China’s rise, restructured relations, and transforming religious networks between Minnan and Southeast Asia
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The resurgence of religious activity in reform-era South Fujian (Minnan), China, has been greatly advanced by its various transnational networks. Since the late 1990s, however, in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis, the situation has changed. A number of overseas Chinese of Minnan origin went bankrupt, and were consequently forced to stop their financial contributions to religious recovery in their homeland. However, China’s economy was not greatly scathed; it continued to develop, and Minnan has become one of China’s most economically prosperous regions. This considerable change in economic situation has substantially reshaped transnational ties and geopolitics.
Given the transforming economic and political conditions, any investigation of transnational religious networks requires dynamic and comparative perspectives. This research treats the religious networks as a dynamic process that has been reshaped by China’s rise, and the consequently restructured relations between Chinese communities in Southeast Asia and Minnan, as well as examining the effect of generational difference.