Migration in the Time of Revolution

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Migration in the Time of Revolution examines how two of the world’s most populous countries interacted between 1945 and 1967, when the concept of citizenship was contested, political loyalty was in question, identity was fluid, and the boundaries of political mobilization were blurred. Taomo Zhou asks probing questions of this important period in the histories of the People’s Republic of China and Indonesia. What was it like to be a youth in search of an ancestral homeland that one had never set foot in, or an economic refugee whose expertise in private business became undesirable in one’s new home in the socialist state? What ideological beliefs or practical calculations motivated individuals to commit to one particular nationality while forsaking another?
As Zhou demonstrates, the answers to such questions about “ordinary” migrants are crucial to a deeper understanding of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Through newly declassified documents from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Archives and oral history interviews, Migration in the Time of Revolution argues that migration and the political activism of the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia were important historical forces in the making of governmental relations between Beijing and Jakarta after World War II. Zhou highlights the agency and autonomy of individuals whose life experiences were shaped by but also helped shape the trajectory of bilateral diplomacy. These ethnic Chinese migrants and settlers were, Zhou contends, not passively acted upon but actively responding to the developing events of the Cold War. This book bridges the fields of diplomatic history and migration studies by reconstructing the Cold War in Asia as social processes from the ground up.

Based on extensive research in Chinese and Indonesian sources, Migration in the Time of Revolution is the best study of Sino-Indonesian relations during the Cold War in the English language and may well remain so for years to come.

Gregg Brazinsky

The George Washington University, Author of Winning the Third World

Migration in the Time of Revolution is an impressive work of high caliber, and represents a significant contribution to knowledge on modern China, Chinese migration, modern Indonesia and modern Southeast Asia.

Glen Peterson

University of British Columbia, Author of Overseas Chinese in the People's Republic of China

Revolusi, Diplomasi, Diaspora

Tiongkok, Indonesia, Etnik Tionghoa
The Bahasa Indonesia version will be published by Kompas in July 2019.