Governing the Chinese in Multi-ethnic Colonial Burma between the 1890s and 1920s

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Abstract

This article analyses the development of the governing mechanism in British Burma relating to one particular ethnic group, the Chinese, between the 1890s and 1920s. Recognizing its limited knowledge of China and the Chinese, British Burma relied in the early days on experiences from other colonies to govern its Chinese immigrants and to handle Sino-Burmese border issues. The transfer of colonial knowledge, however, proved insufficient when the state witnessed increasing localization at the turn of the twentieth century. Interlocutors and communal elites therefore replaced imperial expatriates to form the main governing body, and in turn to some extent undermined and reconstructed colonial knowledge, as well as practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135–154
Number of pages20
JournalSouth East Asia Research
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2016

Keywords

  • colonialism
  • migration
  • overseas Chinese
  • Burma
  • British India

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