The Chinese and the White Man's Burden in Indochina

Marie-Paule Ha

in China Abroad

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9789622099456
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206687 | DOI:
The Chinese and the White Man's Burden in Indochina

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In the nineteenth century, a sizeable Chinese labor cum trade diasporic community was established in Indochina, where they occupied a dominant position in the local economy until the arrival of the French. Upon the completion of colonial conquest and pacification in the 1880s, the French embarked on the mise en valeur of their new possession by setting up a state-sponsored and state-backed “imperial diaspora.” This chapter discusses cultural practices of the Chinese and the French in Indochina, and shows that the Manichean schema not only fails to account for the complexity of the colonial reality, it has also created a form of the “White Man's Burden” that differs in an interesting way from the one eulogized by Rudyard Kipling, the British imperial bard.

Keywords: China; labor; trade diaspora; Indochina; imperial diaspora; France; Manichean schema; White Man's Burden; Rudyard Kipling

Chapter.  7651 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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