Sittithep Eaksittipong

Sittithep Eaksittipong

Head, Department of History, Faculty of Humanities, Chiang Mai University

Assistant Professor Sittithep Eaksittipong, a Thai of Chinese ancestry, is the head of the Department of History in the Faculty of Humanities at Chiang Mai University. He received his PhD in History from the National University of Singapore and was a research fellow at Harvard-Yenching Institute during the 2016-2017 academic year. His research interests include Chinese overseas and transnational and cross-cultural contacts between China and Southeast Asia, particularly between China and Thailand. He is also the author of The Rebellion of the Chinese Commoners on Phlapphlachai Road (2012).

People stand in a queue outside a restaurant along the popular Yaowarat Road in the Chinatown area of Bangkok, Thailand, on 5 September 2022. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP)

An imagined China and feeling Chinese in Thailand

Thai academic Sittithep Eaksittipong explains how the Thai rulers of the past used emotion as a political tool to assimilate the Chinese overseas in Thailand. Fast forward to today and the Thai Chinese are more confident of their identity, and feeling Chinese has less to do with developments in China. If anything, the latter is used as a means to chastise the Thai government.