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Dear ChinaEmigrant Letters and Remittances, 1820-1980$
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Gregor Benton and Hong Liu

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520298415

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520298415.001.0001

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Qiaopi and Modern Chinese Economy and Politics

Qiaopi and Modern Chinese Economy and Politics

(p.95) 5 Qiaopi and Modern Chinese Economy and Politics
Dear China

Gregor Benton

Hong Liu

University of California Press

This chapter examines the contributions remittances made to Chinese economic development in general and to the qiaoxiang in particular. It considers the role played by the Chinese state and state-associated organizations in setting policies and guidelines for the qiaopi trade. The Chinese state sought to destroy or assimilate premodern postal services like the qiaopi system and to assert the authority of the post office over them. The state’s striving for a monopoly of postal services and its commitment to universal-service obligations brought it into conflict with existing postal services, including the qiaopi trade. The chapter reaches three main conclusions. First, the qiaopi trade played a key role in China’s economic modernization in Guangdong and Fujian and even to China’s survival as an independent nation-state. Second, in the course of interacting with and participating in China’s domestic economy and body politic, the agents and institutions that underlay the qiaopi trade underwent tremendous changes. Third, the nation-states’ growing power and influence over the qiaopi trade (and its agents) finally led to the trade’s demise in the late 1970s.

Keywords:   Chinese economy 1840–1949, Chinese politics 1840–1949, Chinese economy 1949–1980, Chinese politics 1949–1980, post office, remittance, South China

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