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China's Problematic Ethnic Policies

18 March 2008

The following text is the English translation of the core text of an online Chinese article posted by 忧伤法兰西:

I worked in Qinghai province for 16 years and my wife worked in south Xinjiang for a decade, our colleagues include people from many different ethnic background, including Mongols, Tibetans, Muslims Huis, Uighurs. And my wife herself is Muslim Hui.

Over the years, we have experienced the inequality between different ethnic groups, mainly caused by Government unjustified policies. In short, ethnic minorities have enjoyed special treatment, in wage payment, accommodations, schooling, job opportunities, and child birth, with Han people being the only group that are excluded from all those privileges.

To start with, Han Chinese are restricted from migrating to the ethnic minority areas, and when an ethnic minority person assaults or kills a Han, the government officials and police of Han origin would be too afraid to punish him; and when ethnic mobs appear on the streets, they dare not to identify the incident as riot, not without the consent of the ethnic minority officials. Such policies and attitudes have encouraged the law-breakers in the ethnic groups to the point they are free to impose terror in the community whenever they feel unhappy about anything.

Such a policy also encouraged Han people to change their identity into ethnic minority whenever they have a chance, which along with the fact that Han people are restricted to one-child only, the proportion of the ethnic minority in the total Chinese population has increased from 4 percent in the 1949 to today’s over 9 percent.

I recall in the earlier 80s, when Tibetan students from Tibet in the Beijing Central Ethnic College wanted to organise a violent protest, Tibetan students from Qinghai refused to participate. Why? Simple, in Qinghai, people of all ethnic background have equal rights therefore they live side by side without much problems. Why protest then?


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