’ recent coming to terms with the People’s Republic. Less evident is that the symbolism of “diplomacy as theatre” directed to a particular audience was an important element in the purposeful creation of politically relevant mythology and metanarrative—a central theme in the Marcos presidency’s propensity for reconstructing history towards a political end. In its iteration in the visits of 1974-75, the narrative of the Filipino people’s cultural, ethnical—even metaphysical—ties with the Chinese people was weaved into an almost mythological basis for the Filipino’s regional identity as Asian. This unearthed Asian, “Oriental” identity, in turn would form the foundational premise for the renewal of Sino-Philippine relations in Marcos’ diplomatic metanarrative. The Filipino as an Asian in the backdrop of the Cold War was not merely drawn to China because he was “independent” or “realistic” (Laurel 12). He was drawn to China because he shared with it a “totality,” a culture, a “spirit,” and ultimately a destiny exclusive to them as Asians. Conclusion The hope is that as a consequence of reevaluating the 1974-75 Marcos visits to China, and indeed, the greater scope of intra-Asian diplomatic interaction through the schema of “diplomacy as theatre” applied to the peculiarities of Marcos’ revisionism, we are enabled to cast a film of healthy skepticism onto the narrative premises of foreign policy. This is particularly pressing, in light of present developments in Asian diplomacy and— as perhaps best exemplified by a relatively recent publication from the Philippine government commemorating 25 years of Sino-Philippine relations entitled “Ugnayan ng Lahi” (Encounters of our Race) — in light of the narrative legacies of the 1974-75 visits (Department of Foreign Affairs). These developments also caution us of the dangers of losing grasp of legitimizing narratives, even as we try to understand and question them from within a framework of theatre. The political narrative has demonstrated itself to be simultaneously capable of forging the corpus of the state and dismantling it in a protracted spell of decay, or a


THE NEW ORIENTALISM OF FERDINAND MARCOS damaging moment of paradox. The diplomatic narrative as understood through theatre, on the other hand, may be more forgiving in the sense that its product is less dramatic, and ergo, its dangers of lesser significance. Just as Shimazu posits with Bandung, the narrative legacy of diplomacy as theatre even in our study is normative—foreign policy within and without the Philippines continues to be suffused with these narrative norms (Shimazu). Thus, in attempting to understand the development of diplomacy in the post-war global order, we also ought to continue reflecting upon how such norms have historically posed a danger and opportunity to those who engaged in them, and going forward perhaps elucidate any dynamic consequences these largely normative developments have had in addition.

Works Cited Addis, John. “Philippines: Meetings with President Marcos on 11 August and with General Romulo on 6th August.” Attachment to letter from J.A. Turpin of the British Embassy in Manila to the Far Eastern Department, 2 Sept. 1975. Chang, Jung and Jon Halliday. Mao: The Unknown Story, Jonathan Cape, 2005. Department of Foreign Affairs. Ugnayan ng Lahi: Celebrating Twenty Five Years of Philippine-China Diplomatic Relations, VJ Graphic Arts Inc., 2000. Jian, Chen. Mao’s China and the Cold War, The University of North Carolina Press, 2001. Laurel, Salvador. Laurel Report: Mission to China, March 12-22 1972, 1972. Lelyveld, Joseph. “Mrs. Marcos says visit to China was made special by Chiang Ching.” New York Times. 22 Oct. 1974. Gao, Wenqian, Peter Rand and Lawrence R. Sullivan. Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary, Public Affairs, 2007. Gill, Graeme. Symbols and Legitimacy in Soviet Politics, University of Cambridge Press, 2011. “Initial impact of Marcos visit to China,” US Embassy Manila to the Secretary of State, 24 June 1975. Marcos, Ferdinand E. State of the Nation Address, 24 Jan. 1972. Marcos, Ferdinand E. State of the Nation Address, 21 Sept. 1973. “    [First Lady Imelda Marcos arrives at the capital to an enthusiastic welcome],” People’s Daily, 21 Sept. 1974. Mojares, Resil B. “The Emergence of Asian Intellectuals.” Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, Vol. 49, No. 2, 2013, pp. 1-13. Postlewait, Thomas. The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Historiography, Cambridge University Press, 2009. “President Marcos’ speech.” Peking Review, Vol. 18, No. 24, 1975. Rafael, Vicente L. “Patronage and pornography: Ideology and spectatorship in the early Marcos years,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 32, No. 2, 1990, pp. 282-304. Rempel, William. Delusions of a Dictator: The Mind of Marcos as Revealed in His Secret Diaries, Little, Brown and Company, 1993. Romulo, Carlos P. The Meaning of Bandung, University of North Carolina Press, 1956. Shi-Ching, Hsiao. Chinese-Philippine Diplomatic Relations, Bookman, 1975. Shimazu, Naoko. “Diplomacy as Theatre: Staging the Bandung Conference of 1955.” Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 48. No. 1, 2014, pp. 225-252. U.S. Department of State. “Media comment on Mrs. Imelda Marcos,” Henry Kissinger to the United States Embassy in Manila, 31 Jan. 1976. Valencia, Teodoro. “Over a cup of coffee.” Manila Bulletin, 29 Sept. 1974. “Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-Ping’s Speech,” Peking Review, 7 Nov.1975. Zhang, Hanzhi. Kuaguo Hou Hou de Dahongmen [Crossing the Thick Great Red Gate], Zuojia Chubanshe Writer’s Publishing House, 2011.



Poem: Rice

From the author: When I was a child, I used to help my mother in the kitchen. She called me her shadow because I would follow her around the house. She would assign me simple tasks like sprinkling salt or turning on the faucet. I wanted to capture these moments in this poem to explain how simple moments can shape our identities and values. At the basis of this memory is my experience of learning how to cook. Rice was a constant part of our family’s diet, and its smallness and continuity are important aspects of the poem. Eventually, the small girl in the poem grows up. She learns how her mother has nurtured her understanding of the world, how she wants to be like her mother, and how she also wants to be different.

Natasha Derezinski-Choo is a sophomore at Duke University who grew up in Mississauga, Canada. She is double majoring in Neuroscience and Linguistics. She serves as co-president for Duke Students with Interracial Legacies (SWIRL). She is also a Resident Assistant on East Campus and a Research Assistant in the Bergelson Lab. She is interested in the intersection of cultures. In her free time, she is interested in fitness, cooking, and poetry.


In the old kitchen, the sink was the heart. With 2 chambers it divided cooking and eating into 2 other chambers. Salmon is suspended above the sink. I, on a chair at the faucet side Small and reaching over a skyscraper countertop Tiny hands follow worn ones. She, opposite, holding fish. I sprinkle salt. It is clean. Mother and eldest try to form 2 chambers of a heart. In the old kitchen, I was a shadow. The rice pot rattles like a tambourine A small, dry, cracked hand whisks the white beads in grey metal. Fingers become a strain milky water is poured in the sink, saving rice, Until clean. I believed that there was only one way to make rice White and fleeting. The little are everything. 2 hearts beat in the same hands. Someone had to haul White bags the size of soil Having their own cupboard. She needed arms and maybe A faintly helpful shadow. Shadows will grow over skyscrapers. I will make rice With another’s hands.



Photographs from DukeEngage Zhuhai Summer 2016

From the author: Twelve Duke Students had the opportunity to volunteer in Zhuhai, China for 8 weeks with DukeEngage. They lived with host families and were very immersed in the culture. For these two months, these students worked daily in Zhuhai No. 9 Middle School as oral English teachers and extracurricular coaches. Classes ranged from singing and dancing, to acting, journalism, and sports. The Duke team would also travel to other schools in the area to work, play, and perform with the students for the day. Overall, the experience of being able to work with students from all over Zhuhai was phenomenal.

Raquel Levy is a junior from Long Island, New York. At Duke, she is studying Asian and Middle Eastern Studies with a concentration in Chinese, Economics, and is pursuing a Markets and Management certificate. She engages in various activities and organizations on campus, but her favorite experiences thus far have been her opportunities to travel to South East Asia with Duke. Raquel has spent her past two summers in China, studying abroad on the Duke in China Beijing program and participating in DukeEngage Zhuhai. Both experiences were extremely challenging, but rewarding, and she looks forward to her next trip to China.

DUKE ENGAGE IN ZHUHAI !"#$ (Left) Raquel working with the Red Cross to plan activities with students at a migrant worker’s children school. !

Suzhou teaching his students about transportation and directions in his oral English class. ! DUKE EAST ASIA NEXUS / #%

RAQUEL LEVY (Right) Riley and Kate teaching their oral English class using fun games with fly swatters. !

(Left) Charles playing with students at the migrant worker’s children school.




Derek teaching his students how to play badminton.


Quinn and her host brother having fun in the office. ! DUKE EAST ASIA NEXUS / #&


Students in Guangzhou teach the Duke students a new game. ! (Right) Riley playing with a student at the migrant worker’s children school. !



Suzhou and his host brother Ken on an excursion around Zhuhai. !

Raquel and Kate teaching their hip hop class. DUKE EAST ASIA NEXUS / #(

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank And China’s Soft Regionalism!

Abstract: What factors explain the emergence and structure of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank? This report argues that China’s weak position in existing international financial institutions made its creation of an independent organization largely inevitable. Additionally, the report traces the organizational evolution of the AIIB to make the argument that, despite strong US criticism, the bank positively reflects China’s “soft regionalism,” an identity-based notion of cooperation and common destiny among Asian countries.

Nicolas Reiter is currently a junior studying International Comparative Studies and Japanese at Duke University. He is a dual German-American citizen, and spent the summer of his freshman year in Japan discussing “Non-Traditional Security Threats” at the Japan-America Student Conference. Next semester he will be studying at the Doshisha University in Kyoto.



hina’s meteoric rise from its once downtrodden economic and military state during the greater part of the twentieth century has once again given the country new hope and new muscle with which to assert itself as a major player in regional and global politics. With the advent of a strong Chinese leader in Xi

Jinping, the country is turning away from “tao guang yang hui” (!), the policy under Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao in which China kept its head down and focused primarily on domestic affairs, to occupy a more prominent place as a regional leader (Ren 435). Most recently, China’s new proactive regionalism has taken the form of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank which, true to its name, “focuses on the development of infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia, including energy and power, transportation and telecommunications, rural infrastructure and agriculture development, water supply and sanitation, environmental protection, urban development and logistics, etc.” (AIIB). However, despite its seemingly straightforward mission statement and widespread international support and membership, the AIIB has been criticized most notably by the United States as a ploy to undermine American influence in East Asia and the broader global financial regime (Glaser 25). Does the AIIB represent the first step in a coming wave of dangerous Chinese regional hegemony, or can it be understood as a multilateral and cooperative approach to Chinese regionalism? This report makes two arguments: 1) given the disparity between China’s economic might and its status in international financial institutions, the creation of an independent organization such as the AIIB was largely inevitable, and 2) the AIIB is best understood as a product of China’s soft regionalism, an identity-based notion of “common security, which emphasizes interdependence, mutually beneficial cooperation, and common destiny among Asian countries” (Kuik 1). The evolution of the AIIB’s organizational structure is analyzed and compared with regional and global development-targeted financial institutions. To identify the conditions that led to the creation of the AIIB, it is first necessary to understand China’s history with regional development institutions in the context of its growing economic power. With the dramatic improvement of the economy as a result of the adoption of market reforms beginning in 1978, Beijing has historically played a credible and proactive role in regional organizations (Ba 146). For example, China has been one of the founding members of each ASEAN-based institution from 1994 to 2010, including the “ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Plus Three (APT), the East Asian Summit (EAS), and the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus Eight (ADMM – Plus)” (Kuik 1). China also played a crucial role in creating a system of “east Asian financial regionalism” as a method dof rebuilding and strengthening Asian countries after the shock of the Asian Financial Crisis (Lee 94). Through the framework of the APT, ASEAN+3, China has helped to develop three key institutions: the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) in 2000, designed to contain financial crises; the Asian Bonds Market DUKE EAST ASIA NEXUS / !"

NICHOLAS REITER Initiative (ABMI) in 2002, created to foster local financial markets; and the agreement to research the feasibility of the Asian Currency Unit (ACU) in 2006 to reduce currency volatility (Lee 94). In particular, China’s endorsement of the 2010 reforms to the CMI, termed the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM), represents its commitment to regional cooperation (Lee 95). The restructuring of the organization gave membership to an additional five ASEAN countries, increasing representation to include all ASEAN members. It additionally created an organizational system in which no country has the one-third of voting shares necessary to exercise veto power, and established equity in agenda-setting power by creating a yearly rotating system co-hosted by one ASEAN country and one of China, Japan, or Korea (Lee 96-97). China’s spearheading of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a norms- and consensus-based institution in which all members have a virtual veto despite disparities in the amounts contributed to the budget, similarly underlines Beijing’s “longstanding stance of constructing non-hegemonic multilateral cooperation” (Lee 99-100). Amidst the backdrop of regionalism, two factors can be said to have spurred the creation of the AIIB: Beijing’s booming economy and its institutional exclusion from the upper echelons of international financial organizations. As China’s economy grew, so did its importance in and responsibility to the region, thus necessitating a change in the established market order and financial institutions. In 2009, China surpassed the US as ASEAN’s largest trade partner, upsetting the traditional dependent economic relationship in which ASEAN countries relied heavily on Japan and the US as export markets (Ba 150). Unlike Japan, whose economic rise had correlated with an extension of production chains into Southeast Asia, while failing to disrupt ASEAN reliance on US markets because of its relatively closed domestic market, China’s “inwards” strategy of attracting foreign capital and businesses drove demand, mostly for “intermediate goods,” throughout the regional economy (Ba 153). Moreover, China currently sits on an estimated 4.3 trillion dollars in foreign reserves, mostly in US bonds, which it is seeking to diversify through regional investment (Lu et al. 521). As the economy develops, more Chinese companies seek to invest overseas to achieve “desired upward movement in the value chain,” which is also being prompted by the movement of “state capital” (Ren 440). The 2016 decision by the IMF to include the Renminbi “in its basket of currencies that determine the value of the Special Drawing Rights” demonstrates the deepening interconnectivity and growing importance of the Chinese economy to regional and global capital flows (Makhlouf 108). Finally, the 2014 Chinese White Paper on foreign aid, which increased the budget by one-third and outlined a shift from interest-free to concessional loans, “commonly used for infrastructure projects that commercial banks might deem too risky to fund,” shows that China has identified infrastructure development as a key potential area of diversification and investment (Ba 155-156). Although China’s capacity and willingness to invest in development grew, its institutional status did not reflect this change. As shown in the table below, China’s share DUKE EAST ASIA NEXUS / !!

THE AIIB AND CHINA’S SOFT REGIONALISM of votes in numerous financial organizations does not mirror its status as the world’s second largest economy, which has even surpassed the US in purchasing power parity (Euroweek 18-22). Share Asian World African International Interof Development Bank Development Monetary American Votes Bank (ADB) Bank Fund (IMF) Dev. (in %) Bank US 15.56% 16.5% 6.6% 17.398% 30% Japan 15.67% 7.8% 5.5% 6.467% 5% China 6.47% 4.8% 1.1% 3.65% 0.004% Moreover, rigid institutional constraints prevented China from increasing its clout despite its newfound economic footing. In both the World Bank and the IMF, the US exceeds the fifteen percent mark required to sustain a veto “over major issues requiring a qualified majority,” and therefore has the power to set the agenda and block China’s interests (Lee 93). Because of this system, China finds itself disproportionately constrained by US domestic politics and interests. For example, the 2010 reform package to reform the Bretton Woods institutions, which would have given emerging economies a slightly higher vote share and would have raised China’s vote share in the IMF from 3.65% to 6.19%, was blocked by the US Congress “because of suspicion and inaction” (Ren 436; Euroweek 22). Although China was able to achieve some success in attainting what it felt was a deserved say in regional organizations (it, for example, gained the same status as Japan in the post-2008 global financial crisis Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility mechanism under the ADB as the largest contributor at 28.5%), it was nevertheless faced with the prospect of continually playing second fiddle to the US and Japan in the World Bank and the IMF, which led to the push for the AIIB, “a reflection of Beijing’s frustration over Western, especially American, dominance of the existing international multilateral bodies” (Ba 162; Ren 436). Xi Jinping first announced to idea of AIIB in 2013 just before the APEC meeting in Bali, Indonesia (Lee 100). Premier Li Keqiang reiterated the concept at the Boao Forum for Asia in April 2014, proposing that the bank be launched via an “intergovernmental memorandum of understanding among participating states” in October of 2014 (Lee 100). China’s proposed form for the AIIB represented institutional hegemony on a scale unseen even in the World Bank or the IMF (Lee 100). Three key mechanisms supported the hegemonic design of the proposed AIIB: funding size, the Executive Committee (also known as the board of governors), and a board of directors staffed by nonpermanent members (Lee 101). First, it was proposed that the bank start with an initial authorized capital of $100 billion (subscribed capital likely at around $50 billion), with China contributing half of the initial capital at $50 billion, and the other half of the funding to be contributed by the remaining members relative to the size of respective GDP (Lee 101). Not only would this grant China with sole veto power, but the largest donor in an international financial institution also traditionally contributes DUKE EAST ASIA NEXUS / !#

NICHOLAS REITER less than thirty percent of the fund (Lee 101). China’s plan to finance at least half of the fund indicated its “intention to put the AIIB under its firm control” (Lee 101). Furthermore, China suggested the creation of an Executive Committee, which would take charge of “feasibility analysis of AIIB projects, investment planning, project implementation and investment overhaul, functions normally assigned to the board of directors in other international financial institutions” (Lee 102). In addition, China proposed that it would “exercise full discretion over the selection and appointment of Executive Committee members” (Lee 102). Finally, the proposal to have a board of directors staffed by non-permanent members, coupled with the fact that the Executive Committee would assume most roles traditionally left to the board, meant that the board “would be relegated to a discussion forum, convening once every three months” (Lee 102). China’s justification for the non-permanent member board was to avoid the political squabbling and special interest jockeying typically associated with permanent member boards. However, because such boards provide a platform for multilateral representation and derive authority from “agreement among member states to delegate decision-making power,” they are regarded as “the most important apparatus designed to ensure the institution’s autonomy from major donor states” (Lee 100-102). China’s proposed structure for the AIIB signaled a stark transition from its multilateral history, and even from more recent development ventures such as the New Development Bank (NDB), which initially left many countries wary of joining for fear of being dominated by Chinese interests (Lee 107). Comparing the proposed AIIB and the NDB, which was established among the BRICS members (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), one can see how radical the institutional arrangements China was suggesting for the AIIB were (Lee 107). The NDB had an initial total funding size of $100 billion with a start-up capital $50 billion (Lee 107). Contribution was divided evenly, with all members pledging an initial $10 billion, with the promise to increase contribution to $100 billion over the next five years (Lee 107). The NDB had a board of directors operating on a permanent-member basis and a rotating presidency every five years (Lee 107). Initially, China had pledged to contribute the most funds in an attempt to gain more votes, but this proposal was rejected by the other members (Lee 107). China did manage to gain some control by contributing the most funds to the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, an apparatus designed to provide emergency liquidity to member states in crisis, but overall the NDB structure was similar to “CMIM style non-hegemony” (Lee 108). While the original proposal for the structure of the AIIB was a sharp turn from China’s standard multilateral path, the reform process and ultimate organizational schema of the AIIB gives credence to the argument that the bank serves to promote China’s soft regionalism. By May 2015, the Articles of Agreement for the AIIB were signed by its fifty-seven founding members, and the bank was institutionalized as follows: 1) the bank is headquartered in Beijing, and has an initial capital stock of $100 billion, 2) China, with 26.06% of the votes, has a de facto veto, as Article 28(2) states that DUKE EAST ASIA NEXUS / !$

THE AIIB AND CHINA’S SOFT REGIONALISM “decisions involving structure, membership, capital increases, and other significant issues require a super majority of not less than three-fourths of the total voting power of the members,” and 3) the dual board system is retained, with the board of directors functioning on a non-permanent resident basis (Chin 13-15). Although the institutional changes seem minor, Beijing has actually made substantial concessions to promote a more multilateral framework in its organization. Relating firstly to the veto, although China retains its veto power, it was not without credible effort to involve enough countries so as to do away with the power. In the runup to the signing of the Articles, Beijing reportedly offered spots to both the US and Japan, holding trilateral talks with Japan and South Korea to convince the island nation to join (Chin 13; Ren 437). Although it was unthinkable that the US could join because of Congressional opposition, Beijing had offered “to forgo the veto power and reduce its voting rights to less than one-quarter” if Japan joined, and when Japan refused because of its ties with the US, “the other members supported” Beijing’s veto power “given China’s initial $29.78 billion contribution to the bank’s $100 billion capital base” (Chin 13). Additionally, although the AIIB retains the aforementioned Executive Committee in the form of the upper board of governors, it has changed into a multilateral institution, with the Articles guaranteeing that “each member shall be represented on the Board of Governors and shall appoint one Governor and one Alternate Governor” (Articles 13). Finally, the removal of China’s power over the board of governors makes the nonpermanent member status of the board of directors less threatening to multilateralism, and China has reasonably justified the non-permanent member status by pointing to debates over similar reforms in the IMF and by arguing that the non-permanent status is key to the bank’s mission to be “lean, clean and green” (Chin 15; AIIB). The success of the reform process in creating a more multilateral AIIB structure reifies China’s overarching desire to use the bank to lay claim to soft regionalism. South Korea, for example, initially refused to join the bank, with Finance Minister Choi Kyong Hwan arguing that China’s proposals “seem not to live up to the levels of rationality and fairness practiced in most IFIs” (Lee 106). China’s acquiescence to reform conditions demanded by member states suggests that “the evolution of AIIB may provide a model of how China’s behavior can be shaped by the collective efforts of the international community and how China’s ambitions can be accommodated without overturning the existing international order” (Ren 439). Institutional structures that 1) assure nine of the twelve members of the board of directors are from regional members, 2) limit the shares of non-regional members to one-third, and 3) reserve at least seventyfive percent of votes for Asians additionally underscore China’s commitment to the “regional feel” and notion of “common destiny among Asian countries” (Euroweek 24; Chin 14; Kuik 1). China has also reiterated its commitment to merit-, not nationalitybased, recruitment of the AIIB president, unlike the World Bank, IMF, and ADB, with perpetual American, European, and Japanese heads respectively (Ren 439). When


NICHOLAS REITER compared with the makeup of the ADB, which is still largely dominated by the US, Japan, and Canada, China’s regional narrative seems all the more earnest (Chin 14). Finally, the US’s claim that the AIIB represents nothing more than a political power-play on the part of China to displace American interests in the region must be evaluated. First, it is important to note that despite clear American opposition to the bank, all major US allies, with the exceptions of Japan and Canada, have joined the AIIB (Ren 438). With the support of the remaining four European countries from the G7, Australia, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore, it is clear that the US “adopted a policy of containment that was wrong in principle and failed in practice” (Ren 438). Additionally, by the ADB’s own estimates, an investment of $800 billion per year is required for substantial Asian infrastructure development over the next decade (Lee 101). The World Bank has $223 billion in subscribed capital and can loan about $50 billion per year, whereas the ADB has only an estimated $78 billion in subscribed capital, meaning there is such a “vast unmet demand” for investment that “AIIB will not be in a position where it can monopolize infrastructure funding in the region” (Lee 101; Euroweek 25). The fact that the AIIB will most likely be co-financed by the ADB and can take advantage of China’s overcapacity of production to finance large-scale projects, such as the development of coal power in India, which the US opposes due to environmental concerns, proves that the risk of competition over contracts is low, and points more to a Chinese strategy which genuinely seeks to improve the economic conditions of developing Asian countries (Euroweek 26; Ba 162; Chin 19). Despite its miraculous economic performance and rise as a global power, China was denied what it felt was deserved influence in key financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF. Opting to then create a new mechanism for development, China has proven remarkably flexible and open to multilateral checks on its power, highlighting the value it has assigned soft regionalism. Although it is difficult to draw broader conclusions about China’s regional goals in a political sense because of the breadth of Chinese policy in other arenas, such as its aggressive island building activities in the South China Sea and its independent financing of Pakistani infrastructure under the One Road One Belt initiative, the renewed signal of commitment to multilateralism China has sent out through the AIIB is a positive sign for future East Asian economic and diplomatic development.

