The Ethnic Chinese in Myanmar and their Identity

  • Mya Than
  • Khin Maung Kyi


The purpose of this study is to explore and analyse the ethnic Chinese in Myanmar and their identity in terms of their attitudes towards the nation-state and their relationships with the indigenous people and with China. As the Chinese immigrated into Myanmar in several waves, their concepts of nation-state and their identity probably changed from time to time, or wave to wave. There are many reasons for overseas Chinese migration. Some immigrated for political/security reasons (such as civil wars or political oppression; for example, the panthay rebellion in 1873), some for economic or commercial reasons (business and employment opportunities, famines, for geographical reasons and for easier communication), while others were for social reasons (overpopulation in their home countries, racial and cultural affinities, connection with host countries, stimulus of pioneers in their home towns, and development of migration agencies) (for details, see Hicks 1995, chapter 2).


Foreign Direct Investment Southeast Asian Country Chinese Community Chinese Business Chinese School 
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© Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mya Than
  • Khin Maung Kyi

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