Chinese in the Pacific: a bibliography

Recently some people on the Anthropology of Oceania listserv that I subscribe to compiled a bibliography of work on the Chinese diaspora in the Pacific. It turns out that we had had this conversation before, but because our archives are so difficult to search we ended up having it again. Since I thought such a list might be interesting for SM readers I am including the bibliography here below the fold — there’s some interesting stuff in there!

Thanks to Rene van der Haar for compiling the bibliography and to everyone who contributed to it: John Barker, Niko Besnier, Neriko Doerr, Haidy Geismar, Alex Golub, Jamon Halvaksz, Paul Heikkila, Robin Hide, Stuart Kirsch, Larry Lake, Lamont Lindstrom, Jacob Love, Margaret Mackenzie, Moana Matthes, Nancy Pollock, Christine Stewart, Jaap Timmer, and Matori Yamamoto.

Some fancy formatting may have gotten lost through my cutting and pasting. Deal.

The Chinese in the Pacific: A Bibliography

Ali, Bessie Ng Kumlin. (2002). Chinese in Fiji. Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific

Burns, Margarete E. (2000). Of Tongues and Temporalities: Notes towards an Understanding of the Recent Past in French Polynesia. The Journal of Pacific History, 35(2), 181-193.

Cahill, Peter. (1973). Chinese Coolies in Kaiser Wilhelmsland. Port Moresby. Unpublished paper.

Cahill, Peter. (1996). Chinese in Rabaul – 1921 to 1942: Normal Practices, or Containing the Yellow Peril? The Journal of Pacific History, 31(1), 72-91.

Char, Tin-Yuke (Ed.). (1975). The Sandalwood Mountains: Readings and Stories of the Eearly Chinese in Hawaii. Honolulu: University Press of Hawai’i.

Chinese Overseas Collection. (2005). A Comprehensive Bibliography of ‘Overseas Chinese Studies’. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong. Retrieved December 15, 2005, from the World Wide Web: and

Coppenrath, Gerald. (1967). Les Chinois de Tahiti, de l’aversion a l’assimilation, 1865-1966. Paris: Musée de l’Homme.

Creasy, Annette Louise.(1969). Aspects of the Historical Geography of Western New Guinea Leading toward Urbanization of Settlements. MA thesis, University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Shao You-Bao Overseas Chinese Documentation and Research Center. (2005). Database for Publications on Overseas Chinese. Athens: Ohio University. Retrieved December 16, 2005. From the World Wide Web:

Elliss, James Daniel. (1955). Some Problems Concerning the Chinese in Oceania. MA thesis, School of Economics and Political Science, London.

Fer, Yannick. (2005). The Growth of Pentecostalism in French Polynesia: A Hakka History, Migration, Cultural Identity and Christianity. China Perspectives, (57) (January-February): 50-57

Firth, Stewart. (1977). Governors versus Settlers: The Dispute over Chinese Labour in German Samoa. New Zealand Journal of History, 11(2): 155-179.

Firth, Stewart. 1989. Labour in German New Guinea. In: S. Latukefu (Ed.), Papua New Guinea: A Century of Colonial Impact 1884-1984 (pp. 179-202). Port Moresby: National Research Institute and University of Papua New Guinea.

Fong, Alison. (1974). A Chinese Community in Fiji. Suva: South Pacific Social Science Association in association with United Nations Development Programme.

Fry, Gregory E. (1981). Regionalism and International Politics of the South Pacific. Pacific Affairs, 54(3): 455-484.

Glick, Clarence E. (1980). Sojourners and Settlers: Chinese Migrants in Hawaii. Honolulu: University Press of Hawai’i.

Great Britain. Colonial Office, New Zealand. Governor-General, 1912-1920 (Earl of Liverpool). (1920). Correspondence with the government of New Zealand relating to Chinese labour in Samoa, His Majesty’s Stationery Office, London.

Greif, Stuart William. (1975). Political attitudes of the overseas Chinese in Fiji. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Greif, Stuart William. (1977). The Overseas Chinese in Fiji. Taipei: College of Chinese Culture.