Works Cited “Articles of Agreement.” Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. “AIIB.” Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Ba, Alice D. “Is China leading? China, Southeast Asia and East Asian integration.” Political Science, Vol. 66, No. 2, 2014, pp. 143–165. Chin, Gregory T. “Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: Governance innovation and prospects.” Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2016, pp. 11-25. Euroweek. “AIIB: regional solution or global threat?” General OneFile, 2016, pp. 18-26. Glaser, Bonnie. “US-China relations: China makes strides with AIIB and a Great Wall


THE AIIB AND CHINA’S SOFT REGIONALISM of Sand.” Comparative Connections, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2015, pp. 19-34,150-151,154. Kuik, Cheng-Chwee. “An emerging 3rd pillar in Asian architecture? AIIB and other China-led initiatives.” Asia Pacific Bulletin, Vol. 305, 2016, pp. 1-2. Lee, Yong Wook. “Nonhegemonic or hegemonic Cooperation? Institutional evolution of East Asian financial regionalism.” The Korean Journal of International Studies Vol.13, No.1, 2015, pp. 89-115. Lu et al. “Comprehensive development evaluation system of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank based on Double Diamond Model.” American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, Vol. 5, 2015, pp. 518-526. Makhlouf, Hany H. “China in the world economy.” Journal of Economics and Political Economy, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2016, pp. 105-110. Ren, Xiao. “China as an institution-builder: the case of the AIIB.” The Pacific Review, Vol. 29, No. 3, 2016, pp. 435-442.


Nanjing Narratives in Japanese Museums: On a Road to the Right

Abstract: Contrary to popular belief, Japanese museum narratives of their country’s role in the 1933-1945 Asia-Pacific War have been far from uniform. While right-leaning organizations have minimized Japanese aggression, left-leaning groups have acknowledged Japan’s perpetration of violence. Since the 1990s, however, rightwing nationalists have attempted to discredit exhibits acknowledging Japanese responsibility for Nanjing and other instances of brutality in China. In response, public museums have repeatedly been forced to undergo “renewals,” removing left-wing content and neutralizing their displays to fit the official narrative. Despite these setbacks, progressive narratives have continued to vie for public attention in private spaces, accomplishing what public museums fail to.

Abigail Sneider is a senior at Yale University from Tokyo, Japan. She is double-majoring in Music and History, with a concentration in Cultural History. Her research focuses on historical memory, specifically spaces of memory such as museums and memorials. At Yale, she also studies operatic voice and sings with the Yale Glee Club.



any in China and other nations terrorized by Japan during the 1931-1945 Asia-Pacific War are continually frustrated by the prominence of right-wing narratives of Japanese victimhood and denial of war responsibility. That said, the histories presented by the over 200 Japanese war and peace museums addressing the conflict are far from uniform (Hein and Takenaka 66). Contrary to popular belief, Japanese memory of the conflict is hotly contested, with many citizens vehemently supporting narratives that acknowledge Japan’s role as an aggressor (Jeans 149). At one end of the spectrum, right-wing activists refuse to acknowledge the brutalities of the Nanjing Massacre and instead present Japan as a victim.1 At the other, progressives recognize Japan’s perpetration of violence in China and fight for a more honest portrayal of Nanjing in the official government narrative. In recent years, this narrative conflict has increasingly culminated in right-wing protests against liberal-leaning museums, both public and private. Since the 1990s, as right-wing nationalists have attempted to discredit exhibits acknowledging Japanese responsibility for Nanjing and other instances of brutality in China, public museums have repeatedly been forced to remove left-wing content and neutralize their displays to fit the official narrative. Despite these setbacks, progressive narratives continue to vie for public attention in private spaces, accomplishing what public museums fail to. This article will trace the development of Japan’s narrative controversy from the 1980s to the present, from textbooks and controversial speeches to widely visited museum displays. It will examine the challenges faced by public and private war and peace museums as the official right-leaning narrative has gained political traction in recent years. I. Development of a Narrative Controversy The Nanjing narrative controversy in Japan did not surface in full form until thirty to forty years after the war. It began brewing in the 1980s in a debate over textbooks. In 1982, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) government began to fight to soften descriptions of Japanese aggression in secondary school textbooks. Seen as an “attempt to whitewash the past,” this campaign triggered a ferocious backlash—historians and citizens alike began to think critically about Japan’s role as a victimizer in the war and shoulder their responsibility to preserve that historical narrative (“Whom should we remember” 18). In 1989, Emperor Hirohito’s illness, and subsequent death, was a watershed moment in Japan’s discussion of historical memory. Japanese politicians, professors, and journalists began to publicly debate Hirohito’s war responsibility and to question the legacy and value of the emperor system in general (The Making of ‘The Rape of Nanking’ 130). Memory of Japanese aggression in China was a particular focus. The debate gained momentum in 1993 when Morihiro Hosokawa was elected the first non-LDP Prime Minister since 1955. Hosokawa, unlike his LDP predecessors, actively The Nanjing Massacre occurred over a six-week period between December 1937 and January 1938 in Nanjing, then the Chinese capital. During the massacre, Japanese troops murdered and raped thousands of Nanjing civilians. The number of victims is widely disputed. 1


ABIGAIL SNEIDER acknowledged Japan’s wartime aggression, going so far as to formally apologize for the country’s violent actions in his inaugural address. LDP members were appalled and the issue of national memory returned in full force to the Diet floor and to the attention of nationalist activists. Although Hosokawa’s stint in office lasted less than a year, one of his successors, Tomiichi Murayama, shared his views on Japanese aggression in China. Japan’s first socialist prime minister, Murayama shared Hosokawa’s desire to see his country “become a responsible member of the international community” by acknowledging its perpetration of violence in the Asia-Pacific War (The Making of ‘The Rape of Nanking’ 132-133). On August 15, 1995, Murayama released a now famous statement, “On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war’s end,” devoted to apologizing for Japan’s aggression: During a certain period in the not too distant past, Japan, following a mistaken national policy, advanced along the road to war, only to ensnare the Japanese people in a fateful crisis, and, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. In the hope that no such mistake be made in the future, I regard, in a spirit of humility, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology … Building from our deep remorse on this occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of the war, Japan must eliminate self-righteous nationalism, promote international coordination as a responsible member of the international community and, thereby, advance the principles of peace and democracy (Murayama). With progressive governmental leadership in place throughout the mid-1990s, memory of Japanese aggression in Asia dominated the nation’s historical narrative. During the 1990s, as a result of active war memory discourse and debate, many new war and peace museums emerged. Additionally, preexisting museums such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Nagasaki Atom Bomb Museum were redesigned to include material about Japanese atrocities including the Nanjing Massacre. According to scholar Takashi Yoshida, both public and private museums strived to “[commemorate] the suffering not only of Japanese, but of non-Japanese as well” (The Making of ‘The Rape of Nanking’ 135). This development angered right-wing nationalists. These groups began to protest exhibits they deemed “masochistic” and self-critical, claiming that such narratives undermined national pride and dignity (Seaton 8) II. The Role of Public and Private War and Peace Museums in the Narrative Debate Museums, more so than any other mode of narrative transmission, came into the crosshairs of the debate over the national narrative of the 1931-1945 Asia-Pacific War. This is largely because of the inherently educational mission of historical exhibits. Examining World War II exhibits in Japan and the United States, Laura Hein and Akiko Takenaka wrote that “controversy has erupted most often when young people … comprised the target audience” (62). Indeed, in the case of many Japanese museums, students make up the largest contingency of visitors. Peace Osaka, for instance, reports that 60% of its visitors are students, most of them coming to the museum on official school trips (Seaton 2). These trips


NANJING NARRATIVES IN JAPANESE MUSEUMS are intended to supplement and enhance classroom learning, which is based on the whitewashed national history that has dominated textbooks since the 1980s. When a museum presents a different interpretation of events, or displays graphic images of the Nanjing Massacre and other Japanese violence, students are likely to question textbook history. Worse yet, from the nationalist point of view, these young people might be persuaded by the museum’s progressive narrative and lose their “love of country” (Seaton 8). Japan’s numerous war and peace museums have presented divergent views in their exhibitions, physicalizing the ideological conflict over memory of the Asia-Pacific War. Takashi Yoshida identifies three categories of museums (“Whom should we remember” 16). First, there are museums that represent the right-wing narrative, glorifying and romanticizing the war, most prominently Yasukuni Shrine’s Yushukan Museum. These museums valorize Kamikaze pilots and other war dead. They “deny by omission Japanese war crimes,” including the Nanjing Massacre (Seaton 2). They present Japan as victim, rather than victimizer. Second, other museums present pacifist messages and acknowledge Japan’s role as an aggressor in China. Third, an increasing number of museums attempt to avoid the controversy altogether, focusing on details that both right and left agree upon, such as the day-to-day experience of Japanese citizens during the war. While these museums may mention the place name “Nanjing” in passing, they elect not to provide any historical context or details of the massacre so as to avoid provoking right-wing critics. Public museum exhibits originally in the second category have increasingly been softened to the third category’s neutral stance in order to appease right-wing activists. III. Right Wing “Renewals” of Public Museum Narratives In 1996, a swing to the right in the political leadership of the country lent momentum to the conservative interpretation of Japan’s role in the Asia-Pacific War. In January of that year, Prime Minister Murayama left office and was succeeded by prominent LDP Leader Ryutaro Hashimoto. At this time, conservative protests against progressive museum exhibits began in earnest. Peace Osaka, the Sakai City Museum, the Nagasaki Atom Bomb Museum, the Saitama Peace Museum, and the Kawasaki Peace Museum are just five of the many public museums that since 1996 have faced severe opposition to their portrayals of the “15-Year War,” as liberals refer to the conflict.2 Private museums such as the Kyoto Museum for World Peace and the Oka Masaharu Memorial Peace Museum also came under fire. That said, they were far better equipped to defend their displays as they were not subject to the threat of political and economic pressure from local governments. The Nagasaki Atom Bomb Museum was one of the first sites of major right-wing protests. On January 3, 1996, the Asahi Shinbun, one of Japan’s leading liberal news outlets, published a front-page story detailing the curators’ new plans for exhibits about Japanese aggression. They intended to introduce several new displays implicating Japanese actions during the war in East Asia. The “Sino-Japanese War and Pacific War Corner,” for

Terminology used to describe the Asia-Pacific War vary according to the political stance of the writer or speaker. “15-Year War” is one of the most common terms used in the liberal media but seldom appears in conservative or nationalist contexts.



ABIGAIL SNEIDER example, would tackle Japanese violence during the 1930s, displaying maps, timelines, and images. According to the article, the Nanjing Massacre would be among the atrocities highlighted in the exhibit. Commenting on the museum’s upcoming changes, Iccho Ito, the Mayor of Nagasaki stated, “we must reflect deeply and face the history of the aggression and assault towards countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Without reflection and apology, our plea for nuclear weapons abolition will not resonate with the world.” Representing the dominant sentiments in his city, the mayor expressed his wholehearted approval of the museum, tying it to the pacifist goals of a metropolis that had endured unimaginable trauma and destruction. With their unabashed support for the Nagasaki Atom Bomb Museum’s new acknowledgement of Japanese aggression, the Mayor’s quote and the Asahi article enraged right-wing extremists (“’Nihon no kagai’ tenji kaku” 1). In April 1996, just days after the museum’s reopening, some 300 right-wing activists gathered in Nagasaki, protesting the new exhibits and demanding their immediate removal (“Whom should we remember” 18). The protestors came from several different extremist groups including the Citizens Association to Rectify the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and the Liberal View of History Study Group. Using their standard tactic, these organizations refuted the veracity of the museum’s narrative of the Nanjing Massacre. Mizuro Fukushima, a leading member of the Citizens Association to Rectify the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, argued that “many students visit the museum, and they don't have much experience in life … they think what they see is true. And in this museum they could think that we were bombed because we did bad things” (Kristof). Fukushima not only believed that the deployment of the atomic bomb was unwarranted, but also insisted on denying any plausible examples of Japanese aggression that could be used to morally justify its use. The exhibit in question was modest and was situated on the periphery of the museum floor. A timeline of Japanese actions in Korea and China occupied most of the display. But that was not what incensed the right-wingers. The provocative item was a blurry, black and white photograph of a woman being assaulted, its caption explaining that the image was captured during the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, or Nankin Daigyakusatsu.3 Nationalists insisted that the photograph was falsified. Caving in to their demands, Prime Minister Hashimoto “[instructed] the Foreign Ministry and the Education Ministry to investigate whether photos of Japanese military aggression in museums around Japan are authentic or fabricated” (Kristof). Even Mayor Ito was pressured to retract his support for the museum, ordering it to remove the photo in question in June of that year. In its place, the museum installed another blurry, black and white image. The caption explained that Chinese refugees were fleeing Nanjing, without indicating what might have caused their exodus. While the references to Nanjing were not entirely stripped out, the narrative contextualizing those mentions was completely cannibalized. But the Nagasaki Atom Bomb Museum was just one progressive exhibition to be assaulted.

Daigyakusatsu, literally translating to ‘large massacre’ is a term used by the liberal media. On the rare occasion when conservatives acknowledge Japan’s presence, let alone violence, in Nanjing, they use the term Nankin Jihen, or ‘Nanjing Incident.’ 3


NANJING NARRATIVES IN JAPANESE MUSEUMS More recently, in 2013, the Peace Museum of Saitama faced a similar controversy over its mention of the Nanjing Massacre. The museum removed the reference under political pressure from netto uyoku, or right-wing netizens, a product of the Internet age (Seaton 14). In the fall of 2013, the museum’s displays on the “Early Showa Period,” conveniently defined as 1926 though August 15, 1945, underwent a so-called “renewal.” According to the Asahi Shinbun, the most significant change was the replacement of the timeline portion of the exhibit. All controversial events were removed from the timeline, resulting in a reduction of the number of items included in the display from 92 to 13. Unsurprisingly, the Nanjing Massacre was one of the events entirely erased from the exhibit. Saitama Governor Kiyoshi Ueda told the Asahi, “it is important that [the museum] teach correct Japanese history, rather than inspiring masochistic feelings in prefectural residents” (“Sengo 70-nen” 29). Kiyoshi used the standard right-wing excuse of historical accuracy as a way to legitimize the sanitization of the Peace Museum of Saitama’s war narrative. While the removal of historical facts is problematic on any scale, other museums faced even more dramatic ‘renewals’ as a result of right-wing pressure. The most dramatic recent example of a rightist peace museum ‘renewal’ is the saga of Peace Osaka, or the Osaka International Peace Center. Undergoing nearly 20 years of nationalist attacks, the museum made concession after concession, eventually culminating in a dramatic redesign in 2015. When Peace Osaka was established in 1991, it was lauded internationally for its progressive attitude toward displaying Japanese aggression during the 1930s and 1940s (Seaton 2). The museum primarily intended to document the experience of the war in Osaka. That said, its curators believed that they had a responsibility to situate the destruction and hardships in the context of Japan’s actions in China and elsewhere in Asia. The museum’s original English language pamphlet states: “we shall not forget that Japan was responsible for the great hardships suffered by the [people] of China [on] … the battlegrounds of the fifteen-year war which ended on August 15, 1945” (“A guide to the exhibition”). Although the international community praised this position, the domestic response was far from universally positive. The political controversy over war memory in the 1990s complicated Peace Osaka’s emergence and rise to prominence among peace museums in Japan. Right-wing groups began to attack the museum in 1996 immediately following their success with the Nagasaki Atom Bomb Museum. In early 1997, at the insistence of a newly established entity called the “Group to Correct Biased Exhibits of War-Related Material,” colloquially referred to as Tadasu-kai, the museum toned down its displays slightly (Hein and Takenaka 70). Once again, this organization and its followers claimed that the museum’s exhibits on Japanese aggression in China were factually inaccurate. That said, at this time, unlike its peers, Peace Osaka was able to avoid entirely scrapping its “15-Year War” display. Instead, the curators simply removed one photo and re-captioned two others (Seaton 2). The incriminating material illustrated Japan’s “bombing of unarmed civilians, … use of poison gas, and … inhumane treatment of its own colonial subjects” (Hein and Takenaka 71). A photo of the “Massacre of Koreans by Japanese soldiers at Beijiandao” was taken down, while captions reading “Stacked corpses of Chongqing citizens after Japanese bombing raid” and “Japanese soldiers charging into Shanghai wearing gas masks” were sanitized (Hein and Takenaka 71-


ABIGAIL SNEIDER 72). Following this so-called victory, Tadasu-kai continued its assault on the museum, exploiting the museum’s public sponsorship. Tadasu-kai capitalized on the public access rules imposed upon Peace Osaka by the Osaka city and prefectural governments and demanded the use of its facilities for local nationalist gatherings. Describing the institution’s saga of attacks, Philip Seaton explained that “as a publicly funded museum, Peace Osaka could not turn down requests by local tax payers to use their facilities on ideological grounds” (Seaton 2). Realizing this, on March 22, 1999, Tadasu-kai organized a film screening at the museum. The film on display was Pride, a celebratory biopic of Hideki Tojo, the wartime Prime Minister and military general. Commemorating and honoring Tojo, a convicted Class-A war criminal, completely contradicted the museum’s progressive mission. Representatives from Tadasu-kai claimed that Pride presented “correct history.” They claimed that the fact that Peace Osaka allowed them to use museum space for the screening was evidence of the museum staff’s belief in the accuracy of the film’s narrative (“Heiwa-hakubutsukan” 30). The screening of Pride was not without protest. Just three months later, community members in favor of acknowledging Japan’s true role in the Asia-Pacific War refuted Tadasu-kai’s assertions, stating that the display of Pride directly contradicted the museum’s principles. They organized a symposium called “Think Seriously about Peace: The Historical Verification of ‘Pride’” (Hein and Takenaka 72). A Chinese researcher of Sino-Japanese history and relations present at the event explained the symposium’s purpose: “In order to truly have pride, one must have a clear understanding of the past. Admitting the facts of the past will facilitate solidarity between Japan and Asia” (“Gakusha-ra”). Undeterred, local Tadasu-kai members continued to take advantage of their right to use Peace Osaka’s public spaces. On January 23, 2000, they organized an assembly entitled “The Biggest Lie of the Twentieth Century: a Thorough Investigation of the Nanjing Massacre.” The event was met with significant criticism, primarily from the local organization “Peace Osaka Citizens Networks” which demanded that the museum refuse Tadasu-kai’s demands to use their space. Over 150 protestors gathered at Peace Osaka, their placards including such statements as “the Nanjing Massacre is historical fact!” (“Osaka no heiwa”). Tadasu-kai also employed economic attacks on Peace Osaka. These efforts began with a petition in 1998, in which the organization demanded that the city cease subsidizing the museum (Hein and Takenaka 72). Although that petition was a failure, later right-wing efforts on the economic front were more successful following political turnovers in 2008 and 2011. In 2008, Toru Hashimoto, a member of the local nationalist “Japan Restoration Party” was elected Governor of Osaka prefecture. In 2011, he became the Mayor of Osaka city, while one of his colleagues, Ichiro Matsui, succeeded him as Governor of Osaka prefecture. Finally, Tadasu-kai and its peers had the political support they needed to reform Peace Osaka. Both city and prefectural governments put increasing pressure on the museum, threatening to withdraw financial support. With limited revenue, it would have been impossible for the museum to sustain itself without government sponsorship. In 2013, Peace Osaka surrendered, agreeing to a total renewal of its exhibits despite local protests.


