The Development and Formation of a Contemporary China
China has fifty five state recognized minorities who, as calculated in the 2000 census, constitute 8.41 percent of the population and occupy 60 percent of the land in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) . The Chinese define nationality according to Stalinist terms of “a historically constituted, stable community of people formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture.” Economically, China is rapidly becoming a modern nation. From 1979-2000, China’s economic growth was 9.6 percent per year, the highest of all economies during those years. This rapid growth has enabled China to
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In order to garner support in the late 1930’s the CCP promised minority groups that, if they supported the Communist rise to power, they would be granted autonomy. This is the program the Soviet Union followed in that it always offered the possibility of secession to its minority republics. This policy eventually caused the dissolution of the USSR. The CCP constitution of 1931 stated that the government “recognizes the right of self determination of the national minorities in China, their right to complete separation from China, and to the formation of an independent sate for each minority.” The CCP has since abandoned the promotion of secession and, on the contrary, works to unify ethnic minorities with national agendas. This paper will examine the ways in which processes of development and fostering nationalism both benefit the nation and subvert minority cultures. The Uighurs are of crucial importance in that they live along a historically sensitive border, are a site for rapid economic development, feel increasingly oppressed, and have already carried out separatist movements.
The History of the Uighur and the