Crafted links and accidental connections of empires: A history of early twentieth century Sino-Philippine interaction
Guingona, Phillip B.
MetadataShow full item record
Early twentieth-century transnational Asia was an arena of diverse and wide-reaching interactions that built on both long-standing migratory and merchant linkages and comparatively recent technological and imperial networks. Engaging with scholars who explore global links and flows of people and discourses, this dissertation establishes a model through which to examine the intricacies of transnational Asia. While scholars of Chinese overseas have explored the lives and experiences of Chinese in the Philippines, or Philippine huaqiao, and researchers have examined transnational arteries which connected disparate people and polities, none has considered how the diversity of linkages between China and the Philippines, including those forged by tourists, students, businesspeople, athletes, politicians, and journalists, coexisted and formed a larger pattern of interaction. This combination, or the "Sino-Philippine link", as I call it, was not a single bridge, but an array of smaller strands that combined to form a larger and cohesive whole--hence the use of "link" singular as opposed to "links" plural. I encourage other scholars to explore similar transnational linkages among people and polities not contained within the power structures of imperial spheres. Using a combination of archival records and popular media representations from China, the Philippines, and the United States, many of which have never been used before in historical research, I argue that Chinese observed and learned from the technological, political, and cultural innovations of the Philippines, and Filipinos did the same of China. Various actors who traversed the Sino-Philippine link brought with them understandings of race, gender, and identity that were copied, translated, and transformed. Information and ideas flowed freely between China and the Philippines, and these flows impacted both polities. Implicit in this study is that intra-Asian flows were just as important as comparative East-West flows.