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On China studies in Peru
 

On China studies in Peru

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As one of the countries with the longest histories of Chinese immigration and with the largest Chinese community in Latin America, Chinese studies in Peru focused mainly in the history and the role of ...

As one of the countries with the longest histories of Chinese immigration and with the largest Chinese community in Latin America, Chinese studies in Peru focused mainly in the history and the role of Chinese immigrants in Peru. But as China economic presence grows and as it became in the year 2011 the biggest export market for Peru now the focus is in the economic relationship and the influence China has in the economy. On the other hand, as the establishment in Peru of several Confucius Institutes in some Universities shows, there is a strong interest in learning Chinese language and Chinese culture, to understand better the economic giant, and from people who want to learn the tools to do business with China.

In the present article first a brief introduction to the relationship between Peru and China is presented, then a history of Chinese studies in Peru is given, in the third part a presentation of some actual research on China is given, in the fourth part some recent initiatives on China studies is presented and in the Conclusions I will try to foresee in which directions these studies will develop.

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    On China studies in Peru On China studies in Peru Document Transcript

    • On China studies in Peru Carlos Aquino Rodriguez* As one of the countries with the longest histories of Chinese immigration and with the largest Chinese community in Latin America, Chinese studies in Peru focused mainly in the history and the role of Chinese immigrants in Peru. But as China economic presence grows and as it became in the year 2011 the biggest export market for Peru now the focus is in the economic relationship and the influence China has in the economy. On the other hand, as the establishment in Peru of several Confucius Institutes in some Universities shows, there is a strong interest in learning Chinese language and Chinese culture, to understand better the economic giant, and from people who want to learn the tools to do business with China. In the present article first a brief introduction to the relationship between Peru and China is presented, then a history of Chinese studies in Peru is given, in the third part a presentation of some actual research on China is given, in the fourth part some recent initiatives on China studies is presented and in the Conclusions I will try to foresee in which directions these studies will develop. I. Introduction.- Peru and China relations are one of the oldest in Latin America. The first contact between these two countries began in 1849, when Chinese immigrants began coming to Peru. From that year up to 1872 around 100,000 of them came to Peru, mostly from the southern part of China, in present day Guangdong province. At that time Peru needed labor force to work mainly in the sugar cane and cotton plantations along its coast line (and later in the extraction of guano and the construction of the Central Railroad of Peru). There was scarcity of labor because the laborers working in the plantations, mainly black people brought before as slaves by the Spaniards from the XVI century, were given freedom in 1845 (abolition of slavery) and most of them left the fields for the cities. Peru became the first country in Latin America to receive Chinese immigration in a large scale. China was opened by force by England in 1840 after the Opium War and some of its people began leaving the country. But Chinese immigration to Peru came to a sudden halt for an incident in one of the ships carrying them to Peru. In 1872 the Peruvian ship “Maria Luz”, during a stop in the port of Yokohama, Japan, suffered the desertion of one Chinese on board. He escaped throwing himself into the sea, where he was rescued by the crew of a British warship in the port. He complained of mistreatment in the Peruvian ship. In fact, in the long journey from China to Peru, conditions of the 1
