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From National Product To Controlled Export, 1932–1947

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Chapter Summary

Nationalism was one way the overseas Chinese could connect with China. The British colonial authorities had their own suspicions about the growth of overseas Chinese nationalism in Singapore that became increasingly mixed with radical left-wing politics. Kuah believed that the real reasons why Japanese, Ceylonese and Taiwanese teas had gained increasing popularity at the expense of Fujian tea were the former group's design of packaging labels and their hygienic packing of the teas. In its economic plan for wartime China, the National Government deemed it necessary for the Foreign Trade Commission (FTC) to operate as a state-run enterprise. The process of dealing with the overseas Chinese merchants showed the uniqueness of qiaoxiao in the eyes of the National Government and the FPG. There was an urgent need for China to formulate a proper policy on exports so that it could recover lost markets.

Keywords: Chinese nationalism in Singapore; Fujian tea; Fujian-Singapore trade; qiaoxiao; tea export controls

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