The Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia: Issues of Identity

  • Mely G. Tan
  • A. Dahana


It was thirty-four years ago that the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia had to make an active choice between Indonesian or Chinese (People’s Republic of China) citizenship, based on the Sino-Indonesian Treaty on Dual Nationality, signed in Bandung on 22 April 1955. After due process, which took almost five years, during a two-year period from January 1960 to January 1962, those who were considered to have dual citizenship had to declare in a court of law that they rejected Chinese citizenship if they wanted to opt for Indonesian citizenship.1 For virtually all of the ethnic Chinese qualified to take this action, this was the first time they had to face the reality of deciding who they were, where they were and how they saw their future — in other words, to determine their identity.


Chinese Community Diplomatic Relation Chinese Origin Time Academic Southeast Asian Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bachtiar, Harsja W “Integrasi Nasional Indonesia”. In Wawasan Kebangsaan Indonesia. Gagasan dan Pemihiran Badan Komunikasi Penghayatan Kesatuan Bangsa. Jakarta: Bakom-PKB Pusat, 1992.Google Scholar
  2. Coppel, Charles A. Indonesian Chinese in Crisis . Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  3. Cushman, Jennifer and Wang Gungwu, eds., Changing Identities of the Southeast Asian Chinese since World War II. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  4. Gondomono. “The Chinese Community in Jakarta: A Study of Chinese Familism in an Indonesian Urban Environment”. Ph.D. dissertation in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, 1990.Google Scholar
  5. Greif, Stuart William. Indonesians of Chinese Origin. Assimilation and the Goal of “One Nation- One People”. New York: Professors World Peace Academy, 1988.Google Scholar
  6. Jahja, Junus, ed. Non-pri di Mata Pribumi. Jakarta: Yayasan Tunas Bangsa, 1991.Google Scholar
  7. Mackie, J.A.C. and Charles A. Coppet. “A Preliminary Survey”. In The Chinese in Indonesia: Five Essays, edited by J.A.C. Mackie, pp. 1–19. Sydney: Thomas Nelson (Australia) Ltd., 1976.Google Scholar
  8. Naisbitt, John. Megatrends Asia. The Eight Asian Megatrends that are Changing the World. London: Nicholas Brealey, 1995.Google Scholar
  9. Oetomo, Dede. “The Chinese of Pasuruan: A Study of Language and Identity in a Minority Community in Transition”. Ph.D. thesis, Cornell University, 1984.Google Scholar
  10. Oetomo, Dede. “Multilingualism and Chinese Identities in Indonesia”. In Changing Identities of the Southeast Asian Chinese since World War II, edited by Jennifer Cushman and Wang Gungwu. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  11. Seagrave, Sterling. Lords of the Rim. London: Bantam Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  12. Sidharta, Priguna. Seo rang Dokter dari Losarang. Sebuah Otobiografi. Jakarta: P.T. Temprint, 1993.Google Scholar
  13. Somers Heidhues, Mary F. “Peranakan Chinese Politics in Indonesia”. Ph.D. thesis, Cornell University, 1965.Google Scholar
  14. Somers Heidhues, Mary F “Citizenship and Identity: Ethnic Chinese and the Indonesian Revolution”. In Wang, ed., pp. 115–39.Google Scholar
  15. Suleeman, Stephen. “Persepsi golongan keturunan Tionghoa Indonesia terhadap golongan Bumiputera”. Skripsi Sarjana Ilmu Komunihasi. FISIP, Universitas Indonesia, 1986.Google Scholar
  16. Suryadinata, Leo. China and the ASEAN States: The Ethnic Chinese Dimension. Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1985.Google Scholar
  17. Tan, Mely G. “The Role of Ethnic Chinese Minority in Development: The Indonesian Case”. Southeast Asian Studies (Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan) 25, no. 3 (December 1987): 63–82.Google Scholar
  18. Tan, Mely G. “The Social and Cultural Dimensions of the Role of Ethnic Chinese in Indonesian Society”. Indonesia (1991), pp. 113–27.Google Scholar
  19. Tan, Mely G. “The Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia: Issues and Implications”. In Southeast Asian Chinese. The Socio-cultural Dimension, edited by Leo Suryadinata, pp. 13–28. Singapore: Times Academic Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  20. Toer, Pramoedya Ananta and Stanley Adi Prasetyo, eds. Memoar Oei Tjoe Tat. Pembantu Presiden. Jakarta: Hasta Mitra, 1995.Google Scholar
  21. Wang Gungwu. China and the Chinese Overseas. Singapore: Times Academic Press, 1991.Google Scholar
  22. Wang Gungwu. “The Study of Chinese Identities in Southeast Asia”. In Cushman and Wang, eds., op. cit., pp. 1–23.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mely G. Tan
  • A. Dahana

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations