When the KMT called the shots in the Philippines (review of ‘Diasporic Cold Warriors’ for Taipei Times)

The following book review appeared in today’s Taipei Times

In 1950, the overseas Chinese community of the Philippines numbered 230,000 — just over 1 percent of the country’s population. This made it among the smallest overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. In comparison, Thailand had more than 3 million Chinese residents that same year.

Yet, throughout the decade and well into the next one, donations from Philippine Chinese — the preferred term in this book — to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) coffers dwarfed those from other Southeast Asian nations. In several years, they amounted to more than the “patriotic voluntary contributions” from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaya and South Vietnam combined.

More importantly, for the KMT, this fealty manifested itself through the creation of what Kung Chien-wen (龔建文) calls an “intra-Asian anti-communist ecumene” in which the Philippine Chinese Cold Warriors of the book’s title represented the vanguard.

About the Author