Being Chinese overseas

Professor Wang Gungwu's considerable body of work on the overseas Chinese was recognised last month by the Tang Prize Foundation of Taiwan, which conferred on him the Tang Prize for Sinology.
Professor Wang Gungwu's considerable body of work on the overseas Chinese was recognised last month by the Tang Prize Foundation of Taiwan, which conferred on him the Tang Prize for Sinology.ST FILE PHOTO

Wang Gungwu did not set out to study the history of the overseas Chinese, but he is now renowned in this relatively new field

Professor Wang Gungwu is the quintessential overseas Chinese.

He was born in Surabaya, Indonesia, in 1930. He grew up in Ipoh in what is now Malaysia and went to university in Nanjing, Singapore and London.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 12, 2020, with the headline 'Being Chinese overseas'. Print Edition | Subscribe