CHINESE MINORITIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA(ORE 7)

Created: 12/2/1946

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE GROUP

CHINESE MINORITIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

26

CONFltollAL

ORE 7

"

This docuftent has beenapproved (oithe HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM Ot

the Central Intelligence

2i NO.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE GROUP

CHINESE SOUTHEAST ASIA

SUVfMARY

thc longs tanoing cm in csc v SUC in southeast mas gained un McyihCNCE since day as a source of nal

friction in tne Far East. This issue centerslien Chinese and millions more persons of part.Chinese blood, rho for many years maye occupieo an unusually strong (conomic position inAsia countries, built largely aaouno their domination of theablestrn. process inc. ano financing. trtev have maintained this strong position even through the long Japanese occupation.

The economic activities of overseas Chinese, their disposition to live in isolated political and cultural groups ano to retain strong ties with china, haveecurrent source of irritation to the natives in southeast asia ano have on mary occasions led to the imposition of restrictive measures by the local governments.

ay. the resurgence of nationalism in Southeast Asia countries has been accompanied by revived resentment against the alien Chinese. Anti-Chinese riots and demonstrations have taken place

on several occasions in the netherlands east indies, malaya and si am,

There has been an increasingly spirited press campaign against all aliens in the Philippines since Independence Day. In all Southeast Asia countries, public opinion has been demanding official restrictions on Chinese immigration, dual citizenship rights, and economic and political activities.

Both in the pre-war period anday, the Chinese Government nab attempteo--by diplomatic representations, propaganda campaigns. andd hoc1 measures--to defend its nationals abroad against discrimination and ill-taeatment. jts efforts to thisowever. have been seriously undermined by the political

and military situation in china ITSElT. internal civil cohflict

mas monopolized thettention. thus blocking theionell-defined policy on behalf of chinese minorities abroad. Moreover, these minorities themselves, vitally interested in affairs

at home. have split into much political factions as eiist

im China. The ekistemce of strong rival kuomimtang ano Chinese Communist organizations in Southeast Asia hot only has aggravated native resentment there but also has prevented the overstas chinese fromnited front against local pressures.

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Regardless of China's internal developmcnts. the Central Govern, went canxpected to maitc greater efforts ih the future on behalf

OF OVEPSFAS MtriOtlTICS. *NO REPRESENT " A VALUABLE ECONOMIC ASSET ANO A POTENTIAL TOOL N THI T ENS1 ON OF CHINA'S INFLUENCE IN Asia, These efforts will be vigorously opposed by nationalistic groups in Southeast Asia and hindered by China's internal conflict and its overseas couhterpart. if the chinese government's unilateral efforts fail to secure mori protection and freedom fromthe question of chinese minority rights may re placed before theio nat ions.

a more comprehensive discussion of this subject is contained in the Enclosure hereto.

enclosure chinese minorities in southeast asia

background

the chinese iiimo*ity issue in southeast asia, involvinglien chinese and millions more persons of part-chinese blooo. oid not achieve significant international status until the present century, even-though the chinese have seen emigrating to that area for hundalds of years, minority problems, which centereo around economic and political restrictions, immigration curbs, and the question of dual citizenship, oevelopco ourirg thess from (i) ihe national tendency of overseas chinese to remain im isolated groups. retaining strong ties rith the homeland by means of many public and secret societies: it) the alien chinese' deep penetration of the economic structures of southeast asiathev not only comprised an important part of the

local laror force but also gained a oominant position in 'mioolemen*

activities: retailing. processing. distributing.osition achieved ano maintained by business practicesre consistently shrewd and often ruthless and discriminating, ol the economic difficulties of the less capable native borkers;rowing feeling of nationalmong the native peoples of southeast asia.

stimulated by increasing popular resentment against chinese minorities, the governments in southeastade deliberateRifore the pacific war to loosen the chinese* economic hold and, ih varying degree. to restrict chinese politicalion and activities. native antagonism and local governmental restrictions. while ti no ing to neartn the influence of overseas chinese, also cave impetus to the chinese* own disposition to themselves politically and culturally. ano to direct their loyalties to china. this allegiance to the homeland. ever. ha5

for several yearsivided one* since the political conflict within china has been reflecteo in the formation of rival camps among the overseas chinese, heaoeo bv opposing nationalist ano communist associations.

