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This chapter first explores in general the often forgotten contributions to the birth of international law study and practice in China by the Beiyang or “warlord” government, first dominated by the former Qing Viceroy Yuan Shikai. Some achievements of China’s first holders of international law degrees from elite foreign universities, which included arguments and publications that exerted an immediate and at times remarkable impact upon the international law field in the West, have been almost forgotten today.
Chapter 2 covers the years from 1740 to 1840, a period that some scholars refer to as the “Chinese century” in Southeast Asia and a period that partially overlaps with what Chinese historians call the High Qing and was known to contemporaries as the “prosperous age.” The chapter demonstrates that migration across the Qing frontiers and to destinations abroad was linked to the extraction of resources in Inner Asia and Southeast Asia for the Chinese market. This was a period in which Chinese laborers – miners and farmers – became distinct types of migrants. The chapter introduces a new diasporic trajectory, that of Hakkas to Borneo and other areas in Southeast Asia. It traces the development of such diasporic institutions as native-place associations, or huiguan, and the emergence of others, such as revenue farms, brotherhoods, and kongsi. It also further explores the issues of split families, maintained through remittances, and of unmarriageable men for whom migration became a means of ascending the marriage ladder. The chapter ends with an example of another diasporic community, the Chinese mestizos in the Philippine town of Malabon.
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