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Indonesian Chinese

Indonesian Chinese refers to overseas Chinese living in Indonesia. Indonesian Chinese own a large fraction of the economy, and have frequently been viewed with suspicion by locals.

In the 1970s, Indonesian Chinese were rejected in Indonesia. Government policy mandated all Chinese language teaching be banned from school; Chinese names were outlawed and all Indonesians must use Indonesian names. Many believed these laws were targeted to drive Chinese out of the country because most Chinese people stick with their Chinese heritage and family names and genealogy are important part of Chinese life.

In 1998, Indonesian Chinese were attacked by local people. Numerous riots targeted the wealthy Chinese people in the country. Chinese homes were looted, burnt down; women were raped; men were killed. The events in 1998 were significant because unlike earlier actions taken against Indonesian Chinese, this incident aroused the interest and feelings of Chinese in China.

Many believe that the domination of the economy brought jealousy which leads to attacks and rejections. Many Chinese are not politically active and hence fail to set legislation to protect their own interests despite they are economically affluent. The situation is different in Singapore where overseas Chinese are both politically and economically active. Some compare the situation of overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia to the Jews in Europe before WWII.

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