Inalienable Narration: The Nanzhao History between Thailand and China

Posted: 21 Jan 2011

See all articles by Yongjia Liang

Yongjia Liang

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Asia Research Institute

Date Written: January 20, 2011

Abstract

This chapter revisits the 'The Nanzhao as a Tai Kingdom' argument, and examines the Chinese scholars' refutation in the 1980s in the light of Chinese narration of the Nanzhao history. It argues that the 'Nanzhao as a Tai Kingdom' argument should not be understood in terms of nationalist contestation, but in the role that history plays in China's nation-building. The Nanzhao Kingdom has to be represented by Chinese historians as the peripheral people loyal to Chinese civilisational centre and are longing for national unity. Therefore, writing Nanzhao history is like presenting an inalienable possession: it is a giving-while-keeping gift intended to sustain the hierarchical scheme of the centricity of China's empire as a civilisation.

Keywords: Nanzhao, Thailand, civilisation, empire, inalienable gift

Suggested Citation

Liang, Yongjia, Inalienable Narration: The Nanzhao History between Thailand and China (January 20, 2011). Asia Research Institute Working Paper No. 148, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1743933 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1743933

Yongjia Liang (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Asia Research Institute ( email )

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