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China’s Ethnic Minorities Kara Abramson Congressional-Executive Commission on China

China’s Ethnic Minorities Kara Abramson Congressional-Executive Commission on China. 少数民族 Shǎoshù Mínzú. 民族 Mínzú. 56. Historical Overview. Minzu in Chinese history Minzu in the PRC System of categorization Soviet Tradition Ethnic groups as fixed Stalinist definition

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China’s Ethnic Minorities Kara Abramson Congressional-Executive Commission on China

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  1. China’s Ethnic MinoritiesKara AbramsonCongressional-Executive Commission on China

  2. 少数民族Shǎoshù Mínzú

  3. 民族Mínzú

  4. 56

  5. Historical Overview • Minzu in Chinese history • Minzu in the PRC • System of categorization • Soviet Tradition • Ethnic groups as fixed • Stalinist definition • Common territory, language, economy, and psychological nature

  6. The PRC project: 民族识别 Mínzú shíbié • Stalinist criteria with attention to stage in history • Also: Han traditions, local consciousness • Outcome: • Chinese White Paper on Minorities: “So far, 56 ethnic groups have been identified and recognized by the central government” • Once identified, the 民族工作 mínzú gōngzuò can start

  7. “China is a united multi-ethnic state with long history. […] Under the old social system it is impossible for all ethnic groups to enjoy equality in the modern sense of the word, and strife, conflicts and even wars among them were inevitable. Still, the long-standing existence of a united, multi-ethnic state in Chinese history greatly enhanced the political, economic and cultural exchanges among different ethnic groups, and constantly promoted the identification of all ethnic groups with the central government, and their allegiance to it.”

  8. Minzu Today • 8.41% of the population, including: • Tibetan • Korean • Mongol • Russian • Tajik • Uighur (Uyghur/Uygur)

  9. Also: • Zhuang • Hui • Miao • Lhoba • Yi

  10. Location: • About 5/8ths of China’s total area • Languages: • Over 60, at least 5 different language families • Religions: • Muslim, Buddhist, “minority” religions, Christian

  11. Legal Framework • “The regions inhabited by ethnic minorities in compact communities are large, and rich in natural resources. But compared with other regions, particularly with developed regions, the level of economic and social development in these regions is relatively backward. Regional autonomy for ethnic minorities enables them to bring into full play their regional advantages and promote exchanges and cooperation between minority areas and other areas, and consequently quickens the pace of modernization both in the minority areas and the country as a whole and helps achieve common development of all regions and prosperity for all ethnic groups.”

  12. Regional Autonomy • By end of 2003: • 5 Provincial-level autonomous areas • 30 autonomous prefectures • 120 autonomous countries

  13. Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law (REAL) • Applies throughout China • Grants additional legislative powers • Self-governing regulations • Specific regulations • Alterations

  14. REAL • Freedom to use and develop minority languages • Freedom of religious belief • Preferential policies • Administration of finances • Education in minority languages

  15. REAL limitations • Vague wording • Legislation must be submitted to higher bodies for approval • No enforcement of monitoring methods • General Rule of Law issues

  16. Implementing Provisions • Issued in 2005 • Require ethnic affairs commissions at every level of government to monitor implementation and submit findings • Inspection teams now underway

  17. Special Focus: Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region

  18. XUAR 新疆维吾尔自治区Xīnjiāng Wéiwúěr Zìzhìqū • History • Xiongnu • Uighur Empire, 744-840 • Karakhanids • Qing dynasty • Islam • Sufi traditions

  19. XUAR • 1950s population • 4.87 million, 6% Han Chinese, 75% Uighur • Current Population: 18.46 million • 2000 census: 40.57% Han, 45.21% Uighur • Also: Hui, Kazaks, Other Turkic groups, Tajiks, Mongols, etc.

  20. XUAR • XUAR—established 1955 • Han Settlement • Uighur, Kazak emigration • Bingtuan

  21. XUAR • Post-Cultural Revolution • 1980s • 1990 “turning point” • Develop the West • Human Rights Concerns

  22. Issues • Language and Education • School systems and Exams • 民考民 Mínkǎomín and 民考汉 Mínkǎohàn • Right to use own languages • Bilingual Education • Recent news:

  23. Language Xinjiang Official Describes Plan to Expand Use of Mandarin in Minority SchoolsWithin the next 10 to 20 years, education in all ethnic minority schools in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) will be bilingual starting in first grade, Ma Wenhua, deputy director of the XUAR Education Department, told the South China Morning Post (SCMP), […] • …the government has already decided to subsidize bilingual education in seven rural prefectures in the southern XUAR, and would implement comprehensively its bilingual pre-school program in 2006. • The government will pay 1.5 yuan per day to pre-schoolers who receive bilingual education and 400 yuan per month to teachers. A leading official of the XUAR Party Committee said that supporting bilingual education in lower levels of schooling would raise the "quality" of ethnic minorities and contribute to the modernization drive.