    • travel were so harsh that sometimes more than one third of the human cargo died in the way1. After the British captain of the warship complained to Japanese authorities, they ordered the Peruvian ship to return the laborers to China. After that the Qing Imperial Government forbade Chinese immigration to Peru. Because of this incident China and Peru began negotiations to have official contacts, and in 1874 diplomatic links were established. After a hiatus, on November 2th 1971 diplomatic relations between China and Peru were established again. That way Peru became one of the first countries in Latin America to establish diplomatic relationship with the now People`s Republic of China. From 1990s onward again more Chinese have immigrated to Peru. Peru now is home to the largest Chinese community in Latin America. During the 1990s economic relations began to increase. In 1993 the amount of Peruvian exports to China was only of 140 million dollars, but in 2003 they reached 676 million dollars. In the same period imports from China increased from 90 million dollars to 646 million dollars. Peru became in 1998 a member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, APEC, joining China and other Asian economies in this important organization and making possible closer relations between the two countries. In 2009 a Free Trade Area agreement was signed between them and entered into effect the following year. In 2011 China became the largest trade partner of Peru. Exports to China reached 6,961 million dollars and imports were 6,321 million dollars that year. In the year 2012 trade with China keep increasing (even if Peru exports to the world did not increase) and exports to that country amounted to 7,692 million dollars with imports valued at 7,795 million dollars. That year 17% of the total exports of Peru went to China. Political relations between Peru and China are quite strong and there have been several visits at the highest levels between them. In April 1991 Alberto Fujimori became the first Peruvian President to visit China and he went a total of 4 times during his ten year government. In October 1995 Li Peng, China Prime Minister at that time, did a state visit to Peru, becoming the first Chinese chief of state to visit Peru. 1 Fernando de Trazegnies: “En el pais de las colinas de arenas” (in the country of the sand hills), published by the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, 1995. There is a Chinese translation of the book, done in the year 1999 in Beijing. 2
    • In June 2005 Alejandro Toledo, President of Peru paid a state visit to China. In the year 2008 when Peru was host to APEC Leaders Meeting, President Hu Jintao visited Peru. Peru´s President Ollanta Humala went to China on April 2013 for a state visit where he was received by President Xi Jinping, becoming one of the first foreign dignitaries that met the new Chinese leader. Besides these visits, Peru and China Leaders have met several times during the APEC Leaders Meetings in other countries. II. The history of China Studies in Peru.- The most studied subject on China studies in the country is about Chinese immigration to Peru. As is well know Peru was one of the first countries in Latin America to receive immigrants from China in a large scale and now has the largest Chinese community in the region. It is said that between 5% and 10% of Peru population is of Chinese origin but many of them have no Chinese surnames and no Chinese physical characteristics. What happened is that there have been a lot of intermarriage of Chinese with Peruvians and so the surnames and the Chinese physical characteristics have been lost. It is interesting to notice that the Chinese laborers who came to Peru during the XIX century were all men, and no Chinese women came during most of that period. As a result Chinese immigrants have to get married to local women. Also it should be noted that because of the harsh conditions in the fields where Chinese laborers had to work at the beginning, some of them fled and went to places far away to avoid being prosecuted. Some of them changed their surnames to avoid been caught by authorities. And additionally, as some of them settled in small towns, when they registered to the local authorities, and especially when they had their children, at the moment of registering their surnames local authorities often misspelled their names and surnames and in the documents, certificates of birth, and of marriage, their names and surnames become different from the original ones2. One of the first and most prolific authors on the theme of Chinese immigration to Peru is Humberto Rodriguez Pastor. In fact he is a pioneer in the study of the subject. His books includes “Hijos del Celeste Imperio en el Perú (1850 - 1900). Migración, agricultura, mentalidad y explotación” (Sons of the Celestial Empire in Peru (1850-1900). Migration, agriculture, mentality and exploitation), published in 1989 by the Instituto de Apoyo Agrario. He has also published “Herederos del 2 I have seen also by myself the misspelling of names and surnames in the case of Japanese who settled in Peru. I am the official translator of the Japanese language in Peru and one of my jobs is to “correct” the misspelling of the names. 3
