The Rangoon Vice
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This chapter starts with sensational stories on Chinese opium smoking, gambling, and gang fights among rival secret societies, which were a staple in Rangoon’s English newspapers as well as colonial police reports. From time to time, public debates on Chinese opium consumption, Chinese shopkeepers’ negative influence on the morality of the rural Burmese youth, or deportation of undesirable foreigners promoting dangerous ideologies appeared, sometimes followed by hot debate, in the colony’s public spaces. However, eventually, it was the Indian moneylenders who were identified as the public enemy in the anti-colonial movements, and the Indian workers who became the target of inter-racial riots in the 1930s. Li rationalizes this seemly unreasonable situation and interrogates the very nature of “Chinese vice” and “Indian dacoity” in a pan-Empire context.