  24. Migration • Freedom of movement issues • Incentives to migrate • Qinghai-Tibet railway

  25. Attitudes • Minority culture as “backward” (Chinese White Paper) • Exoticization of minority culture • Commodification of minority culture • Anti-Muslim sentiment • Assimilation • Opportunities

  26. Religion • Freedom of religious belief in China • 5 religions • Minority religions as minority customs • Harsh Controls esp. over Islam in the XUAR and Tibetan Buddhism

  27. Health • AIDS • Ministry of Health to Distribute AIDS Prevention Guides in Minority LanguagesThe Ministry of Health (MOH) will give out 90,000 free AIDS prevention guides to members of China's ethnic minority communities, according to an MOH announcement on November 30 reported in Xinhua. The MOH subsidized publication of a Chinese-language guide translated into Uighur, Tibetan, Kazak, Korean, and Mongolian. It will give out the guides to village-level health care facilities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region, and the provinces of Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu, Qinghai, Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang. […] • Yunnan province, the XUAR, and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region are among the five provincial-level areas that reported more than 10,000 people infected with HIV by the end of September 2005. • Drug Use

  28. Jobs • Head of Autonomous govt to be ethnic minority • Other priorities provided for in law • Reality is far different

  29. Xinjiang Government Says Ethnic Han Chinese Will Get 500 of 700 New Civil Service AppointmentsThe Xinjiang government will hold open examinations for 700 civil service positions, according to Tianshan Net, a website jointly managed by Xinjiang’s Propaganda Department and the People’s Daily. 500 of these positions will go to ethnic Han Chinese, while ethnic nationalities will fill the remainder. Examinees with the highest scores will go to southern Xinjiang to serve for six-year terms in county and village-level government positions. Uighurs make up more than 95 percent of the population in southern Xinjiang. The government also said that it will not assign successful examinees to their hometowns.

  30. 招聘 汉族服务员 Zhāopìn Hànzú fúwùyuán

  31. Advocating for Rights • Rebiya Kadeer • Hada • Nurmuhemmet Yasin

  32. Terrorism • 9/11 Changes • East Turkistan Islamic Movement • Shanghai Cooperation Organization • “Three Evil Forces” • Outside Government Assessments

  33. Resources • Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law • http://cecc.gov/pages/virtualAcad/index.phpd?showsingle=9507 • Implementing Guidelines for REAL • http://www.cecc.gov/pages/virtualAcad/index.phpd?showsingle=33642

  34. PRC Sources • Tianshan Net (天山网) • http://www.tianshannet.com.cn/ • Posts news stories from Xinjiang newspapers • China Ethnicities News (中国民族报) • http://www.mzb.com.cn/ • In-depth articles related to minzu and religion • State Ethnic Affairs Commission (国家民族事务委员会) • http://www.seac.gov.cn/ • News and regulations from the government’s highest agency in charge of ethnic affairs. Also posts regional news • Communist Party United Front Web site • http://www.zytzb.org.cn/zytzbwz/index.htm • Local “Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission” Web sites and local government Web sites, such as: • Zhejiang Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission Web Site • http://www.zjsmzw.gov.cn/ • Yili City Government Web site • http://www.ynszf.gov.cn/ • Islam-related news sites and chat rooms, such as • China-Muslim Net • http://www.2muslim.com/News/index.html • Green China Islam Net • http://www.xaislam.com/

  35. Overseas Web Sites • Uyghur American Association / Uyghur Human Rights Project • http://uyghuramerican.org/ and http://www.uhrp.org/ • Information on conditions in Xinjiang • Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center • http://www.smhric.org/ • Monitors events in Inner Mongolia • Introduction to Uighur Culture and History by University of Toledo Professor Nathan Light • http://homepages.utoledo.edu/nlight/uyghpg.htm • Contains a bibliography • Mongolia Society Directory of Scholars • http://www.indiana.edu/%7Emongsoc/namedirectory.htm • US Universities • University of Washington • Indiana University • Harvard

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