The Chinese in Papua New Guinea

The Chinese in Papua New Guinea

Past, Present and Future

Edited by: Anna Hayes, Rosita Henry orcid, Michael Wood

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Papua New Guinean, Chinese and Australian people have long been entangled in the creation of complex histories and political debates concerning the similarities and differences of each group. These debates are fundamental to understanding how a sense of national unity in Papua New Guinea is formed, as well as within analyses of the wider world of strategic power dynamics and influence. The Chinese in Papua New Guinea offers a comprehensive and nuanced examination of the Chinese in Papua New Guinea. Chinese, Papua New Guinean and Australian interactions are analysed in the context of ongoing shifts in colonial power, increased regional engagement with China, and current political instabilities across the Indo-Pacific region. The many ways the Chinese have been defined as actors in PNG’s history and politics are analysed against the backdrop of a rapidly changing global order. The complexity of Chinese experiences within Papua New Guinea is given expression, here, with chapters that stress political and historical heterogeneity, the importance of language for understanding Chinese social relations, and that articulate rich personal experiences of race relations.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
May 2024
ANU Press
Pacific Series
Arts & Humanities: Cultural Studies, History; Social Sciences: Anthropology
East Asia: China; Pacific: Papua New Guinea

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The Chinese in Papua New Guinea »

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  1. The Chinese in Papua New Guinea’s past, present and future (PDF, 193 KB)Michael Wood, Anna Hayes and Rosita Henry doi

Section 1: The Chinese in PNG: Their travels and multiple histories

  1. Archives as artefacts of knowledge: A Sepik philosopher and a Chinese trader in Papua New Guinea (PDF, 155 KB)Rosita Henry, Daniela Vávrová and Laurie Bragge doi
  1. What was colonial in extending Australian citizenship to New Guinea Chinese? (PDF, 194 KB)Michael Wood and Vincent Backhaus doi
  1. The rise and rise of China: Contemporary Chinese community in PNG (2010–2020) (PDF, 226 KB)James Chin doi

Section 2: The Chinese as transformers of PNG and its political economy

  1. Growing Chinese dominance of the bêche-de-mer trade: A Papua New Guinean resource sector characterised by paradox (PDF, 145 KB)Simon Foale, Cathy Hair and Jeff Kinch doi
  2. Manufacturing compromise: Labour process analysis of a Chinese refinery site in Papua New Guinea (PDF, 1.5 MB)I-Chang Kuo doi
  3. ‘Money face’: Haggling Chinese and foreigner talk at a PNG mining market-place (PDF, 654 KB)Shaun Gessler doi
  4. Trade, mines and language: The Chinese in Papua New Guinea (PDF, 248 KB)Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald doi
  5. The New Cold War, great power rivalry and Papua New Guinea (PDF, 267 KB)Anna Hayes doi
  6. Conclusion: Imagining a Chinese future in PNG (PDF, 92 KB)Michael Wood, Anna Hayes and Rosita Henry doi

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