NANJING NARRATIVES IN JAPANESE MUSEUMS By the time Peace Osaka reopened on May 1, 2015, the museum had undergone a significant physical and ideological conversion. Comparing the museum pamphlets from before and after the renewal, these changes are readily apparent. Originally, the museum had three main permanent exhibits: “Osaka Air Raid and the Daily Life of the People,” “15Year War,” and “Aspiration for Peace” (“A guide to the exhibition”). An exhibit called “When the World was Embroiled in War” replaced Peace Osaka’s blunt “15-Year War” display. Cabinets exhibiting artifacts and graphic images of the Nanjing Massacre and similar atrocities were replaced with maps and an explanation of how the “emergence of new weapons increased damage” during that time (“Exhibition guide: Peace museum”). The museum focused almost exclusively on the war experience of Osaka residents, completely neglecting to acknowledge the traumas of people in China and elsewhere in East Asia. Like Peace Osaka, the Sakai City Peace and Human Rights Museum encountered controversy over its exhibits. During the summer of 1996, the museum mounted a special exhibit entitled “Chinese Slave Labor in Osaka.” Its curators were also in the process of designing an exhibit comparing history textbooks of neighboring Asian nations. Naturally, right-wing extremists were incensed and visited the museum shortly after the first exhibit opened, accusing its curators of pursuing an anti-patriotic and masochistic path. Bowing to their demands, the museum “retreated from [its] initial objectives and began to take a more conciliatory approach to [its] critics” (“Whom should we remember 18). Not only did the museum cancel its planned textbook exhibit, but it also terminated its lending policy. Since its founding, the museum had assembled a collection of [contentious] wall panels and artifacts which it had lent out to the community. Furthermore, the museum “removed all artifacts that underscored or suggested Japan’s war crimes” (Apsel). IV. Private Museums Stand up to the Rise of the Right Frustrated by the limitations imposed upon her as a publicly employed curator, Kazuko Yoshioka quit her job at the Sakai City Peace and Human Rights Museum in 1996 and opened a new museum about textbooks in 1997 (Apsel). Her ‘Hall of Textbooks’ is home to roughly 5000 textbooks from Japan and neighboring nations. She has adopted the Sakai City Museum’s former lending policy and regularly loans artifacts, textbooks, and exhibit panels to other museums and interested parties (“Whom should we remember” 1819). Yoshioka’s Hall of Textbooks is one of several private museums to maintain a liberal lens on history as public museums retreat one by one. As publicly run museum after museum has fallen to right-wing pressure and neutralized its exhibits, private museums have assumed those spaces’ abandoned responsibility to present a balanced historical narrative. These private institutions preserve the liberal narratives that public curators rightfully want to display in their museums. Two of the most prominent private war-related museums are the Kyoto Museum for World Peace and the Masaharu Oka Memorial Peace Museum in Nagasaki. Founded on the campus of Ritsumeikan University, the Kyoto Museum for World Peace was built with the mission of “fostering the understanding necessary to build a peaceful world” (“Introduction: Founding Purpose”). As a result, the museum does not shy


ABIGAIL SNEIDER away from explicit displays of the Fifteen Year War. The museum’s English language website describes the following exhibit: In September 1931, Japan invaded northeastern China, initiating what is known in this country as “The Fifteen-Year War.” Japan later used the Marco Polo Bridge (Lugouqiao) Incident of July 1937 as a pretext to launch an all-out war against China. … Japanese military forces carried out indiscriminate bombing and used poison gases and biological weapons against China and other countries. In war zones, they killed and tortured soldiers and civilians alike, their operations aimed at totally destroying areas that put up resistance. One of the museum’s most prominent displays in this section shows images of civilians in Japan “reveling in the fall of Nanjing in December 1937,” images similar to those that were forcefully removed at the Kyoto Museum’s public peer institutions (“Revising the past” 5). As a private museum, this institution was always more able to control its content and present a liberal narrative than public museums. Likewise, the Oka Masaharu Memorial Peace Museum opened in 1995 with the mission of revealing “the reality of aggression by Japanese army and irresponsible attitude of our government, [and demanding] its honest apologies and proper compensation to victims.” The namesake of this museum, Masaharu Oka was a member of the Nagasaki city assembly who devoted his life to defending the rights of Korean victims of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki and their relatives. Although he died in 1994, fellow citizens saw his planned museum through to completion. The museum’s exhibits cover such topics as aggression in Korea and China, “the truth of ‘the sphere of co-prosperity in East Asia’” (the Japanese name for its colonial policy), and the dearth of postwar compensation for victims. The museum’s English and Japanese webpages both proudly state that the museum has never sought financial support from the government or any private business so that it may have full autonomy over its content (“Oka Masaharu”). As a result, as of 2005, the museum can barely make ends meet, doing so only by relying heavily on volunteer and NGO support (Hein and Takenaka 68). Its commitment to its cause despite financial difficulties is not only admirable, but demonstrates the dedication of left-leaning Japanese citizens to stand up for the balanced historical narrative they support. V. Conclusion In light of the recent rise in right-wing museum takedowns, private museums like the Kyoto Museum for World Peace and the Oka Masaharu Memorial Peace Museum remain some of the few visual bastions of a liberal narrative of Japanese aggression in East Asia during the 1930s and 1940s. Despite the cascade of exhibit neutralizations under rightwing pressure, each museum’s fight has received national media attention and criticism. The public outlook on the Japanese war narrative remains highly variable despite the changes in war and peace museum culture. A recent Pew Research Center survey indicates that 62% of Japanese citizens believe that Japan “should limit its military role in the Asia-Pacific region,” suggesting that popular opinion continues to be shaped by left-leaning narratives of World War II (“Think Japan is insular?”).


NANJING NARRATIVES IN JAPANESE MUSEUMS As a result of the sanitization of public museum exhibits, present-day public school students are exposed more and more exclusively to the right-leaning portrayal of the war. When these students come of age, it is not unlikely that public opinion will shift to reflect the nationalist historical perspective with which they have been presented. Perhaps, however, the future will bring a political shift that enables public institutions to once again share the burden of the Japanese past, enabling students and the general public to more actively engage with their country’s misdeeds. But, in the meantime, private museums must carry the torch of historical accuracy in Japan.

Works Cited “A guide to the exhibition,” Osaka International Peace Center, Accessed 30 April 2016. “Exhibition guide: Peace museum preserving the memories of the Osaka Air Raids,” Osaka International Peace Center. “Gakusha-ra `rekishi itsuwaru' eiga `puraido' kensh! shinpo” !"#$%&'() !"!!"#$%& !!"!"#$ [Scholars hold symposium saying the film ‘Pride’ is a ‘historical lie’], Asahi Shinbun *+,-, 27 June 27 1999, p. 30. Hein, Laura, and Akiko Takenaka. "Exhibiting World War II in Japan and the United States since 1995." Pacific Historical Review, vol.76, no.1 (2007), pp.61-94. “Heiwa-hakubutsukan de eiga ‘Puraido: unmei no shunkan’ no jyoeikai” !"#$%!"!"!!"#$ !" ./012)0345 67 [Osaka Peace Museum screens film ‘Pride: Moment of Fate’], Asahi Shinbun !"#$, 22 March 1999, p. 30. Jeans, Roger B. "Victims or victimizers? Museums, textbooks, and the war debate in contemporary Japan." The Journal of Military History, vol. 69, no.1 (2005), pp.149-195. Kristof, Nicholas. “Nagasaki Journal; Today's History Lesson: What Rape of Nanjing?” New York Times, 4 July 1996. Murayama, Tomiichi. "On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war’s end, 15 August." (1995). “‘Nihon no kagai’ tenji kaku haizetsu e ‘mazu hansei’ 4 tsuki kaikan no Nagasaki genbakukan” $+809 :);< !"#!!!"#=>) 4 ?@A0BCDEA [‘Japanese Aggression’ exhibit to open at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum in April advocates ‘reflection as the first step’ for the abolition of nuclear weapons], Asahi Shinbun !"#$, 3 January 1996, p. 1. “Oka Masaharu Kinen Nagasaki Heiwa Shiryokan” FGHI(JKBCLMNOA [Oka Masaharu Memorial Nagasaki Peace Archive]. “"saka no heiwa hakubutsukan de nankindaigyakusatsu kensh! k!en-kai kaij! zen, 150-ri k! gi” !"!! !"#$!"PQ6RSTUVW5 5XYZ150 [\] [150 Protest lecture examining the veracity of the Nanjing Massacre at the Osaka Peace Museum], Asahi Shinbun *+,-, 24 January 24 2000, p. 35. Seaton, Philip. “The nationalist assault on Japan’s local peace museums: The conversion of Peace Osaka.” The Asia-Pacific Journal, vol.13, no.30 (2015), pp.1-20. “(Sengo 70-nen) kieru `shinryaku', chidjimu kagai tenji p#su ! sa ka, shisetsu sonzoku e zen tekkyo” (^_ 70 `)ab($cd)Zef9:;< !"#$%%&'Zghijklmn [(70 years after the war) ‘aggression’ fades as Peace Osaka exhibit on perpetration is removed], Asahi Shinbun !"#$, 1 May 2015, p. 29. “Think Japan is insular? Think again,” Nikkei Asian Review, 10 November 2016. Yoshida, Takashi. "Revising the past, complicating the future: The Yûshûkan war museum in modern Japanese history." The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, (2007). Yoshida, Takashi. The making of the" Rape of Nanking": history and memory in Japan, China, and the United States. Oxford University Press, 2009. Yoshida, Takashi. "Whom should we remember? Japanese museums of war and peace." Journal of Museum Education, vol.29, no.2 (2004), pp.16-20.


Song of the Golden Lotus: The Science and Social Impact of Chinese Footbinding Abstract: Experts hustle to describe the arc of ancient Chinese footbinding as a protected, culturallyinduced phenomenon of perceived notions of beauty. Ten centuries spanned the rise and fall of the closely protected, virally-infected mindset, which permanently and tangibly pervaded the free-spirits of its participants. One expert, writer H. Fan, reflects upon the marred souls from the practice that “’bound’ not only the feet but also the mind and the emotions.” Though apparently ill-protected, scholars highlight the sunset of the misguided transfigurations with the sunrise of a healthier affinity for the natural body near the conclusion of the millenarian movement and the Taiping Rebellion of 1850. In part, real leaders like the Lin family of Wufeng or the Taiwan Governor-General reigned in the practice. In part, a national pride towards female performance in sports proved the impracticality of the practice. Through the rise and diminuendo in the Song of the Golden Lotus, we see the silver-lined path for clearer thinking. Whether it is true that a movement is only as weak as its strongest link -- only time will tell, in cleared skies.

Christopher Veto authored the original manuscript of the revised article herein while studying under Professor Nickerson, who lectured on the art of Eastern Medicine for soul healing, during Chris's undergraduate studies at Duke. Chris majored in Mechanical Engineering, opting to double in EOS from the rocking courses of Professor Alex Glass. Chris completed the featured Aerospace Engineering Certificate, slipping in Intellectual Property Law as an elective. Recommended by Professor Alex Glass and Professor Lawrie Virgin, Chris continued his engineering studies at Princeton, earning the MS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering before going Full Time with Boeing.



mark of beauty. A cultural revolution. A means to attract and allure men visà-vis excruciating self-torture. For young women, footbinding stood as a sine qua non of womanhood in China, from as early as the tenth century to as late as the early twentieth century. What were the implications for the women who participated in this thorn-display of “beauty?” What were the long-term effects for the health of the women who participated? How did this art come to practice, and what societal forces vanquished it (if it did truly disappear)? Shirley See Yan Ma, author of Footbinding: A Jungian Engagement with Chinese Culture and Psychology, embarked on a quest to secure the answers to these questions after meeting an elderly Chinese woman in Zurich, Switzerland. Ma described her first encounter with the Golden Lotus: the famous yet deceptively euphonious term denoting the feet’s muscles, tendons and bones mutilated through a painful wrapping process. The seasoned woman of Zurich continuously rambled over the accomplishments of her two children, even calling to attention their faculty positions at well-known American institutions, without ever taking a moment to enquire over Ma’s life. As the churlish woman stumbled away, Ma noticed she broached walking with a cane and furthermore leaned on her son for support (Ma 3). Born in Hong Kong, Ma devoted much of her time in Switzerland to studying the development of the Golden Lotus’ societal infection. Ma’s research quickly led her to the reality that “within the structure of the hierarchal family a mother had a very different role to play than the father in relation to her sons and daughters” (Ma 45). It seems that the bounden responsibility of the mother held locus in the grooming of her daughter as a valuable commodity to be married, and sadly, the father would approve of all mercurial means necessary to accomplish this feat. The footbinding scholar Hong Fan makes the audacious claim regarding this self-induced torture: “It was the necessary condition for success in the marriage market” (Fan 46). The process commenced in early childhood: “Little girls were initiated into the binding between ages of five and seven, when their bones were still flexible” (Wang 6). Interestingly, the chosen day to initiate the motherdaughter footbinding came with meticulous discernment and assiduous concern: almanacs specifying auspicious days for the first binding can be found as early as the sixteenth century (Ko 63). Ping Wang - another expert in the field - introduces the idea of Teng (): the concept of simultaneously hurting and loving. Through the searing pain delivered from the agonizing wrapping of the feet, the mother forced her daughter to rapidly mature, to redefine her sense of space, to imprint upon her mind a secret, embrangled knowledge, forever readable, of female survival. There are three physical effects on the binding of the foot: 1. its shortening; 2. reshaping its sole, producing an arched bulge on the instep and a deep crevice on the underside of the arch; and 3. reducing its girth (Ko 63). During this process (Figure 1), the phalanges become permanently marred as most of the body weight is forced upon the joints that formerly connected the metatarsal bones to the phalanges.




Figure 1: Radiography Comparison of Lotus to Natural Foot (Levy 29) The rest of the weight is forced upon what would have been the tail of the calcaneus bone. Notably, the cuboid, navicular and cuneiform bones are elevated and additionally stunted. One of the major setbacks of the binding process is that the reduction in the overall surface area which contacts the floor translates into an above-average pressure on the base of the foot, even when accompanied by footbinding-fitted sandals, inducing an overloading of stress, and an unnatural stress path, on the muscular tissue and marrow structure. Dorothy Ko comments that some of the most traumatic “dislocations” would ironically incur on the day of marriage because the woman would have to enter a stranger’s family, attempting to make it her own. This process, unfortunately, could vary in difficulty depending on the sex of her offspring: male progeny would secure a mother’s position in the new family; whereas female progeny could deem a mother’s position and place uncertain. Shirley Ma remarks that Ko implicates the “Cinderella complex” as a stimulant for the spread of early footbinding. The complex refers to a supposed female fear of lifelong independence and loneliness which may ultimately build to a subconscious desire for dependency, explaining a female’s willingness to continue a dysfunctional relationship (Ma 75). Regarding the psychological repercussions of the tampering with a young woman’s spirit, women were forced into a submissive state: “The intense physical sufferings brought about by the process of breaking and binding the feet in early childhood produced a passivity, stoicism and fatalism that effectively ‘bound’ not only the feet but also the mind and the emotions” (Fan 289). An appended poem echoes the saddened song of the golden lotus: a culturally unbalanced weight on beauty clogs a daughter’s heart with hurting and decelerates the love for learning. Some scholars will claim that Chinese women would not set foot on the silverlined path towards self-assuredness and equality until the Taiping Rebellion of 1850.


SONG OF THE GOLDEN LOTUS Women - with unbound feet - fervently fought as strong warriors alongside men, and thus, they were able to gain the respect and the camaraderie of their male counterparts, presciently offering a new image of femininity. I have appended the earliest antifootbinding publication circa 1894 as primary evidence of nineteenth-century hints towards paradigm shift (see Figure 2). Sadly, traditional female sexual identities were reinstated after the Revolution of 1911. Another glimmer of hope sparked in 1914 when the Taichung Office Chief invited prominent government officials to explore outdated Chinese traditions (Levy 102). That very spring, the influential Lin family of Wufeng (located within proximity of Taichung) created a Society to Let Out Footbindings, and remarkably, more than six hundred women let out their bindings that season. Then the following year on the fifteenth of April, the meek glimmer came to a brighter, guiding beacon: the Taiwan Governor-General, on the twentieth anniversary of Japanese rule in Taiwan, decreed an official order, prohibiting the practice. The prohibition was so momentous, and so well-enforced, that estimates of 763,000 women had obeyed. According to Levy, “Recalcitrants were forcibly dealt with…” (Levy 103). Yet another step forward for female equality arrived in 1922 when the Women’s Department was created under the Communist Party. Fan concludes her text Footbinding, Feminism, and Freedom with the observation that “women athletes’ considerable success in Communist China and, less completely, their social emancipation, has been in a real sense the consequence of the liberation of women’s bodies, the reconstruction of the female physique, and the redefinition of femininity which started over a century ago and still continues” (Fan 308). The Communist recognition that athletic successes dramatically shape the image of the nation - especially in Olympic competition - has staunchly helped to stave away the impracticality of footbinding for women. The causal link betwixt national success and female health proved too strong for archaic norms, and a movement is only as weak as its strongest link. The aforementioned ‘guiding beacon’ would brilliantly burst like a supernova for women’s spirits in 1949 when the Communist party ultimately outlawed the practice. Ten centuries of a society plagued with unchecked, unbalanced, toxic masochism towards a distorted vision of beauty; ten centuries of suppressing the inner beauty, the freespirit, of womanhood. And it is that free-spirit which is the “muscle that grows stronger with exercise” (Sandel).



CHRISTOPHER VETO Appendix A five-year-old girl, Bravely repressing bitter sobs, Tearfully asks her mother: You used to love me so tenderly. Why do you now bind my feet, As if you were binding a chicken? The toes in my feet are broken, And my heart breaks with them; I can’t walk by day nor sleep at night. But the neighbor’s girl, with feet unbound, Walks to school to improve her learning. (Levy 86)

Figure 2: Earliest Anti-footbinding Publication, circa 1984 (Levy 63)


SONG OF THE GOLDEN LOTUS Works Cited Fan, Hong. Footbinding, Feminism, and Freedom: The Liberation of Women's Bodies in Modern China. Sport in the global society, [1]. London: F. Cass, 1997. Ko, Dorothy. Every Step a Lotus: Shoes for Bound Feet. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. Levy, Howard S. Chinese Footbinding; The History of a Curious Erotic Custom. New York: Rawls, 1966. Ma, Shirley See Yan. Footbinding: A Jungian Engagement with Chinese Culture and Psychology. New York, NY: Routledge, 2009. Sandel, M. J. The Moral Limits of Markets. Institute for New Economic Thinking & Union. 2013. Wang, Ping. Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000.



Politics and Medicine in Korea and China, 1842 - 1943

Abstract: As the world slowly came under the influence of European and Japanese imperialist efforts from 1842-1943, both Chinese and Korean states developed a strategy of resistance. Both governments realized the need to modernize in order to retain sovereignty, and this push was reflected in all aspects of state control, including medicine and health. To retain sovereignty, the Chinese government championed the institutionalization of Western medicine, especially in the field of public health and epidemic control. As practitioners of Western medicine catered to state needs to further their own objectives, those who supported traditional Chinese medicine followed suit, promoting its utility in therapeutics, economic autonomy, and cultural identity. Korea, however, became colonized by the Japanese, so instead of vying for state support, traditional medical practitioners emphasized the uniqueness of Korean traditional medicine, appealing to nationalist sentiment to highlight their medicine's integral role as a bastion of Korean culture and national identity.

! Grant Wen is a sophomore at Duke University from San Jose, CA. At Duke, he plans to major in Biology and History of Science, Medicine, and Technology. He is fascinated by the intersection of culture, health, and biology, and how science and medicine are greatly affected by the context in which they operate. Especially interesting to him is the development of traditional medicine after the introduction of Western medicine in East Asia. He currently is conducting research under the mentorship of Dr. Nicole Barnes on the dynamics of Chinese medical diplomacy in East Africa.



n the collective Chinese memory, unequal treaties occupied a central role in the humiliation the nation experienced as a result of centuries of Sinocentrism and a sluggish response to industrialization. There were progressive reformists in the government but they were unable to thoroughly modernize China. A new and completely modernized state, such as the Meiji regime in Japan, was necessary to do so but China remained an imperial monarchy under Manchu rule. Thus, with its inability to completely modernize, China suffered repeated defeat by the industrialized nations of the West, which led to the period from 1842 to 1943 to be coined as the century of national shame (! ). Korea, Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s northeastern neighbor, was also no stranger to these unequal treaties. As in China, there were governmental officials who supported modernization. However, because most Chos!n rulers adhered to Confucian tradition and were lethargic towards modernization, Korea also suffered losses to the imperialistic endeavors of foreign powers. With increasing foreign influence, government officials in both China and Korea recognized the importance of industrializing their nations in order to retain sovereignty. They realized that industrialization and modernization were pathways through which the state could reestablish political control from foreign powers. One of the major challenges lay in the field of healthcare, as the state was faced with the question of whether or not there was value in preserving traditional medicine amidst modernization, which became a controversy that dominated the debates of this tumultuous period in Chinese and Korean history. In both cases, the government was pivotal in the institutionalization of traditional forms of medicine. Both Korean and Chinese governments were eager to modernize and maintain national sovereignty in response to the pressures of foreign imperialism. However, as a colony of Japan from 1910 to 1945, Korea experienced modernization at the hands of Japanese colonizers rather than as an indigenous process. Because the Korean people associated Western medicine as forcibly imposed by Japanese invaders, Western medicine was demonized as Koreans turned to traditional Korean medicine as one of the bulwarks of Korean civilization. On the other hand, China remained a sovereign state although it was constantly under the pressure of foreign powers. Thus, its modernization was self-driven, and as a key aspect of that modernization, both Western and Chinese medical practitioners learned to ally themselves with the state to gain legitimacy. I. Qing Dynasty and Republican China Governing medicine on a national basis was not a priority for the Manchu rulers of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Although the structure of governmental medical institutions was retained from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the extent of their services was retracted. Notably, court physicians were restricted to treating only the royal family in order to impede anti-Manchu collision between the ethnic Han bureaucratic officials and physicians (Hinrichs 171). However, the Qing government still maintained an active role in matters that directly involved Manchu political legitimacy, such as controlling smallpox. In particular, the KangXi Emperor established a department of â&#x20AC;&#x153;pox diseasesâ&#x20AC;? in the Imperial Medical Bureau while directing the central government to maintain social stability and provide famine relief through the distribution of free medicine (Hinrichs 171).


