Chinese Government’s Policy toward Ethnic Minorities

China is a united and multi-national country. The Chinese government adopts the policy of equality, unity and mutual assistance among different nationalities and respects and protects the religious freedom and customs of ethnic minorities.

Regional national autonomy is an important political system in China. It means under the leadership of Chinese central government, regional autonomy is practiced in areas where people of minority nationalities live in concentrated communities and organs of self-government are established in these areas to exercise the power of autonomy. The central government ensures areas where regional national autonomy is practiced implement laws and policies of China according to their actual situations; it also encourages and supports the cultivation of a number of cadres of all levels, professionals of various fields and skilled workers among minority nationalities. People of various nationalities in areas where regional autonomy is practiced, together with all the others in China, are concentrating on the socialist modernization drive under the leadership of the Communist Party of China in order to accelerate the economic and cultural development of these areas and make their self-governed hometowns more stable and prosperous.

After decades of practice, the Communist Party of China, which is the ruling party in China, has drawn some experience concerning its fundamental viewpoints and policies of Chinese nationalities as follows:

Firstly, the birth, development and wane of nationalities is a protracted historical process and issues related to nationalities would exist for a long time.

Secondly, all nationalities in China could achieve common prosperity in the phase of socialism when their common ground expands and their distinctive characteristics and differences remain.

Thirdly, nationality issue is part of the general social issue, which could only be gradually addressed in the process of handling the entire social issue and the present-day nationality issue in China could only be appropriately handled in socialist modernization drive which is the common pursuit of all Chinese people.

Fourthly, all Chinese nationalities, irrespective of their population size, length of history and level of development, have made their due contribution to the civilization of China and should thus be treated equally. Unity among all Chinese nationalities should be embraced and further strengthened in order to safeguard national unity.

Fifthly, to boost economic development is the fundamental task of socialism as well as that of present-day nationalities affairs in China. People of all nationalities should help one another in order to achieve common development and prosperity.

Sixthly, regional national autonomy is the important theoretical contribution made by the Communist Party of China to the standpoint of nationality in Marxism and is the fundamental means to appropriately handle nationality affairs in China.

Seventhly, to cultivate a strong team of cadres from minority nationalities who are qualified both in moral integrity and work proficiency is the key to appropriately handle nationality affairs and resolve related problems.

Eighthly, nationality and religious affairs often interweave with each other and it is therefore essential to implement the government’s policies on religion in a comprehensive and correct manner when handling nationality affairs.

In addition, while committing itself to the economic, cultural and educational development in areas where minority people live, including improving the material and cultural life of a great many religious believers from ethnic minorities, the Chinese government attaches great importance to respecting the religious belief of people from minority nationalities and protecting their cultural heritage. For instance, it carries out surveys on cultural heritage and folk arts, including religious cultural, of all nationalities in China, collects and studies related material, and release relevant information in various publications. In addition, the government spends a great deal of money revamping and restoring temples and religious facilities which are of great historical and cultural value in areas where minority people live.

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