Libmonster ID: SE-349
Author(s) of the publication: T. V. LAZAREVA

ethnic minorities China, Keywords:national policy


Candidate of Historical Sciences

With the political, economic and cultural changes in China, legislation to improve the institution regional national autonomy.

At the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, the question arose of introducing amendments to the text of the Autonomy Law of 1984.1

The main purpose of the revision of this law, as emphasized in the PRC, was the need to politically ensure that non-Han nationalities in areas of their compact residence can properly exercise the right to national autonomy, as well as promote their comprehensive economic and cultural development.

The legal basis of the revised law was to be the amended Constitution, the ideological basis was to be Deng Xiaoping's theory and the party's policies that had been put forward over the past 15 years, and the practical basis of this law was to be the socialist market economy system and the experience of implementing the Autonomy Law2.


The revised and amended Law of the People's Republic of China on Autonomy, which came into force in 2001.3, has been slightly expanded in comparison with the law of 1984: it now has 74 articles instead of 67. Various additions, clarifications and amendments have been made to it, and many formulations have been changed in order to bring it in line with the major changes that have taken place in the country due to the transition to a market economy.

An example of filling the revised law with concrete content is Article 65, according to which the State provides certain compensation to national autonomous regions for the export of natural resources from their territories. The publication of this article corrects shortcomings in the implementation of national policy on the ground and is associated with the long-term practice of exporting natural resources from a number of regions of national autonomy without much benefit for the regions themselves.

Since the updated Law belongs to the category of basic laws, where the provisions are formulated in the form of general principles, it became necessary to accompany it with a number of additional legal acts regulating the procedure for its application. The Autonomy Act of 1984 was not sufficiently provided with such legal acts, which made its implementation difficult.

The new version of the law introduces a special Article 73, which obliges the State Council and its departments to develop administrative legal provisions, rules, specific measures and methods necessary for its implementation. The same function was assigned to the Assemblies of People's Representatives (SNP) of national autonomous regions, cities of direct subordination and their Standing Committees (PC). The new revised Law of the People's Republic of China on Autonomy is more specific and deals with many important aspects of the life support, development and functioning of national regions.

Many changes are aimed at strengthening financial support for autonomous regions, increasing investment, and creating conditions for accelerating their economic and cultural development. A procedure has been established for providing state assistance to these regions, primarily through financial transfer systems (regular, special, and policy preferences), and an increase in capital investment is planned to gradually reduce the gap with developed regions. The previous Law of 1984 provided only for filling the financial deficit in the budgets of autonomous regions. In the 2001 Law, an important place is given to the investment of capital, the creation of basic infrastructure in national regions. Banking support for districts is regulated in detail.

Serious attention is paid to measures to overcome poverty, develop culture and education, and provide medical services in national regions. Thus, the new law compares favorably with its original version and is essentially aimed at accelerating the development of national districts.

At the same time, the PRC noted that the Law on Autonomy is still too abstract and does not make it possible to quickly resolve socio-economic issues due to objective reasons, one of which is the limited investment in the economy of national districts.4

An important event in the development of lawmaking was the publication in May 2005 of the State Council's "Regulations on the Implementation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Regional National Autonomy"5. The adoption of this document has become a prominent phenomenon in China's national policy legislation. Such a document covering all aspects of life of non-Han ethnic groups has not yet been included in the national legislation of China.

A large block of articles of the "regulations" is related to the economic-

Ending. For the beginning, see: "Asia and Africa Today", 2010, N 3.

page 13

and financial measures aimed at the development of national areas and at overcoming poverty in them. The document pays much attention to the accelerated development of education, the spread of compulsory nine-year school education, the elimination of illiteracy among young people and adults, the improvement of school working conditions, the creation of a system of correspondence education, the preservation and development of national languages and scripts, and the spread of "bilingual education"in the regions of national autonomy.

Measures are also envisaged for the development of science and technology, culture, health care, physical culture, assistance to compactly living non-Han nationalities with a relatively small population and poor areas of the national autonomy in the construction of water and electricity supply systems, the creation of rural infrastructure, radio and telecommunications, the development of the health sector, the creation of industrial and living conditions. preserving the environment and protecting the environment, etc. This is not a complete list of what is planned to be done in the areas where small ethnic groups live.