GRANT WEN During Qing rule, the social prestige of scholar-physicians had long diminished from the esteem they enjoyed during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Although the size of the Qing bureaucracy remained stable, population growth resulted in an overflow of educated aspirants who were unable to obtain a career by way of the civil service exam (Hinrichs 178). Literate medicine was an attractive alternative as it required prowess in the Confucian classics, and increased interest in the industry led to the development of an intellectual community around this profession. Instead of vying for legal or institutional recognition, this community of literate physicians pursued cultural legitimacy by aligning themselves with the elite bureaucratic scholar-officials. They argued that medicine could only be practiced by well-learned, educated men with “superior moral cultivation,” demeaning shamans, folk doctors, and midwives. However, this was only a nominal superiority, as the general Chinese populace continued utilizing the services of midwives and local healers (Hinrichs 180). Ironically, this same dichotomy between recognized and popular forms of medicine would later reappear with the spread of Western science and medicine. The Qing Dynasty experienced a wider global trade network, through which Western medicine was introduced to China by way of missionaries. Jesuit and Protestant evangelists employed Western science and medicine as a way to spread the Gospel, but the impact of their efforts remained minimal due to the scarcity of missionaries and Western medicine’s lack of clinical or therapeutic advantage to Chinese medicine at the time, as there were no advanced treatments such as antibiotics available (Hinrichs 194-195). Notably, advocates of the Self-Strengthening Movement ($*) encouraged the adoption of Western science, technology, weaponry, and transportation but medicine remained absent from their platform (Lei 48). The lack of focus on medicine during this period can be attributed to two major factors, the first of which was the dearth of social prestige for physicians in China. Moreover, there was a lack of governmental support, as the state did not view medicine as an essential component of gaining the wealth and power of the West. Reflecting this mentality, most Chinese students who traveled abroad studied “practical subjects” such as agriculture, engineering, business, and mining (Lei 51). It was not until the Manchurian plague of 1910 that Western medical practitioners proved the superiority of Western medicine’s preventative, though not curative, measures through the application of germ theory and the microscope. More importantly, the Manchurian plague threatened Qing sovereignty, which led to the government adopting medicine and health as major priorities. Shocked at the plague’s rapid spread toward Beijing, the diplomatic corps pressured the Qing government to take precautionary actions (Lei 24). The Qing government also feared that Japan and Russia would expand their influence in Manchuria by using plague containment as an excuse, as both nations already had considerable power over the railways in the region. Thus, the Qing government faced the challenge of devising a plague prevention system with as much Western influence as possible while maintaining political autonomy in Manchuria. After Dr. Wu Lien-teh, a Malaysian Chinese physician educated at Cambridge, discovered that the plague was transmitted via interpersonal contact, he contacted officials in Beijing but his findings were met with skepticism. However, the severity of the plague later prompted many to comply with Wu Lien-teh’s recommendations and warnings. For


POLITICS AND MEDICINE IN KOREA AND CHINA, )'#! - )(#" example, Dr. Wu designed gauze masks to inhibit direct transmission of the plague but initially both medical personnel and civilians refused to comply. Among these included Western physicians on the anti-plague team, such as Dr. Gerald Mesney, who were adamant about their own knowledge based on the bubonic plague. However, Dr. Mesney’s sudden death after a refusal to wear gauze masks caused widespread panic in Manchuria and before long, “almost everyone in the street was seen to wear one form of mask or another” (Wu 18). From then on, Wu Lien-teh directed an efficient quarantine system in which potential patients were identified as infected by using the microscope as a diagnostic tool. They were then transported to plague hospitals where they usually died within a few days. Due to the high risk of interpersonal contamination, interventions involved stationing soldiers to restrict movement between and within cities. The countless corpses on the streets were another major concern, as cremation was the only way to prevent exacerbation of the spread of disease. However, the Chinese had profound veneration for their ancestors and saw cremation as desecration of this reverence; hence, only after obtaining an imperial edict did Wu have the courage to cremate the bodies (Lei 29). As evidenced by this imperial edict that violated hundreds of years of Confucian tradition, the Qing government was determined to contain the plague and maintain its sovereignty. However, the Chinese populace was horrified at the brutality and cruelty of antiplague measures. Whether it was abandoning loved ones in plague hospitals, burning belongings, or cremating the bodies of the deceased, the general Chinese populace suffered greatly. Viceroy Xi Liang, essentially the highest power in Manchuria, addressed these violations of Chinese morals as “the most painful tragedies in the whole world,” and expressed sympathy to “all benevolent fathers and filial sons [could] hardly bear to hear and witness [these violations]” (Lei 43). Similarly, to Chinese medicine, while Western medicine offered no remedy to cure the plague, its relative strength in diagnosis, prevention, and containment proved to be vital for Qing sovereignty. However, the failure of Chinese medicine in dealing with the plague was also very apparent. Chinese medical practitioners had a 50% mortality rate, compared to a mere 2% of Western physicians (Lei 34). Furthermore, Chinese medical practitioners encouraged mobility instead of quarantine, for they believed people should avoid the local qi that caused the outbreak of disease. This belief illustrates that the Chinese had always perceived evading epidemics as an individual action, but Western preventative measures required collective effort. Because of this cognitive dissonance, force was often necessary to enforce quarantine. For example, more than ten thousand laborers in Manchuria attempted to travel South through Shanhaiguan to escape the plague, but armed troops stationed there impeded their endeavor (Lei 37-38). The Manchurian plague also resulted in China’s first international scientific conference. The Russian and Japanese governments proposed to send “investigators” to collect data regarding the plague, while in reality, those sent to Manchuria were mostly military personnel (Summers 23). Viewing these militaristic actions as a threat to national sovereignty, the Qing government invited American scientists to Manchuria to investigate the disease. This strategic move made it more difficult for Japan and Russia to send military


GRANT WEN forces as it both introduced American forces into the power struggle and made the conference into a purely scientific venture. At this convention, delegates from eleven nations convened and decided that China needed to organize a central public health department to manage and notify disease outbreaks (Lei 40). This watershed event not only marked the beginning of China’s entry into the global surveillance system for infectious diseases but also signified China’s first scientific victory, as Wu’s discoveries about the pneumonic plague allowed China to face the world as a nation conducting cutting-edge scientific research. Most importantly, it demonstrated to the state that allying with Western medical practitioners to promote public health was necessary to retain national sovereignty. The Manchurian plague increased China’s exposure to Western medicine, refining the Chinese government’s ability to control epidemics while sparking the state’s growing responsibility for public health. Western medicine’s utility in public health, which allowed it to salvage Qing national sovereignty, proved to be its decisive advantage. In addition, the success and widespread acclaim of Wu Lien-teh and his pivotal role in the Manchurian plague further popularized the career of a public health official in China. The Manchurian plague fully demonstrated to the Chinese the importance of public health, both in terms of population health and international politics. The utter failure of traditional Chinese medicine in combating the spread of disease led to a shift in prioritizing Western medicine in the establishment of the public health system. Prior to the Manchurian plague, Christian missionaries, who preferred the individualistic, curative model of medicine because of its ability to facilitate evangelism, were the primary practitioners of Western medicine. After the plague, however, the governmental focus of the newly minted Republic was on public health and preventative medicine. The cover of the National Medical Journal of China in 1915 illustrates this new focus, as illness is personified as a demon holding chains of 15 infectious diseases, signifying that the target of medical intervention was no longer individual patients, but the disease itself. Furthermore, major obstacles to public health such as ignorance and lack of sanitation were also depicted. The child, symbolizing medicine, is supported by a lack of funding and no medical system to implement policies, while it attempts to combat the demon of disease with a flimsy stick of public interest. On the other hand, the demon grips tightly to the child with an arm labelled public indifference. The Fig u r e 1 transition of collective instead of individualized medicine is evident in this illustration, reflecting the new goal of medicine in Republican China— arousing public concern through the promotion of public health.


POLITICS AND MEDICINE IN KOREA AND CHINA, )'#! - )(#" The shift from individual to collective, preventative medicine was a relatively smooth transition for the newly established National Medical Association of China. The ethnic Chinese physicians had learned from the Manchurian plague that state endorsement comes only by promoting specific facets of Western medicine, namely public health, that most align with the government’s concerns over national sovereignty (Lei 50). With this new emphasis, Western-trained Chinese medical professionals aimed to create a previously absent link between medicine and the state through public health. As the warlord period drew to an end in the latter half of the 1920’s, both Chinese and Western advocates of Western medicine convinced the Republican government of the necessity of establishing a public health system. John B. Grant, for instance, asserted that the modern state had a commitment and obligation to provide medical care for its people in his Memorandum for Provisional National Health Council in 1927. Adroitly, Grant shifted the discourse from how medical practitioners should gain state support to whether the Republican government was willing take on the new “obligation” of public health in becoming a modern state (Lei 63). In order to popularize Western medicine, its advocates both took advantage of state power while serving as agents to satisfy the government’s political motives. For instance, Wu Lien-teh later aided the government to regain the seaport of Quarantine Service from foreign control so that tariff autonomy would return to Chinese hands (Lei 66). Eventually, Chinese practitioners of Western medicine learned to accept the state’s concerns as their own. After the Nationalists were able to consolidate power over most of China, the focus drifted to the integration of Western and Chinese medicine. Both sides continuously lobbied for the state’s support through advertising different aspects of their respective traditions. Western medical practitioners claimed superiority in disease control as well as being the symbol of modernization whereas traditional Chinese medicine practitioners argued for traditional Chinese medicine’s value in promoting Chinese culture and identity. This claim, of course, received backlash from the Western medical community, who argued that traditional Chinese herbs were simply “tree bark and grass roots,” raw materials from nature but not solely part of Chinese cultural identity. The landmark event that shaped the development of these two traditions of medicine was the proposal to ban traditional Chinese medicine in 1929. The Central Board of Health, comprised solely of Western physicians, passed a proposal drafted by Yu Yan that required traditional practitioners to register with the government and attend supplementary courses to retain their practice. This proposal further banned traditional Chinese physicians from establishing schools and promulgating their practice in newspapers. Yu Yan believed that traditional Chinese medicine served as a painful reminder of China’s past as the “Sick Man of East Asia” ( ) and wished to modernize the Chinese healthcare system by abolishing it. Yu cited a variety of reasons for the dissolution of traditional Chinese medicine including its spurious theories and beliefs. Moreover, he contested that because the traditional medical practitioners did not understand proper disease etiology or classification, traditional Chinese medicine renders ineffective in combating epidemics. He also addressed


GRANT WEN how traditional Chinese practitioners counteracted the state’s programs aimed at eradicating superstition by spreading false claims based on their faith healing and erroneous theories about health. Yu’s experience in creating the link between medicine and the state proved effective, as his emphasis on Western medicine’s efficacy in “curing the masses” and traditional Chinese medicine's interference with government policies made his argument even more persuasive. Ironically, this proposal united the previously divided opinion among traditional practitioners. They initially were skeptical of addressing the state but this immediate threat elicited immediate action. More than 262 delegates attended a three-day convention in Shanghai to voice their concerns and more than two thousand traditional Chinese medical practitioners closed their clinics for half a day to support this convention (Lei 107). This also marked the incipience of the National Medicine Movement (+*), as the traditional practitioners modeled their platform after the rhetoric of cultural nationalism as well as the National Goods Movement ()*) that encouraged the consumption of Chinese-produced goods. This strategic move not only involved the pharmaceutical industry but also those in the National Business and National Goods Maintenance associations, as it resonated with their own interests in the National Goods Movement (Lei 107). Moreover, the term “national medicine” itself was chosen because it strategically encompassed two meanings. In Chinese, national medicine alluded to not only medicine for the nation of China but also medicine belonging to the state. This ambiguous meaning allowed traditional practitioners to associate traditional Chinese medicine with not only the national essence of Chinese culture but also national drugs, granting it a direct connection with Chinese economic progress and autonomy. Thus, advocates of traditional medicine directly enlisted state support through this connection to economic independence instead of settling for a roundabout link through cultural nationalism. The Chinese government during the Qing Dynasty transitioned from having menial regulation of medicine to zealous interference with the advent of the Manchurian plague. This epidemic began the shift from traditional Chinese medicine to Western medicine as the state realized the latter’s efficacy in public health and ability to preserve state sovereignty. Medical practitioners also recognized the significance of developing a link with the state by appealing to its interests, allowing their form of medicine to become legitimized and promulgated by the state. Thus, the Republican period was replete with advocates from both traditional and Western styles of medicine competing for state support. Proponents of Western medicine mainly targeted its efficacy in promoting public health and its legitimacy derived from internationally recognized science. Conversely, traditional Chinese medical practitioners contended that Chinese medicine constituted a major part of the Chinese cultural identity and had economic and therapeutic benefits despite a different understanding of health and illness. II. Chos!n Korea and Japanese Colonialism As in China, the dichotomy between learned scholar-physicians and popular healers in Korea prevailed for centuries. During the Chos!n Dynasty, literate medical practitioners belonging to the chungmin class, just beneath the elite yangban, primarily


POLITICS AND MEDICINE IN KOREA AND CHINA, )'#! - )(#" served the needs of the royal family and yangban after they passed a specialist kwag!, or civil service exam (DiMoia 27). On the other hand, medical practitioners serving the general populace were not licensed and ranged from shamans to monks and local acupuncturists. The medical system of Chos!n Korea involved various institutions intended to cater to the medical needs of the court and inhibit the spread of epidemics to the capital (DiMoia 30). The Ch!n"igam (+") and Nae"iw!n (+-) provided medical care to the nobility and royalty, while the Hyemins! (#) and Hwarins! (#) granted food, clothing, and shelter to commoners who were ill, essentially functioning as quarantine during outbreaks of disease. As evidenced by the Hyemins! and Hwarins!, the government placed epidemic prevention as a high priority, leading to the establishment of regional medical centers throughout the nation to monitor the spread of epidemics. Like in China, the divine right to rule was derived from the Mandate of Heaven and natural disasters such as widespread disease were indicators of heavenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s displeasure with the ruler. Thus, Chos!n kings were cognizant of the direct link between national sovereignty and the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to prevent epidemics. However, this high level of governmental involvement in medicine did not last forever. The latter half of Chos!n rule saw a shift from medicine in the public sector to that of the private sector. The private sector of medicine developed through yak-kye (& ), or mutual aid associations, and these private drugstores and clinics eventually displaced the governmental medical institutions while increasing the accessibility of medicine to the commoners (Shin 228). This shift from government medicine to private medicine is also observed later under Japanese colonial rule, as traditional Korean practitioners turned to the general populace for support because the government only approved of Western medicine. The effects of cholera outbreaks on Korea were essentially analogous to the effects of the Manchurian plague on China. When the first cholera epidemic occurred in 1821, at least 130,000 lives were lost as there were no means of prevention or treatment (Shin 7). Subsequent outbreaks were no different, due to traditional medicineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inability to identify or contain the spread of the illness. Poor hygiene practices proved to be one of the major contributing factors to the frequency of outbreaks, both of cholera and of other transmissible diseases. In the early nineteenth century, Pak Che-ga (/ ), a Silhak ( ) scholar, documented the filthiness of the capital city Hans!ng, or modern-day Seoul. In his records, he stated that â&#x20AC;&#x153;urine is discarded every day in the yard or the street, the water from all wells becomes salty, and the...stone embankments across rivulets are so thick with dried fecesâ&#x20AC;? (Shin 9-10). Fifty years later, Kim Ok-Kyun (,), a reformist government official, had commentary that was as follows: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have heard...that when foreigners visit our country, they remarkâ&#x20AC;Ś â&#x20AC;&#x153;Korea will not easily become rich and strong...the streets are full of human and animal feces and urineâ&#x20AC;Ś.â&#x20AC;? [This] is indeed a matter for scorn from foreignersâ&#x20AC;? (Shin 10). Although the poor state of hygiene remained relatively the same, the stark difference in the focus of these two pieces of commentary bring to light the change in governmental emphasis


GRANT WEN of their respective eras. Pak recorded the physical uncleanliness and lack of hygiene at the time, while Kim emphasized foreign perspectives of Korea as a nation-state. In other words, while Pak treated hygiene as a problem purely related to health, Kim emphasized the ties between hygiene and public health to the wealth and power of the state. Kimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ideas were revolutionary, as he regarded Western medicine as a preventative administrative system to improve hygiene and a political tool to modernize Korea rather than simply an individualized, patient-based form of medicine. Many scholars and bureaucrats of the time including Pak Y#ng-hyo ( ) and Yun Ch'i-ho (%) agreed with Kimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s views, and the Chos!n government began to realize the integral role public health played in developing a modern state and maintaining national sovereignty. Japanese and Western influences grew stronger with the Treaty of Kanghwa in 1876 and the opening of ports to foreign powers, and advocates of Western medicine in Korea soon proposed a solution to these periodic outbreaks of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;strange malady.â&#x20AC;? First, they identified the illness as cholera and shunned the traditional Korean method of seeking refuge to avoid noxious local qi. These Western-minded health proponents also initiated programs to discard nearby waste to preclude noxious vapors, disinfect patients and their surroundings, and instructed people to boil water and food (Shin 7). Western medicineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surprising efficacy in containing epidemics made it suitable as a symbol of modern civilization as the government eagerly incorporated it into the public health system with the Kabo Reforms of 1894. The Kabo Reforms abolished the civil service exams for both government officials and medical practitioners, and institutions such as the Ch!n"igam were replaced by the Wisaengguk (') to deal with sanitation (Shin 230). Western medicine was promoted through newspapers0 focusing on the ideas of personal hygiene and state intervention in sanitation (Lee 56). The police were also given the duty of epidemic control, due to the lack of Western-trained medical personnel, cooperating with civilian officials who acted as the reporting authorities of possible disease outbreak (Park 156). Under this three-tiered epidemic prevention system, the Sanitary Board, a group of physicians, directed and dispatched police for epidemic control, who were placed under the command of civilian officials on a local level. Although the state adopted only Western medicine in the field of public health, the government took an ambivalent stance towards Western and traditional Korean medicine in terms of medical care, as practitioners of both kinds of medicine held equal status (Shin 231). The state encouraged the popularization of Western medicine, as it recognized its potential benefits to Korean sovereignty but did not wish for the complete eradication of traditional Korean practice. Due to the extremely precarious political system at the time, a result of competing foreign interests and a weak central government, many of Kim Ok-kyunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ideas were not realized as government policy and the effects of the Kabo reforms were fleeting. The situation, however, was very different after official Japanese annexation in 1910. In regard to the problem of cholera, the Japanese colonial government relied on local doctors to report cases and the police force to enforce quarantine (DiMoia 42). Although an almost identical system was seen in prior years during the Kabo Reforms, the response to this new system


POLITICS AND MEDICINE IN KOREA AND CHINA, )'#! - )(#" was starkly different. Under Japanese rule, the Wisaenggwa ('() was dismissed and its duties were transferred to the police, who assumed complete authority over public health matters in colonial Korea (Park 157). Power was further decentralized as local governments were given autonomy to conduct their own interventions in epidemic prevention. Compared to the system established by the reformist Kabo government, the Japanese approach to epidemic prevention centered more on the police force with the administration serving as a complement to police activities. The late Chos!n state, however, granted civilian officials the most power, which minimized the intrusion of daily lives experienced under Japanese rule. Nevertheless, the Japanese government took pride in its actions of preventing outbreaks of disease, promoting photographs Fig u r e 2 such as the following to document the state’s dedication. This photograph depicts Japanese colonial police collecting excreta samples from Korean men for a microscopic test for cholera. This demonstrates the obsession over the microscope as the ultimate diagnostic tool as well as Japanese pride in their “modern” practices in disease prevention. In addition, the Korean man’s expressions suggest feelings of shame and humiliation of being forced to undress and defecate in public. The Korean people despised public health measures such as these that intruded upon their daily lives and antagonistic sentiments against the Japanese oppressors began to rise. Moreover, Japanese law required cremation for corpses infected with cholera (Park 162). Similar to occurrences during the Manchurian plague, Korean civilians were horrified at these governmental regulations that violated Confucian customs deeply ingrained in Korean society. Because these policies were mandated by the Japanese colonial government, the Koreans blamed these atrocities on their oppressors and these feelings of antipathy later proved key to the survival of traditional Korean medicine. Ultimately, the Japanese aspired to modernize Korea as they did to their own country and in the realm of medicine, this translated to unequivocal support for Western medicine and deprecation of the merits of traditional Korean medicine. A new licensing system was mandated, devaluing the status of traditional Korean practitioners to “medical apprentice” (+) while the Western trained physicians were granted the title of “medical doctor” or “medical teacher” (+) (Na 47). Traditional Korean medical practitioners were further precluded from establishing any public institution, including medical colleges; discussion of traditional Korean medicine was also prohibited in any form of media (Shin 235). However, due to the lack of Western-trained medical personnel, the Japanese were not able to completely abolish traditional Korean medicine. With the exception of its first year of execution in 1914, the colonial system granted licenses to traditional practitioners that expired initially after every five years but later after every three years from 1920 (Shin 235). To evade the discriminatory policies set by the Japanese towards traditional Korean medicine, many of its practitioners relocated to rural areas with minimal Japanese interference. Many of these were former scholar-physicians who gave up their position of


GRANT WEN caring for the elite, to instead cater towards the medical needs of local residents. As their identity shifted from government-sanctioned physicians to local healers, traditional Korean medical practitioners found support from the local people as opposed to the state. Although Japanese oppression did dwindle their numbers, it also spurred a wave of professionalization among traditional medicine practitioners. The March 1 Movement in 1919, inspired by President Woodrow Wilson’s speech on self-determination earlier that year, further expedited this process of professionalization. From then on, the Japanese government adopted “cultural rule,” a set of more liberal policies towards the native Koreans (Shin 36). This allowed traditional Korean medical practitioners to promulgate their views in popular newspapers and magazines. For instance, Chos!nilpo (.), a well-known daily newspaper, published a series of debates on the restoration of traditional medicine from February to October in 1934 (Shin 235). More importantly, Japan suffered from the multiple wars it waged from 1931 to 1945, causing an extreme shortage of medical personnel and drugs in Korea. Thus, the colonial government loosened its restrictions on traditional Korean medicine, even going as far as encouraging the cultivation of herbs and establishing a research institute for herbal drugs at Keijo Imperial University in Seoul (Shin 234). This period of cultural rule along with longstanding resentment among the Korean people toward Japanese brutality were vital to the survival of traditional Korean medicine. As most believed that the suppression of traditional Korean medicine was a liquidation policy of Korean culture by the Japanese, there was fervent support to preserve traditional medicine as it became a cultural symbol of Korea (Shin 240). Furthermore, professionalization among traditional medical practitioners made it easier to develop unified plans to protect traditional Korean medicine from Japanese oppression. Particularly towards the end of the Chos!n dynasty, scholars and government officials began to realize the importance of Western medicine in promoting public health and state power. However, with a weak government, no practical, long-lasting changes could be implemented before Japanese forces took over the Korean peninsula. Under Japanese colonial rule, Western medicine enjoyed governmental recognition while traditional Korean practitioners were suppressed by the Japanese. Whether it be the licensing system or changing the title of traditional practitioners to “medical apprentice,” the Japanese stance towards traditional medicine was clear— Western medicine was to be the only legitimate form of medicine. Although their power and numbers experienced significant decline under colonial rule, traditional medical practitioners found solidarity and organized themselves by appealing to the people’s contempt for the colonial government. Opportunity soon came, as the Japanese were worn out slowly by waging war on multiple fronts, resulting in a subsequent relaxing of restrictions on traditional medical practitioners. This began the revival of traditional Korean medicine, an arduous process that finally resulted in the granting of equal status to both Western and traditional practitioners in 1951. III. Conclusion There are various parallels between the modernization of the state and inclusion of traditional medicine into the national health care systems in Korea and China, most notably


POLITICS AND MEDICINE IN KOREA AND CHINA, )'#! - )(#" in the promotion of a public health model based on Western medicine yet preservation of traditional forms of medicine. Both were highly politicalized developments but significant differences existed due to China’s independence and Korea’s status as a Japanese colony. Both the Qing and Chos!n regimes adopted similar attitudes towards medicine prior to increasing foreign influence. Both governments instilled a strict selection process through civil service examinations to choose scholar-physicians who served the royalty and nobility, but permitted unlicensed medical practitioners to cater to the needs of the common people. In addition, both administrations did not actively regulate medicine and health unless it directly threatened their political legitimacy and sovereignty, mostly in the form of epidemics. However, rising foreign authorities and declining state power caused several major shifts to occur. Both nations experienced outbreaks of epidemics that forced the state to adopt a stronger stance in accepting Western medicine. In China, the Manchurian plague forced the Qing government to rely on brutal but effective Western public health measures, directed by Dr. Wu Lien-teh, to circumscribe the mortality caused by Yersinia pestis. This further inaugurated the link between the state and medicine that grew to dominate much of the upcoming decades. In Korea, repetitive outbreaks of cholera inspired individuals such as Kim Ok-kyun to advocate for Western sanitation regulations in order to maintain national sovereignty. Kim Ok-kyun’s ideas on Western medicine’s value as a political tool were remarkably similar to realizations of the state’s importance among Chinese proponents of Western medicine. However, the government was too weak to execute any of his proposals, and soon Korea fell under Japanese rule. With a transition in government, public health still remained the major focus in health of both Republican China and colonial Korea, as it was the key to maintaining national power. However, because China’s modernization was self-driven, both Western and Chinese medical practitioners vied for state support. Western medical practitioners promoted the efficacy of Western medicine in public health, arguing that it was the only form of medicine recognized internationally and was indispensable in the modernizing of the Chinese state. This elicited a response from traditional Chinese medical practitioners, who modeled their approach after that of the Western medical practitioners— by appealing to state objectives in order to obtain institutional infrastructure and governmental recognition. Traditional medical practitioners initiated the National Medicine movement, contending that traditional Chinese medicine was an integral part of the Chinese identity. This allowed them to ride upon the wave of cultural nationalism, create a direct link to the state by associating economic autonomy, and ally themselves with proponents of the National Goods Movement. On the other hand, the Japanese colonial government laid an iron fist on medical policy in Korea, making it very clear that Western medicine would be the only statesanctioned form of medicine. Thus, traditional Korean medical practitioners occupied a much different role than their counterparts in China, for they knew vying for state sponsorship was not a viable solution for the survival of traditional Korean medicine. Because Western medicine under Japanese rule already occupied the position of “modern” medicine, traditional Korean medicine had to take on the role of the defender of Korean


GRANT WEN tradition, essentially the antithesis of Western medicine’s modernity. Taking advantage of the antagonism toward Japanese rule, advocates of traditional Korean medicine promoted themselves among the populace, emphasizing their importance in preserving the Korean identity. Although the Qing and Chos!n governments had similar policies and attitudes toward medicine, China’s political sovereignty and Korea’s subordination to Japanese rule led to increasingly divergent strategies for the survival of traditional medicine in the two different environments. Chinese traditional medical practitioners aimed to ally with the modernizing state, promoting its utility in therapeutics, economic autonomy, and cultural identity among others, competing against proponents of Western medicine. Korean traditional medical practitioners, on the other hand, strategized to promote themselves among the Korean people to point out traditional Korean medicine’s value in preserving unique Korean traditions. In both cases, the geopolitics at the time were major determinants of the pathways toward the development of medicine. China’s sovereignty made it feasible for both Western and traditional medicine practitioners to promote their form of medicine to match state interests, but the Japanese colonization of Korea and resolute governmental support for Western medicine compelled traditional medical practitioners to appeal to the people.