Handy, E.S. Craighill. (1932). The Insular Pacific: Ethnic Fugue and Counterpoint. Pacific Affairs, 5(6): 487-496.

Hayden, D.R. (1965). Chinese Indentured Labour in Western Samoa, 1900-1950. Wellington: Government Printing Office.

Henderson, John and Benjamin Reilly. (2003).Dragon in Paradise: China’s Rising Star in Oceania, The National Interest, (72), (Summer): 94-104. Retrieved December 15, 2005, from the World Wide Web:

Inglis, Christine. (1972). Chinese. In: Peter Ryan (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of Papua and New Guinea (pp. 170-174). Carlton: Melbourne University Press.

Inglis, Christine. (1977). Social Structure and Patterns of Economic Action: The Chinese in Papua New Guinea. PhD thesis, School of Economic and Political Science, London.

Inglis, Christine. (1991). Women and Trade: A Chinese Example from Papua New Guinea. In: Hugh D.R. Baker and Stephan Feuchtwang (Ed.), An Old State in New Settings. Studies in the Social Anthropology of China in Memory of Maurice Freedman (pp. 44-69). Oxford: Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford.

Inglis, Christine. 1997. The Chinese of Papua New Guinea: From Settlers to Sojourners. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 6(3-4), 317-341.

Ip, Manying. (1995). Chinese New Zealanders: Old Settlers and New Immigrants. In: Stuart W. Grief (Ed.), Immigration and National Identity in New Zealand: One People, Two Peoples, Many Peoples? (pp. 161-199). Palmerston North: Dunmore Press.

Ip, Manying. (1998). The legal and Politicsl Status of Chinese New Zealanders: Implications of the Treaty of Waitangi. In: Wang Ling-chi and Wang Gungwu (Ed.), The Chinese Diaspora: Selected Essays, Volume 2 (pp. 217-230). Singapore: Times Academic Press.

Iwamoto, H. (1996). The Impact of World War I on Japanese Settlers in Papua New Guinea, 1914-1918. South Pacific Study, 16(2), 143-174. [Includes some material on Chinese.]

Jennings, Margaret A. (1981). Aunt Pearl’s Story. Suva.

King, John. (2005). The creation of a ‘recalcitrant minority’: a case study of the Chinese New Guinea wartime refugees. Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 91(1), 48-57.

Kumekawa, Eugene Seiichi. (1988). Person, Group, and Context: The Foundation of Ethnic Identity among the Chinese in Fiji. PhD thesis, University opf California, Sandiego.

Kumekawa, Eugene Seiichi. (1989). Change versus Continuity: Examining the Chinese Community in Fiji. Paper presented at the First Conference on Overseas Chinese, Hilo, Hawaii.

Kwan, Josephine Loo. 1972. Conflict and Conflict Resolution among Suva Chinese. Suva.

Lai, Violet L., & Lai, Kum Pui (1985). He Was a Ram: Wong Aloiau of Hawaii. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Reviews: American Ethnologist, 13(4), 1986: 816-817 (by G.E. Johnson).

Laracy, Hugh. (1974). Unwelcome Guests: The Solomons’ Chinese. New Guinea and Australia, the Pacific and South-East Asia, 8(4), 27-37.

Lee, K. W. F. (1990). The Coming of the Chinese: The Early Immigrant Community in Hawaii. PhD thesis, University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Ling, C. (Ed.). (2002). Plantings in a New Land. Brisbane: Society of Chinese Australian Academics of Queensland.

Liua’anu, Ben Featuna’i. (1997). Dragons in Little Paradise: Chinese (Mis-)fortunes in Samoa, 1900-1950. The Journal of Pacific History, 32(1), 29-48.

Lyon, Edward. C. (1975). The Anti-Chinese Movement in the Hawaiian Kingdom, 1852-1856. San Francisco: R. and E. Research Associates.

Mar, Richard. (2001). Autobiography of Richard Mar, Fiji.