    • Dragón” (Heirs of the Dragon) in 2000 by the Fondo Editorial del Congreso del Perú. Fernando De Trazegnies Granda published in 1994 “En el país de las colinas de arena: reflexiones sobre la inmigración china en el Perú del S. XIX desde la perspectiva del derecho” (In the country of the hills of sand: reflections on Chinese immigration in the nineteenth century in Peru from the perspective of law), by the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. There is a translation into Chinese language of this book3. This is one of the most interesting books on the history of Chinese immigration to Peru and tells all the vicissitudes that they have to face to came and to live in Peru. Also Isabelle Lausent-Herrera has written several books and continues doing research in the theme of Chinese immigration to Peru. She published in 1992 the book “La cristianización de los chinos en el Perú: integración, sumisión y resistencia” (The Christianization of the Chinese in Peru: integration, submission and resistance) by the Institut Français d’Etudes Andines. She recently published an interesting article about the Chinese arriving to Peru in the last two decades and their influence in the Chinatown in Lima, capital of Peru4. Chinese immigrants influence in Peru is well known in several subjects and for example one strong is in Peruvian food. Here Chinese restaurants are called CHIFA. This word is said to be a degeneration of the Chinese word “chifan” (吃饭). In Peru we eat a lot of “chaofan” ”( 炒饭) and here it is called “chaufa” or “arroz chaufa”, “arroz” meaning rice in Spanish. But in Peru chaofan is different from the fried rice or chaofan eaten in China because Peruvian Chinese restaurants or CHIFA put everything in it when they prepare “arroz chaufa”, not only fried egg, but several kind of vegetables, chicken, and even other kinds of meat. CHIFA restaurants are numerous in Peru and popular because the food there is cheap, delicious, abundant, and CHIFA are open to business most of the times. Chaofan is also one of the most popular dishes eaten in Peru. There are books that describe the influence of Chinese food in Peruvian cuisine, like the use of the soy sauce, in Peru called “siyau” (豉油), or the use of the wok (镬); the versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel originating in the Canton region of China. In Peru some Chinese words are pronounced the Cantonese way because most of the Chinese immigrants who came to Peru in the 19th century came from that region, or Guangzhou (广州). 3 Fernando De Trazegnies Granda was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru and during a visit to China in March of the year 2000, while he was Minister, he presented his book, translated into Chinese in Beijing University. See “DE TRAZEGNIES SE REUNIO CON VICEPRESIDENTE DE REP. POPULAR CHINA” http://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/computing/gopher-archive/gopher.rcp.net.pe/noticias/andina/2000/marzo/31 4 “The Chinatown in Peru and the Changing Peruvian Chinese community(ies)” in Journal of Chinese Overseas, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2011, pages 69 to 113, http://halshs.archivesouvertes.fr/docs/00/59/81/55/PDF/JCO_007_01_05-Lausent-Herrera.pdf 4
    • Another consequence of the Chinese presence in Peru is that rice is the main staple food in Peru. Peruvians eat rice at least twice per day, at lunch and dinner time. It is the country in South America that consumes more rice than others. Being Peru the country that gave to the world the potato and corn this is a very interesting phenomenon. A well know book on Chinese food in Peru or CHIFA is the one by Mariella Balbi, a journalist, titled “Los chifas en el Peru –Historia y recetas-” (“The CHIFA in Peru History and receipts-“) published in 1999 by the Universidad de San Martin de Porres5. This book was translated in to Chinese and presented in Bejing in November this year6. As said Chinese food is very popular in Peru. For example in a survey made in Lima o December 2013 it was found that the menu consisting of wantan (wonton) soup and chaofan made of chicken is the third most eaten7. . III. Current research on China Studies and institutions/research centers on China Studies.The “Centro de Estudios Orientales” or Center of Oriental Studies8 of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru is the oldest Center where some courses are given and has or published about Asia and China. Created in 1987 it began its activities the following year. It regularly gave lessons on Chinese language until the year 2009, when a Instituto Confucio (Confucius Institute) began activities at the same University and now Chinese language lessons are given there. Currently the Centro de