Works Cited DiMoia, John Paul. Reconstructing Bodies: Biomedicine, Health, and Nation-Building in South Korea Since 1945. Stanford University Press, 2013. Hinrichs, TJ, and Linda L. Barnes. Chinese Medicine and Healing: An Illustrated History. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2013. Lee, Jong-Chan and Chang-Duck Kee. “The institutionalization of public hygiene in Korea, 1876-1910.” Korean Journal of Medicine, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1995, pp. 51–60. Lei, Sean Hsiang-Lin. Neither Donkey Nor Horse: Medicine in the Struggle Over China's Modernity. London: University of Chicago Press, 2014. Na, Seonsam. "East Asian medicine in South Korea." Harvard Asia Quarterly, Vo.14, No. 4, 2012, pp. 44-56. Park, Yunjae. "Sanitizing Korea: Anti-cholera activities of the police in early colonial Korea." Seoul Journal of Korean Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2010, pp. 151-71. Shin, Dongwon. “How four different political systems have shaped the modernization of traditional Korean medicine between 1900 and 1960.” Tokyo History of Science, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2008, pp. 225-41. Summers, William C. The Great Manchurian Plague of 1910-1911: The Geopolitics of an Epidemic Disease. Yale University Press, 2012. Wu, Liande. Plague Fighter; the Autobiography of a Modern Chinese Physician. Heffer, 1959. Figures 1. “Medical work in China,” In Neither Donkey Nor Horse: Medicine in the Struggle Over China's Modernity. 2. “Taish$ hachinen koreraby$ boeki shi.” In Sanitizing Korea: Anti-Cholera Activities of the Police in Early Colonial Korea.


China’s Decision to Enter the Korean War: Duress or Deliberation?

Abstract: Contrary to the common perception that China’s decision to intervene in the Korean War as a “sloppy” one and even “reckless war-making of the worst kind,” this paper argues that the decision was more a rational, well-calculated military operation that involved complex ideological and political factors than one made under ignorance of situation or carelessness. I first analyze the communism vs. capitalism ideological conflict between China and its hostile forces, after which I present how China’s various concerns about national security as well as the role of the Soviet Union have greatly influenced China’s decision of entering the war.

Michelle Xu is a junior at Duke University. She ! majors in History with a concentration on Global and Comparative History. Her research interests include global human rights disputes, modern Korean history, and war history. Michelle is also an Art History minor at Duke.



hen the North Korean troops poured across the 38th parallel on June 25th, 1950, their close neighbor, the newly born People’s Republic of China was struggling to recover from its prolonged civil war. Despite this, in October the same year, Chinese People’s Volunteer Army entered the Korean War to back North Korea. Therefore, scholars nowadays tend to view China’s decision to intervene in the Korean War as a “sloppy” one and even “reckless war-making of the worst kind” which indicates the country’s vulnerability to contingency (Guo and Ren 276; 276277). Some opined that the decision was based on “badly flawed or seriously incomplete information about the other” and “misperception, miscalculation, and confusion” were very likely the dominant features of the formation of the decision (Guo and Ren 276-277). Indeed, when the Korean War began, China was an infant state whose primary concern was survival. Mao Zedong acknowledged to Stalin in December 1949 that in 1949 China still needed about three to five years to bring its economy back to pre-war levels, stabilize its society, and deal with remaining problems of the civil war such as neutralizing approximately 400,000 Nationalist guerrillas (Crocker 20). He added that the situation in China was inadequate to face the outside “imperialist aggression” (Crocker 20). Entering the Korean War also meant that China had to confront the world’s greatest power at that time. The war also delayed China’s domestic economic rehabilitation, and, because of the war, China lost the chance to reunite the Mainland and Taiwan (Guo and Ren 275). In this paper, however, I argue that although China faced enormous challenges at that time, China’s decision to intervene in the Korean War was more a rational, well-calculated military operation that involved complex ideological and political factors than one made under ignorance of situation or carelessness. I will first analyze the communism versus capitalism ideological conflict between China and its hostile forces7. As for the political reasons, I will argue that China’s various concerns about national security as well as the role of the Soviet Union all greatly influenced China’s decision of entering the war. The ideological conflicts behind these afore-discussed tensions were conspicuous. Although initially, the war’s origins were more rooted in Korean Nationalist sentiment, the Korean War turned out to reflect the tremendous ideological conflict between the U.S.-led Western imperialistic power and the Soviet-led communist-bloc in the East. As a result, the Korean war is now widely viewed as “another episode in the ongoing Cold War” (Clare). Since the beginning of the Cold War, the U.S. had feared that as the communist power became increasingly powerful, it would expand like a line of dominoes. Believing that capitalism, freedom, and the American way of life were in danger of being overrun by Soviet-led Communism, President Truman announced the Truman Doctrine, which implied support for other nations “threatened” by Soviet Communism, including stopping the Communists from gaining any more territory (Clare). Thus, with the Soviet Union, though reluctantly, providing the DPRK equipment and weapons, South Korea leader Syngman Rhee implored the U.S. to “give [South Korea] the tools and [they]’ll take care of the rest,” stating that if the goal is to “bury communism once and for all, there is no better time than the present;” the U.S. also privately reassured Rhee that it would not let South Korea fall to


MICHELLE XU communism (Caprio).1 2 3 These conflicts of ideologies caused several Taiwan-related issues which tremendously influenced China’s decision of intervening in the war. Although the U.S. expressed a negative attitude towards the Nationalists after the Chinese civil war, the Truman administration quickly changed its mind after the DPRK’s invasion of South Korea. Indeed, when the civil war came to an end and the CCP finally occupied Nanjing, Ambassador Stuart remained in Nanjing, a sign interpreted by the CCP as an acceptance of the new regime (Guo and Ren 294). Dean Acheson, at President Truman’s request, also wrote in his letter of transmittal, “The Nationalist armies did not have to be defeated… History has proved again and again that a regime without faith in itself and an army without morale cannot survive the test of battle,” and concluded that further American aid or involvement would be pointless (Spence 472). The U.S. then held a wait-and-see attitude as they assumed that Taiwan’s fall to Communist China was only a matter of time (Dreyer 311). State Department staff also began to draft the official statement they would issue once the P.R.C recaptured Taiwan (Spence 473). However, as Spence puts it, the “apparent harmony” was “shattered” after North Korea’s invasion of South Korea (473). Mutual suspicion between the Capitalists and the Communists reached its climax. Finally, aiming to prevent the Communists from gaining more territory, Truman ordered the U.S. Seventh Fleet to patrol the Taiwan Strait for preventing China from seizing the moment to attack Taiwan, which was not under communist rule at that time, an action that aroused strong anti-American Imperialism sentiment and determination among the Chinese (Hunt 458). Both the Chinese leaders and the Chinese people reacted fiercely to resist American imperialism. Early in the revolutionary times when the U.S. backed the KMT against the Communists, Mao criticized that the “imperialist elements” that had controlled the U.S.China policy, and described the Truman administration as “a reactionary capitalist clique” (Guo and Ren 292). Now, as the U.S. sent its troops to Taiwan, China was denied the chance of “liberating” Taiwan and “wiping out” American imperialism there (Yasuda 75). Thus, the Chinese leaders thought that they would “perforce have to resist the threat more effectively by other means,” and protect China as a whole (Yasuda 75). At the same time, the Chinese people also used harsh verbal attacks to condemn U.S. imperialism. They described American Imperialism as “barbarous,” and as Spence stated, “the whole country was spurred on by mass rallies,” resisting the U.S. and its allies in the war (474). Contrary to traditional views that Stalin incited North Korea to go to war with South Korea, he was actually very reluctant to give Kim Il Sung the green light to attack. He also cautioned that the USSR would only supply North Korea with weapons and no further assistance; North Korea should turn to China for help. See Caprio (2011). 2 It is also said that Stalin only initiated the invasion after he made sure that the United States would not intervene, at least not by force, for he feared that the Soviet Union was not yet strong enough to confront and U.S. and to win. See Weathersby (1999). 3 Donggil Kim argues that Stalin was actually aware that the U.S. would intervene if North Korea started the war. He argues that the USSR wished to concentrate its energies on consolidating its power in Europe so it distracted any forces that could disturb it from doing it. See 1


CHINA’S DECISION TO ENTER THE KOREAN WAR These ideological conflicts finally led to Chinese leaders’ political concern for the country’s security of sovereignty. As the U.S. allied with fifteen other member nations of the UN to send troops to assist South Korea as well as deployed the Seventh Fleet in the Taiwan Strait, the Chinese communists feared that the U.S. had an ambition toward China or even Asia as a whole, and that it would try hard to make its imperialistic moves to push power inward and challenge China’s sovereignty. Although the Truman administration announced that the UN forces would stop at the Yalu River, and they would take no provocative action against China, the Chinese leaders stayed highly alert of the situation, as they still remembered that the Americans not only betrayed them during the Chinese civil war but also broke their newly-made yet solemn promise of not crossing the 38th parallel just a few weeks prior (Guo and Ren 300). Premier Zhou Enlai argued that it was possible for the U.S. to follow the way of the Japanese during WWII, which was invading China beginning in Korea, then moving on to the Northeast and China as a whole. Zhou also pointed out that Korea would be fundamentally defeated by the U.S., who would then “run more rampant with negative effects for the entire Far East” (Guo and Ren 301-302). Moreover, Marshall Peng Dehuai also wrote in his memoir that U.S.’s control of Taiwan posed a serious threat to Shanghai and all of eastern China (Guo and Ren 300). Realizing that the United States might have had an ambition towards China, the Chinese leaders began to believe that a direct confrontation with the U.S. was inevitable (Yufan, Hao, and Zhai 106). Mao then pointed out that the three possible fronts were Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan (Yufan, Hao, and Zhai 106). He argued that Korea was the most favorable location for China to go to war against the U.S., because as the U.S.’s strategic priority lay in Europe and especially the Soviet Union, Korea was a relatively weak point in the U.S.’s global strategy. Moreover, although at that time the U.S. was the only country that possessed the atomic bomb, Mao stated in his 1946 interview with U.S. journalist Anna Strong that “the atomic bomb is a paper tiger with which the United States reactionaries use to scare people. It looks terrible, but in fact it isn’t” (Mao). Mao believed that Truman would not use the atomic bomb in such a peripheral area since the hostile forces were so close to each other. Also, the narrow shape and rolling terrain of the Korean peninsula also could largely limit MacArthur’s forces as well as ground firepower and at the same time give China a defensive advantage (Yufan, Hao, and Zhai 107). Therefore, to the Chinese leaders, the Korean peninsula was an ideal place to fight the Americans. The fact that Korea was China’ neighboring country also played a part in the political decision-making. China viewed the Korean Peninsula as a “key bulwark” and the DPRK as an important buffer state that could protect China from the threat of outside forces (Scobell). Mao described the relationship between China and the DPRK as that of “the lips and teeth”, and said that “if the lips are gone, the teeth will be cold” – that is, if the enemy troops approached the Yalu border, the Northeastern border defense forces would all collapse and Manchuria would have to face the imperialists’ army (“Fire on the City Gate” 15). This was particularly dangerous and quite likely, between 1868 and 1945, Japan had launched ten invasions of China, among which the majority moved through the Korean Peninsula. These attempts to conquer China through Manchuria had been responsible for the deaths of 35 million Chinese people (Crocker 10). The Chinese leaders were thus afraid


MICHELLE XU that if the U.S. and UN troops won the war, which was highly possible at the moment, China would lose its buffer area, exposing the country’s “industrial heartland” right in front of the enemy, and confront a unified Korea that aligned with the U.S., causing serious consequences (Crocker 104; 10). Bearing these possibilities in mind, on October 1st, 1950, the CCP convened a special enlarged Politburo meeting to make the final decision on whether or not to directly intervene in the war. In the meeting, one participant gave three possibilities in the course of the war, which are: (1) our neighbor goes into war while peace is maintained in our country; (2) our neighbor goes into war while the enemy bombs our country; (3) our neighbor goes into war while the enemy lands its troops on our coast and the whole country is involved in the war. He stated that “for the time being, our policy is based on the second scenario” (Yun 112). The concern of national security was thus an important factor in the Chinese leadership’s decision of entering the Korean War. In addition to this, the USSR and the role of Stalin are also a possible factor that affected China’s decision. A widely made assumption is that Stalin had realized the growth of Communist China’s power and was determined to stop China from joining the United Nations (Guo and Ren 296). Also, since Truman at the time had just announced that the U.S. would stop aiding Taiwan, Stalin was also concerned that the U.S. and the PRC would reach a diplomatic accommodation and thus the situation would be bad for the USSR since it was in the Cold War with the U.S. (Crocker 8). As a result, Stalin intended to “lock China and the U.S. in a costly land war” and find a way to see if China “stood solidly in the Communist camp” (Guo and Ren 296; Crocker 8). However, it is also important to be aware that the USSR’s influence on China should not be unduly stressed. All states face pressure from their partner nations. Even if the Soviet pushed China to enter the war, it did not overwhelm China; instead, China took the pressure into rational consideration and made the decision out of deliberation. Besides the reasons mentioned above, there are other assumptions such as Mao wished to use the war to increase China’s military power and to win the world’s respect. Indeed, although the war caused the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops, there was a steady improvement in the Chinese army and air force through the war (Spence 476). Thus at the war’s end, China had a more powerful military posture than it had upon entering the war (Matloff). Moreover, for some people who perceive the mid and late 20th century as one that was “tightly bipolar” and had hierarchical systems organized around Washington and Moscow, viewing China’s involvement as a sign of “international communist expansion” is perhaps the most natural way to interpret it (Guo and Ren 275). Yet China’s performance in Korea actually won it respect as a nation that can be reckoned with in world affairs: the world began to recognize China as an emerging world power independent of the Soviet Union from then on (Gamage). Therefore, one can never be sure about the exact or the most important reason that triggered China’s decision to intervene. What we can be sure of is that although the decision of China entering the Korean War seemed to be made carelessly and under great pressure from the first glance, it was in fact not due to “vulnerability of contingency,” or as the Chinese media propagandized, simply the reflection of the brotherhood and friendship


CHINA’S DECISION TO ENTER THE KOREAN WAR between China and the DPRK. Instead, the Chinese leaders took various ideological and political factors into consideration, and carefully designed this complicated, deliberate military operation. Despite this, however, mutual suspicions and distrust still played an important part in influencing the leaders’ decision. If both the Capitalists and the Communists could respect and trust each other, and reach a harmonious coexistence, the Korean War might not have happened in the first place.

Works Cited Caprio, Mark. "Neglected Questions on the ‘Forgotten War:’ South Korea and the United States on the Eve of the Korean War." The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 9, No. 5.3, 2011. Clare, John D. "Why Did the Korean War Break out in 1950.", 2002/2014. Crocker, Harry. Chinese Intervention in the Korean War. Dissertation, Louisiana State University, 2002. Dreyer, June Teufel. China's Political System: Modernization and Tradition. Paragon House, 1993. "Fire on the City Gate: Why China Keeps North Korea Close." Crisis Group Asia Report N°254, 2013. Gamage, Manisha. "Impact of the Korean War." Guo, Chao, and Rongrong Ren. "Learning and Problem Representation in Foreign Policy DecisionMaking: China's Decision to Enter the Korean War Revisited." Public Administration Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 3/4, pp. 274-310. Hunt, Michael. "Beijing and the Korean Crisis, June 1950-June 1951." Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 107, No. 3, 1992, pp. 453-78. Mao, Zedong. Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung. Vol. 4, 1946. Matloff, Maurice. American Military History. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Military History, U.S. Army, 1969. Scobell, Andrew. China and North Korea: from comrades-in-arms to allies at arm's length. DIANE Publishing, 2004. Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. Norton, 1990. Yasuda, Jun. "A Survey: China and the Korean War." Social Science Japan Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1998, pp. 71-83. Yufan, Hao, and Zhai Zhihai. "China's Decision to Enter the Korean War: History Revisted." The China Quarterly, Vol. 121, 1990, pp. 94-115.


US-Asia Relations: A Historical Analysis of East Asian Epithets Abstract: During the 19th century, the Gold Rush catalyzed the migration of countless Asian workers. Influenced by the pull factor of wealth in America and the push factor of poverty and famine in their home countries, various Asian populations flocked towards the United States determined to take advantage of the economic boom in California. While never really intending on staying in the country, Asian populations created their own communities and maintained their original cultures; however, their diasporas were met with dissemination, and their presence as Asian Americans was soon defined by hatred, aggression, and emotional violence. Through the ever-evolving and complex web of race relations in the United States, Asian Americans found themselves at the forefront of colonialism and imperialism. With the United States fighting numerous Asian countries in wars, Asian Americans were often victim towards the cultural anxieties that resulted out of xenophobic rhetoric and inaccurate media socialization. In consequence, a linguistic war originated, in which white supremacy battled Asian American communities with racial epithets, stereotyping, and discrimination."

Helen Yang is a Chinese American sophomore at Duke University pursuing a double major ! in Linguistics and Political Science with a minor in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. She

holds a strong fascination with humanity. Through languages, power, and culture, she sees

an important outlet for revolutionary expression and explores academic intersections as a way to explore herself. She serves as the Vice President in Duke International Association, the Internal Vice President of Spoken Verb, the Chief of Marketing for Oculogx, and is involved in planning ECAASU and TAASCON. Focusing on the misrepresentations of AAPI and the societal, psychological, and economic violence that arises in consequence, Helen aims to educate and raise awareness on intersections of identity and to amplify the unheard voices of minority communities. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, spending time with her little brother, reading, and embroidery.



tarting from the first instance of Asian-American contact, the Asian population has been actively growing throughout the United States. Even within the last decade, the Asian population in the United States has increased from 10.2 million in 2000 to 14.7 million in 2010, showing a growth rate four times faster than that of the total U.S. population (Hoeffel). Quickly having assumed “model minority” status, Asian immigrants are often perceived as hardworking, persistent, and efficient. However, the positive stereotypes that are frequently imposed on individuals have origins in extreme degradation and hostility. While Asian Americans are now pressured by the implicit pressure of being model minorities, the generations before suffered the brute force of systemic violence, overwhelming alienation, and discrimination via slurs and epithets. During times of war and governmental control over immigration, Asian Americans were and continued to be a target of America’s cultural anxieties.

I. 19th Century Immigration th Beginning in the mid-19 century, many East Asians immigrated to the United States, motivated by a number of political, economic, and cultural forces. The most notable immigration wave was during the Gold Rush of 1849, which presented them with the opportunity to maximize their wealth and improve their financial standing. Devastated by the Taiping Rebellion, a radically political and religious movement that drastically weakened the Qing Dynasty, many Chinese citizens were left impoverished and penniless. Allured by the financial stability and fortune, many traveled to the United States to find work and generate enough savings to then return to China and support their families (Norton). Within the first twenty-seven years, the Chinese population in the U.S. increased from 54 to 151,000 (Encyclopedia Britannica). News of the Gold Rush continued to spread at a steady pace, both internationally and nationally. However, by the time miners from the East Coast arrived at the California gold mines, the richness of the surfaces has been exhausted by the Chinese communities that had immigrated into the country earlier. Subjected to the American laborers’ disappointment and dissatisfaction, the Chinese immigrants soon became targets of anti-foreigner persecution. The general feeling of intolerance solidified under the Foreign Miners Tax Law of 1850 in the form of a legislation that required foreign miners to pay a monthly fee of twenty dollars in order to keep their mining license (California State Library). In addition, Asian immigrants faced extreme social repercussions, as they were forced to work in older mines, accept lower wages, and experience racial violence from the Caucasian majority (California Act of 1862). Over time, the term coolie was developed to describe an unskilled Asian immigrant. Its etymology is believed to have stemmed from the Hindi and Telugu word for day-laborer and the Urdu word for slave, kuli (NPR). The words were integrated into American lexicon as many Caucasians and European Americans generalized the Asian population into one that could be monolithically expressed by already-existing cultural slurs. As Caucasians overheard the language between minority groups, they adopted the phrases negatively and applied them towards Asian populations. Quickly, the word became expressive of “the Chinese as laborers in servitude, contracts, peonage, [and] even as slaves


A HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF EAST ASIAN EPITHETS […] employed by both politicians and laborers,” ostracizing and alienating Asian immigrants even further (Murphy 457-490). In the California Supreme Court case, People v. Hall (1854), the Court ruled that Chinese people, as coolies, were “a race of people whom nature has marked as inferior, and who are incapable of progress or intellectual development beyond a certain point, as their history has shown; differing in language, opinions, color, and physical conformation; between whom and ourselves nature has placed an impassable difference …”. Such degradation and discrimination culminated in 1862, as coolie was officially adopted by California legislature through the passing of the Anti-Coolie Act. Implemented as a way to fight the coolie trade and hinder the flower of Asians into the United States, the Act banned the transportation of Asians unless they had a certificate signed by a consular official (Vong). Instigated by pressure from majority populations of threatened miners and politicians, the Act characterized Chinese people as “coolies, a degraded race of godless opium addicts, prostitutes, and gamblers,” portraying them as maladies of the Western culture (Kazin). Over the years, attention shifted from the gold mining industry to the railroad industry. With the proposal for a transcontinental railroad approved, by 1865, Central Pacific began hiring Chinese men as a way to compensate for their labor shortage. By 1868, 80% of the Central Pacific workforce were Chinese men, and the remaining 20% of laborers were Irishmen, who felt threatened by the work ethic, punctuality, and diligence of their Chinese counterparts (PBS). In general, the Chinese community was tremendously invested in their work because they wanted to generate as much income as possible and return back to their homes. Because they would commonly reference China as the Celestial Empire – directly translated from the phrase  (tian chao) – many Americans misinterpreted their language and assumed they were identifying themselves as divine beings (Merriam-Webster). The first citation of the term was expressed in Soule, Gihon, and Nisbet’s Annals of San Francisco, in which they stated that “those who have mingled familiarly with celestials have commonly felt before long an uncontrollable sort of loathing against them,” thus claiming that the animosity towards Asian was inevitable because of some inherent bias against the cultural population (Green). Discrimination swiftly escalated towards violence and extreme antagonism, which could be seen through the 1885-1889 Anti-Chinese riots, Chinese communities were aggressively harassed and targeted throughout California, Oregon, Nevada, Alaska, Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Washington, resulting in millions of dollars’ worth of property damages, numerous deaths, and expulsions from the country (Harpweek). Even along the East Coast, many riots were instigated because cigar manufacturers exploited the ethnic antagonism in order to combat strikes in New York City. The New York Labor Standard published headlines declaring how “even CHINAMEN have asserted their manhood in this strike and have risen to the dignity of American trade unionists” (Chang). By emphasizing the word Chinamen and falsely documenting their obedience, larger corporation were able to manipulate their upset employees into coming back to work, solely based on pride and the need to prove that they are better than Asian workers.