Meyerhoff, Miriam. (2002). A Vanishing Act: Tonkinese Migrant Labour in Vanuatu in the Early 20th Century. The Journal of Pacific History, 37(1), 45-66.

Nelson, Hank. (2004). Rabaul. In B. V. Lal (Ed.), Pacific Places, Pacific Histories: Essays in Honor of Robert C. Kiste (pp. 153-176). Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Penington, Alan H., The Road to Understanding. Suva: School of Social and Economic Development, University of the South Pacific.

Rakoto, Aporosa. (1972). The Fijian Welcoming Ceremony. Student essay, School of Social and Economic Development, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Shankman, Paul. (2004). South Seas Confidential: The Politics of Interethnic Relationships in Colonial Samoa. In V. S. Lockwood (Ed.), Globalization and Culture Change in the Pacific Islands (pp. 377-389). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Stillman, Amy Ku’uleialoha. (1998). Musical Migrations: Chinese in Oceania. In: Adrienne L. Kaeppler and Jacob Wainwright Love (Ed.), The Garland Ecyclopedia of World Music, Volume 9: Australia and the Pacific Islands (pp. 96-97). New York: Garland Publishing.

Sinclair, J. (1998). Golden Gateway: Lae and the Province of Morobe. Bathurst: Crawford Publishing. [Includes some material on the Chinese community in Lae.]

Sui-lan, Huang. (1972). The Making of a Fiji Chinese. Student essay, School of Social and Economic Development, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Tom, Nancy Y. W. (1986). The Chinese in Western Samoa, 1875-1985: The Dragon Came from Afar. Apia: Western Samoa Historical and Cultural Trust. Reviews: The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 98(4), 1989: 482-483 (by M. Meleisea); Pacific Studies, 14(2), 1991: 189-190 (by D. Munro).

T’sou, B.K. (n.d.). Distribution of Varieties of Chinese in the Greater Pacific Area.

Willmot, Bill. (1995). Origins of the Chinese in the South Pacific. In: P. Mcgregor (Ed.), Histories of the Chinese in Australasia and the South Pacific (pp. 129-140). Melbourne: Museum of Chinese Australian History.

Willmot, Bill. (1996). Economic Role and Cultural Identity of Chinese in Pacific Island Countries. In: Xiao Xiaoqin and Li Dingguo (Ed.), Studies of Ethnic Chinese Economy (pp. 504-511). Shantou: Shantou University Press.

Willmot, Bill. (1996). Problems in the Historical Study of the Chinese in Fiji.

Willmot, Bill. (1998). Chinese Community in Fiji and Tahiti. In: Zhuang Guotu (Ed.), Ethnic Chinese at the Turn of the Century, Volume 2 (pp. 291-310). Xiamen: Fujian Provincial People’s Publishing House.

Willmot, Bill. (1998). The South Pacific: Fiji, Nauru, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Vanuatu, Western Samoa. In: Lynn Pan (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of the Chinese Overseas (pp. 292-296, 299-303). Singapore: Archipelago Press and Landmark Books for the Chinese Heritage Centre.

Willmot, Bill. (1999). Early History of the Chinese in Vanuatu 1844-1944. In: Brian Moloughney and Jim Ng (Ed.), Chinese in Australasia and the Pacific: Old and New Migrations and Cultural Change, Proceedings of New Zealand Conference of the Association for the Study of Chinese and their Descendants in Australasia and the Pacific Islands, Department of History, University of Otago, Dunedin, 20-21 November 1998 (pp. 241-249). Dunedin: Association for the Study of Chinese and their Descendants in Australasia and the Pacific Islands (ASCADAPI). Retrieved December 15, 2005, from the World Wide Web:

Willmot, Bill. (2005). A History of the Chinese Communities in Eastern Melanesia: Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia. Christchuch: Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury. Working Paper 12.

Wilson, Margaret. (1987-88). A History of the Chinese Business Community in Papua New Guinea. Research in Melanesia, 11/12: 26-33.

