Policy and Regulation of Ethnic Minorities

Policy and Regulation of Ethnic Minorities aims to regulate ethnic relations and deal with ethnic issues. The founding of the People’s Republic of China opened up a new era in which all ethnic groups in China enjoy equality, unity and mutual aid. In the big, united family of ethnic groups in the People’s Republic of China, on the basis of equality of all rights, the people of all ethnic groups unite of their own accord for mutual promotion and common development and dedicate to the building of a strong, prosperous, democratic and civilized New China. 

Background of Policy and Regulation of Ethnic Minorities

The People’s Republic of China is a united multi-ethnic state founded jointly by the people of all its ethnic groups. During the long process of unification, economic and cultural exchanges brought the people of all ethnic groups in China closely together, giving shape to a relationship of interdependence, mutual promotion and mutual development among them and contributing to the creation and development of the Chinese civilization. 

Due to their interdependent political, economic and cultural connections, all ethnic groups in China have shared common destiny and interests in their long historical development, creating a strong force of affinity and cohesion. 

Before the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the central governments of the various periods in China each had a sequence of policies and systems of its own concerning ethnic affairs, but under all of them, whether set up by the Han people or an ethnic minority, there was no equality to speak of among ethnic groups. 

Policy and Regulation of Ethnic Minorities

Adherence to Equality and Unity

  • Right to equality among all ethnic groups. The Chinese government has adopted special policies and measures to effectively realize and guarantee the right to equality among all ethnic groups. As a result, a favorable social environment has been created for ethnic groups to treat each other on an equal footing and to develop a relationship of unity, harmony, friendship and mutual assistance among them. 
  • Protection of the Personal Freedom of Ethnic Minorities. The Chinese government adopted different measures to institute democratic reform successively in the minority areas at the will of the minority of the people in these areas. Tens of thousands of the minority people won emancipation and personal freedom and became masters of their homelands and their own destinies. 
  • All Ethnic Groups Participate in State Affairs Administration on an Equal Footing. The rights of the minority ethnic groups to take part in the management of state affairs are especially guaranteed. In areas where ethnic minorities live in concentrated communities, each of them may have its own deputy or deputies sit in the local people’s congresses. 
  • Identification of Ethnic Minorities. There are 55 ethnic minority groups which have been formally recognized and made known to the public. Now, in New China many ethnic minority groups which had not been recognized by the rulers of old China have been recognized as they should, and they all enjoy equal rights with other ethnic groups in China. 
  • Opposing Ethnic Discrimination or Oppression of Any Form. China has joined international conventions such as The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and has conscientiously performed the duties prescribed in these conventions.
  • Upholding and Promoting the Unity of All Ethnic Groups. Since the 1980s, the Chinese government and the relevant departments have held meetings to commend ethnic unity and progress, at which those units and individuals who uphold the equal rights of ethnic groups and promote harmonious coexistence and common progress and prosperity of ethnic groups are praised and encouraged.
  • Respecting and Protecting the Freedom of Religious Belief of Ethnic Minorities. In accordance with the Constitution’s provisions on freedom of religious belief of citizens, the Chinese government has formulated specific policies to ensure respect for and safeguard freedom of religious belief for ethnic minorities and guarantee all normal religious activities of ethnic minorities citizens. 
  • Use and Development of Spoken and Written Languages of Ethnic Minorities. All ethnic groups in China have the freedom and right to use and develop their own spoken and written languages. Now, all the 55 national minorities, except the Hui and Manchu, who use the Chinese language, have their own languages.

Regional Autonomy for Ethnic Minorities

In China regional autonomy for ethnic minorities is a basic policy adopted by the Chinese government in line with the actual conditions of China, and also an important part of the political system of China. Regional autonomy for ethnic minorities means that under the unified leadership of the state regional autonomy is practiced in areas where people of ethnic minorities live in concentrated communities; in these areas organs of self-government are established for the exercise of autonomy and for people of ethnic minorities to become masters of their own areas and manage the internal affairs of their own regions.