The program of socio-economic development of national districts was further developed and specified in the " National Districts Development Plan for the 11th five-year Plan (2006-2010)". According to this document, by the end of 2010, in comparison with the indicators of 2005, it is planned to increase the average annual income per capita of the urban population in national districts by 6%, exceeding the national growth rate by 1%; provide more than 95% of school-age children with nine years of compulsory education; reduce the mortality rate of newborn infants by 6%; increase the number of types of printed materials in national languages and the total circulation by 20% and 25%, respectively; increase the share of specialists of various profiles from national minorities in the total number of increase the number of specialists from all over the country by 0.5%; increase the rate of urbanization in national areas by 5%.

In order to achieve these goals, a significant emphasis is placed on accelerating the development of the economy, addressing issues related to poverty and meeting the social needs of the masses, improving the educational and scientific and technical level of small nationalities, developing health care, culture, improving the level of well-being, more active and large-scale training of personnel workers and specialists from among small nationalities, domestic service systems 6.

The efforts of the Chinese leadership to address the above-mentioned vital issues for non-Han people, the main ones being improving their well-being and getting rid of poverty, were recorded in the documents of the XVII National Congress of the CPC (October 2007). Thus, the report to the congress of the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Chinese President Hu Jintao, reflected such positions of the CPC and the People's Republic of China on the national question at the present stage, as an attitude towards preserving the institution of regional national autonomy, the harmonious development of all peoples living in China, the course towards achieving genuine national equality, and the orientation towards accelerated development of national regions. The preservation and improvement of the institution of national autonomy was also recorded in the "General Provisions" section of the new CPC Charter.

The congress documents set out the course of the Chinese leadership to implement, first of all, social problems in the national regions. Thus, since the beginning of the XXI century, a new page in national politics has opened, characterized by a shift in emphasis from the political and economic to the socio-economic vector in the development of national regions. The policy of preserving the unity of the country and the right of non-Han nationalities to have autonomous entities, but without the right to expand them and the right to self-determination, was reaffirmed.


One of the components of the national work is the CCP's policy on non-Han religious beliefs and religious freedom. As Jiang Zemin, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and President of the People's Republic of China, pointed out at the time, "the national question and religious issues in some areas are constantly intertwined, and when solving ethnic problems, one should also pay attention to the full and correct implementation of the party's policy on religion."7

Since the beginning of the 80s, a lot has been done to correct previous mistakes. At the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) In Beijing in 1988, Panchenlama X pointed out that Tibet had made serious mistakes in its national policy, especially in the areas of religion and the Tibetan language. He warned against reckless use of force in an area where almost the entire population professes Lamaism. In these circumstances, the Panchen Lama stressed, the calls of some senior officials to "crush lamas, close temples and monasteries" are fraught with serious consequences.

Today, China emphasizes that religious issues concern tens of millions of non-Han Chinese believers and, therefore, directly affect the problem of interethnic relations and the preservation of socio-political stability in the country. The administrative measures used in the past to combat religion are considered erroneous.

From the practice of closing and destroying religious buildings on the territories of national regions, and repressing religious figures, the State has moved to providing financial assistance in the restoration and restoration of churches and monasteries. Mosques and monasteries for worshippers have been reopened in Xinjiang, Tibet and other areas inhabited by ethnic groups professing Islam and Lamaism. As in the new Russia, now leading figures of government bodies and management take part in religious festivals, when they are arranged by non-Han peoples. These changes have contributed to-

page 14

The state's policy in this area continues to improve due to the fact that interethnic tensions have been alleviated in recent years. But much remains to be done to ensure genuine religious freedom. At the same time, the Chinese leadership exercises strict control over all religious activities, especially those of Muslims.


Important components of the success of the national policy are the development of education and health systems, raising the cultural level of non-Han peoples, recognizing their freedom to use and develop their own language and writing, and preserving national customs.

Significant changes have taken place in all these areas.

The development of the education system can be judged by the results of the 5th Population Census (2000). It was noted that before 1949, illiteracy among non-Han people "usually amounted to 90% or more" (in some cases it was 98%). The number of non-Han students increased from 2.88% in 1952 to 7.7% in 1990 and 8.04% in 2000. Koreans have the highest literacy rate (96.96%). The Bai (91.27%), Manchu (88.18%), Kazakh (86.53%), Tujia (86.41%), Zhuaniyi (85.39%), and Kom (85.22%) had higher literacy rates than the Han (84.91%). The lowest literacy rates were among I (65.22%), Hani (62.43%), and Tibetans (42.84%).

