16 APLPJ 1 (2014-2015)
The Identification of Minorities in China

handle is hein.journals/aplpj16 and id is 160 raw text is: The Identification of Minorities in China
Wang Linzhu*
I.   IN TRO D U CTION   ...................................................................................  1
II. THE ETHNIC IDENTIFICATION PROJECT ............................................. 5
A. The First Stage (1950s-1960s) ................................................. 5
1.  The  Recognition   Criteria ..................................................  7
2.   The Identification Procedure ............................................. 8
B. The Second Stage (1980s) ..................................................... 10
III.  THE  C URRENT  PRACTICE  ..................................................................... 11
IV. THE PROBLEMS OF THE CHINESE PRACTICE OF MINORITY
IDEN TIFICATION  ...............................................................................  13
A. The Selective Application of Identification Standard ............. 13
B. Creating Internal Divisions inside the Nation ......................... 14
C. Differing Treatment Among Ethnic Groups ............................. 16
V. INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS OF CHINA IN RELATION TO MINORITY
R EC O G N ITIO N   .....................................................................................  17
A .  IC E SCR  ...................................................................................  18
B .  IC ER D   ....................................................................................  19
V I.  C ONCLU SION  ..................................................................................  20
I.  INTRODUCTION
It has been argued that China is a unitary multi-ethnic state
consisting of fifty-six different groups. ' Since the Han constitute an
absolute majority (more than ninety percent)2 of the total population, all
* Ph.D. (Lancaster), LL.M. (Groningen), LL.B. (SUT, China). Lecturer at the
School of International Law, Southwest University of Political Science and Law. I am
greatly thankful to Dr. James Summers and Dr. Sophia Kopela for their helpful
comments, to John Pearson for his assistance, and to the APLPJ Editorial Board and
anonymous reviewers. All errors and mistakes remain my own.
1E.g. Xianfa [Constitution] Preamble (1982) (China); St. Council, the White
Papers: National Minorities Policy and its Practice in China (1999), § 1, available at
http://www.gov.cn/zwgk/2005-05/26/content 11 31.htm (China); Regional Autonomy for
Ethnic Minorities in China (2005), § 1, available at http://www.gov.cn/zwgk/2005-
05/27/content_1585.htm; China's Ethnic   Policy  and  Common     Prosperity  and
Development   of  All   Ethnic  Groups   (2009), Preface, §    1, available  at
http://www.gov.cn/zwgk/2009-09/27/content 1427930.htm.
2 According to the Sixth National Population Census, the Han make up 91.15
percent of the total population. National Bureau of Statistics, Communique of the
National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on Major Figures
of the 2010 Population Census (No. 1), Nat'l Bureau of Statistics (Apr. 28, 2011),
available                                                                    at

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