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Brothers and Sisters from Afar: Understanding China’s Islamic Diplomacy and its Muslim Minorities in the Southeast Asian Context by Dr Yang Yang
June 24, 2021 - 10:00
This talk examines China’s recent Belt and Road Initiative (the BRI) and their implications to China’s Muslim community and Muslim-majority countries along the routes of the new Silk Road. China engages the cultural imaginaries of the Silk Road in the official narratives, especially the Arab and Persian merchants and adventurers and their long journey across deserted land to China. The Muslim travelers’ admiration of the Chinese civilization and the Chinese empire’s inclusive attitude towards them made some of them to settle in China and became integrated in the local society. In contrast, China’s Muslim minorities, often portrayed as descendants of these early Muslim travelers on the Silk Road, do not share similar experiences.