Kong Yuanzhi on Zheng He and Islam in Southeast Asia

One of Johanes’ lines of research has been the assertion by Indonesian Chinese Muslim leaders and some non-Chinese Indonesian Muslim intellectuals that it was Zheng He who brought Islam to Indonesia, and the way these claims may be used to legitimize the view of China as a friendly power that is promoting both Islam and modernization in the region. (This discourse has interesting parallels to the Chinese evangelical Christian discourse of China’s “civilizing mission.”) Peking University professor Kong Yuanzhi recently published a new article on Zheng He and Southeast Asian Islam in the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia.

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