From Chinese “in” to Chinese “of” Thailand : The Politics of Knowledge Production during the Cold War

Sittithep Eaksittipong




This article explores the process leading to perceptual change towards the Chinese in Thailand in the 1980s. From being the “other” who were marginalized from Thai national imagination, a convergence of exogenous and endogenous factors beginning in the 1970s has significantly transformed the Chinese into a part of the Thai nation. The changing landscape of Thai history during the 1970s to the 1980s and the normalization of Sino-Thai relationships played a significant role in this process. The popular uprising in October 1973 tremendously affected Thai academia, especially in the history field, leading to the inclusion of the Chinese as a historical agent in Thai history. Simultaneously, the change in international politics, especially the normalization of diplomatic relations between Thailand and China, opened a floodgate for new sets of knowledge on Thai history that paved the way for the inclusion of the Chinese into Thai history.


(Published in Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies, Volume 10/2017 (Number 1), Page 99-116)


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