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A Special Intermittence and Continuity in Local History: The Chinese Diaspora and Their Hometown in Battlefield Quemoy during 1949-1960s

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Abstract From 1949, Quemoy became the battlefront between the warring Nationalists and Communists as well as the frontline between Cold War nations. Under military rule, social and ideological control suppressed the community power of traditional clans and severed their connection with fellow countrymen living abroad. For 43 long years up until 1992, Quemoy was transformed from an open hometown of the Chinese diaspora into a closed battlefield and forbidden zone. During the war period, most of the Quemoy diasporic Chinese paid close attention to the state of their hometown including the security of their family members and property. In the early 1950s, they tried to keep themselves informed of the situation in Quemoy through any available medium and build up a new channel of remittances. Furthermore, as formal visits of the overseas Chinese were an important symbol of legitimacy for the KMT, Quemoy emigrants had been invited by the military authority to visit their hometown since 1950. This was in fact the only channel for the Chinese diaspora to go home. Using official files, newspapers and records of oral histories, this article analyzes the relationship between the Chinese diaspora and the battlefield, Quemoy, and takes a look at the interactions between family and clan members of the Chinese diaspora during 1949-1960s. It is a discussion of a special intermittence and continuity of local history.

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