This study examines the reproduction of poverty and survival strategies among a poor Chinese community in the village of Mulyaasih, West Java, Indonesia. The central argument of this study explores how poverty is caused by interlinking structural, cultural, social, economic and psychological factors. This study argue that the Chinese are poor not only due to the fact they live in a village that has limited natural and productive resources, but also they have limited economic means to access those resources. Moreover, the author argue that from a political economy or structural explanation the Chinese are poor because they are trapped in an ‘asymmetrical relationship’ with people that own the means of production. The nature of this relationship is exploitative, causing the poor to be alienated and disempowered. There are also several cultural factors that have contributed to their state of poverty. In this study the author highlight a number of activities, characteristics and orientations such as gambling; a ‘beggar mentality’; placing too many considerations in the way of actions; a reluctance to actively seek out work; and a desire to maintain social face.