Wilson, Margaret. (1989). The Generous Face: Concepts of Personhood and Trade among the Papua New Guinea Chinese. PhD thesis, School of Economics and Political Science, London.

Wilson, Margaret. (1989). The Trader’s Voice: PNG-born Chinese Business and the 1987 Elections. In: Michael Oliver (Ed.), Eleksin: The 1987 National Election in Papua New Guinea (pp. 99-108). Port Moresby: University of Papua New Guinea.

Wong, Judy A. (1963). The Distribution and Role of the Chinese in Fiji: A Geographical Study of an Immigrant Group in the Plural Society of Fiji. Sydney: Univeristy of Sydney.

Wood, M. 1995. ‘White Skins’, ‘Real People’ and Chinese in Some Spatial Transformations of the Western Province, PNG. Oceania, 66(1), 23-50.

Wu, Ching-ch’ao. (1974). Chinese Immigration in the Pacific Area: A Dissertation, the University of Chicago, 1926. San Francisco: R. and E. Research Associates.

Wu, David Y.H. (1974). An Immigrant Minority: The Adaptation of Chinese in Papua New Guinea. PhD thesis, Australian National University, Canberra.

Wu, David Y.H. (1974). To Kill Three Birds with One Stone: The Rotating Credit Associations of the Papua New Guinea Chinese. American Ethnologist, 1(3), 565-584.

Wu, David Yeh-ho. (1975). Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurship and Kinship Transformation: An Example from Papua New Guinea. Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, (39) (September): 85-105. [Taipei.]

Wu, David Y.H. (1977). Ethnicity and Adaptation: Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurship in Papua New Guinea. Southeast Asian Journal of Social Sciences, 5: 85-95.

Wu, David Y.H. (1977). Intrusive Languages Other than English: Chinese. In: S.A. Wurm (Ed.), Language, Culture, Society and the Modern World, Volume 2: New Guinea Area (pp. 1047-1055). Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.

Wu, David Y.H. (1978). The Chinese in New Guinea. In Karen Ann Watson-Geheo and S. Lee Seaton (Ed.), Adaptation in Symbolism: Essays on Social Organization Presented to Sir Raymond Firth by His Students in the United States and Canada, 1968-1974 (pp. 101-123). Honolulu: University Press of Hawai’i.

Wu, David Y.H. (1982). The Chinese in Papua New Guines, 1880-1980. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press. Reviews Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 15(1), 1984: 201-203 (by R.U. Moench); Journal of Asian Studies, 43(3), 1984: 612-613 (by J.T. Omohundro); Pacific Affairs, 56(3), 1983: 599-601 (by L. Suryadinata).

Yee, Sin Joan. (1974). The Chinese in the Pacific. Suva: South Pacific Social Sciences Association in association with the United Nations Development Programme. UNESCO Curriculum Development Project.


Alex Golub is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His book Leviathans at The Gold Mine has been published by Duke University Press. You can contact him at

4 thoughts on “Chinese in the Pacific: a bibliography

  1. It would be nice if there was a website that was organized like Google Directory specializing in academic bibliographies like the one you just posted. (Hopefully, this is the part where someone points out that a site like this already exists and provides a link.)

  2. Chinese Community in Fiji recently celebrated a historically flawed 150th anniversary; based on the account of a single Chinese sailor.

    Dixon Seeto, President of Fiji Chineses Association claims that incident occured. Click to read article.

    I have yet to come across, any pieces of colloborating evidence in the form of log books, or mentions by any other vessel in Fiji at the time. Circa 1840-1850.

    Dixon Seeto claims the vessel berthed in Levuka. Why was such a maritime feat be recorded for prosperity by any of the Levuka residents who themselves were accomplished mariners?

    It is way beyond comprehension for me to imagine; how a seaman could single handedly Captain a vessel in Fiji’s reef infested waters; at the height of the Cannibal Wars.

    This argurement of Chinese preceeding Indian migrants must be
    scruntinzed futher and verified with science. In the absence of clear evidence, this 150th year claim by the Fiji Chinese Community is no more accurate, than any other legend.

    Can anyone enlighten me?

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