Are the Chinese in Southeast Asia Eastern Jews?

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Author: wenbolingsource: wenboling2020 (id: wenboling2020)

Boling said:

Southeast Asian Chinese is a big issue,

It is certainly impossible for an article to cover all aspects,

I can only write a rough logic.


Before the advent of steam ships, people had to make use of monsoons and ocean currents to trade at sea.

Where humans can go depends on where the monsoon and ocean currents go.

The monsoon and ocean current of the Atlantic can run through Europe, America and Africa. Therefore, more than a thousand years ago, some people in Europe drifted to North America to catch cod. After Columbus discovered the “new continent”, the European American African triangle trade was developed, which opened the era of the colonial world.

The monsoon and ocean current in East Asia are divided into two routes, one is to cross the Pacific to America, the other is to Southeast Asia.

However, in the age of underdeveloped human cognition, it is obviously impossible to cross the Pacific Ocean to a completely strange America.

Therefore, the best choice for Chinese businessmen to trade at sea is to use the monsoon and ocean currents to Southeast Asia, and then act as an intermediary, either buying goods and transporting them back to China for sale, or reselling them to Arab businessmen, so that these Arab businessmen can act as second-hand intermediaries and sell their goods to Europe.


Under this background, Chinese businessmen began to operate in Southeast Asia during the Tang and Song dynasties.

Zhu Yu, a scholar of the Song Dynasty, said in “Pingzhou can be talked about”: “northerners who have crossed the border are those who have not returned at the age of years. They are those who have lived there for ten years and have not returned.”

In fact, the so-called “no return after living for ten years” means that the Chinese emigrated to Southeast Asia. However, at that time, China’s population was small and the number of immigrants was small. These immigrants basically married and had children with indigenous women and integrated into the Southeast Asian indigenous population.

In the middle and late Ming Dynasty, with the process of great maritime trade, the speed of Chinese immigration to Southeast Asia began to accelerate.

In 1596, when the Dutch came to Java, they found:

“Chinese villages have beautiful houses, which are surrounded by strong fences. Most Chinese are businessmen, but some Chinese are farmers who grow pepper and rice.”

With the combination of agriculture and commerce, Chinese immigrants are living a very nourishing life in Southeast Asia.

In the 19th century, the world population exploded, and China’s population soared to 400million.

The population has exploded, but the growth of the land is limited, which inevitably leads to the contradiction of “more people and less land”, so the Chinese people began to find their own way.

Northerners rely on mountains and mountains. Some go to the northeast with their families to “invade the eastern part of the Shaanxi plain”, some go to “go west” to do business, while Fujian and Cantonese rely on water and leave their hometown to “go to Nanyang”.

Due to the large number of immigrants in Fujian and Guangdong, after they arrived in Southeast Asia, they did not have to change their names like their ancestors. Instead, they lived together according to their ancestral regions, divided into Chaoshan people, Guangfu people, Minnan people, Hakka people, etc., and established a large number of Chinese villages.

As a result, the Chinese immigrants in Southeast Asia began to become familial and local, reproducing a huge group of modern Southeast Asian Chinese.



After Chinese emigrated to Southeast Asia, after years of painstaking efforts, they gradually formed a stable interpersonal relationship and trade network.

European colonists also discovered this and began to use Chinese.

Because the European colonists came with guns and guns, they could conquer the lands and nations of Southeast Asian countries. However, because the population was too small, it was difficult to govern, and it was even more difficult to carry out economic exploitation as a colony.

To achieve this goal, the European colonists had to find allies and make their white gloves while making money together.

The stable interpersonal relationships and trade networks of the Chinese just fit the needs of the European colonists and are a handy tool.

The European colonists were particularly satisfied that, compared with the indigenous people in Southeast Asia, the Chinese were also a sparsely populated group. They had only social relations but no social foundation. They were not afraid of Chinese betrayal or even stabbing in the back when they aligned with the Chinese.