In terms of the rate of development of secondary education (higher level) (an increase of 5 - 12 times), the Yi, Zhuang, Bui, Kom, Hani, Kazakhs, Tai, Li, Miao, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Manchus, Yao, and Bai peoples were in the lead. In terms of the number of people who received secondary education, Koreans were in the lead (23.94%) (which is more than the Han Chinese). Tibetans had the lowest rate (3.71%). Less than 5% - miao, yi, Bui and tai8.

Despite the positive developments in this area, there are still a lot of unresolved problems, and they are primarily related to the low quality of basic education in areas where non-Chinese nationalities live, the lack of teaching staff, the low level of their training, the presence of numerous dilapidated schools, the lack of equipment, as well as the lack of knowledge of the Chinese language among non-Han it forces them to make low requirements for admission to higher education institutions.

Efforts to raise the level of education of non-Han nationalities and establish a national education network continue.

An example, in particular, was teaching, passing and taking exams in two languages-Chinese and the language of indigenous nationality. University entrance exams have a policy of preferential treatment for non-Han students, namely: the entrance score for admission is reduced, and non-Han students are exempt from paying tuition fees and textbooks. 9 For non-Han Chinese speakers who do not speak Chinese, universities offer one-or two-year preparatory courses for learning Chinese and preparing applicants for admission to this university. But despite all this, the percentage of non-Chinese students entering the country's universities is still low.

A certain brake is the slow overcoming of traditional views, according to which learning is considered a matter of not so great importance, which is why, until now, many representatives of the non-Han population in the PRC do not want to send their children to study. In such areas, illiteracy reaches a very high percentage.

According to the Xinhua news agency, the national districts 'economic difficulties facing the education system make it impossible to" fully implement the nine-year compulsory school education policy." According to a representative of the Department of National Minority Affairs of the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, this policy is "effective" only in 45% of areas where non-Han nationalities live, and then only at the level of administrative national counties and above.

The language policy is part of the national policy of a multinational State. Over the 60-year period of the PRC's existence, the policy regarding the languages of non-Chinese nationalities has undergone drastic changes.

Today, the People's Republic of China pays serious attention to the preservation, use and development of the languages and scripts of the small ethnic groups inhabiting China. It can be stated that the right to use the national language and written language has been implemented in almost all territories where non-Han nationalities live.

For example, the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) provides for equal use of the Tibetan language along with Chinese, and Tibetan is declared the main language. All laws and regulations, official documents, and various notifications are published in Tibetan and Chinese. The Tibetan language, along with Chinese, is used in inscriptions on state seals, in certificates, questionnaire forms, postal envelopes and correspondence, paper for office records, in office symbols, as well as in street signs of institutions, enterprises, educational institutions, railway stations, airports, shops, hotels, restaurants,etc. theater facilities, tourist sites, sports facilities, and libraries 10.


Since the early days of the PRC, the selection, training and involvement of national leadership personnel has been a key element of the regional national autonomy policy. Moreover, the main task was to conduct large-scale political training of national cadres, who were called upon to become "guides of the party's political course" in national districts.

The most important aspect of the CCP's personnel policy in the national regions since the early 1950s has been the use of the "necessary number" of Han Ganbu (cadres) in these regions, the attraction of "patriotic intellectuals", "activists from among the masses", as well as" leaders " of non-Han nationality who "have connections with the people"11. An example is the participation of the Dalai Lama and Panchen-

page 15

Lama participation in the 1st session of the National People's Congress of the 1st convocation (1954), which was regarded in the PRC as an important historical event-a precedent for the participation of the Tibetan people through their leaders in government.

In the early 1950s, a network of political schools and political courses was established in Beijing to train national cadres and Han cadres who expressed a desire to work in national districts, and special secondary and primary schools were opened. In 1951. The Central Institute of Nationalities was opened (later renamed the Central University of Nationalities), and its branches were opened in the North-West, South-West, and Central-Southern China.

By the end of 1956, the total number of national cadres exceeded 400 thousand people. These were cadres at the parish level and above, including teachers of primary schools and army ganes12. Later, with the change in the political and economic situation in China, the training of national scientific and technical personnel began.

