S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.03 (1994)
중국의 소수민족 정책 분석 - 어문ㆍ풍습 정책을 중심으로
Analysis of China’s Minorities Policies: With Emphasis on Ethnic Languages and Custom Policy
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 지역종합연구소
- 지역연구, Vol.03 No.4, pp. 73-98
- This study is the analysis of the characteristics and changes of China’s minorities policy since she has implemented for the purpose of nation-building and state-building in 1949. Special focus will be put on China’s ethnic languages and custom policies and their impact on national integration. Major concern of this paper is to explore how China has satisfied the political, economic and social demands of the ethnic minorities and to examine how China has supported the minorities.
The basic contents of China’s minority policy generally can be classified into six categories: (l) holding on to the equality among the nations and enforcement of national unity (2) accomplishment of national autonomous reign (3) recruitment and cultivation of ethnic cadres (4) support of economic development and culture of ethnic regions (5) allowance and supprot of ethnic languages and letters (6) respect of ethnic custom of minorities. Amongst the above six categories, this paper will mainly deal with nature and object of China’s policy of ethnic language and custom policies. By doing so, this paper can examine the relationship between China"s minority policy and social stability.
Essential parts in the minority policy are the maintenance of ethnic custom and languages even though they sometimes hinder the country’s assimilation and integration. Any country faces this policy dilemma and China is not an exception. Guaranteeing the rights and equality among all nations makes national integration through unity among different ethnic population difficult. On the other hand, supportive minority policy can enhance the regional economic growth and development, increase the internation political, economic, and social cooperation throughout the country. China, a multi-nation country, is composed of fifty-six ethnic minorites. Unlike the others such as East Europe and former Soviet Union, China’s ehtnic minority policies have been proved successful because of her generous and selective policy attitudes towards the minorities.
From 1949 to 1978, China"s ethnic minority policies were characterized as the dualism: using violent means for repressive assimilation, and placating the inequality and dissatisfaction by allowing and respecting ethnic language and custom. Especially, China has implemented more relaxed policies in terms of language and custom of each ethnicity, In fact, the implementation of this generous policy was based on three policy objectives that China has accomplished. First, these policies abolished the inequality and possible political and social dissatisfaction of ethnic groups. Secondly, they played an affirmative role in uniting the different ethnic regions by central governent’s support of regional economic development programs. And finally, the encouragement of maintaining and using each ethnic minorities" language and custom not only have solved the relative regional backwardness but also served as a stepping stone for “Sihua” (Four Modernization: being revolutionary, young, intelligent, and special).
China’s ethnic language and custom policies are essential for national integration and gradual assimilation to the Hans system. For this, China has changed since 1978 both in principle and practice and implemented an appeasement policy. China realizes that it is more important to keep the country united to accomplish the national integration and development by respecting the ethnic autonomy in language and custom than repressive assimilation.