Estudios Orientales teach the following courses about China: Introduction to Chinese Literature, Culture History of China, and Introduction to Chinese Religions9. One of the professors teaching there is Guillermo Dañino Ribatto, who gives the Seminar on Introduction to Chinese Literature. He is one of the most prolific authors about Chinese culture and literature in Peru. He wrote for example the book “Esculpiendo Dragones: Antologia de la Literatura China” (Carving Dragons: Anthology of Chinese Literature) published by the Centro de Estudios Orientales in 1996, where he introduced to the Peruvian public many Chinese poems and 5 See Web site of the University, in publications year 1999, “Los Chifas en el Peru”. http://www.fcctp.usmp.edu.pe/facultad/libros-y-otras-publicaciones 6 Se in the web site of China Hoy: “Se presenta el libro Los chifas en el Perú, historia y recetas en Beijing”: http://www.chinatoday.mx/cul/Gastro/content/2013-11/26/content_580058.htm 7 Gestion newspaper, December 17th 2013, page 3: http://gestion.peruquiosco.pe/m/a/20131217/3 8 http://ceo.pucp.edu.pe/. I used to teach here a “Seminar on East Asian Economies” from 1996 to 2009, but from the year 2011 I teach this subject in Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in the Faculty of Economics. 9 See the list of subjects being teached at the Center of Oriental Studies. http://ceo.pucp.edu.pe/seminarios.htm 5
    • translated them into Spanish. Other of his books is “Manantial de Vino. Poemas of Li Tai Po” (Fountain of wine: Poems by Li Tai Po), published in 1998 also by the Centro de Estudios Orientales, a book where he presented and translated the poems of the great Chinese poet Li Bai (Li Po). Guillermo Dañino spent many years in China and probably is the Peruvian scholar who knows best Chinese culture and has the most knowledge of the Chinese language10. There are Confucius Institutes created in the past years with the support of the Chinese governments. At present there are four, two in Lima, the capital, one in the north and other in the south of Peru. In Lima one is in the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru11, and the other is in the Universidad Ricardo Palma12. In the north of Peru in the city of Piura there is a Confucius Institute in the Universidad de Piura13 created in the year 2007. In the south of Peru, in the city of Arequipa, there is another Confucius Institute in the Universidad Catolica de Santa Maria 14. These institutes mainly teach the Chinese language and also organize events to promote Chinese culture. This is a very interesting phenomenon because it means that in Peru there are four Confucius Institutes, the largest number in Latin America after Mexico. It shows an increasing interest in China and Chinese language in Peru. In the year 2012 the Universidad Alas Peruanas and the Fundacion de Amistad Peruano China signed an agreement to create an Instituto de Estudios Chinos (Institute of China Studies)15 but so far there have been no news about this initiative. Recently, at the end of year 2012, it has been created a Centro de Estudios Peru China (Center of Studies Peru China) in the Universidad del Pacifico in Lima. IV. Themes on China Studies by Peruvian scholars and professors and an introduction about my own research.- In the last years as China economic presence in Peru and in the Latin America region increases the focus of studies on China is mainly in the economic aspect of the China presence in Peru and in the region. 10 See his profile in Wikipedia: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillermo_Da%C3%B1ino_Ribatto The Confucius Institute here has a cooperative agreement with the Shanghai International Studies University. http://confucio.pucp.edu.pe/ 12 http://www.urp.edu.pe/iconfucio/presentacion.html 13 The Confucius Institute here has a cooperative agreement with the Beijing Normal University. http://www.confucio.udep.edu.pe/ 14 The Confucius Institute here has a cooperative agreement with the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. http://www.ucsm.edu.pe/ 15 According to the Facebook page of the Fundacion de Amistad Peruano China. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.371813849540460.97709.321181571270355&type=1 11 6
