There has been much speculation as to the degree to which the Indonesian revolt reflects Japanese war-time propaganda. There has been much less mention in this connection of the one and a quarter million Chinese residents in the Indies. Yet, ten years ago many Netherlands colonial officials regarded this community as a fecund source of discontent. They were not altogether inconsistent when they complained, on the one hand, of Chinese “imperialism” and, on the other, of Chinese communism. Evidence of the former they saw, more especially, in the activities of the Chinese Bureau for Overseas Affairs in Nanking. These activities were intended, of course, to strengthen the loyalty of nationals abroad and to give them that protection of the motherland which they had been lacking for centuries. But it was inevitable that they should reflect, and to some extent feed, the resentment over the discriminations experienced by these nationals in every part of the Nan Yang (South Seas). The pamphlets distributed in the 'thirties by the Bureau harped on the “unequal treatment” of Chinese abroad, on the cruelty of many of the immigration laws–including those of the Indies. They did not go in for theoretical discussions and did not advocate socialism. Neither did the textbooks used in many Chinese schools or the subsidized Chinese newspapers, though some of the Shanghai-trained teachers may have been communists.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.