Taomo Zhou is an Assistant Professor of History at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, specialising in modern Chinese and Southeast Asian history. Taomo received her PhD from Cornell University. Taomo’s first book, Migration in the Time of Revolution: China, Indonesia and the Cold War (2019), examines how two of the world’s most populous countries interacted between 1945 and 1967, when the concept of citizenship was contested and the boundaries of political mobilisation were blurred. Taomo is working on a new research project on Shenzhen and its connections with the special economic zones, export processing zones, and free ports across Southeast Asia. This research is funded by a tier-one grant from the Ministry of Education, Singapore.

From the Third Front to the Second Line: The Construction Soldiers of Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a migrant city, and every migrant must cross multiple borders—physical and administrative, social and cultural—to fully belong in the city. The 20,000 members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Engineering Corps (中国人民解放军基本建设工程兵), who arrived in Shenzhen between 1979 and 1982, were the earliest and largest batch of state-sponsored migrants during Reform and Opening […]

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