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Chapter Summary

With the "closing-up" of China, travel to their ancestral villages for members of Chinese merchant families in the Philippines became difficult. As a result, a generation of "Chinese" offspring were born in the Philippines without any contact with the "motherland," although some were able to go to Taiwan for visits due to the sustained efforts of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). This book searches for historical reasons for the divide between the "Chinese" and the "Filipinos" today. It focuses on the period between the 1860s and 1930s for the following reasons. First, this is the period when many Chinese migrated from Minnan to the Philippines, the period from which most Chinese in the Philippines can trace their family histories back. Second, it is during this period that we can map out the construction of nation-based &t;Filipino&t; and &t;Chinese&t; identities that frames the discourse on ethnic identities in the Philippines today.

Keywords: Chinese merchant families; Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT); Filipinos; Minnan; Philippines; Taiwan

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