Society for East Asian Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
Different from earlier Chinese immigrants who moved to Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) centuries ago and have extensively integrated to local culture, Chinese investors and entrepreneurs, as a newly-arrived migrants, refresh many aspects of knowledge of LAC people about Chinese. Additionally, those newly-arrived Chinese gradually influence earlier migrants in terms of economic and ancestral connections. Chineseness thus becomes a more fragmented concept than ever if specifically taking the Taiwanese, who migrated to LAC pre- and post-PRC severing and building diplomatic relations with LAC countries, into consideration. By drawing from this context, this paper examines what it means to be Chinese in the encountering of Chinese as a whole and a separate concept for LAC, Ecuador, and Dominica in particular. In both countries, the above three groups of Chinese exist alongside. This study aims to see how Ecuadorians and Dominicans view different Chinese groups and how Chinese view themselves in a whole or separate way. In particular, I look at how the newly-arrived Chinese shape a new understanding of Chinese among LAC people in the global context since those latest migrants has become more prominent and influential in terms of mainland China’s economic growth and global expansion. I argue that the newly-arrived Chinese immigrants constitute what I define “fragmented Chineseness” in the global context. In a sense, the new immigrants from Mainland China can hardly intermingle with other two groups of Chinese; rather, they adjust themselves and situate to the local if they live long enough in LAC.