Qiaopi Trade in China and Overseas Conference was held from 9 to 10 October
2015 at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). A total of 12
papers were presented and discussed during the event, which was attended by
more than two dozen academics from the United States, the United Kingdom,
Australia, Japan, China, Malaysia and Singapore. The Conference is one of the
very few conferences on the topic of qiaopi to be held in English and was organised
by the Centre for Chinese Language and Culture at Nanyang Technological
his opening address, Professor Liu Hong, Chair, School of Humanities and Social
Sciences, highlighted the importance of disseminating research and facilitating
discussions on the qiaopi trade to a broader international audience, including
non-Chinese scholars and experts on migrant letters and remittances.
The Keynote Lecture cum the Fourth Chuan Han-Sheng
Lecture* was delivered by Professor Takeshi Hamashita of Sun Yat-sen
University, who spoke on migration and home remittances in the financial
between Southeast Asia and South China. Professor Hamashita, who is also
Professor Emeritus of Tokyo and Kyoto Universities, is a critically acclaimed
scholar of history and is well-known for his research on the network of trade,
migration, and financial remittances in Asia.
were five panel sessions that were held over two days. During the first
session, Professor Gregor Benton (Cardiff University) presented a paper on the
relationship between qiaopi and politics in terms of its impact on local power
relations, regional politics, Chinatown politics and China’s national politics.
This paper was co-authored with Professor Liu Hong and Dr. Zhang Huimei of NTU.
Some of the other topics covered during the Conference
include an analysis of British policies pertaining to qiaopi; the role of
Chinese post offices (qiaopiju); the evolution of the qiaopi industry; and the
practices of Overseas Chinese diaspora to maintain familial, material,
emotional and cultural ties with the communities left behind in China.
the Closing Speech, Professor Gregor Benton expressed that the Conference was a
great success as the complex topic of qiaopi was covered from various angles,
both thematic (including methodological) and geographic, in the impressive
papers that were presented and further enriched by the insightful discussions
in the Question and Answer sessions conducted at the end of each panel session.
Revised papers will be submitted to a leading journal in the field of Asian and
migration studies for publication as a special issue.
* The First Chuan Han-sheng Lecture was
hosted by the University of Queensland in 2011 to commemorate Professor Chuan
Han-sheng’s hundredth birthday and recognise his academic accomplishments and
contributions. The Lecture Series is co-sponsored by Nanyang Technological
University, the New Asia Research Institute, The University of Queensland, The
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shandong University, Tsinghua University and