Qiaopi is one of several names given to the “silver letters” Chinese emigrants sent home in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These letters-cum-remittances document the changing history of the Chinese diaspora in different parts of the world and in different times.
Dear China is the first book-length study in English of qiaopi and of the origins, structure, and operations of the qiaopi trade. The authors explore the characteristics and transformations of qiaopi, showing how such institutionalized and cross-national mechanisms helped sustain families separated by distance and state frontiers and contributed to the sending regions’ socioeconomic development. Dear China contributes substantially to our understanding of modern Chinese history and to the comparative study of global migration.
About the Author
Gregor Benton is Emeritus Professor at Cardiff University. His books include Mountain Fires: The Red Army’s Three-Year War in South China and The Qiaopi Trade and Transnational Networks in the Chinese Diaspora (coedited with Hong Liu and Huimei Zhang).
Hong Liu is Tan Kah Kee Endowed Professor of Asian Studies and Chair of School of Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His publications include China and the Shaping of Indonesia, 1949–1965 and Singapore Chinese Society in Transition.
"Makes substantial and significant contributions to our ongoing struggles to attain better understanding of migration as a most human, yet greatly disruptive, element of our global society and economy." — Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review
"A pertinent contribution to extant scholarship on the history of Chinese migration and diasporic ties between 1820 and 1980. . . . Students of oral history, social memory, in addition to migration researchers, will find this book an intelligible and informative read." — International Migration Review
"No matter what a reader of Dear China might think they know at the beginning, by the end of their perusal of this intensively researched and wide-ranging work they will know and appreciate a great deal more." — Journal of Chinese Overseas
"This fascinating volume by Benton and Liu proposes many noteworthy arguments for Southeast Asian history research because it pays heed to overseas Chinese society as one of the key factors in the region’s historical changes." — Southeast Asian Studies