China a family of 56 ethnic groups that live in harmony | In deep
With a population of 1.4 billion people, 56 ethnic groups or nationalities coexist in harmony in China, with the Han being the majority, covering more than 90 percent of the country’s inhabitants, while the remaining 55 are a minority, adding up to 8.49 percent. of the population.
In his lecture entitled China’s Policies with Peculiarities on Ethnic Minorities and Religions, Chang Fuliang, dean of the Faculty of Hispanic and Portuguese Studies at Peking University, noted:
“We are a large family of socialists. In China we normally say family is country, country is family, but this family has a lot of ethnic diversity, that is why we say that it is a multi-ethnic country and there is coexistence despite diversity. In almost five thousand years of Chinese history there have not been so many problems between these ethnic groups.
In order to protect the rights of minorities, the Beijing government carries out an ethnographic identification of groups based on the language they share, the territory they occupy, common economic activity and psychology.
According to Professor Chang Fuliang, this procedure allows the authorities to design specific protection and development policies for minority ethnic groups, through which they managed to favor their population growth by three percent in recent years and lift 15.6 million out of poverty. of people in the regions occupied by this sector of the population.
In essence, government policies towards ethnic minorities promote equality to improve solidarity and harmony among the 56 nationalities that coexist in the national territory. To carry out this vision, the country has legal support.
Government policy in autonomous regions
The People’s Republic of China describes itself as a multi-ethnic state and grants autonomy to areas inhabited mainly by some minority ethnic group. The authorities in these parts of the country belong to these groups and carry out their functions according to the constitution.
In China, the 55 nationalities with the smallest population are concentrated in border or peripheral areas, which in this case are the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the Tibet Autonomous Region, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
When occupying less developed mountainous and rural territories, the national executive sends officials to help the ethnic groups combat problems such as poverty. With this strategy, the government complies with the constitutional mandate that specifies that the State must provide financial, material and technical assistance to national minorities to accelerate their economic and cultural development.
Along these same lines, university professor Chang Fuliang assured that in these parts of the country “there is good economic and technological development.” This affirmation finds support in a fragment of article 118 of the national constitution of China that expresses “The State, when exploiting natural resources and building companies in the areas of national autonomy, must take into account the interests of these areas.”
Autonomy in these areas also covers fundamental rights for citizens such as health, education, among others. The constitution in its article 119 states “The self-governing bodies of the national autonomy zones independently manage matters related to education, science, culture, public health and physical culture in their respective areas, restore and protect the cultural heritage of nationalities, and work for the development and prosperity of their cultures”.
The official language of the Asian giant is Mandarin Chinese, which is the language of common use, however, along with it coexist multiple dialects and scripts of each ethnic group that according to the Magna Carta in its article 121 can be used in the autonomous regions: “The self-governing bodies of the zones of national autonomy, in the exercise of their functions, use the language or languages usually spoken or written in their respective zones, as stipulated by the statutes of autonomy of the zones of national autonomy.”
Faced with this reality, the executive power, among other actions, encourages bilingual education in areas with large populations of minority ethnic groups that also have private schools that meet their needs. Added to this is the fact that each province of the country has a university dedicated to young people from ethnic minorities.
In terms of security, the law stipulates that with prior authorization from the Council of State, the autonomous regions can organize their own local public security forces to maintain order.
Freedom of religion
In China, the law guarantees freedom of religious belief, the most influential being Buddhism and Taoism, although Islam, Christianity and Catholicism also play a role, the latter despite the fact that the State does not have relations with the Vatican due to historical differences.
According to data provided by the Dean of the Faculty of Hispanic and Portuguese Studies at Peking University Chang Fuliang, in the Asian giant there are 200 million believers and more than 380,000 clerics who cannot be discriminated against because of their religion.
Article 36 of the national constitution states that “No State agency, social organization or individual can force a citizen to profess or stop practicing any religion, nor can it discriminate against citizens who profess or do not profess any religious belief. The state protects regular religious activities.
Although they have this right enshrined in the Magna Carta, Professor Chang Fuliang maintains that the majority of the Chinese population made up of the Han ethnic group does not believe in anything and can be considered atheist, but recognizes that society is influenced by the philosophy of Buddhism, Taoism and Islam mainly.
In China there are 5,500 religious organizations, which, obeying the legal framework, must remain free from all foreign domination, on this subject the Magna Carta dictates that “No person can use religion to get involved in activities that violate public order, that cause damage to the health of citizens or that disturb the educational system of the State”.
In his China Politics with Peculiarities conference on Ethnic Minorities and Religions, Professor Chang Fuliang clarified that religious organizations “express opinions about the religion of the country but they do not have much interest in expressing themselves about some aspect of the political, they move away from the political “.
Being national in scope, China’s most important religious institutions are the China Buddhist Association, the China Taoist Association, the China Islamic Association, the China Patriotic Catholic Association, the China Catholic Bishops’ Corps, the Chinese Patriotic Committee of Autonomy Self-Maintenance and Self-Dissemination of Chinese Protestantism and the Chinese Protestant Association.