China's ethnic minorities

China's ethnic minorities

Did China just acknowledge the scale of its Xinjiang camps?
China released a white paper on Thursday claiming that its far-western region of Xinjiang has provided “vocational training” to nearly 1.3 million workers every year on average from 2014 to 2019. It comes as Beijing is facing mounting criticism from Western countries and human rights groups over its policies in the region, where it is believed to have detained at least 1 million Uygurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities in internment camps. China has been accused of subjecting detainees to political indoctrination and forced labor in the camps, but it has denied the allegations and insisted they are “vocational training centers” where people learn language and job skills. Observers said the
‘I can’t accept China having people of different skin colors’
China’s proposed bill on granting permanent residency to foreigners has unleashed a wave of xenophobia on the Chinese internet. Even though China has one of the lowest shares of foreign-born people in the entire world, many people worry that a potential rise in foreign immigrants will make their life harder. In response to the bill, people have posted hostile comments online, especially against black people and Muslims, demanding that the government toughen rules on immigration. We spoke with several fierce opponents of the permanent residency bill about why they do not want more immigrants in China.
Made by ‘mermaids’: China’s unique fish-skin fashion
You Wenfeng is one of only a few people who know how to create clothing from fish skin, a skill of the ethnic Hezhen people – who were once so skilled plying the waters of the nearby Heilong River that they are said to be “descended from mermaids.” The 68-year-old woman from Tongjiang, a city in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province near the border with Russia, fears the loss of the ancient tradition. But that may start to change. She has started teaching others her craft. The exotic aquatic leather has also caught the eye of international fashion designers working for the likes of Dior and Prada.
China says it will move to “normalize” internment camps in Xinjiang
China will move to “normalize” mass internment facilities in Xinjiang and open what Beijing calls education facilities in the region in the future, amid rising US-China clashes over the treatment of ethnic minorities in the western region. In a press conference on Monday, Shohrat Zakir, chairman of the Xinjiang government, took aim at foreign media and western governments, blaming them for distorting the image of China’s controversial counter-terrorism efforts in the predominately Muslim region, in particular its mass detention of Uygurs accused of harboring extremist ideas by the authorities. “The US is getting restless and has launched a smear campaign against Xinjiang,” he said. “But no f
China to scale back affirmative action for ethnic minorities
China is set to scale back its affirmative action policies for ethnic minorities, which could result in curbs on education opportunities as well as the removal of tax benefits and other subsidies for minority groups.  China has 56 officially recognized ethnic groups. The majority Han Chinese make up more than 90% of the population, while the other 55 groups, including ethnic Mongols, Tibetans and Uygurs, have about 110 million people, or four times the population of Australia.  Many minorities live in less-developed regions and face prevalent discrimination in the Han-dominated society. For decades, the government has granted them certain benefits, which resemble the affirmative action polic
Report details workings of China’s secretive Muslim detention camps
Newly published documents purported to be leaked directives have detailed inner workings of China’s mass detention of the Muslim minorities in the nation’s far western region of Xinjiang. A Sunday report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) says the documents offer a granular window into the day-to-day operations of the camps, where an estimated 1.5 million people have been detained.  Analysts told the group these classified documents confirm many previous reportings from eyewitness and reported accounts of what Beijing calls “re-education” programs to prevent terrorism. Responding to the Guardian, a partner of the ICIJ, the Chinese government called the docum
Ethnic minority actress wins support in China for defying cyberbullying
Chinese feminists are voicing support for an ethnic Kazakh actress who’s trying to fight against cyberbullying by sharing the malicious comments she has received on social media with her five million fans.  Cyberbullying of female celebrities has become more widely discussed in China since 25-year-old South Korean star Sulli, who was unusually outspoken and struggled with online abuse, was found dead in her home last month.  Actress Rayza, an ethnic Kazakh born and raised in Beijing, is best known for acting in a number of popular period dramas. But the 33-year-old is also one of the most divisive figures on the Chinese internet due to her openness about her mental health struggles. She fir
DNA records suggest new origins of Han Chinese
The Yellow River has long been seen as the sole cradle of Chinese civilization, but a new study shows Han Chinese can also trace its origins to two other river valleys. Research published in the online journal Molecular Biology and Evolution on Wednesday said the Yangtze and Pearl rivers – as well as the Yellow River – gave rise to genetically separate groups about 10,000 years ago. Those ancestors then mingled to become Han Chinese, the largest ethnic group in the world today, a group that makes up nearly 92% of China’s population. “The history of Han Chinese is more sophisticated than thought,” said Professor Kong Qingdong, a researcher with the Kunming Institute of Zoology at the Chinese
‘Tibetans and Uygurs not accepted’: Apple supplier probes hiring discrimination
Now hiring: workers at the world’s biggest iPhone factories. Tibetans and Uyghurs need not apply. The exclusion of ethnic minority job seekers was openly stated by a recruiting agency for Foxconn, Apple’s largest supplier, in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou. In response to an inquiry from Inkstone, Foxconn said on Friday that it had begun an investigation into the agency and vowed to help end discriminatory hiring. “It has come to our attention that an unauthorized recruitment agency may be using our name illegally for recruitment purposes and without Foxconn approval,” the company said in a statement to Inkstone. “We immediately alerted local government officials to this possible illi