While Chinese immigrants are seeking money, they also need the protection of hardline forces and provide a safe business environment.

So the two sides hit it off.

European colonists with guns and guns have become the highest level in Southeast Asia. Chinese with social relations have become the middle level connecting the preceding and the following in Southeast Asia. Those native Aborigines have fallen into the lowest level in Southeast Asia.

So far, Southeast Asia has basically formed a distinct social structure.

Since it was an alliance, there must be a specific division of labor. Generally speaking, European colonists allocated trade intermediary rights and tax payment rights to Chinese.

Take Indonesia as an example.

Using interpersonal relationships and trade networks, the Chinese, on the one hand, purchased agricultural products from the aborigines at a low price and then resold them to the Dutch colonists for transportation back to Europe for sale; on the other hand, they purchased industrial products from the Dutch and other European colonists and then resold them to the aborigines.

In this way, the price difference between the two sides is the profit of the Chinese.

The right of tax payment is that the Dutch colonists take the method of bidding and contracting to the highest bidder for various taxes and monopolies. However, in the actual bidding process, the Chinese are basically the only bidder.

As a result, the agricultural tax, business tax, import and export tax, casino tax, opium tax, etc. in all parts of Indonesia are contracted by the Chinese, and handed over to the Dutch colonists according to the winning amount, and the rest belongs to them.

In theory, contracting tax is a serious business, but in practice, tax payers who want to make rich profits must use all means to squeeze in order to squeeze enough oil and water from taxpayers, meet the indicators of the upper colonists and meet their own interests.

As a result, in Indonesia, the Dutch colonists and Chinese became richer and richer, and the aborigines became poorer and poorer.

Other countries in Southeast Asia are similar.

So in 1804, there were fiveorsix thousand Chinese in Malaysia, half of whom had real estate, land and other industries. Even the Chinese who were engaged in fishing, agriculture, carpentry and other professions could get rich income in the market, far beyond the aborigines at the same level.

By about 1900, Vietnamese Chinese almost monopolized the circulation of rice and consumer goods. The total capital was equivalent to two-thirds of Vietnam’s retail industry, while Indonesian Chinese monopolized the sugar industry. Their sugar factories accounted for more than 95% of all Indonesian sugar factories.

The main reason why the colonists were willing to transfer their interests was to transfer contradictions.

Because they transferred their interests to the Chinese, the colonists did not need to dirty their own hands. They could firmly rule and earn profits. At the same time, they could also express a meaning to the Aborigines: “what you have suffered so badly is caused by the exploitation of the Chinese. It has nothing to do with us.”

Under such a distribution model, some aborigines do not have a good sense of the Chinese.

However, the European colonists are the only rulers in Southeast Asia. Both the Chinese and the aborigines belong to the ruled class, and they belong to the same class brothers. Therefore, in terms of the concept of the overall ethnic group, the relationship between the aborigines and the Chinese is not bad.

It can also be said that during the period of European colonial rule, the class problems of Aborigines and Chinese masked the economic problems.



After the end of World War II, the situation in Southeast Asian countries has undergone great changes.

With the victory of the anti fascist war, the countries and people of the third world were encouraged and a strong anti colonial wave emerged. As a result, the colonies of European colonists such as Britain, France and the Netherlands were split, the traditional colonial forces seemingly withdrew from Southeast Asia, and Southeast Asian countries gained apparent independence.

The country became independent, but those who replaced the European colonists as rulers were naturally not ethnic Chinese with a minority population, but the indigenous peoples with a majority population.

Those countries in Southeast Asia originally had a triangular social structure, with European colonists as rulers and Chinese and aborigines as ruled. Now, with the withdrawal of European colonists, the triangular social structure has become a dual social structure of Chinese and aborigines.

The consequence of this great social change is that the class friendship between the Chinese and the aborigines breaks down and turns into the relationship between the ruler and the ruled.

