This article critically analyses ethnic affairs policies in China; in particular, preferential policies in criminal law, family planning and education. The policy of awarding extra points to ethnic minority candidates in the National College Entrance Examination (ncee) is evaluated as a case study to expound why preferential treatment is discriminatory. China’s regional autonomy model, which replicates that of the former ussr, is unsustainable in the long run, because it could foster separatism and ethnic identity, rather than a common citizenship of China. Lessons are drawn from education affirmative action in the usa, which in recent years has arguably transformed into reverse discrimination in some states. The author argues that China does not have historical persecutions against minorities like those in the usa that require governmental compensatory policy, nor could it afford to cherry-pick amongst 55 ethnic minorities (shaoshu minzu 少数民族) and alienate Han ethnicity1 (hanzu 汉族). Preferential ethnic affairs policies could challenge harmony among various ethnic groups. Equality before the law of all citizens regardless of ethnicity must be upheld.
Zedong Mao‘On Ten Relations’ in Selected Readings of Mao Zedongvol. 5 (Beijing: People’s Publishing 1991). For example Tibet Autonomous Region constitutes 13% of the total territory of China; Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region occupies 12.3% of the total territory.
Yong Dong‘Duoyong zhonghua minzu dachengwei’, (‘Increasing the usage of Chinese nation’) Global Times6 August 2012. Bo Gao ‘Danhua shaoshuminzu zhaogu zhengce fouze buliyu tuanjie’ (‘Deemphasise preferential treatment for ethnic minorities to promote unity’) Global Times 12 November 2012.
In1951the prc Government signed a treaty with the Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s delegates acknowledging that Tibet’s sovereignty belongs to the prc. The treaty grants tar’s internal autonomy to the Tibetan government. In 1959 countrywide radical and reform policies upset the delicate balance of combined rule between Dalai Lama and central government threatening the Tibetan government’s religion-based legitimacy polarising opposition to Chinese rule. With the help of the us government the Fourteenth Dalai Lama staged an armed uprising against China which was quickly suppressed by the pla. The Dalai Lama fled to India and established the Government of Tibet in Exile.
See n 15. Tom GrunfeldThe Making of Modern Tibet (New York: East Gate1996). The number of monasteries increased from 64 in 1982 to 928 in 1987 and 1787 in 1994. The number of Tibetan monks rose from 1288 in 1982 to 14320 in 1987 to 46380 in 1994.
Enze Han and Christopher Paik‘Dynamics of Political Resistance in Tibet: Religious Repression and Controversies of Demographic Change’The China Quarterly217 (2014) 90. Pitman Potter ‘Belief in Control: Regulation of Religion in China’ The China Quarterly 174 (2003) 317.
Massey Douglas‘Social Class and Ethnic Segregation: A Reconsideration of Methods and Conclusions’American Sociological Review46(5) (1981) 641; ‘Ethnic Residential Segregation: A Theoretical Synthesis and an Empirical Review’ Sociology and Sociological Research 69 (1985) 315; ‘Spatial Assimilation as a Socioeconomic Outcome’ American Sociological Review 50(1) 94. Douglas Massey and Mitchell Eggers ‘The Spatial Concentration of Affluence and Poverty during the 1970s’ Urban Affairs Quarterly 29 (1993) 299.
Gardnder BovingdonThe Uyghurs: Strangers in Their Own Land (New York: Columbia University Press2010) 195–200. Barry Sautman ‘Is Xinjiang an Internal Colony? Inner Asia 2 (2000) 239. Ildikó Bellér-Hann (ed.) Situating the Uyghurs Between China and Central Asia (illustrated edn) (London: Ashgate Publishing 2007) 30–40. Justin Jon Rudelson and Justin Ben-Adam Rudelson Oasis Identities: Uyghur Nationalism along China’s Silk Road (New York: Columbia University Press 1997) 35–39.
In2011Proposal 2 was declared unconstitutional by the us Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit because it places an unfair burden on those seeking to have race considered as one of many factors in university admissions.
Song Shutao‘More Ethnic Minority Students in Tibet Receive Higher Education’Xinhua. Retrieved 26 July 2014 http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-08/13/content_6525061.htm.
David Laitin‘What is a Language Community?’American Journal of Political Science44(1) (2000) 142. Patricia Schiaffini ‘The Language Divide: Identity and Literary Choices in Modern Tibet’ Journal of International Affairs 57 (Spring 2004) 81.