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Chinese bourgeois nationalism in Hong Kong and Singapore in the 1930s

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Abstract

This article explains the diverse responses among the Chinese bourgeoisie in Hong Kong and Singapore to Chinese nationalist movements in the 1930s. In Singapore, the slogan of “Chinese buy Chinese goods” boosted the Chinese bourgeoisie in their business competition with Japan. The same slogan was used by the Chinese bourgeoisie in Hong Kong to emphasize increased sales of Chinese goods while Japanese imports were used by Chinese manufacturers in Hong Kong. I also interpret Chinese bourgeois nationalism in Hong Kong and Singapore as a move toward transnational economic citizenship. Emphasising their Chinese ethnicity, the bourgeoisie in Hong Kong and Singapore asked the Chinese government for favourable import tariffs. At the same time, the bourgeoisie requested the British for favourable tariffs, when they wished to export goods to markets in Britain and its colonies.

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... 6 Boycotts against Japanese goods were organised, though the purpose of the boycotts varied in different places. The Singaporean bourgeoisie, for example, used the slogan of Chinese for Chinese goods to boost business competition against the Japanese while their Hong Kong counterparts used it to encourage the purchase of Chinese goods (Kuo 2006). In addition, the Chinese government issued bonds, some of which were subscribed by Chinese overseas. ...
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... This facilitated the emergence of modern local producers who were able to compete successfully in the value chain and then to participate in large scale production and exports. Competition from China, Hong Kong and India intensified, attracting tighter regulation through the Long Term Agreement (LTA) and the Short Term Agreement (STA) (Koo, 1982;Kuo, 2006). ...
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