    • For example in the year 2009 two authors, Cynthia Sanborn and Victor Torres published a book with the title “La economia china y las industrias extractivas: desafios para el Peru” (The Chinese Economy and the Extractive Industries: Challenges for Peru), by the Universidad del Pacifico and Cooperaccion16. The book is mainly about Chinese investment in the mining sector in Peru. In November of the year 2011 two authors, Ruben Tang and Luis GarciaCorrochano presented a book titled “Politica Exterior Peruana: Las Relaciones entre el Peru y China”17 (Peruvian Foreign Policy: Relations between Peru and China), published by the Instituto de Estudios Internacionales y el Instituto Confucio of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. The book gives a review of the relations between Peru and China even from before the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1874. In the second half of the year 2012 the Universidad del Pacifico published a special number of its magazine “Apuntes” dedicated to relations between China and Latin America. The magazine Apuntes No. 71 has as title: “Relaciones Comerciales y Politicas entre China y Latinoamerica”18 (Trade and Political Relations between China and Latin America). The articles are from authors from others countries in the America region. In October of the year 2012 a book compiled by Richard Chuhue, Li Jing Na, and Antonio Coello, with the title “La Inmigracion China al Peru: Arquelogia, Historia y Sociedad”19 (The Chinese Immigration to Peru: Archeology, History and Society) come to light. It is an interesting book published by the Confucius Institute of the Universidad Ricardo Palma and is 540 pages long because it put together the papers presented in a Conference about the Chinese in Peru that took place one year before. The book covers the presentations by nearly 30 scholars on a wide range of fields, from the research of the life of a Chinese immigrant in the 19th century, to the Chinese theater in Lima, and to the study of the consumption of chaofan in Peru (a list of themes covered by the book can be seen in the link to the index of the book in footnote 17 below). Now regarding my own research, since coming back to Peru in 1993 after doing postgraduate studies in Japan I have been dedicated to teaching and writing about the economic development of China and of the East Asian region. I have published many articles on those subjects and even books. In the year 2000 I wrote a book titled “Introduccion a la Economia Asiatica” (Introduction to the Asian Economy) 16 http://www.cooperaccion.org.pe/item/1-la-economia-china-y-las-industrias-extractivas-desafios-para-elperu.html 17 The book was launched on occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of modern diplomatic relations between Peru and China. https://www.facebook.com/notes/instituto-confucio-pucp/libropol%C3%ADtica-exterior-peruana-las-relaciones-entre-el-per%C3%BA-y-la-china-deventa/277119585664297 18 Of the articles in the magazine only one of them refers to Peru, about the Free Trade Area agreement signed between Peru and China. https://www.up.edu.pe/revista_apuntes/SitePages/tabla_contenido.aspx?idsec=Revista%20Apuntes%2071 19 http://summahistoriae.blogspot.com/2012/11/presentacion-del-libro-la-inmigracion.html 7
    • published by Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos20. In this book several chapters are dedicated to the analysis of the development of the Chinese economy. Regarding my articles, for example I have wrote in the University Faculty of Economics magazine “Pensamiento Critico” No. 14 of the year 2010 about relations between China and Japan, and in the “Pensamiento Critico” No. 15 of year 2011 about China in the world economy and what it means for Peru21. Also I write in some newspapers and magazines in Peru and abroad, and have contributed with some articles even to China Daily for example22. Also I give Conferences about Chinese economy as the one I gave in September last year 2012 in the “Economist Association of Lima”23. Besides I often give interviews to several mass media in Peru and abroad about Asia and Chinese economy24. I teach in the Faculty of Economics of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and I have a “Seminar on Asian Economies” where I talk about the economic development of China and other Asian countries. As far as I know it is the only University in Peru where a subject like this is being teached and this is already incorporated as part of the Syllabus of the Economics Department. In another aspect, it is interesting to notice that the Peruvian government has begun giving scholarships for studying in China. CONCYTEC, the official institution for science and technology is offering financing for studies of Master, Doctor Course, special training, and Chinese language in Chinese Universities25. One of my students has got one of these scholarships and will be going to China in September this year to do a Doctoral course in a University in Beijing on China 20 The whole book can be read in this link http://economia.unmsm.edu.pe/Servicios/Publicaciones/Libros/Libro2.htm 21 Article in the magazine Pensamiento Critico No.15, pages 7 to 22. “La economía china en la coyuntura económica mundial y las