Research Article Open Access

The Chinese Diasporic Periodization between “Peak” and “Bottom” -Framework, Indicators and Determinants

Jack Kangjie Liu1
  • 1 Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China
Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 16 No. 1, 2020, 134-146


Submitted On: 3 May 2020 Published On: 29 August 2020

How to Cite: Liu, J. K. (2020). The Chinese Diasporic Periodization between “Peak” and “Bottom” -Framework, Indicators and Determinants. Journal of Social Sciences, 16(1), 134-146.


Although the research on the Chinese diasporas in the Asian Pacific is abundant, rare projects specifically focus on periodization framework. This paper aims to reveal the Chinese diasporic periodization with its indicators and determinants in Asian Pacific. Historical studies and ethnographic research into the Chinese diasporas in Australia found unusual “peak” and “bottom” experiences: In 1888, the Chinese had been the largest diasporic community in Australia, but bottomed to one of smallest groups in the 1940s and peaked at the largest diasporic group again in 2017. Investigating the “peak” and “bottom”, this paper summarizes the Chinese diasporic periodization in Australia by metaphor: “Miserable Sojourners”, “Discriminated Explorers”, “New Reterritorializers”, “Transnational Mobilers”. Further investigations show that the racialism/multiculturalism policies and the Chinese domestic political economy determine the periodization together, especially the former. Subsequently, comparisons among the Chinese diasporas in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States suggest the similar “peak” and “bottom” periodization, indicators and determinants. Furthermore, comparisons between the Korean and the Chinese diasporas in these countries reveal the homeland political impacts on the latter are more significant. Therefore, the four-periodization Chinese diasporic framework would be a particular reference for global diasporic studies.

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  • Diaspora
  • Comparative Studies
  • Transnational Studies
  • Overseas Chinese
  • Asian Pacific