However, as the ruled, the Chinese still have a lot of social wealth, which is much larger than that in the early 20th century.

In the Philippines, Chinese control 40% of the retail industry, 80% of the rice industry, 70% of the tobacco industry and 80% of the financial industry, and their capital accounts for 20% of the total capital of the Philippines.

In Malaysia, Chinese monopolize banking, department stores, hotels, theatres and other service industries, and own a quarter of the rubber industry. In addition, the foreign trade volume of Chinese accounts for 80% of the total foreign trade volume of Malaysia.

In Thailand, almost all foreign trade and rural retail are in the hands of Chinese, and five of the seven major banks are Chinese.

In Indonesia, there are 190000 commercial institutions run by Chinese people, which are all over steel, cement, finance, agriculture, textiles, catering and other fields. They are an extremely important commercial capital force.

With such a strong capital, what is the population of Chinese?

Very few, generally less than 5% of the population of each country, and even only 1% of the population.

With such a small population and abundant capital, the Chinese are still a group ruled by the indigenous peoples. It’s just that children are making trouble with money and are hated by others.

Therefore, in order to reshape the national identity of Southeast Asian countries and redistribute social wealth, Southeast Asian countries have launched policies to restrict Chinese business and support indigenous capital.

The Philippines has issued some Filipinization laws, stipulating that only Filipinos can operate public food markets, forcing Chinese traders to withdraw from the food market. The newly established bank board must have two-thirds of Filipino citizens, and foreign importers must resell half of the goods to Filipino businessmen at a fair price.

Indonesia launched the “Fortress policy” to prohibit Chinese from doing business in areas below the county level, uprooting the trade network established by Chinese for hundreds of years, causing hundreds of thousands of Chinese to lose their jobs.

The policies of these Southeast Asian countries are basically aimed at the Chinese.

Moreover, Chinese have formed many associations and gangs with Chinese as the link. While restricting the economic scale of Chinese, Southeast Asian countries have also introduced policies to restrict Chinese schools, which do not allow Chinese to speak their mother tongue handed down by their ancestors, and are ready to split the interpersonal relationship of Chinese at one fell swoop.

So in the 20 years after the end of World War II, except for a few upper class rich, most Chinese in Southeast Asia were bullied very hard and operated miserably.


In this way, by the 1960s, those Southeast Asian countries had also been tossing about.

Just as the United States was involved in the whirlpool of the Vietnam War, in order to facilitate the nearby acquisition of war materials and to transfer domestic backward industries, it began to transfer industries to the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and other countries around Vietnam.

These Southeast Asian countries have successfully boarded the economic through train.

However, it is one thing for the United States to carry out industrial transfer, and it is another thing whether countries in Southeast Asia can catch it.

After looking around, the leaders of these countries found that the Chinese have a good economic foundation and are hardworking. If they want to catch up with American industries, they still have to rely on the Chinese.

In addition, when foreign capital led by the United States enters southeast Asian countries, it is also the first choice to cooperate with Chinese capital who knows how to operate and set up factories or subsidiaries of multinational companies.

As a result, the Southeast Asian Chinese, who had been suppressed and split for more than 20 years, rallied again in the late 1960s and became the auxiliary class of the new regime after World War II, as well as the intermediary of international capital and Southeast Asian countries.

Against this background, guohenian and other Chinese tycoons have gradually risen on the original economic basis and entered the first echelon of the world’s rich.

Of course, since it is cooperation with the new regime, it is inevitable that there will be collusion between businessmen and politicians. Because it is not the subject of this article, we will not talk about it.

But everything has two sides.

On the one hand, the Chinese have regained a considerable share of the economic industry. As a minority population in Southeast Asian countries, it is obviously a very dangerous thing. History has taught us a lesson.

As a result, the rich who have succeeded in doing business in the course of history no longer put their eggs in one basket like their predecessors, but use the east wind of economic globalization to lay out industries in various countries around the world, smashing one lump and another, ready to be enriched at any time.