pre-war efforts or local governments to stem the influence of chinese minorities were opposed to some extent by china's central government, mainly through diplomatic representations. overseas chineseubstantial economic asset to china. in their role of middlemen. they provided the means of stimulating trade

bith the bist of onr able terms for cm ina. also. a lash portion of overseas profits and age s beturnf.0 to the homeland in the form of remittances. thereby expanding domestic purchasing power and o china's re icn exchange resources.

during the pacific war. overseas chcnese in areas occupied by*

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CaNr^PFNTlAJ

J*OAN SlICCCtOBO IN PRESERVING TO A LARGE EXTENT THEIR ,rrtlf

CURRENT SITUATION

av. rising mtivf nationalism and ant iforejgn sentiment in tne countries ot southeast asia have led several Southeast Asia governments again to focus their attention upon the Chines* problem. This has been accompaniedumber of rmti*GHiw/ti incidents and restrictions 0hich have been opposed by chinese minority groups and by the chinese government with varying degrees of success.

^

si am. im slam. the plriod immediatelyay was marked iy sevcrl anti-Chinese riots set off by Siamese resentment against Chinese victory celebrations, ino-Siamese Tbi

Ol amitt has concluded in january NO real moves to IMPLEMENT

this agreement have yet been undertaken. slam appears to be un*illing to carry out concessions provioed in the treaty ano china apparently is too occupied withrs to press for execution of the terms. However, the Chinese Ambassador to Siam declaredpeech onovember that Sino-Siamese friendship could not be possible un.

less SlAM bedresseo brongs oone to chinese. THE chinese military attache in bANGHOA is attempting to ORGAN im f chinese IN SlAM against nativen and aga ins t chinese communist ATi0m$ through THE medium of THE san NtlM Chu i youth corps. which was recently involved in clashes h THE Si AMI ie police. TmERC ARE occasional report*

ihat agents of the central gove bnmeecret police have appe areo inr the puwpose of rallying i'^cae chimes! support for kuqmintang policies in China.

. isBritish proposals fm ^stpak mvcanmCmT a< re"orm. embodico in the malayan uhlqn plan. gave promise of improving the position of the large chinese minority in that are a* constituting fullyercent of the total population ofy opening Malayan citizenship to all Chinese born or resident there foriars. Opposition to the plan on the part of the Malay population has centered around this point and has proved sufficient to force the bp itish to postpone and reconsider the any British retreat from the proposal Of citizenship for the Chinese mas been attacked by the chinese pressetrayal of the leading Chinese role in the underground resistance movement during the bar. Interracial feeling on political issues has run high and has resulteo in numerous riots and demonstrations by botho chinese groups

as IN SlAM. efforts to unity Chi Nf se groups in malaya have dee ry th t kuouimang and Cf ntra L government AND through

Chinese Cdnsular offices. Because of .British recognition of the Central Government of China. British conthol and restriction or rvMT

COMFl^bjtial

cow I

activities ik Malayaelicate problem. Likewise. British control oven Chinese Communists, who dominate the Malayan Communist Party, is complicated by the public recognition on the part of british authorities

of the useful bole Of chinese Coma-uNISTS in the unoebgrouno. strong competition tor membership between KuQMInTANG and communist groups can be anticipated. hampering chinese unity against native hostility AND weakening the influence of the chinese central government in ValAYA.

Netherlands East Indus. Since the organization of the Indonesian Republic, the position of Chinese in theas deteriorated rapidly. Although considerable efforts have seen maoe by th* Republic to protect the Chinese in order to enlist their support, the Republic's military forces are insufficient to prevent hostile acts by extremist elements whose animosity has been directed against the chinese because of the long* stand ing exploitation of the natives by chineseenders and middlemen. and because many chinese were neutral in the struggle between the Republic and the Dutch, In areas rhere Dutch or Republic control has been weak, these elements have made several attacks, culminating in the massacre of several hundred Chinese at Tangerang in Western Java, early in The reaction of the Chinese govern*o this incident bas immediate and severe. the chinese consul General in the Indies was recalled to Nanking ano the Chinese Fobiign Office announced that the Dutch and Indonesians 'would be helo jointly responsible fob any damage to Chinese lives and property* and that the protection of overseas Chinesc interests was 'one of the most important

task*. of the chinese a chinese mission has toured TO observe the conditions of its nationals in the area and overseas chinese that the central government is interested LFAREv,

the Philippines, there has been strong public

lcd by vigorous anti-foreign press campaigns. for greater

rfstrictions on resident aliens (of whom the chinese comprise over 60 percent). This pressure has increased appreciably SlMCC

