"If the Family Lives in Harmony, All of Its Affairs Will Prosper:" An Analysis of China's Overseas Chinese Policy in the New Era and the Politics of "Win-Win"

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0003-1653-9046
Ly, Michael, East Asian Studies - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Womack, Brantly, AS-Dept of Politics, University of Virginia
Harding, Harry, BA-Frank Batten School, University of Virginia

This bibliographic paper analyzes the developments in China’s more aggressive and pandering overseas Chinese policy in the New Era under Xi Jinping, i.e. his conceptualization of the “root,” “soul,” and “dream” of the Chinese nation and the “three benefits” of overseas Chinese policy, and finds that the underlying theme is in creating so-called “win-win” situations. That said, as both the Chinese and Western literature demonstrate, there has been a consistent “guiding principle” from the earliest days of the PRC that overseas Chinese policy should be subordinated to and serve China’s higher “grand strategy” and national interests, in spite of the ostensible re-commitment under Xi to “serving the interests of overseas Chinese.” The reality is that China is only interested in “serving the interests of overseas Chinese” and “win-win” situations to the degree that they serve to further its long-term national interests, which includes co-opting passive acceptance or promotion of the CCP’s carefully constructed narrative of the Chinese minzu nationalist identity and its policy preferences among the overseas Chinese. This requires serious reflection on the individual and societal levels on the cui bono and, by extension, the so-called cui damno of “win-win” for the Chinese Government, the overseas Chinese, foreign countries, and other potentially interested non-state parties.

MA (Master of Arts)
Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chinese Transnationalism, Overseas Chinese Policy, New Era, “Win-Win”, Xi Jinping
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