For example, guohenian’s industries are not all in Malaysia, but in Singapore, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Australia and other countries.

As for the middle and lower classes of Chinese, they are basically immigrants of threeorfour generations.

In order to avoid possible danger, they joined the nationality of their country of residence, converted to Islam and Catholicism, learned English and dialects, and took the initiative to start national integration.

On the other hand, the Chinese who have not been fully assimilated but are considered to be invincible rich have become a tool for the government to transfer contradictions when some countries encounter social and economic crises, and almost all the victims are middle and lower class Chinese with weak economic strength.

So in the late 20th century, anti China movements broke out repeatedly in Southeast Asian countries.

There are two times of the largest scale.

In the late 1980s, Vietnam expelled millions of Chinese, resulting in the tragedy that the Chinese had lost their money for many years. In the late 1990s, as the Asian financial crisis hit hard, the people of Indonesia were boiling with resentment. The government instigated anti Chinese, resulting in the tragic death of hundreds of thousands of Chinese.

The Chinese used to be a tool for the European colonists to transfer contradictions, but now they have become a tool for the Southeast Asian countries to transfer contradictions. It really fits the sentence:

When the civil uprising was imminent, they plundered the merchants.

In this sense, the fate of Southeast Asian Chinese is the same as that of Jews.



In history, the fate of Jews was tragic. Apart from being hated for usury, the biggest problem was that Jews did not have a strong motherland behind them.

The Chinese in Southeast Asia are always targeted, in essence, because there is no strong support from the motherland.

In 1740, the “Hongxi incident” that massacred tens of thousands of Chinese broke out in Indonesia. Fearing that it would affect the trade between the East India Company and China, the Dutch colonists sent envoys to make peace with China the following year.

But Emperor Qianlong said, “the imperial court will never hear of the bad people who do not hesitate to abandon their ancestors’ tombs and go abroad for profit.” That means that these people are not Chinese consumables. Kill them.

The Chinese in Southeast Asia were forced to act as intermediaries attached to European colonists. However, if the Qing Dynasty helped them, Southeast Asia would be the world of Chinese.

So the Chinese in Southeast Asia also know that only when their motherland is strong can they have a position.

With the fall of China in modern times, the Southeast Asian Chinese felt a great sense of crisis, and they sent people and money to support the motherland.

For example, just after the outbreak of the war of resistance against Japan, Tan Kah Kee established the “Malaysian and Singaporean overseas Chinese Conference Committee for the relief of injured and sick refugees in the motherland”, and served as its chairman in person, raising 10million Singapore dollars to send back to the mainland to support the war of resistance against Japan.

At the time of reform and opening up, rich Chinese businessmen in Southeast Asia have returned home to invest, bringing a large number of foreign exchange and industries. There must be a sense of dispersing the crisis, but the feeling of repaying the motherland must also be an important factor.

The older generation of Chinese actually love their motherland.

Now that China’s national strength has risen, it must also be a strong support for those Chinese in Southeast Asia who still love their motherland. When China goes global in the future, these Chinese in Southeast Asia will also be an important United Front force.

At that time, the motherland and overseas Chinese will make progress together. We can never live up to their support for so many years.

reference material:

Characteristics and trends of Chinese capital in Southeast Asia chenqiaozhi

A historical perspective on the Southeast Asian Chinese network Qiu Liben

The influence of religious belief on the cultural adaptation of Southeast Asian Chinese caoyunhua

The management characteristics of overseas Chinese family enterprises in Modern Southeast Asia and Its Enlightenment sunfangyi

Early Southeast Asian Chinese capital: historical opportunity and modern world system theory

A study on ethnic relations between ethnic Chinese and indigenous peoples in Southeast Asia: a case study of the Philippines and Malaysia

A comparative study on the integration of Chinese ethnic groups in Southeast Asia into the mainstream society of immigration countries: a comparative analysis of Indonesia and Thailand

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