Autonomous areas for ethnic minorities in China include autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties (banners). There are 5 Autonomous Regions, 30 autonomous prefectures, 117 autonomous counties and 3 autonomous banners. 

Promoting the Common Development of All Ethnic Groups  

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the state has spared no effort to promote the common development and progress of all ethnic groups. In accordance with the actual conditions in the ethnic minority areas, the state has worked out and adopted a series of policies and measures to assist these areas in developing their economies, and mobilize and organize the developed areas where Han people live to support them.

  • Strengthening the Construction of Infrastructure Facilities and Promoting the Development of Basic Industries in Minority Areas
  • Developing Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in Ethnic Minority Areas 
  • Increasing the Momentum of Reform and Opening-Up in Minority Areas
  • Preferential Financial Policies for Minority Areas
  • Encouraging the Development of Trade in Minority Areas and Guaranteeing the Production of Articles Used by Minority Peoples 
  • Helping Impoverished Minority Areas Get Rid of Poverty 
  • Implementing a More Lenient Childbirth Policy with Minority Peoples Than with the Han People
  • Helping the Minority Areas to Develop Education

Preservation and Development of the Cultures of Ethnic Minorities

China’s ethnic minorities have formed their unique cultures in the long process of historical development. China respects and preserves the traditional cultures of ethnic minorities, and all of the minority peoples are free to maintain and develop their own cultures. 

  • Respecting the Folkways and Customs of Minority Peoples. The various ethnic minority groups in China differ widely in their folkways and customs. They have different modes of production and life styles, as displayed in dress and adornments, diet, residences, marriage, etiquette and funerals. The minority peoples have the right to retain or change their folkways and customs, which are respected by the state.
  • Preservation of the Cultural Heritage of Ethnic Minorities. To preserve the traditional cultures of the ethnic minorities, the state has formulated plans or organized specialists for work involving the collecting, editing, translating and publishing of their cultural heritage and the protecting of their famous historical monuments, scenic spots, rare cultural relics and other important items of the historical and cultural heritage.  
  • Promoting Ethnic Minorities’ Cultural and Arts Undertakings. The state and relevant departments devote great efforts to fostering literary and artistic talent among the minority peoples. To date, in autonomous areas, there are 534 art troupes, 194 sites for art performances, 661 libraries, 82 mass art centers, 679 cultural centers, 7,318 culture-dissemination stations and 155 museums.
  • Preserving and Developing the Traditional Medicine of Ethnic Minorities. The state has made great efforts to foster medical specialists for minority peoples. It has established medical colleges and universities of Tibetan, Mongolian and Uygur medicine in the Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang autonomous regions, respectively, which have trained 2,531 specialists. 
  • Developing the Traditional Sports of Ethnic Minorities. Physical culture and sports institutions have been established in the various autonomous areas to train people in ethnic sports, develop traditional ethnic and modern sports activities and improve the health of minority peoples. To date, more than 290 kinds of traditional ethnic sports have been revived.

Minority Discovery with China Dragon Tours

On this vast land, there are 55 ethnic minority groups who have colorful costumes, different flavors of food, unique etiquette, and a variety of festivals. They are mainly distributed in the southwest, northwest and northeast areas. The most popular destinations for minority discovery are YunnanGuizhouGuangxi, Xinjiang and Tibet, which also boasts amazing natural scenery at the same time. Yunnan province has the largest number of ethnic population in China with 25 ethnic minorities. Join our minority discovery tours, and you definitely will have great fun by discovering the ethnic villages, enjoying the local performance and taking parting in the local big event.

Recommended Tours:
4 Days XishuangBanna Water Splashing Festival Celebration Tour
5 Days Guizhou Miao & Dong Minority Tour
6 Days Xilingol Grassland and Chengde Culture Tour from Beijing
9 Days Best Yunnan Minorities Discovery
16 Days Yunnan-Guizhou-Guangxi Minorities Discovery by Speed Train

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