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Meeting the challenge of teaching multiculturalism
This is a bold project recording the lives of a particular group of Southeast Asians. Most of the people whose biographies are included here have settled down in the ten countries that constitute the region. Each of them has either self-identified as Chinese or is comfortable to be known as someone of Chinese ancestry. There are also those who were born in China or elsewhere who came here to work and do business, including seeking help from others who have ethnic Chinese connections. With the political and economic conditions of the region in a great state of flux for the past two centuries, it is impossible to find consistency in the naming process. Confucius had stressed that correct names make for the best relationships. In this case, Professor Leo Suryadinata has been pursuing for decades the elusive goal of finding the right name to give to the large numbers of people who have, in one way or another, made their homes in, or made some difference to, Southeast Asia. I believe that, when he and his colleagues selected the biographies to be included here, they have taken a big step towards the rectification of identities for many leading personalities. In so doing, he has done us all a great service. - Professor Wang Gungwu, National University of Singapore
While Europe has traditionally been the role model for international cooperation, this volume suggests a new highly successful mode. Using a flourishing operational code of diplomacy known as the Asian Way, Asian regional cooperation has gone even further to unite disparate countries for economic and political objectives. Culminating twenty years of research, this volume defines the Asian Way. It then provides details on fifty regional organizations in an effort to study this spirit of regional cooperation. Highlighting the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the author concludes that Asian international relations has been ASEANized and increased economic progress has been advanced in two decades through the application of the Asian Way. Examining in microcosm how nations conduct their foreign relations in Asia, this volume provides an extensive list of regional organizations. It details their organizational charts, provides membership lists, and reveals funding formulas and projects undertaken. The author explains how, through the application of the principles of the Asian Way, the countries of Southeast Asia have resolved their conflicts, harmonized foreign policies, begun projects of regional economic cooperation and ultimately advanced prosperity.
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