HELEN YANG II. 20th Century Wartime Just as how there was a shift from gold mining to railroads in the 19th century, the 20th century introduced a similar transition between industries, in which workers focused their energies on the promising businesses involved with fish canneries. In 1903, Edmund A. Smith patented and manufactured an automated salmon cleaning machine fifty-five times faster than the average human worker. Living in Seattle at the time, Smith was exposed to numerous Chinese population, as most workers in the Northwest were Chinese immigrants. His constant exposure to their work ethnic and first-hand accounts of their productivity inspired him to name his machine the Iron Chink, drawing a clear parallel between the 110fish per minute rate of the machine and the impressive speeds at which Asian immigrants worked (History Link). The use of the racial slur, chink, continued as Thomas Burke’s “The Chink and the Child” was published as part of his collection of stories in Limehouse Nights (1916): “But not there were those that ran to Battling at his training quarters across the river, with the news that his child had gone with a Chink – a yellow man. And Battling was angry, he discovered parental rights. He discovered indignation. A yellow man after his kid! He’d learn him. Battling did not like men who were not born in the same great country as himself. Particularly he disliked yellow men. His birth and education in Shadwell had taught him that of all creeping things that creep upon the earth the most insidious is the Oriental in the West. And a yellow man and a child.” (Burke) Later adapted into Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl, a screenplay by American film director D.W. Griffith, the story portrays common xenophobic anxieties through the interactions between Battling Burrows and Cheng Huan. Capturing the antiChinese sentiments of the time, Burke attributed to the Chinese protagonist opium addiction and whorehouses, highlighting the stereotypes that many people held of the Chinese (Broken Blossoms). Battling’s extreme focus on Huan’s physical differences, specifically the color of his skin, represented the general conception many Americans had of Asian immigrants, judging them purely on their outward appearance. Throughout World War I, concerns regarding Asian immigration continued, and numerous novels were published in attempt to raise awareness of its threat to American values. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany coined the phrase, “Yellow Peril,” epitomizing the theory that Asian immigrants would inevitably and tragically corrupt the United States (Lee). And while the steadily increasing Chinese labor force continued to instigate high levels of aggression, Japan’s expansionism and focus on refining and strengthening their military during World War I provoked various fears about the Japanese collective (Dickinson). Due to the increase in anti-Asian prejudice, several legal decisions were passed. Expanding on the Chinese Exclusion Act, which was passed in 1882 under the Chester A. Arthur administration, the Immigration Act of 1917 added to the list of people who were banned, including a section known as the Asiatic Barred Zone prohibiting people from regions in Asia and the Pacific Islands immigrating to the United States (Tucker). Furthermore, in 1924, the National Origins Quota specified the ineligibility of Japanese people for naturalization. This legislation that was taken to the Supreme Court in Takao Ozawa v. United States (1922). Takao Ozawa, a Japanese-American man, filed for citizenship under


A HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF EAST ASIAN EPITHETS the Naturalization Act of 1906 as a “free white person,” to which a unanimous Court held that “the words ‘white person’ were meant to indicate only a person of what is popularly known as the Caucasian race” (Ozawa v. United States). Such court decisions then set the foundation for the Immigration Act of 1924, which banned all immigration from Asian and sparked a new and more vigorous wave of anti-Japanese judgment (The Immigration Act of 1924). Japanese discrimination peaked during World War II as the United States fought against the Axis Powers. Specifically, the Japanese coordinated attack at Pearl Harbor sparked overwhelming animosity towards the Japanese populations living in America, catalyzing extreme hate propaganda throughout the United States. Not only were they accused of working against the United States, but the Japanese immigrants were completely shunned and vilified by the majority communities. Both the terms Jap, a shortening of the word “Japanese,” and nip because common slurs to derogatorily condemn Japanese people. Derived from the Japanese name for Japan, Nippon, nip was first used in TIME Magazine on January 5th, 1942 to describe three Japanese pilots (Hughes). The slur hastily diffused into everyday conversation and people of all ages started to frequently use the term. It also became a common slang word against British Armed Forces, as seen through their journal entries that documented the “nip[s] in the air” (Keemle). Soon thereafter, the term became integrated into the entertainment industry. Warner Brothers produced an episode of the Bugs Bunny cartoon using the word, thus incorporation the racial slurs into the lives of numerous children, culturally ingraining the racism into them from an early developmental age (Schlesinger). However, the dehumanization and distrust was not just limited towards Japanese populations, but towards all Asian immigrant communities. In numerous popular television and entertainment series, Asians were demonized and caricaturized as the villains, further perpetuating the societal messages of Yellow Peril. Famous examples include Marvel’s Yellow Claw and Mandarin Doctor Who’s Celestial Toymaker, and Fu Manchu, the fictional character introduced by British author Sax Rohmer (Fu Manchu Series). The acceptance of Asian antagonists encapsulated the hostility that the general public held towards many immigrants and further normalized the intolerance towards Asians in the United States.

Figure 1 Popular television/book characters based on perpetuating negative Asian stereotypes


HELEN YANG As World War II came to an end, bitterness prevailed, and it soon became funneled towards Korean communities. Starting in 1950, the Korean War triggered tremendous amounts of racial slurs against Asians, primarily through the use of the term gook, which is said to come from poor translations and misinterpretations of Asian languages, such as the Korean words guk meaning “country” and miguk meaning “America”. The term was rapidly integrated into everyday vocabulary, and the headlines became littered with references (Roediger). A 1950 San Francisco headline read, “HILLS ARE LOUSY WITH GOOKS,” while Life’s December 1951 issue includes an article titled “A Marine Tells What Korea Is Really Like,” in which the author consistently references enemy soldiers using racial epithets, detailing how "... jet black shadows through the tree which move, creep and jump from side to side just like a gook" (Life 172). The popularity of gook continued well into the Vietnam War, revealing that Americans at the time did not differentiate between the different Asian countries; instead, they generalized all Asians into one classification and expanded all the slurs to be applicable to any community. In a 1969 report, “The GI’s and the Gooks,” war correspondent Robert Kaiser exclaimed that “the only good gook, […] said again and again on U.S. bases throughout Vietname, is a dead gook” (Roediger). The continual hatred of Asians manifested itself in other slurs, such as Charlie, a shorthand of Victor Charlie, which was a radio code designed for Viet Cong (PBS). This wartime vernacular used to identify communist guerrillas soon became adopted by the general masses, and Asian people – specifically Vietnamese enemy soldier – became branded by another racial slur. Another common racist term is zipperhead, first documented in Elaine Shepard’s The Doom Pussy, in which the Special Forces camp was instructed to “get these zipperheads off the runway” (Shepard). Specifically, the term was a product of war brutality and violence, as United States soldiers stated that Vietnamese enemies looked as if they were unzipping after being shot in the head with an automatic weapon; other interpretations drew upon the parallel that the tread marks left on the bodies of Vietnamese soldiers looked like zippers (Shepard). III. 21st Century Since the 20th century, Asian racial epithets have evolved dramatically. While terms like gook and Charlie are no longer in common use, new terms have been created during the 21st century. Wartime language has long been abandoned and instead replaced with terminology that speaks to the stereotype of a “model minority,” defined as the minority group with the most success and highest degree of socioeconomic achievement (Statistics Don’t Lie) Asian Americans are commonly identified as most willing to assimilate and appropriate to Western norms; therefore, Asians are modernly classified as Twinkies and bananas, as to mean that Asian people are yellow on the outside and white on the inside, ultimately assuming that Asians hold an inner desire to be accepted as part of the white collective. While most 19th and 20th century slurs have been left in the past – both as a product of political correctness and the movement away from Asian wars – the term chink continues to be used. In 2012, ESPN fired an employee responsible for writing an offensive headline –



Table 1 Socioeconomic breakdown of different races within the U.S.

“Chink In the Armor” – about Jeremy Lin, a Chinese-American basketball player, after his loss against the New Orleans Hornets (CNN Wire Staff). Numerous other instances have raised controversy over the term chink; because of its literal meaning of "a small cleft, slit, or fissure; a weak spot that may leave one vulnerable,” it often gets used by the public (Merriam-Webster). The U.S. Army tweeted, “Chinks in special ops’ digital and physical armor pose challenges, experts say,” using the term to suggest its denotative meaning rather than as a racial slur (Lamothe). The Asian community was deeply troubled, as seen by responses from thousands of Asian American Twitter users; although recognizing that the Army did not mean it in a racial manner, general consensus revolved around retiring the term altogether because of its secondary racial meaning. Modern day racism also revolves around the idea of an Asian collective, as numerous people struggle to identify between the different ethnicities and nationalities of East Asians. On April 16th, 2007, undergraduate Seung-Hui Cho committed the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history at Virginia Tech, where he shot and killed over thirty people before committing suicide (Massengill Report). In reaction, much of the Asian population feared backlash. Other Virginia Tech students, among other Asian populations across the nation, became very concerned they “might be a target” in response to Cho’s nationality; even the South Korean government expressed worry, immediately taking diplomatic and precautionary action, as seen through press releases and foreign affairs (Hopkins). With a majority of people not able to differentiate between Asians, slurs then became applied to Asians as a collective monolithic unit, rather than their specific identifications. IV. The Significance of War The creation of racial epithets relies heavily on the relations that the United States maintains with other countries. Once the United States become directly involved in conflict and violence with other nations, the rise of slurs increases drastically. The birth of new slang during times of war serves as small acts of everyday resistance, in which lexicon becomes a form of “verve, solidarity, and cynical frustration,” and “combat naturally fuels a resentment


HELEN YANG of authority and a dislike of regimentation, while fostering a strong sense of egalitarianism” for soldiers (Dalzell).

Figure 2 Google Ngram program documents the frequency of slurs, showing increase spikes during times of war

From a psychological and neurological standpoint, the popularity of slurs can be traced back to herd or mob mentality. Once the United States becomes explicitly involved, many citizens begin to fear for the safety of the nation, and they conform to the defense mechanisms that human nature provokes – by targeting a specific out-group of people and projecting their insecurities on them, they are able to partially relieve the fear that sets in as a result of the neurotransmitters that activate in the amygdala (Watson). As a result, numerous individuals indulge themselves in perpetuating negative stereotypes and slurs in order to cope with the stakes at hand during times of war. In addition, confirmation bias serves as a common reason behind the continued circulation of slurs; as more people form their own social identities and form beliefs about other communities of people, any confirming situation becomes strong reinforcement for their original presumptions, ultimately creating a cycle of stereotyping. V. Minority Differences As the “model minority,” Asian populations are subject to different treatment than many other minority groups in the United States. Because of their presumed obedience and assumed subservience, the racial language used to target Asian communities do not face as much pushback as with other minority groups. Albeit a smaller minority group, Asian Americans do not vocalize their anger as often as other marginalized populations. Starting


A HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF EAST ASIAN EPITHETS from the first immigrants to travel to the United States, Asians were vilified for their work ethic, drawing negative attention to them because other groups felt threatened. Currently, Asians tend to pursue financially stable professions, such as those in engineering, law, or medicine. 47% of Asian American Pacific Islander students pursue a STEM program, which is more than double white, black, and Hispanic populations, respectively at 22%, 21%, and 23% (Collegeboard). As a result, there are significantly fewer Asians working in the media, teaching in schools and universities, or getting involved in politics, ultimately severing their influence throughout society. As individuals involved in self-contained careers, many Asians lack the visibility needed to raise awareness and sever the impact of racial epithets. In addition, the teachings of Buddha and Confucius, along numerous other Asian philosophies and traditions, preach certain conceptualizations of peace and harmony which discourage sparking controversy. In Confucianism, radical harmony focuses on an “attempt to make the most of any situation,” emphasizing “personal cultivation and refinement as the starting point for familial, social, political and cosmic order.” (Ames). While both Buddhism and Confucianism were greatly repressed during the Cultural Revolution of China, the two philosophies continue to affect the way many Asian cultures operate, and the principles of harmony, peace, and silence continue to be filtered through generations of Asians. Through a combination of multiple factors – religion, tradition, demographics, and population – Asian Americans are commonly the quietest and most accepting of the slurs that circulate throughout society, and their silence becomes a way to perpetuate discrimination and justice. VI. Conclusion As David Roediger states, “The stark dehumanization of enemies in such a line reminds us that racism is not only a way to motivate fighters in wars of aggression but also that militarism has helped foster racism.” The continual perpetuation of stereotypes further promotes self-indignation among Asian people, normalizes the hatred, and subtly teaches society that their racist remarks will heed no consequences. From the Gold Rush of 1849 to the present day, Asian immigrants and Asian Americans have been the targets for extreme racism, systemic aggressions, and the offensiveness packed into every slur and racial epithet. Whether it is gook, chink, or banana, every slur becomes another reminder of the humiliation and dehumanization they faced throughout history. While we may not be fighting Asia in decade-long wars now, the United States needs to draw attention to the linguistic war that is shedding bullets onto Asian communities.

Works Cited "A History Of Indentured Labor Gives 'Coolie' Its Sting." NPR. Accessed May 02, 2016. Ames, Roger T. "Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy." East Asian Philosophy. Accessed May 04, 2016. Broken Blossoms (Tinted Print); or the Yellow Man and the Girl. Directed by D.W. Griffith. United States, 1919. Film. Burke, Thomas. Limehouse Nights. New York: R.M. McBride & Company, 1917. "Celestial." Merriam-Webster. Accessed May 03, 2016. Chang, Iris. The Chinese in America: A Narrative History. New York: Viking, 2003.


HELEN YANG "California "Anti-Coolie" Act of 1862." Accessed May 02, 2016. California State Library. "Foreign Miners Tax Documents, 1850-1867." Online Archive of California. Accessed May 02, 2016.;Institution. "Chink | Definition of Chink." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2016. CNN Wire Staff. "ESPN Fires Writer of Offensive Headline about Jeremy Lin." CNN. February 20, 2012. Accessed May 03, 2016. Dalzell, Tom. "Why Slang Is the Language of War." The Telegraph. September 08, 2014. Accessed May 04, 2016. Dickinson, Frederick R. War and National Reinvention: Japan in the Great War, 1914-1919. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 1999. "Fu Manchu Series." The Fu Manchu Stories. Accessed May 03, 2016. Green, Jonathon. Green's Dictionary of Slang. London: Chambers, 2010. Harpweek. "The Anti-Chinese Hysteria of 1885-1886." The Anti-Chinese Hysteria of 1885-1886. Accessed May 03, 2016. History Link. "Automated Salmon Cleaning Machine Developed in Seattle in 1903." The Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History. Accessed May 03, 2016. Hoeffel, Elizabeth H., Sonya Rastogi, Myoung Ouk Kim, and Hasan Shahid. "The Asian Population: 2010." 2010 Census Briefs. March 2012. Hughes, Geoffrey. An Encyclopedia of Swearing: The Social History of Oaths, Profanity, Foul Language, and Ethnic Slurs in the English-speaking World. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2006. Kazin, Michael, Rebecca Edwards, and Adam Rothman. The Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History. Vol. II. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010. Keemle, Louis F. "Britain's Plans For War on Nips Not Put On Self." The Bulletin (Bend, Oregon), August 5, 1943 Schlesinger, Leon, writer. "Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips." Warner Brothers. Lamothe, Dan. "Army Expresses Surprise about Racism Allegations over Deleted Tweet." Washington Post. January 30, 2015. Accessed May 04, 2016. Lee, Erika. "The “Yellow Peril” and Asian Exclusion in the Americas." Pacific Historical Review 76, no. 4 (2007): 537-62. Massengill Report. Chapter VIII. “Mass Murder at Norris Hall”. Hopkins, Andrea. "Asians Fear Backlash after Virginia Tech Shooting." Reuters. April 17, 2007. Accessed May 04, 2016. Murphy, Erin L. ""Prelude to Imperialism": Whiteness and Chinese Exclusion in the Reimagining of the United States." Journal of Historical Sociology J Historical Sociol 18, no. 4 (2005): 457-90. Norton, Henry Kittredge. "The Chinese." Gold Rush and Anti-Chinese Race Hatred - 1849. Accessed May 02, 2016. Ozawa v. United States. Densho Encyclopedia. Accessed May 03, 2016. PBS. "The Language of War." American Experience. Accessed May 03, 2016. PBS. "Workers of the Central Pacific Railroad." American Experience. Accessed May 02, 2016. Roediger, David. "Gook: The Short History of an Americanism." Gook: The Short History of an Americanism. 1992. Accessed May 03, 2016. Roediger, David R. Towards the Abolition of Whiteness: Essays on Race, Politics, and Working Class History. London: Verso, 1994. Shepard, Elaine. The Doom Pussy. New York: The Trident Press, 1967.


A HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF EAST ASIAN EPITHETS "Statistics Don't Lie . . . Do They?" The Model Minority Image : Asian-Nation. Accessed May 03, 2016. "Students in STEM Fields by Gender and Race/Ethnicity." Students in STEM Fields by Gender and Race/Ethnicity - Trends in Higher Education - The College Board. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2016. The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Taiping Rebellion." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Accessed May 02, 2016. "The Immigration Act of 1924." The Johnson-Reed Act - 1921–1936 - Milestones - Office of the Historian. Accessed May 03, 2016. Tucker, Davis, and Jessi Creller. "1917 Immigration Act." U.S. Immigration Legislation. Accessed May 03, 2016. Vong, Jimmy. "1862 Anti-Coolie Law." U.S. Immigration Legislation. Accessed May 02, 2016. Watson, Neil V., and S. Marc. Breedlove. The Mind's Machine: Foundations of Brain and Behavior. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 2012.


The Evolution of Korean Politeness: The Influence of Confucianism and Globalization on the Current State of Korean Honorifics

Abstract: Confucianism arrived onto the Korean Peninsula during the first three centuries A.D., and has since then become the foundation for all interpersonal interactions between South Koreans today. The philosophy promotes values such as filial piety, respecting oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s elders, and collectivism. The Korean honorifics system was put into place to reinforce these principles in everyday life. Unlike other languages, Korean can be expressed in a variety of ways that change in style depending on the participants of the conversation. Since the Korean War, globalization has introduced a degree of flexibility to the language. Regardless of the external influences and their alterations, the traditional values of Confucianism still dominate the framework of the Korean honorifics system.

