Language Imperialism

In fact, “China”, “Chinese”, and the like are non-Chinese terms invented by foreigners, the use of which has imposed a continuity on the discontinuous history of dynastic kingdoms in China. Even Tong Kok, or the Middle Kingdom, was only a self-styled honourable title rather than a genuine name of any kingdom. The real political identity of ancient Chinese kingdoms was a ruling dynasty, hence the name of the kingdom constantly changed with every change of dynasty. Therefore, strictly speaking, there was no single continuous Chinese kingdom, only a discontinuous succession of Tai Shang, Tai Chou, Tai Chin, Tai Han, and so forth …

SOURCE: Tejapira, K. 1992. Pigtail: A Pre-History of Chineseness in Siam. Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia 7(1): 95-122.


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