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3 - Britishness and Chineseness in an Age of Nationalism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 October 2023

Vivian Kong
Affiliation:
University of Bristol
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Summary

How did Britishness interplay with rising anti-colonialism and nationalism in twentieth-century Asia? This chapter draws on the experience of Chinese students from Hong Kong, mainland China, and British Malaya at the University of Hong Kong, to explain the transmission of Britishness to colonial subjects and its implications for anti-colonial movements. British officials and the university administration carefully crafted a curriculum and campus life that would, on one hand, educate young Chinese with Western knowledge and British values, and on the other, steer them away from rising Chinese nationalism. This left visible social effects on the students of the University. Using writings produced by officials, University staff, and students and graduates of HKU, I uncover how Britishness shaped the co-existence of various diasporic Chinese identities on campus, and its student body’s curious response to Chinese nationalism. It argues that colonial Hong education – and more widely a colonial milieu – gave birth to a non-radicalism in Hong Kong amidst rising nationalism.

Type
Chapter
Information
Multiracial Britishness
Global Networks in Hong Kong, 1910–45
, pp. 90 - 131
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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