Economy of Ethnic Minorities in China

China’s economy has witnessed a rapid development, so has that in regions where ethnic minorities live.

Stockbreeding serves as one of the major industries in minorities’ economy and since the endorsement of individual responsibility system for meadows and livestock in 1980s, livestock are sold to individuals and right to the use of meadow endowed to households; meanwhile, measures have been strengthened to boost the development of meadow and improve its protection and management. At present, rapid development has been achieved in China’s major pasture regions, including Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Ningxia and Inner Mongolia. Statistics shows that at present the total number of livestock in China’s pasture regions and semi-pasture and semi-farming regions has reached over 100 million each year. The rate of mature livestock has raised and the survival rate and the commercialization rate of livestock have also witnessed a significant increase. In addition, there are family-run ranches in some of China’s pasture regions and their production capacity and business performance have been greatly enhanced due to large-scale business management and adoption of advanced techniques in their production. Continue reading Economy of Ethnic Minorities in China

Nationalities Whose Population Is above 5 Million

Han Nationality

Han people enjoy the largest population among China’s 56 nationalities and this population size also ranks first in the world. At present, the number of Han people has reached about 1.2 billion. Originally known as “Cathay”, Han people used to live in the central part of China; later, it assimilated and integrated with other nationalities and eventually boasts a 5 thousand years’ history of civilization. Since the beginning of Han Dynasty, the name “Han” was adopted to call this nationality. Han nationality has its own spoken and written language, which belong to Chinese-Tibetan language family. Its language falls into 8 categories of dialect, namely, dialect of northern China, dialect of south of the lower reaches of Yangtze River, Hunan dialect, Jiangxi dialect, Hakka dialect, dialect of southern Fujian, dialect of northern Fujian and Cantonese and the common language of these 8 dialects is Mandarin. Chinese letter is one of the most ancient letters in the world; it evolved from inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty and Nuchen letters and eventually became present-day Chinese characters. There are altogether over 80 thousand Chinese characters, among which about 7000 are commonly used. At present, Chinese has become one of the international languages. The staple food of Han people is grain crop and meat and vegetables are the non-staple foodstuffs. Over the long period of development, Han people have developed the habit of having three meals for each day and rice and flour serve as two major components of their staple food. In addition, other coarse crops, such as corn, sorghum, cereal and potato, are also part of the staple food in different regions of China. Due to various factors, there are varied types of cuisine in the food culture of Han people and when it comes to the Han and other nationalities’ preference of taste of food, people living in different parts of China are often termed as follows: the southern citizens are lovers of sweet food, the northern of salty food, the eastern of hot food and the western of sour food. At present, there are 8 typical cuisines with unique flavors in different parts of China, including Hunan cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, cuisine of northeastern China and Cantonese food. Wine and tea are two major beverages for Han people. Being the place of origin of tea and one of the first developers of brewing technology, China boasts long history of wine and tea culture. Except for wine and tea, some products made of fruits also serve as beverages for people in varied regions and seasons. There are myriads of festivals for Han people and China’s Lunar New Year is the most traditional one. Besides, the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month of lunar calendar, the Tomb-sweeping day on Apr.5th, the Dragon Boat Festival on the 5th day of the fifth lunar month and the Middle Autumn Day on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month are also important festivals. Continue reading Nationalities Whose Population Is above 5 Million

Ethnic Minorities Whose Population Is below 100 Thousand

There are 20 ethnic minorities in China whose population is below 100 thousand, namely, Blang, Tajik, Achang, Pumi, Owenki, Nu, Ching, Jinuo, Deang, Paoan, Russian, Yuku, Uzbek, Monba, Oroqen, Dulong, Tartar, Hezhe, Gaoshan and Luoba.
Dulong Nationality:
Dulong nationality has a population of over 7400 people, who live in compact community in the river valley along the Dulong River in Gongshan Dulong and Nu Autonomous County of Yunnan Province. Its spoken language is Dulongnese, which belongs to the Chinese-Tibetan language family, but it has no letter of its own. Dulong people believe that everything has its soul and they worship nature objects. The name of this nationality first appeared as “Qiao” according to the folkways in Lijiang area recorded in the chorography of Yuan Dynasty; later in the Ming and Qing Dynasty, this minority group was called “Qiu” or “Qu”. After the founding of new China, the name “Dulong” was adopted at the will of this ethnic group. In the past, the level of social productive force development of Dulong nationality was very low because they were mainly engaged in primitive agricultural production with simple production tools made of wood and bamboo; in addition, collection of ready-made products, fishing and hunting are indispensable supplement to their production. It was not until the founding of People’s Republic of China in 1949 that the backward situation of Dulong people was completely addressed. Dulong people are industrious, hospitable and attach great importance to friendship. In Dulong community, it is not unusual that all the villagers render their help to the family that is in need or difficulty and the game animals are always shared by all who participate in the hunting. In addition, Dulong people are famed for their trustworthiness, fulfillment to their commitment and good traditional ethics and virtues based upon honesty and simplicity, therefore, in their community there are no such things as to shut the households’ doors at night to prevent burglary or to take possession of things lost by others on the road.
Continue reading Ethnic Minorities Whose Population Is below 100 Thousand

Han Dynasty

Liu Bang, established the Han Empire and settled down in the capital Chang’an.

During the 7-year dominion of Hangaozu, the central regime was further reinforced and the policy “Recuperate and Multiply” was adopted. After Hui’s succession, the empress of Hangaozu gained power. who was one of the rare women rulers in the history of China. Wen succeeded to the throne in 183 BC. Wen, followed by his son, Jing, stuck to the policy of “Recuperate and Multiply”, decreased taxation and promoted the economy of the empire. (The Enlightenment of Wen/Jing) Continue reading Han Dynasty

Qing Dynasty

The Qing Dynasty lasted from 1644-1911 A.D. By and large, 12 emperors reigned during a period of 268 years with Nuerhachi being the first and Puyi being the last.

At its most prosperous time, the domain of the dynasty once reached 12 million square kilometers. Later, in 1616 Nuerhachi established Jin and in 1636 Huang Taiji changed the dynasty’s name to Qing. Furthermore, in 1644 Li Zicheng led the rebellious peasant army and overthrew the Ming Dynasty. The Qing army had the advantage of the war and defeated the peasants by coming in through the Shanhai Pass. As a result of his defeat, Emperor Chongzhen committed suicide. Beijing was made the capital and the court eliminated other revolts of the peasants and remained southern Ming forces. Continue reading Qing Dynasty

Sui and Tang Dynasty

In 581 A.D, China was reunified by the short-lived Sui dynasty, which lasted 37 years until 618 A.D., when Yang Guang, the successor of Emperor Sui Wen Di, was hanged. Sui dynasty’s early demise was attributed to the government’s tyrannical demands on the people, who bore the crushing burden of taxes and compulsory labor. These resources were overstrained in the completion of the Grand Canal (a monumental engineering feat) and in the undertaking of other construction projects, including the reconstruction of the Great Wall. Yang Jian, the founder of the dynasty, made some contributions to abolish cruel penalties and establish new ways to select court officials. Continue reading Sui and Tang Dynasty