Currently, there are 2 million 915 thousand people in China. national personnel workers, which is 7.4% of the total number of personnel in the country. Among county-level managers across China, there are 45,000 national cadre workers.13

Representatives of small ethnic groups work as chairmen of almost all 5 autonomous regions, heads of autonomous districts, counties and cities. They have their representatives in the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the State Council, and the CPC Central Committee. Thus, at the 5th session of the NPC of the 11th convocation, 360 representatives of non-Han nationalities entered the NPC 14.

Among the newly elected members of the CPC Central Committee of the 17th convocation (October 2007), 16 representatives of small nationalities were elected out of 204 people, 23 people were elected as candidates for members of the CPC Central Committee, and 8 people became members of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. According to Xinhua, among the delegates of the congress, representatives of small nationalities made up 10.9%.

The system of universities and institutes of nationalities formed in the PRC is the core around which a multi-channel network of all other educational institutions that train national cadres has developed. Currently, there are more than 10 institutes (universities) of different nationalities in China.

Issues of national policy and national relations are handled by specially established bodies. An important body is the State Committee for Ethnic Affairs (Goskomnats), which is directly subordinate to the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The Committee is headed by a Chairman and several Vice-chairmen (currently the Chairman is Korean Lee Deju).

The functions of the State Committee include, first of all, the implementation and development of policies and laws on the national issue, checking the status of their implementation, directing and monitoring the functioning of the regional national autonomy system, participating in the development of plans for socio-economic and cultural construction in national regions, stimulating the activities of various bodies within the State Council of the PRC related to the implementation of economic and cultural development in national areas. This state body is also charged with working in the field of national languages in general, translating and publishing literature in national languages; managing institutes of nationalities and training national personnel; organizing study tours of representatives of non-Han peoples in the country and abroad; performing specific tasks of the State Council related to various problems of non-Han people; supervising bodies for ethnic affairs in autonomous regions and provinces of the People's Republic of China.

Local committees for ethnic affairs have been established and operate in various levels of national autonomy, and their activities are monitored by local administrative bodies.

An important role also belongs to the Commission of Nationalities, which works under the direct supervision of the NPC and the Standing Committee (PC) of the NPC, whose duties include reviewing the reports of the autonomous regions, submitting them for approval by the NPC PC, reviewing the provisions on autonomy and separately existing regulations (local laws) developed in the autonomous regions. Another central body in charge of ethnic affairs is the Committee on Ethnic and Religious Affairs of the National Committee of China (CC) of the CPPCC. It plays an important role in reflecting the views and demands of non-Han nationalities regarding the CCP's national policy course, as well as formulating its proposals for the economic and cultural development of national areas.


The practical application of the legislative acts that underlie the policy of regional national autonomy has made it possible to achieve certain results in many areas of development of national regions of the country. Thanks to the efforts of the Chinese leadership aimed at accelerating the development of national regions, their standard of living has significantly increased. Currently, most rural areas have solved the problem of meeting their basic needs. The changes affected the way of life, housing conditions and other vital aspects of small ethnic groups.

Over the years of reforms and openness, serious progress has been made in the socio-economic development of national districts. Such industries as industry, energy, electronics, communication systems, electrification, telephony and other infrastructure sectors are developing at an accelerated pace, and transport communications (air, railways, highways) are being put into operation. In January 2008, the program for the development of western regions for the period of the 11th five-year plan (2006-2010) set the task of increasing the dynamics of development to accelerate the elimination of poverty, it is planned to double GDP

page 16

per capita in the western regions compared to 2005

The national policy pursued in China since the founding of the People's Republic of China is quite successful and effective, despite the presence of well-known failures and miscalculations in it, primarily related to the destructive political attitudes of the periods of the "great leap forward" and the "cultural revolution".

Since the 1980s, the Chinese leadership has implemented a fairly wide range of measures to regulate and stabilize national relations in the PRC. The measures taken covered the areas of legislation, economy, and culture. The most important achievements include the introduction of a system of regional national autonomy, determining the degree of significance of the national issue in China, creating a legislative system, developing a system of educational institutions for non-Han nationalities, positive changes in the elimination of non-Han illiteracy, success in training national personnel, improving the standard of living of small peoples, etc.

