The shift in overseas Chinese media toward a single discourse of China is a trend I have also noticed, but I am not sure if “censorship” is the right explanation for what is happening. Of course, the market-state-media nexus does have some impact; I can imagine that Chinese entrepreneurs who seek to maintain good standing with the embassy would not be keen to advertise in “rebellious” newspapers.
But I suspect that the state-endorsed discourse of Chineseness does enjoy popular support. Deters quotes the editor-in-chief of the Netherlands-based Chinese Radio and TV as saying, ”If you’re too critical you lose the Chinese public – the target group you’re aiming at.” To what extent is this target group now defined by new migrants from the mainland, such as those students and graduates who are members of the embassy-created Association of Chinese Students and Scholars, according to whose charter the first duty of every member is to “ardently love the Fatherland, protect the Fatherland’s honour and national dignity” (????????????????)? To what extent does it continue to be shaped by an older generation of migrants largely active in catering, who may well feel proud about the new, assertive discourse of global Chineseness? How do second-generation Dutch Chinese relate to this discursive hegemony?
Pal Nyiri is Professor of Global History from an Anthropological Perspective at the VU University. In earlier contributions for this blog, he answered a few questions about his freshly published book on Chinese migration, and wrote about Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer’s lecture at the VU, about two more books of his hand, on Cultural Mobility and Seeing Culture Everywhere, about his inaugural lecture on China’s foreign concessions, about the AAA, and about the uses of cultural defense in court. The current article also appeared on his weblog.