Overseas Chinese

Dr Yee Wai Seng wanted the plaque in the gallery’s collection as soon as he came to know of its existence.

Yuan Shikai's calligraphy on century-old plaque of old Singapore pharmacy

Yuan Shikai may be known as more of a military man and the second provisional president of the Republic of China, but he was also an accomplished calligrapher. One of his works is a plaque written for a store called Woi Fung Sheong Tim in Singapore, and after a century, it has been included in the collection of the Kwong Wai Siew Peck San Theng Heritage Gallery.
Students of Chung Hwa Middle School on a school trip to Liuzhou, China, in November 2023. (Chung Hwa Middle School/Facebook)

Mandarin learning in Brunei’s Chinese schools: Practical considerations

Rather than a consequence of China’s cultural diplomacy, Mandarin learning in Brunei is motivated by immediate concerns of academic success and enhancing worldviews through a different language and culture.
A collage image of New York's Chinatown by Singaporean photographer and artist John Clang. (Photo: John Clang)

Should overseas Chinese be patriotic to the motherland?

Chinese people migrating overseas is a phenomenon that has occurred throughout the ages, but in history these migrants were treated with disdain and even faced execution. US academic Fei-Ling Wang looks at why one decides to leave their native land and even to become a citizen of a foreign country, and how they navigate between their chosen country and that of their ancestors.
Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Brunei. Chinese workers in Brunei essentially live in a bubble. (Internet)

Mainland Chinese workers in Brunei: Living in a bubble

The relationship between China and Brunei has grown significantly, but the level of people-to-people exchanges leaves much to be desired.
Children playing among two giant panda lanterns at the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Singapore, in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, on 28 August 2023. (SPH Media)

Chinese language: The ‘one language, two systems’ road ahead

Given its pluralistic nature, the Chinese language has taken many shapes over the course of history, with its written form and the associated dialects dictated by time and place. Meanwhile, the rise of China and its growing national power have led to the emergence of Chinese as an international language that transcends national borders. Eddie Kuo, Emeritus Professor at NTU, delves into the evolution of the language in the different Chinese-speaking regions.
A group photo at the 16th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC) in Bangkok, Thailand. (Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry)

China's growing influence on overseas Chinese businessmen: Reflections on the 16th WCEC in Bangkok

Lee Huay Leng, editor-in-chief of SPH’s Chinese Media Group, notes that she seems to have witnessed a shift in focus while attending the recent World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention in Bangkok — while earlier editions were targeted at bringing together ethnic Chinese businessmen scattered around the world, a changed world seems to have made the latest edition more China-centric, and it remains to be seen whether this will hold for future editions.
A screen grab from a video featuring former Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla at the Asia Society, 2016. (Internet)

Anti-Chinese comments by former Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla spark different reactions

Former Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla claimed that Chinese people control the Indonesian economy, given their involvement in business and trade. Is there anything to back up the statement, or is it a show of racism, intended to stir anti-Chinese sentiment in Indonesia?
Paramilitary police officers stand guard south of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on 5 March 2023. (Greg Baker/AFP)

China wielding long-arm jurisdiction of its own

Taiwanese commentator Chen Kuohsiang notes that China seems to be using long-arm jurisdiction to curtail overseas critics, activists and publishers. This has far-reaching consequences, not least in officially annexing Taiwan through legal precedent.
A multiracial dragon dance at the media preview of the Chingay Night Fiesta 2016, held at the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, on 4 February 2016. (SPH Media)

Wang Gungwu: What does it mean to be ethnically Chinese in Singapore?

Speaking at a recent talk co-organised by Yale-NUS College and the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, Professor Wang Gungwu gave a lecture titled "What Does it Mean to be Ethnically Chinese in Singapore?", pondering what Singapore is, what “Chinese” means, and finally, what it means to be Chinese in Singapore. This is an edited transcript of his speech.