Annie Yin is a sophomore at Duke University from Norman, Oklahoma double majoring in Computer Science and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies. An initial interest in East Asian entertainment fueled her fascination for the sociopolitical elements of East Asian societies. On campus, she serves as an UTA in the computer science department and is involved with Liberty in North Korea.




oliteness, a social concept important in building healthy relationships through correct etiquette, is vastly divergent between different cultures and communities around the world. Shaking hands when meeting someone for the first time is the norm in Western countries, whereas bowing is considered the proper mode of greeting in East Asia. Expressing politeness is not only limited to physical gestures – politeness can also be expressed through the usage of honorifics in speech. In languages such as Korean and Japanese, honorifics are incorporated into the conjugation of predicates, a practice that is foreign to English. These cultural differences in communicating politeness arose from many factors, including but not limited to history, moral ideologies, race and gender demographics, religion, and globalization. In this paper, I will examine how the final two factors have influenced the Korean honorific system over time. More specifically, I will first explore the mutualistic relationship between Confucianism and the Korean honorific system, then discuss how Korean honorific speech has evolved to reflect foreign elements, and lastly provide a rationale for the continuing dominance of Confucianism in the Korean language despite the influx of globalization in Korean society.1 South Korea, a recently established nation following the aftermath of the Korean War, has benefited profusely from the fruits of industrialization and globalization; this is evidenced by the popularity of foreign brands and businesses among its citizens as well as its real GDP growth of, on average, ten percent annually from 1962 to 1994, making it now the world’s eleventh largest economy (The World Bank). Even with the proliferation of global cultures and individualistic sentiments due to a rapidly developing economy, Confucianism remains unperturbed as the most fundamental basis of the social mechanisms that dictate behaviors of the South Korean public. Confucianism first reached the Korean peninsula through Chinese commanders around the first three centuries A.D. Initially, its role was limited to the examination system for the bureaucracy, an idea transferred over from the Tang dynasty (The World Bank). But when foreigners traveled to Korea during the 19th century, they claimed that the “most rigid Confucian systems and values permeated almost all facets of Korean life,” a substantial progression from over ten centuries ago. Ironically, statistics show that only two percent of South Koreans identify themselves as Confucians (Koh 191). This phenomenon can be explained by the religion’s lack of structure, but another possible explanation could be that Confucian thought is so ingrained into Korean society that it is unconsciously expressed through the social norms and cultural traditions which have long been integrated into the everyday lives and identities of South Koreans (Koh 191). In order to avoid ambiguity, the “Korean language” specified in this paper refers to the language employed in South Korea, as the division of the Korean peninsula has induced a linguistic divergence between the two countries. In general, the modifier “Korean” in a postwar context refers to characteristics and features of South Korea. 1


ANNIE YIN What exactly are these norms and traditions that largely influence how Koreans interact in their communities? One of the most important systems that imposes strict guidelines for social interaction is the honorific system. The Korean language, spoken by almost eighty million people around the world, consists of a highly structured honorific system that permeates almost every aspect of a Korean person’s public and personal life (Ethnologue). This linguistic structure is reflective of the larger societal hierarchy that frames South Korean society, promoting many Confucian values such as hyo (filial piety), kyunklosasang (respecting elders), yeychel (etiquette), and hyeptong (collaboration) (Yoon 190). Because society is a complex web of interpersonal relationships between residing individuals, it is only natural that Confucianism, a religion that strongly emphasizes the importance of relationships, has played a fundamental role in and has continuously affected the development of linguistic elements that specify connections between people. Honorifics permeate Korean linguistic element, including nouns, verbs, verbal suffixes, address-reference terms, particles, and more (Sohn 16). The most obvious and powerful element, by far, are speech levels, or styles, which are interwoven into sentence endings. Because Korean is a SOV (Subject-Object-Verb) language, in which sentences end in verbs, honorific styles are consequently associated with the conjugation of predicates. There are six different types of speech levels, ranging from the most impolite style, haylachey to the most deferential style, hasipsiochey (Sohn 16). Choosing the correct style for conversing depends on many factors, the most important being age and occupational position. Other factors to consider include the socioeconomic status of the addressee, the level of familiarity with the addressee, the amount of respect which the addressor desires to express, and the social context of the conversation. For example, the style used when speaking to one’s friend, who is close in age and familiarity, should never be used when speaking to one’s likely older superior. These decisions are not always easy to navigate, which is why it is common in Korean culture to ask for one’s age and occupation upon the first meeting in order for both parties to determine the proper speech style to use. The existence of these styles might seem like a bother to English speakers, but it is not an exaggeration to say that it would be virtually impossible to communicate without them, at least in a country like South Korea where collectivism and group harmony, both fundamental Confucian ideologies, are valued above all else. In order to facilitate the well-being of the group, individuals must understand where they stand in the hierarchy in relation to others. Once these relationships within the entire social niche are established, speech styles are then employed to reinforce these hierarchical notions in order to maintain harmony. Using honorific speech styles is one of many important methods implemented to explicitly vocalize interpersonal relationships. Another significant element of Korean honorifics that mirrors Confucian teachings is the usage of familial appellations. In the English language, there are few titles designated for each member of the extended family as well as titles that indicate DUKE EAST ASIA NEXUS / &$

THE EVOLUTION OF KOREAN POLITENESS! family hierarchy and male-female relationships. A male English speaker would refer to his older sister most commonly as “sister,” with no clarification of age. On the other hand, a male Korean speaker would refer to his older sister as nuna; a female Korean speaker would refer to her older sister as enni; and both would refer to their younger sister as yetongsayng. Every family member in a Korean household possesses their own title in relation to another member, and these titles should be used when addressing a particular member, even with siblings. This serves to show that Koreans are extremely family-oriented, as every member deserves their own position in the household. However, this does not imply that Korean families are more emotionally connected than American families, which reside in a society that encourages individualism. It is in fact the opposite: assigning titles, rather than advocating closer ties, furthers the emotional distance between family members. In the West, family is often considered a different, more familiar and intimate sphere separate from one’s other circles and the society as a whole. Therefore, there is less of a power imbalance within a parent-child relationship compared to most relationships in the public sphere, especially political and workplace ones. This is not the case in Korea. The family dynamic resembles the workplace dynamic in that both possess a hierarchical nature. It is as if the older members represent the “management” and the younger members are the “employees,” but in a familial context. “Linguistic respect” in families, implemented through the employment of honorific titles, even further emphasizes the need to show deference and exact dutiful actions by propagating the psychological familial hierarchy in the minds of Koreans (Sung and Kim 282). This type of respect is another attempt by Confucianism to propagate its own tenets, in this case filial piety, through the Korean honorific system. Many honorific terms and suffixes also exist in the workplace and educational realm in order to manage upperclassmen-underclassmen and authority-subordinate relationships (Lee and Ramsey 268). In a school context, a couple months difference in age can trigger the usage of a more honorific speech level, even with same-grade students. This unspoken rule is especially enforced from middle school onwards. Difference in age also warrants the usage of specific titles. Juniors often do not address seniors by their names, but instead through the term senpay, which loosely translates to “elder.” Seniors can also use the corresponding term, hupay, for addressing juniors. However, because they are superior in age, seniors enjoy the freedom to refer to juniors by their first names. This difference in choice due to age is another classic example of Confucian doctrine imposing its overarching principle of harmony through respect for elders and rank. The freedom and rigidity that a student faces with a younger and older cohort, respectively, enforce the student’s understanding of where they fall in the school hierarchy. Occupational position, even more so than age, is the most significant factor when considering what honorific style and titles to employ in the workplace (Lee and Ramsey 269). In the conventional American workplace, once enough time has passed DUKE EAST ASIA NEXUS / &&

ANNIE YIN for subordinates and authority figures to familiarize themselves with each other, the stratification is usually not explicitly expressed and first names can be comfortably used. On the other hand, one can never call their superior by name, only by occupational title in South Korea. The suffix nim is also attached at the end of the title for an additional level of respect. Similar to the communicative guidelines used in a school environment, the honorific rules that members of a company must follow facilitate peace and collaboration by reminding all employees of their respective positions within the workplace order. The employment of specific titles in the school and work environment serves to illustrate just how much the Korean language aids the maintenance of the vertical social ladders that pervade South Korean society. From the specific elements of the Korean honorific system, it is undeniable that the existence of social stability is extremely important in states like South Korea. In promoting this stability, Confucianism delineates a hierarchal system based on familial, workplace, political, and other interpersonal relationships that establishes structure in an individual’s social sphere. Because language plays a significant role in creating and maintaining human relationships, it is unsurprising that the Korean language has been an important factor in building societal and political tranquility through components such as the honorific system. While Confucianism has remained the chief contributor to the development of the Korean honorifics, South Korea has undergone many transformations in the past century that have initiated the erosion of the outer layers of the traditional honorific system and replaced them with a more liberal and Western take. There are many, albeit subtle, changes in the Korean honorific system that indicate societal shifts likely to have been influenced by globalization. While globalization does not necessarily equate to Westernization, in the context of South Korea, many of the recent foreign elements that have arrived and are now imbedded within its society can be attributed to Western ideas, including democracy, human rights, and freedom from sexual discrimination (Yoon 190). The multitude of foreign invasions in the past number of centuries along with the more recent interference in the Korean War by Americans have played an important part in this economic, political, and cultural exchange between the West and the East. Along with these exchanges came the growing reflection of gender equality in the Korean honorific system. This “equality” should not be interpreted as only equal rights but also as an increasing presence of women in society and the decay of traditional female-specific roles. Although Confucian beliefs endorse mutual respect between husband and wife, a large disparity in power and status still remains in a husband-wife relationship, primarily due to the husband’s greater participation in the public realm that supplies him the financial support and connections to be dominant. Attempts to bridge this gap using anti-Confucianism critique increased rapidly during the colonial period, and has continued to advance due to pro-Westernization sentiment until the present, such as the advent of women’s suffrage and women’s rights DUKE EAST ASIA NEXUS / &'

THE EVOLUTION OF KOREAN POLITENESS! organizations. (Duncan 445; Palley 1141; Palley 1144). As a result of recent efforts to promote a more independent image of women in South Korea, there have been subtle but insightful changes in the usage of gender-specific titles that indicate the gradual disintegration of sex-based social barriers. One example is that the titles given for older siblings are now being used in a more flexible manner than before (Kim-Reynaud 35). The rules that determine which term to use have become less gender-specific: both males and females now have the freedom to select between both titles for “older sister” or “older brother.”2 In other words, there is now less rigidity in choosing how to address someone, exhibiting the rise of gender-neutral principles among the South Korean public. Another phenomenon that points towards greater autonomy for women in society is the growing popularity of the term oppa among younger women (Kim). This title’s original function was to address an older, blood-related brother, but more recently the kinship requirement has been relaxed. As a result, there has been an increasing tendency to address non-blood-related males as oppa, especially in an affectionate sense. This preference demonstrates a transformation in Korean society where it is now socially acceptable for women to express their romantic feelings in a direct manner (Kim-Reynaud 36). In a way, this shift can be interpreted as the Korean public becoming more open to the idea of women occupying non-Confucian positions and characteristics. Women employing more direct communication with the male gender marks a gradual movement away from traditional qualities, such as submissiveness and subordination, and instead an inclination towards the embodiment of independence and power. More specifically, these changes within the honorific system potentially stem from a more comfortable and desexualized society that has materialized from the influence of western views. Another change within the Korean honorific system hints at the breakdown of a different core Confucian relationship: the parent-child relationship. Panmal, or literally “half-speech,” is a style of non-honorific speech that is often interpreted as a direct and even rude style of speech. Since there are no explicit honorifics or polite connotations attached, this style should typically only be used when speaking with people one is younger than or extremely comfortable with. Although a novice Korean learner would hesitate to utilize panmal in any situation, due to its reputation and limited function, the style itself is not “inherently” rude (Kim-Reynaud 40). While honorifics were previously only considered in speech when a social hierarchy had to be constructed, many Koreans nowadays actually employ honorifics to do the opposite — convey intimacy between individuals. The growing usage of panmal versus the more traditional and deferential contaysmal among nuclear family members reflects an interesting development in the Males can use enni, which is generally reserved for female addressers, and females can use hyeng and nuna, which are generally reserved for male addressers. 2


ANNIE YIN Korean family dynamic (Brown 118). Although East Asian societies highly emphasize filial piety, the emotional connection between parent and child tends to be lacking as a result of the imbalanced power dynamic that is intrinsic in the relationship. Children are expected to devote, honor, and respect their parents and to understand that they reside in a lower level of the family hierarchy. This difference in position contributes to a barrier that prevents parents and children from progressing their relationship to a closer emotional level. Therefore, more panmal usage in families marks the gradual undermining of this barrier that plagues the traditional Confucian family. This means that children are becoming more comfortable with speaking to their parents as if they are equals, a signal that children are starting to open up emotionally to their parents. Korean society is slowly embodying more Western ideologies, and thus Korean families are beginning to reject the stratification put in place by long-established Confucian doctrines and are introducing more western qualities such as equality and comfort at home. Given that globalization has produced recognizable and consequential changes in Korean honorifics, there has been growing interest in whether or not global forces will eventually eradicate the “Korean” identity through replacement and diffusion of traditional beliefs and cultural norms. As Gi-Wook Shin claims, “globalization is said to produce convergence across nations,” referring to the homogenization of cultures and the undermining of nation-specific traditions (Shin). However, it is evident that this “convergence” has not yet occurred in South Korea, as Confucian thought still controls much of how people and the society as a whole behaves. The question remains, then, is there information on how honorifics have evolved that can indicate why traditional values are persisting? In order to answer this question, we must first understand how society and language interact with one another. There have been various sociolinguistic theories and principles formed to address and explain the ways in which societal and cultural mechanisms interact with language. One sociolinguistic framework, cultural determinism, can serve to explain why and how the current Korean society is shaping the honorific system. Cultural determinism is simply the idea that culture determines how a language is formed (Salzmann 248). Thus, by this logic, the reason why the basic foundation of the honorific system has not been ousted can be extracted from the current status of Korean culture and society. From past studies, it is generally concluded that “both individualistic and collectivistic tendencies are alive and well in contemporary Korean society,” meaning that both Western and Eastern ideologies have, so far, successfully coexisted in South Korea. In fact, “such extensive globalization has not weakened or removed Korean nationalism (Shim et al. 52). Thus, it is unsurprising that given the currently balanced state of South Korea, even with the inclusion of two seemingly contradicting movements, the Korean honorific system has not fundamentally changed.


THE EVOLUTION OF KOREAN POLITENESS! If the honorific system, in theory, mirrors the current state of affairs in South Korea, then recent shifts in the system should provide suggestions for why globalization has not impacted the Korean public as predicted. One recent development involves the establishment of appropriate social titles in the church community at the onset of rapid Protestant proselytization in South Korea. The attempt to simplify the entire bank of honorific titles to only two gender specific terms — hyengce-nim (brother) and chamay-nim (sister) — turned out to be extremely difficult for Korean Protestants, who outside of the Christian setting must still strictly adhere to the complex honorific system (Harkness 306). Switching between the two drastically different levels of politeness appeared to be uncomfortable and inconvenient and as a result, Korean Protestants have unconsciously reverted back to employing conventional honorific rules determined by position and age, with position holding a larger influence (Harkness 327). What Korean Protestants did was take a product of globalization, like Christianity, and incorporate Korean cultural characteristics into it. In other words, we are seeing the rebranding of foreign elements to fit the framework that Korean society is controlled by, allowing Confucian values to thrive even in an age of globalization. This explanation is not new, as there are already arguments supporting the “nationalist appropriation of globalization” occurring in South Korea (Shin). While Shin claims that the motivations behind this appropriation is due to Darwinian ideas of natural selection and the maintenance of South Korea’s collectivist nature by the government, another impetus for this phenomenon could be the inability to break out of the current social and cultural norms that, at least until now, have efficiently operated the country. Therefore, there is no advantage to tip the equilibrium, and instead modern Korean society has now learned to reap the benefits of globalization while maintaining the Confucian status quo. Both Confucianism and globalization have played pivotal roles in the establishment and evolution of what has now become the modern Korean honorific system. From analyzing these transformations, we form hypotheses about the future implications of globalization and westernization on a collectivist and ethnically and culturally homogenous nation like South Korea. Although it is difficult to quantify the impact that these social forces have had on honorifics and whether these impacts are direct, it is undeniable that at this point in time, the extent of the movement seems to be blocked by South Korea’s unwillingness to depart from its Confucian background. It is imperative to recognize that given the increasing connectedness of and movement between existing cultures and traditions, the social equilibrium in South Korea could shift in the future. This disruption could have decisive and far-reaching consequences on the political, social, economic, and cultural status of South Korea, and it is important to monitor and understand these consequences in order to make wellinformed decisions for the overall welfare of the nation. For this reason, the future progressions of the Korean honorific system are extremely valuable in determining the


ANNIE YIN relevant issues and trends and how they correspond in the greater scheme of Korean society.

Works Cited Brown, Lucien. “Korean Honorifics and ‘Revealed’, ‘Ignored’, and ‘Suppressed’ Aspects of Korean Culture and Politeness.” In Politeness across Cultures, edited by Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini and Dániel Z. Kádár. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Boroditsky, Lera. "How Language Shapes Thought." Scientific American vol. 304, no. 2, 2011, pp. 62-65. Deuchler, Martina. The Confucian Transformation of Korea: A Study of Society and Ideology. Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1992. Duncan, John. “Uses of Confucianism in Modern Korea.” In Rethinking Confucianism: Past and Present in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, edited by John Duncan, 431-62. Asia Institute, 2002. Ethnologue. "Korea, South." Accessed April 17, 2016. Harkness, Nicholas. "Basic Kinship Terms: Christian Relations, Chronotopic Formulations, and a Korean Confrontation of Language." Anthropological Quarterly vol. 88, no. 2, 2015, pp. 305-36. Kim, M. “Cross-adoption of language between different genders: the case of the Korean kinship terms hyeng and enni.” In Engendering Communication: Proceedings of the Fifth Berkeley Women and Language Conference, April 24, 25, and 26, 1998, edited by Suzanne Wertheim, Ashlee C. Bailey, and Monica Corston-Oliver. Berkeley Women and Language Group, 1998. Kim-Renaud, Young-Key. “Change in Korean Honorifics Reflecting Social Change.” In Language Change in East Asia, edited by T. E. McAuley. Curzon, 2001. Koh, Byung-ik. “Confucianism in Contemporary Korea.” In Confucian Traditions in East Asian Modernity: Moral Education and Economic Culture in Japan and the Four Minidragons, edited by Wei-ming Tu. Harvard University Press, 1996. Lee, Iksop, and S. Robert Ramsey. The Korean Language. State University of New York Press, 2000. Palley, Marian Lief. "Women's Status in South Korea: Tradition and Change." Asian Survey vol. 30, no. 12, 1990, pp. 1136-153. "Republic of Korea Overview." The World Bank. Accessed April 16, 2016. Salzmann, Zden!k. Language, Culture, & Society: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology. Westview Press, 1993. Shim, T. Youn-ja, Min-Sun Kim, and Judith N. Martin. Changing Korea: Understanding Culture and Communication. Peter Lang, 2008. Shin, Gi-Wook. “The Paradox of Korean Globalization.” APARC Working Paper. 2003. Sohn, Ho-min. The Korean Language. Cambridge University Press, 1999. Sung, Kyu-Taik, and Han Sung Kim. "Elder Respect among Young Adults: Exploration of Behavioral Forms in Korea." Ageing International vol. 28, no. 3, 2003, pp. 279-94. Yoon, Kyung-Joo. "Not Just Words: Korean Social Models and the Use of Honorifics." Intercultural Pragmatics vol. 1, no. 2, 2004.


Migrants, Markets, Militaries, and Maritime Cooperation: Chinese Motives in Thailand! Abstract: Recent analyses of the foreign policies of Southeast Asian countries with regards to China often focus on the interplay between territorial tensions and economic dependence. In this paper I examine China’s relationship with Thailand, a country with which it has no outstanding territorial disputes and strong historic ties. I dispute the contention that China’s increasingly close relations with Thailand can be traced to their shared regime types or to Chinese support for authoritarian governments. Rather, I argue that China’s pragmatic relations with Thailand are best explained by the two countries’ cultural closeness, China’s pursuit of regional geopolitical influence, and economic considerations. I draw upon Chinese primary sources and other news materials in order to trace the history and development of the SinoThai relationship. I attempt to fit this case study into the existing literature analyzing Chinese foreign policymaking and its increasingly active role in Southeast Asia vis-avis the US.

Timothy Yin is a senior at Georgetown University from Cincinnati, Ohio. At Georgetown, he studies International Politics with a certificate in Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs. He is involved in research related to Chinese politics and society as well as the international relations of East Asia.



arly in 2016, Gui Minhai, a missing Hong Kong bookseller who sold books critical of the mainland, resurfaced in the custody of the Chinese government and suspiciously confessed to a drunk driving incident (Huang). Gui was one of five booksellers from the same Hong Kong bookstore who went missing but uniquely disappeared while abroad in Thailand. Investigative journalism revealed that Gui was last seen leaving his apartment in Pattaya before being kidnapped and flown to China through Cambodia, likely with Thai complicity judging by the “non-existent investigation” of the Thai authorities (Holmes and Phillips). This incident is perhaps representative of increasingly close relations between China and a Thai military government that is eager to please. However, relations between the two countries have long been cordial. China has long considered Thailand one of its closest partners in Southeast Asia for many historical and cultural reasons. Thailand was the first to restore diplomatic relations with Beijing among Southeast Asian countries in 1975 and is one of few countries in the region that has no outstanding territorial disputes with China (Chanlett-Avery, Dolven and Mackey 17). At the same time Thailand has also been a steadfast ally of the US establishing relations in 1832, joining SEATO in 1954, and receiving designation as a major non-NATO ally in 2003 (“Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs”). But in light of the military coup in May 2014 overthrowing the democratically elected regime of Yingluck Shinawatra, observers have noted that Thailand is hedging against the US and cozying up to China. This “pivot” to China is sometimes interpreted as the Thai Junta aligning with a government that “speak[s] the same language and commit[s] the same practices” of authoritarianism (Taylor). In this paper, I argue that similarity in regime is not a significant determinant of China’s relations with Thailand. Instead, China’s close relations with Thailand should be attributed to significant cultural connections, economic interests, and geopolitical considerations. I begin by contextualizing current Sino-Thai relations in a history characterized mostly by goodwill before asserting that continuity in China’s relations with Thailand since 2014 had little to do with the change in government. I then examine the cultural, economic, and geostrategic factors undergirding China’s calculated closeness to Thailand. I. History and Recent Developments The Gui Minhai incident is but one in a string of what appears to be Thai complicity in China’s domestic political crackdowns. Citing the need to “be aware of and response to China’s rising influence,” Thai officials have become increasingly willing to hand over Chinese dissidents and journalists through “secretive extraditions” (Buckley and Fuller). In July 2015, Thailand returned over a hundred Uighurs—who could possibly face imprisonment and torture—to China citing a lack of means and the need to preserve the relationship with China (Schiavenza). Such concessions have raised worries about forcible deportation among the hundreds of Chinese dissidents in Thailand, including 160 Falun Gong refugees, many of who have already been arrested on immigration charges (Marshall). Such concerns about Sino-Thai rapprochement and closeness should be understood in the context of complicated but increasingly friendly ties between the two nations. From the 10th century until the Opium Wars, Thailand was a vassal state of China, regularly sending tribute missions, acknowledging the Qing emperor’s “preeminent political authority” in Asia and seeking trade opportunities (Strate 29). Relations lapsed as China declined in power and as Thailand struggled to integrate its ethnic Chinese population throughout the 19th and 20th centuries although relations with the Kuomintang were set up in 1946 after WWII (Jain, 28-41). Keeping with the policy of its long-time ally, the United States, Thailand continued to recognize the Republic of China between 1949 and 1975 believing “monolithic international communism” to be the biggest threat to its security


TIMOTHY YIN (Deng 361). In turn, China viewed Thailand and its membership in SEATO as part of an American strategy of encirclement and offered private support to the guerilla Communist Party of Thailand (CPT). But with the Nixon Doctrine signaling an American drawdown in Southeast Asia and causing shock in the Thai government, Thailand began initiating diplomatic overtures towards China starting in 1969 and culminating in normalization of relations by 1975 (Zhang 7-8). Soon after normalization, Chinese and Thai strategic interests began to line up during the Third Indo-China War as both nations opposed a belligerent Vietnam. Although China backed the Khmer Rouge while Thailand and its ASEAN and Western allies primarily supported various other Cambodian opposition groups, both sides sought to “reverse the Vietnamese annexation of Cambodia” (Khoo 52). In 1985, China began to sell Thailand weapons at “friendship prices” and set up a military hotline while promising to come to Thailand’s aid in case of Vietnamese invasion (Nathan and Scobell 153). Several other important trends in the late 1980s and early 1990s including reform and opening in China, the end of the Cold War, and the conclusion of the Third Indo-China War would shift the focus of Sino-Thai relations to the economic realm. Since opening its markets and products to international commerce, China has based bilateral relations with Thailand on strong economic ties, becoming Thailand’s largest trading partner by 2014. Between 1991 and 2000, trade between the countries grew from $1.5 to $6.2 billion as China absorbed Thai raw materials and agricultural products and supplied Thailand with tourists and consumer products (Chinvanno 14). In the midst of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and a collapsed Thai Baht, China’s non-devaluation policy and donation of $1 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recovery fund for Thailand contrasted sharply with America’s perceived harsh response (Lohman). Under Thaksin Shinawatra’s leadership from 2001 to 2006, relations between the two countries continued to flourish, even as Thailand maintained its close alliance with the United States. Agreements with China were signed on technology, free trade in certain product areas, environmental protection, and strategic cooperation as Thailand continued to hold military exchanges with both China and the US (Chanlett-Avery 17). However, after the 2006 coup, relations with the US quickly deteriorated as free trade negotiations were put on hold and high-level diplomatic and military exchanges were cut (Collinson). Indeed China’s closer relations with Thailand since 2006 can in part be explained as filling the gap of the United States which has again exhibited coolness towards Thailand since the most recent 2014 coup. The 2014 coup by the military junta benefited China more because unlike the United States, it had cultivated strong relations with the Thai palacemilitary alliance and has entertained multiple visits from Thai military leaders since the coup (Jory). An op-ed in the Global Times even defended the coup for ending domestic political turmoil and used the opportunity to criticize Western democracy for the disorder and “antidemocratic forces” it allegedly creates (“Thai Coup Shows Weaknesses”). While China offered tacit support to the new Junta government this should not be interpreted as a preference for authoritarian regimes. II. Regime Characteristic Explanations There has been much discussion of the significant improvements in relations between Thailand and China after the most recent May 2014 coup, with the underlying assertion that China is supporting authoritarianism abroad. But it is more likely that China is simply filling a void at a time when Thai leaders face increasing diplomatic isolation. In the coup’s immediate aftermath, America cancelled joint military programs, Australia downgraded relations, while the EU also issued a strong condemnation of the Junta (Lefevre and Hariraksapitak). This is reflective of a broader pattern where China is often presented