This made it possible to generally mitigate the tensions in national relations in the country. However, the improvement in the situation was relative, and it was especially noticeable against the background of the arbitrary treatment of non-Chinese nationalities that took place from the end of the 50s and during the "cultural revolution".

At the same time, not everything was solved properly. As State Committee Chairman Li Dezhu admits, "we need to face the facts soberly and realize that there are still many difficulties and problems in implementing national policy." He mentions, in particular, the lack of compliance of the national policy implemented in the PRC with the current conditions of the Chinese market economy, the lack of additional legislative provisions necessary for the implementation of the Law on Autonomy, the lack of measures taken to accelerate the socio-economic development of national minorities and national regions, the weak connection of theoretical research in the field of the state of propaganda and education in the spirit of the party's national policy is not entirely satisfactory. All these problems, Li Dezhu emphasizes, need to be approached with increased attention and find ways to solve them.15

While assessing the national relations in China and describing them as generally good and "relatively calm", the media also recognizes that there are still "unstable factors" in these relations that negatively affect interethnic relations, which include, first of all, the actions of separatist forces and a large gap in international relations. development levels of national regions and advanced Chinese provinces.

Recognizing the existence of these problems, the PRC emphasizes that they need to be approached very carefully, "in order to prevent the possibility of a situation of destabilization in the country." 16

Despite a tenfold increase (compared to 1952) in the gross industrial and agricultural output of the national regions, according to current Chinese estimates, the economic status of the national autonomous regions is still classified as backward. Lack of money, food, clothing, water and shelter - these are the most pressing problems of more than 4 million people. especially needy people who live mainly in remote mountainous, high-altitude and desert areas, suffering from poor ecology, soil erosion and all kinds of natural disasters. Funds allocated from the central budget for lifting people out of poverty in poor national regions are clearly insufficient. In order to speed up their solution, the Chinese leadership intends to further increase investment, plans to establish a number of new benefits, including the exemption of the poor population from tuition fees for children of rural residents living in particularly harsh natural conditions, improving the social security system, etc.

Thus, the national policy of the People's Republic of China contributes to the undoubted progress in the development of national regions, improving the standard of living of small ethnic groups in China, and preserving the integrity of the country.

At the same time, the strategy of large-scale development and development of autonomous regions, aimed at improving the standard of living of the population, whose incomes significantly lag behind those of other regions of the country, and in many development indicators are still at a lower level than the national average, has not yet led to the solution of many problems that it constantly faces the central government of China.

At the same time, it is impossible not to take into account the fact that the economy and well-being of the people are significantly affected by the presence of particularly harsh natural conditions, lagging behind in development, and separatist activities.

China has managed not only to preserve the integrity of the state, but also to strengthen interethnic relations in the country, improve the standard and quality of life of non-Han nationalities.

The experience of the PRC in solving national problems, despite all the zigzags of national policy that have taken place over the past 60 years, is very instructive and deserves to be studied.

1 Minzu tuanjie, 1999, N 4, p. 8.

2 Minzu tuanjie, 1999, N 5, pp. 11-12.

3 The latest version of the Law on Autonomy of the People's Republic of China was adopted by the 20th session of the 9th National People's Congress on 28.02.2001. Zhonghua renmin gunghego minzu quyu zizhifa (Law of the People's Republic of China on Regional National Autonomy). Beijing, 2001.

4 Minzu yanjiu, 2003, No. 5, pp. 5-6.

5 People's Daily, 27.05.2005.

6 Zhongguo minzu. 2007, N 4, p. 26.

Jiang Zemin. 7 Lun yu junguo taese de shehuijui (On socialism with Chinese characteristics). Beijing, 2002, pp. 357-368.

8 Zhongguo mingzu, 2003, No. 9, S. I.

9 Xinjiang, China: Past and Present. Xinjiang, 2006, pp. 245-246.

10 National Regional Autonomy in Tibet. White Paper, May 2008.

11 Minzu zhengze wenjian huibian (Collection of National Policy Documents). Vol. 1. Peking, 1958, p. 50.

12 Minzu tuanjie, 1958, N 2, p. 9.

13 Renmin zhengxie bao, 30.04.2007.

14 People's zhengxie bao, 25.04.2007; People's Daily, 28.04.2007.

15 Zhongguo minzu, 2003, N 2, p. 7.

16 Minzu wenti yanjiu, 2003, N 3, p. 27.


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