implicancias para el Peru”, http://economia.unmsm.edu.pe/Organizacion/IIEc/Archivos/RevistasIIE/PC_15/PC15_Completa.pdf 22 See for example my article: “China´s influence grows in US´ ´backyard´ ”, China Daily, June 25, 2012 http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2012-06/25/content_15520252.htm 23 Conference “China and Asia in the current economic situation” http://cel.org.pe/forocel/China%20y%20Asia%20en%20al%20actual%20coyuntura%20economica%20fORO %20CEL%206-09.pdf 24 I should also mention that I participated last march in the Fifht World Forum on China Studies in the city of Shanghai, organized by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and the Shanghai Municipal Information Office. In this event I presented a paper about relations between Peru and China. http://www.chinastudies.org.cn/english.htm 25 See: “CONCURSO NACIONAL DE BECAS DE ESTUDIOS DE DOCTORADO, MAESTRÍA, PERFECCIONAMIENTO DE ESPECIALIDADES O APRENDIZAJE DEL IDIOMA CHINO EN UNIVERSIDADES DE LA REPÚBLICA POPULAR CHINA 2013 - 2014”, http://portal.concytec.gob.pe/index.php/fondecyt-becas-china-2013.html 8
    • economy. Thanks to this in the future we will have Peruvians scholars on China who have studied in China and can understand better the Chinese language. Also it should be noticed that during the visit of President Ollanta Humala in April this year to China he opened the Centro de Estudios Peruanos (Center of Peruvian Studies) in the Normal University of Hebei26, the first of this type in China. It should be noticed that this is the University that established a cooperation agreement with the Universidad Ricardo Palma in Peru to set up a Confucius Institute in this University. So it will be interesting to see in the future an exchange of academics between Peru and China who want to study each other country situation. Lastly we should mention that some Universities in Peru are establishing cooperation agreements with Universities in China, as mentioned in the case of the establishment of the Confucius Institutes in Peru, but not only in this subject. For example the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos had a cooperative agreement with the Beijing International Studies University27. V. Conclusions.- As it has been seen in the last years the focus in China studies in Peru is going in the direction of better understanding the economic relationship of both countries. Studies on Chinese immigration for sure will continue, given the long history of that relationship and the impact that they have in Peruvian life, from food to other fields. But another change is happening with the strong interest in Chinese language and Culture. Up to now there were very few people who understood well the Chinese language, a vital element for doing business with China or understanding better and doing better research on China. With the setting up of several Confucius Institutes more people are learning the Chinese language, and not only in these Confucius Institutes the language is being teached but also in other new places28. So in the future it is sure that new researchers with knowledge of the language will come out. Also as mentioned before the Peruvian government, in coordination with the Chinese government, is providing more scholarships for students and researchers to go and study in China. Besides it should be mentioned that little by little Chinese students seem to be coming to Peru to study Spanish language and are also interested in the opportunity of doing business in Peru. One advantage for them to coming here is that Chinese people are welcomed by Peruvians because precisely the presence of a large Chinese community. 26 “Se establece primer centro de estudios peruanos en universidad china”, see in the web site of the Chinese Embassy in Lima, Peru, http://www.embajadachina.org.pe/esp/xwss/t1029233.htm 27 For a list of cooperative agreements that Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos has see this link: http://www.unmsm.edu.pe/coop/contenidob1e4.html?pag1=6 28 Just to mention one, for example in the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, in its Language Center, Chinese language is being teached from the year 2012. http://ceidunmsm.com/idiomas/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=349&Itemid=145 9
    • Without doubt all these efforts by researchers will help understand better not only the economic relationship but will be a reason to increase this more. A new crop of researchers with knowledge of the language and with stints in China will without doubt also wide the subject of research. December 2013 *Professor in the Faculty of Economics at Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (San Marcos National University), Lima, Peru. 10