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"Not a particularly happy expression": "Malayanization" and the China threat in Britain's late-colonial Southeast Asian territories

Taylor, Jeremy E.

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Abstract

Drawing on archival sources in Britain, Singapore, Malaysia, and the United States, this article explores late-colonial anxieties about the influence of Chinese nationalism in Malaya (and especially among students in Chinese-medium schools) in the lead up to self-government in 1957. It demonstrates that the colonial fear of communism in Malaya was not always synonymous with the fear of cultural influence from “new China” and that the “rise of China” in the mid-1950s was viewed as a challenge to colonially sanctioned programs for “Malayanization.” More importantly, in exploring some of the ways in which the colonial state mobilized anti-communist cultural workers from Hong Kong to help counter the perceived threat from China, the article argues that more focus should be placed on the role of colonial agency in shaping “Sinophone” cultural expression in Southeast Asia during this period.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2019-11
Journal Journal of Asian Studies
Print ISSN 0021-9118
Electronic ISSN 1752-0401
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 78
Issue 4
Pages 789-808
APA6 Citation Taylor, J. E. (2019). "Not a particularly happy expression": "Malayanization" and the China threat in Britain's late-colonial Southeast Asian territories. Journal of Asian Studies, 78(4), 789-808. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911819000561
DOI https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911819000561
Keywords Cultural Studies; History
Publisher URL https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-asian-studies/article/not-a-particularly-happy-expression-malayanization-and-the-china-threat-in-britains-latecolonial-southeast-asian-territories/54AAF243192B4C1B045559C0DA63D7B2
Related Public URLs https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-asian-studies
Additional Information © Cambridge University Press 2019

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