Independence Oav. In the last regular session of the Philippine Congress, ending in September, bills were energetically pusheo. although not passco. to place more stbingent requirements oh immigration and to double the required 'continuous residence period' for aliens seeking filipino citizenship. other measures before the recent session of congress restricted alien labor and business activities. Attempts by the Philippine Government to offer some resistance to the antlforeign trend have leo to sharp public criticism. The Chinese Government has made rlprlsentations to President Roxas on current anti.Chinese legislation (and has even maoe an ill-concealeo effort to enlist us support in behalf ofut these representations were answered by hoxasctober with the statement that the philippine administration was 'actuallypublic sentiment and moving much stober in the direction ofhinese measures than public opinion demanded, Finally, the Chinese minority question has been one of the chief stumbling-blocks imnegotiationsreaty of Amity, ano for a

commercial treaty. AmITY treaty discussions are believed to be ai ah 'mpasse. in the commercial treaty negotiations. the chinese blre

toho AAV Th(|A insistence that alien chinese be accorded national treatment o retail traoe . The proposed commercial treaty has reportedly seen pared down to a set OF very general provisions 'begging the entire question of chinese in the philippines* domestic traoe."

indo china. in indo china. the presence OF chinese na1 iona list

armies in the northern. and most nationalistic, area after day

prevented any significant chinese activity ON the part of the

native population. HowEv er . the conduct of chinese occupying forces and their efforts to influence domestic politics through two

kuomintang-sponsoreo parties, have left a legacy OF resentment against the national government in the native mind. french authorities have also BitH antagonized by their experiences with chinese nationalist military control in northern InOO china and their alarm at the

growth of Chinese Communist elements in the state of Vietnam. the position of the Chinese population in Inoo China as rigards taxation and justice was guaranteed by the franco-Chinese Treaty of it is expected that native and French oislike will

mare ITSFlF distinctly felt in the future.

chinese government support

in its defense of overseas chinese throughout southeast asia, the Chinese Government has as yet shown no well-defined policy, rut has operated on an "ao hoc* basis. generally speaking. chineseis presently on tne offensive for chinese minority objectives in slam and malaya. and on the defensive in the hei, the philippines.

and Inoo China. Greater efforts by the kuomintang to unify overseas

groups through the medium of kmt organizations can be expected im the future. with central government policies disseminated and im* plementeo among overseas populations under the direction of chinese diplomatic officials ano military attache extensive propaganda campaigns. coupled with demands for the education of chinese in overseas Chinese schools. Can be anticipated as part of the plan to stress Chinese home ties. Cultural and diplomatic missions will tour the Southeast Asia areas, emphasiijng the interest of the Central Government in the affairs and well-being of Chinese abroad. This interest was clearly expresseo in an official statement inhich announcedympathy for independence movements in all countries would be withdrawn if those movemlnis resultedctions oitrimen1al to overseas chinese.

PROBABLE FUTUREj

OESPITE OCCASIONAL CHARGES FROM THE PRESS IN SOUTHEASTERN COUNTRIES THAT CHINA INTENDS TO USE ITS OVERSEAS MINORITIES AS FIFTH COLUMN SPEARHEADS fOR EXPANSION. ThERf IS LITTLE CONCRETE

4cl that would refute the central government's repcatct pronounccments that china has no territorial ambitions in southeast Asia. The minorities, nevertheless, represent an important tooi that china might use in intending its economic and politicalin Southeast Asia. China's efforts to maintain the

independence and protect the interests of overseas chinese. will probably increase. TmESE efforts, however, will be

vigorously opposfo by nationalistic groups in southeast asia and hindered bv china's internal conflict ano its overseas counterpart, if unilateral efforts by the chinese government fail. then of Chinese minoritv rights in Southeast Asia may be placeo before the United Nations,

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