CHINESE MOTIVES IN THAILAND with easy opportunities to improve relations with Thailand after episodes of domestic turmoil. For example, after the 2006 coup that overthrew Yingluck’s brother Thaksin, the US suspended high-level engagements and froze $24 million in military assistance while China stepped in with $49 in military aid and new joint Special Forces exercises (Ehrlich). Since the 2006 coup, China has maintained friendly relations with the Thai government regardless of who was in power. Unlike the United States, China has been willing to engage with a host of different political actors in Thailand. Since the 1980s China has developed a familiarity and friendship with the Thai military establishment through regular high-level military exchanges and discussion on strategic cooperation (Chiwanno 92). Historical analyses of Sino-Thai relations also point to the importance of a powerful “China constituency” within Thailand consisting of Royal Thai Army officers and important players in the financial and business communities (Sukhumbhand 44). By cultivating the support of an influential segment of the Thai elite, China attempts to ensure that Sino-Thai relations can proceed smoothly from regime to regime. There is also no evidence to suggest that China applies political pressures on Thailand as far as political system is concerned. For example, though China has hosted training programs for Thai judicial, economic, and diplomatic officials emphasizing Beijing’s experience with crisis management and pursuit of long-term development, these programs are not specifically held to dissuade Thailand from democratization (Kurlantzick 17-18). It is important to understand that Thailand itself has been coup prone for most of its history. Effective foreign policy engagement with Thailand thus requires some measure of flexibility. Since the Siamese Revolution of 1932, Thailand has experienced rule by popularly elected leaders for just twenty years and witnessed twenty coup attempts and as many constitutions (A Coup Ordained? 2). As a result, democratic behaviors and electoral rules have not been institutionalized. Instead power is highly personalized and built around the neo-patrimonial networks of military elites and populist elites (currently associated with the Pheu Thai Party) who each use authoritarian methods to restrain the other (Connors 370). Thailand’s military elite is also closely linked to the Thai royal family, a potent and indispensable institution in Thailand’s political system. Most military interventions in politics use the “culturally potent” justification of needing to protect the monarchy, and the royal family in turn lends its “aura of royal benevolence” to interpret such interventions as “prodemocratic” (Farrelly 290). The traditional importance of elites in Thai politics and the alliance between the royal family and military establishment help to explain, in part, the relative consistency in Sino-Thai relations between and after coups. In addition to its relationships with military and business elites, China has uniquely cultivated friendly relations with Thailand through close associations with the Thai monarchy. The current Thai Chakri Dynasty has close blood ties to China, a fact that also enabled much of the Chinese migration to Thailand in the nineteenth century (Chansiri 25). In recent times, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has been a particularly important figure in acting as an “envoy of friendship” with China, visiting the country at least once a year (Zhu). As a Chinese cultural enthusiast and someone who enjoys extreme popularity amongst the Thai people, Princess Sirindhorn has also played a key role in highlighting China’s cultural diplomacy efforts in Thailand, particularly its Confucius Institutes (Auethavornpipat). By cultivating these “firm ties” with the Thai royal family, the Chinese government has established a reliable channel for its diplomacy while increasing China’s popularity within Thailand (Chachavalpongpun 312). However, closeness to the military-monarchy alliance should not be construed as a bias against democratically elected leaders. The populist Shinawatra siblings, themselves the great-grandkids of a Chinese immigrant to Thailand, oversaw many initiatives to deepen ties with China. For example, Yingluck was applauded by the Chinese for her pro-China


TIMOTHY YIN tendencies reflected in making her first state visit outside of ASEAN to China instead of Japan and appointing an ethnic Chinese as Minister of Foreign Affairs (Cheng 25). Even after both leaders were overthrown, China warmly welcomed the Shinawatras on trips to China and even facilitated ancestral home visits for both Thaksin and Yingluck in 2015 (Sasiwan). China’s consistently warm relations with Thailand is not indicative of a preference for authoritarianism but a testament to the strength of its policy of engaging with a multiplicity of Thai leaders and influencers. III. Cultural Closeness Observers and practitioners have long noted the importance of cultural closeness in advancing Sino-Thai relations. This cultural affinity has created an environment of trust under which economic linkages have flourished and political ties have grown. Chinese scholars have argued that because both countries have been influenced by the Buddhist tradition, China and Thailand actually share many of the same “core cultural values and human qualities” found in a common religion (Zhuang 8). In Chinese government media, Thailand is distinctively described as part of the same “one dear family” and Sino-Thai relations are characterized as a “deep and thick” friendship, often employing the language of family relations (Jing 4). Further popular commentary justifying China’s cultural closeness to Thailand note that it is the only Southeast Asian country never to expel Chinese immigrants and highlight the shared “cultural pulse” between the Thai people and China’s ethnic Dai minority (Anonymous). Thailand has similarly constructed a strong sense of cultural affinity with China. Thai governing elites have uniquely claimed a “kindred affiliation” with China using the image of family and brotherhood in order to appease domestic Chinese communities and to secure China’s political support in international affairs (Busbarat). Here it is firstly important to consider the role of the large ethnic Chinese population in Thailand. Numbering nine million, the Thai overseas Chinese community is the largest in the world and makes up 11% of the entire Thai population (“Chinese Diaspora” 33-35). In the 1800s, Chinese traders and migrants helped to pioneer a market economy in Thailand and introduced Chinese styles, designs, and customs while “taking enthusiastically” to Thai culture and blending into society (Baker and Phongpaichit 33-35). During WWII, ethnic Chinese print media played a critical role in the success of the bottomup Free Thai resistance movement which overthrew Phibun—the military dictator who had allied with Japan—and helped meld Thai and Chinese nationalism into a singular struggle (Wongsurawa 265-295). Though there have been ethnic and nationalist tensions, today’s Chinese diaspora population has been well assimilated to the point where Thailand’s ethnic Chinese now act as Thai “emissaries to the country of their ancestors” (Chansiri 191-192). Many entrepreneurial Chinese-Thai families like the Chearavanonts, the Sophonpanichs, and the Chirathivats have founded enormous businesses including Thailand’s largest agribusiness company, commercial bank, and retail conglomerate respectively (Susanto and Susanto 15-17). In early reform-era China, these Thai entrepreneurs of Chinese descent were amongst the first to provide capital and investment for the Chinese economy. As China has increasingly realized the benefits of cultural connections in advancing the Sino-Thai relation, it has sought to further deepen them. China has signed agreements with Thailand on tourism cooperation (1993), cultural cooperation (2001) and protocols for education cooperation (2009) (“Zhongguo tong taiguo de guanxi”). Additionally, it set up a total of 23 Confucius Institutes and classrooms in Thailand, which have become wildly popular, particularly among Thai people of Chinese descent (Van Chinh 94). At the Thai government’s request, the Chinese government has also paid for Chinese language teachers, provided teaching volunteers, and Chinese language teaching materials (Schmidt 30). For China, cultural exchange and relations can help enhance mutual understanding, increase


CHINESE MOTIVES IN THAILAND cultural transmission for civilizational development, and build people-to-people friendships (“Zhongtaiguanxi fazhan zhong de yige liangdian” 5). By increasing its soft power appeal in Thailand, China helps increase trust levels between the two countries and familiarizes Thai society with Chinese thinking and perceptions. IV. Thailand as Nexus: Competing Influences Sino-Thai relations cannot be appreciated without an understanding of Thailand as a nexus of competition between the United States and China for regional influence in more hard power terms. To some extent, China views its engagement with Thailand as part of a rivalry for influence in the Asia region. It thus views many aspects of Thailand’s relations with China in comparison to its relations with the United States. For example it viewed favorably Thailand’s acceptance of Chinese humanitarian aid but not help from the US military after the 2011 Bangkok floods as well as Thailand’s eagerness to join the Asiancentered Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) rather than the US-led TPP (Jiang). While it is important to keep in mind how China views its multifaceted relations with Thailand vis-à-vis the United States, the most salient dimension for comparison is probably military relations. Thailand has historically been and still is an important military ally for the United States, although it now increasingly engages with China on security issues. Military ties between the China and Thailand have surged since 2001 when defense and security talks began and have recently increased in momentum after the 2014 coup. In 2015, China demonstrated its increasing willingness to work with the Thai military government by conducted its first joint military exercise with Thailand—Falcon Strike—at a Thai base in Korat (Ehrlich). At the same time, the United States scaled down its Cobra Gold military exercises—the crown jewel of America’s regional strategic image—in Thailand and suspended its program for training Thai officers (Slavin). It is important to note that even though American responses to human rights violation and military takeovers seem limited in terms of real policy change, firm words are often interpreted as insulting by a Thai military leadership that is “very concerned about how it is perceived internationally” (Aaronson 15). A second major post-coup development in Sino-Thai military relations was the sale of three S-26T diesel submarines to Thailand which when completed will be Thailand’s biggest defense acquisition from China by far (Storey). As the United States—Thailand’s traditional ally—has scaled down its military engagements in response to illiberal tendencies in the government, China has increased military-to-military contacts with Thailand. In this sense, it seems that China is primarily filling a gap for Thailand that the United States has allowed to exist by cutting military ties and arms sales. Recent joint military exercises between Thailand and China have been “more symbolic than substantial,” suggesting that these activities are probably viewed by China more as trust-building exercises than as an attempt to seek a formal alliance (Crispin). It is also important to realize that China has historically sold arms to Thailand since the 1980s to counter Vietnamese/Soviet influence in the region and to give China political influence in the political settlement of the Indo-China conflict (Byman and Cliff 21-22). China’s more recent arms sales to Thailand are likely motivated by a desire to increase trust and support for future security cooperation or to simply make money. This is because China does not desire traditional military alliances and because there is no clear and urgent motive for strategic alignment with Thailand as there was in the 1980s. Most states in Southeast Asia have employed an ambiguous strategy of soft balancing against China involving “strategic partnerships” with the US and other Southeast Asian countries as well as limited arms buildups and occasional military exercises (Shearer, 262). Both Chinese and American policymakers probably view Thailand pragmatic hedging


TIMOTHY YIN policies as employing a variant of this soft balancing. Thailand’s government has historically always valued its independence and achieved a strategic equilibrium by maintaining primarily security relations with the United States without compromising economic relations with China (Percival, 28-29). From the Chinese view, Thailand maintains its US alliance even as it shifts its strategic framework towards China because it wants to hedge against a lop-sided relationship where Thailand becomes beholden to China due to economic dependence and geographic proximity (Pongsudhirak 72). V. Regional Politics China’s overtures towards and engagement with Thailand are also part of an effort to position itself as a key player in the Southeast Asian region. Through its engagement in Thailand, China hopes to integrate its underdeveloped areas into regional growth plans, improve its relations with Southeast Asia more generally, and ensure its access to international trade routes. Continued domestic growth and socioeconomic development is always at the fore of Chinese policymaking. China’s engagement with Thailand and the Southeast Asia can be, in part, understood as a means to facilitate domestic development particularly in Yunnan which remains one of China’s relatively underdeveloped and poverty-stricken provinces. China views integration with Southeast Asia as an integral part of its development strategy in Yunnan as reflected by Chinese participation in development of the Greater Mekong Subregion (designated by the Asian Development Bank). China hopes that Yunnan’s participation will help it open up communication and commercial bottlenecks through new transportation corridors, increase “economic complementation” with Southeast Asian countries, and enable the province to make “full use” of its economic resources (“China’s Economic Aid to CLMV” 95). Indeed, economic engagement with Thailand will help Yunnan to optimize its economy and invite investment, as well as give it another route for maritime access which is critical for integration into the global economy. China also sees Thailand as potentially playing the role of honest broker and mediator in its relations with ASEAN. At China’s behest, it was Thailand that persuaded other countries to allow China to engage in official dialog at the ASEAN regional forum and to afford China with full Dialog Partner status (Vatikiotis 69). Thailand also played the decisive role in getting ASEAN and China to sign the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and as a neutral party could help cool future tensions over maritime disputes (Editorial Board). As China’s closest partner in ASEAN, Thailand is also used as communication channel to communicate regional concerns to China as was the case during the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis (Murphy 11). In the eyes of Chines policymakers, Thai diplomacy is tolerant and adaptable, and thus useful for resolving misunderstandings and conflicts (Zhou 20-21). Positive engagement with Thailand and ASEAN can be seen as another way in which Chinese policymakers attempt to transmit a perception of China as a benign and responsible rising power in Asia. As much as it hopes to improve relations with the entire ASEAN community, Chinese engagement with Thailand is indicative of its use of bilateral relations to improve its strategic positioning in the Southeast Asian region. Chinese engagement with an increasingly isolated post-coup Thailand may be regarded as a part of a broader “divide-and-conquer strategy” for Southeast Asia (Kaplan). For example, China’s “high-speed railway diplomacy” may be a way to center mainland Southeast Asia in Kunming, and possibly create a fault line between mainland and maritime ASEAN countries with which it has thornier relations (Wade). China’s contrasting economic relations with countries in mainland and maritime Southeast Asia is perhaps further evidence of this trend. Although it is indeterminable whether China is purposely trying to divide ASEAN through bilateral ties with countries like


CHINESE MOTIVES IN THAILAND Thailand, China’s “aggressive partnerships” and preferential trade treatment with some ASEAN states and not others can undeniably hurt ASEAN unity (Marwah). China’s drive for a seamless trade route between Kunming and the Gulf of Thailand is indicative of its desire to diversify its routes for trade (Lees). Thailand is also regularly mentioned as part of China’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road which is one half of its One Belt One Road (OBOR) economic connectivity program. Although the specifics are unclear, Chinese investments in Thailand as part of OBOR are likely to involve land-sea interconnection, connected infrastructure, and the opening of new strategic ports (Fu & Lou, 16). Two potential new shipping routes include one that would connect a coastal town in the Gulf of Thailand to Shanghai and another route originating from a port on the Andaman Sea side of Thailand (Ashayagachat). Some have also identified Thai ports as targets for China’s “string of pearls” strategy which involves an attempt to establish a maritime presence along its sea lines of communication (Sousa). It seems clear from these planned investments that China’s international commercial interests are a key priority for its relations with Thailand and Southeast Asia. Recently, there has been much speculation on a Chinese project to build a hundred kilometer canal through the Kra Isthmus of Thailand. Such a canal would not only shorten the journey for cargo ships by 1200 kilometers but also more significantly help China counter its Malacca Dilemma. Careful considerations of a potential canal have found serious feasibility issues in terms of financing, political risks, engineering difficulties, environment concerns, and compensation costs related to resettlement and dislocation (Lau and Lee 1112). Other factors that also decrease the likelihood of the canal being built include: limited capacity, potentially destabilizing effects on other Southeast Asian economies and that fact that China would not be the sole or major beneficiary of the Canal (Hookway). Although it is unlikely to be built anytime soon, the fact that the Kra Canal is a commonly discussed aspect of Sino-Thai relations reflects a reality that China’s geopolitical interests are closely linked to its interest in diversifying its trade routes. VI. Economic Issues Chinese international commercial engagement to support domestic economic growth is often firmly tied to the question of regime legitimacy. As a result, Chinese engagement with Thailand is still guided by the question of how such relations may engender prosperity at home. For example, in Yunnan, even as China strives to make Kunming a regional hub for logistics and transportation in Southeast Asia, it continues to protect the province’s agricultural sector, through various trade barriers, from Thai produce (Manarungsan 364). Similarly in its 2003 Free Trade Agreement with Thailand, China continued to protect its “own agricultural interests” and negotiated measures that would protect both Thai and Chinese farmers (Salidjanova, Koch-Wester and Klanderman 24). Because China, the world’s largest consumer of rice, has traditionally sought selfsufficiency for its staple foods, it is not very dependent on Thailand, usually the world’s largest exporter of rice, for its food security. The production of rice on the other hand is a critical component of Thailand’s economy and domestic stability. Between 1992 and 2009 China almost exclusively used Thai rice to adjust domestic markets and satisfy demand for higher quality rice, with Thailand’s exported rice always accounting for at least 90% of imported rice (Zhang and Xie 90). It appears that 80% of this exported rice went to southern China and was a premium jasmine variety consumed by higher income Chinese (Toshiyuki). As the Chinese government diversified its rice imports beginning in 2010, Thai rice imports as a proportion of total rice imports have varied wildly in recent years dipping from to as low as 7.5% in 2012 before rebounding to 28.5% in 2014 (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs). Continuing her brother’s pro-rural policies, President


TIMOTHY YIN Yingluck Shinawatra began a rice subsidy program that paid up to 50% above market prices and resulted in losses of $4.4 billion and 17 million tons of stockpiled rice (Hookway). In light of corruption allegations and a political crisis caused by the program, Chinese SOE Beidahuang backed out of a deal that would have purchased 1.2 million tons from Thailand’s surplus (Pasick and Kuo). A year and a coup later, the Chinese government agreed to buy one million tons of Thai rice as part of a broader engagement with Thai military rulers in 2015 (Parameswaran). Chinese imports of Thai rice has long been a winwin for both countries although a delicate political situation in Thailand and competition from other rice exporters has shifted economic leverage towards China. The increasing economic importance of China also gives it leverage to achieve other ends. While the economies of Thailand and China have historically been interdependent, China’s consistent growth and sheer size give it more leverage in its economic relations with Thailand. With a stagnating economy and falling investment due to instability, Thailand faces a developmental dilemma where it is “more expensive than Vietnam, lacks the scale of China and is not as developed as Japan” (Guillen). This economic weakness will only add to the leverage that larger, richer countries have over it. China could use this increasing dependency to raise the costs of potential abandonment of China in favor of the United States. It could also use this leverage to obtain its desired outcome in certain policy situations. For example, the extradition of a hundred Uighurs was soon followed not only by the Chinese submarine deal but also a $9.7 billion railroad project and an economic deal for China to purchase a large amount of rice and rubber (Tiezzi). For the most part though, China has used its economic weight to reassure Thailand and neighboring Asian countries that it seeks to maintain the current balance of power and dispel the ‘China threat’ perception. By increasing Sino-Thai economic linkages China also hopes to make it “less willing or able to assist” outside powers, the US in particular, from impeding the growth of Chinese power in the region (“"Fostering Stability or Creating a Monster?” 106). To this end, China seems to have been successful with Thailand having a “relatively low threat perception” towards China among Southeast Asian states and expressing a desire to manage its alliance with the US in a way that also “facilitates closer ties with China” (Goh 26). The 2011 Mekong River incident and the security cooperation it engendered further highlight the importance of China’s economic interests in its relations with Thailand. In the deadliest attack on Chinese citizens overseas in modern times, thirteen Chinese sailors aboard two cargo ships were executed by a drug gang led by Burmese drug lord Naw Kham, possibly with the complicity of nine Thai soldiers (Marshall). With an angry public criticizing the government’s failure to protect its citizens working overseas, the Chinese government was pressured to use its clout, particularly with Thailand which had initial objections about sovereignty, to take decisive action (Storey 14). The result was a joint “law enforcement cooperation mechanism” between China, Thailand, Burma, and Laos that enabled joint patrols of the Mekong and has reportedly rescued some 135 ships since being established (Zhang and Li). The joint patrols have been interpreted as part of China’s increased commitment to “protect[ing] its expanding economic interests” and nationals abroad (Spegele). The tragic Mekong River incident ended up being “decisively important” in deepening Sino-Thai cooperation and according to Chinese analysts will help Thailand and China “prosper and get rich” together (Cheng 29). Aside from Thailand’s ASEAN neighbors, Japan and the United States are also key players in Thailand’s foreign economic relations. Japan, having signed a comprehensive free trade agreement in 2007 (“Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement”), has long been a key economic partner for Thailand and currently account for 61% of foreign direct investment and follows China as Thailand’s second largest trading partner (“Japan-Thailand


CHINESE MOTIVES IN THAILAND Relations”). Although it joined other Western nations in suspending high-level exchanges with Thailand after the 2014 coup, Japan quickly re-established ties with the new military government—an action interpreted by Japanese officials as a move to counter growing Chinese influence in Southeast Asia (Obe). The United States remains important to Thailand’s economic wellbeing as an exporter of critical products like aircraft, machinery, medical equipment and as an important market for Thai electronics and agricultural products (“Thailand”). Though Japan and the United States have significant roles in the Thai economy, China will likely continue to be Thailand’s preeminent economic partner. VII. Conclusion Under its principle of non-interference and preservation of state sovereignty, China’s international relations are very ambivalent about the regime type of the countries it works with. This is the case in Thailand where China’s consistently amicable bilateral relations are guided by intense cultural connections, economic interests, its aspirations for regional influence, and a desire to dispel the ‘China threat’ theory. That said, while China is not exporting its authoritarian political system, it has used its influence to resist efforts by the West to strengthen international regimes for democracy assistance and human rights promotion (Nathan). In the case of Thailand, its continued economic and military partnerships with the Junta do offer the regime a source of legitimacy and likely helps to sustain its power. Hence the challenge for Western liberals again lies not in active Chinese resistance but in China’s passive, non-compliance (The China Challenge). Looking forward, the political situation in Thailand will likely continue to be volatile. The military government continues to crackdown on public opposition and arrest dissidents as the prospects for permanent, liberal democratic consolidation remain bleak (Hookway). Slow economic growth, the trial of Yingluck Shinawatra, and an impending royal succession are all likely to cause further political instability. China’s relations with Thailand are likely to benefit from this as the Junta continues to isolate itself from the proliberal international community, although not to the point of sole dependency on China. Thailand is an important regional partner for China and the Chinese government is likely to continue to offer diplomatic support, economic resources, and military assistance to bolster its relations with the country. That said, there may be limits to the political instability that China is willing to tolerate. Therein lies an argument for why it may be in China’s interests to support a return to civilian rule and liberal reforms in China. Liberal democracies are inherently more stable and adaptable, experience stronger economic performance in the long-term, and are more open to trade than illiberal regimes (Gerring et al. 356; Thacker). A Thailand controlled by autocrats may be more isolated and reliant on China, but a Thailand ruled by its people would benefit all.

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Duke East Asia Nexus Spring 2017  

10th anniversary edition

Duke East Asia Nexus Spring 2017  

10th anniversary edition