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Jul 23

Letter: Xinjiang, Tibet, beyond: China’s ethnic relations

Written by Hohhot on Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 at 10:14 pm
Filed under:Analysis, politics | Tags:, , ,
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unity

The ethnic protests and clashes in China’s westernmost region of Xinjiang on 5-6 July 2009 and the following days have caused around 200 deaths. The deadly violence, mainly between the Uyghur (and Muslim) population and the Han Chinese – but also involving the security forces killing some protesting Uyghurs, in circumstances that are not yet clear – has shocked and polarised public opinion across China. They have also focused renewed attention on the sensitive and complex theme of the relationship between different ethnic groups in the People’s Republic of China.

The argument can be heard on either side of the divide in Xinjiang that the political arrangements in the region don’t match its socio-economic circumstances. Uyghurs are unhappy with the tokenism of “nationality policies”, and demand more participation and more of a share in the Xinjiang economy and its social proceeds; Han Chinese are unhappy with what they see as official favouritism towards the Uyghurs, and seek to remove the guarantees of autonomy and special treatment that Uyghurs (and other ethnic minorities) are supposed to benefit from.

A balance of favour

The events of early July 2009 – which mainly, not not exclusively, occurred in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi – reflect the deeper processes of rapid economic growth and social transformation during in the 1990s and 2000s. In particular, the national policies of China’s leadership in opening the economy, creating new labour-market mechanisms, and encouraging internal-migration flows have had profound effects in this region (as elsewhere).

These processes have accompanied China’s historic shift from a centrally planned to a market economy, which has made it the manufacturing centre of the world. Many have benefited, but there have also been great problems, including new development gaps – between urban and rural areas, coastal regions and inland/frontier areas, and prosperous and poor in the same places. In addition, there are huge insecurities: many people in China have lost the assurance of a lifetime job and the social safety-nets that they enjoyed a generation ago.

In Xinjiang, this “uneven development” has in the eyes of many Uyghurs become institutionalised along ethnic lines to their disadvantage; the result has been that they have been increasingly marginalised in the region’s economic life .

The Uyghur intellectual and scholar Ilham Tohti – who was detained in the wake of the Urumqi events – has offered two examples. First, the Xinjiang production and construction corps is an all-embracing institution that brings together the communist party, government, army, farms, and factories; it has taken the best farmland in Xinjiang and diverted rivers from the upper streams to its further advantage. Second, Xinjiang has been supplying oil, coal, gas and cotton to more developed Chinese regions, yet locals have to pay higher prices for some of those products than are charged in inland Chinese areas.

Ilham Tohti argues that China’s Xinjiang policy is worse even than “colonialism”. When foreign capital comes to china or other less-developed countries, local people at least have the chance to be “exploited” in “sweatshop factories”. But when China establishes state farms, businesses, and oil companies on its own territory, it imports large numbers of Chinese workers to the area concerned. Uyghur workers have in the main not been absorbed by state factories in Xinjiang; some though have been sent 4,000 kilometres away to work in factories in Guangdong province, where the deaths of two of them in a conflict with Han Chinese workers on 25-26 June 2009 played a role in the outbreak of the violence in Urumqi .

An ideological disguise

Chinese communist forces entered Xinjiang in 1949 and disbanded the republic of East Turkestan. Since then, under successive systems of effective local independence and regional autonomy, China has created a facade of equality between the “nationalities”. In practice, however, the new China continues to implement some elements of an older “frontier strategy”: that is, using large-scale Chinese emigration to consolidate the strategically important regions across its western frontier .

Human Rights Watch estimates that Han Chinese in Xinjiang composed 6% of the entire regional population in 1949, but had become 40% by 2007. The current figure does not include either members of the Chinese military and their families, or unregistered migrant workers. In addition, the aforementioned Xinjiang production and construction corps is the largest ever of its kind; its control of farms, mines, factories, towns, schools, hospitals, police and courts makes it in effect an independent kingdom transplanted into Xinjiang (and, significantly, it is praised by Chinese media as a “deterrence to guarantee the state’s unity”).

The establishment of Chinese immigration and dominance in Xinjiang, however, took place under the disguise of an ideology that was at once “supranational” and “socialist”. In the communist doctrine of “proletarian internationalism”, nations and national sentiments – whether of the Chinese or non-Chinese peoples – are regarded as temporary, destined to disappear into a nation-less communist commonwealth at a higher level of development.

The supranational policy and this associated ideology were equally against local ethnic nationalisms and manifestations of Chinese chauvinism, the latter including the oppressive policies toward non-Chinese peoples pursued by (for example) the pre-1949 Chinese warlords, the Manchu dynasty, and the Kuomintang. The legitimacy of Xinjiang’s integration into China is based on the claim that the common interests of the toiling masses of Chinese and non-Chinese alike made unnecessary any demands for national self-determination by local non-Chinese peoples.

An ethnic revival

Since the late 1980s the supranational emphasis of Chinese nationality policy and theory has increasingly collided with the effects of China’s market-reform policies. The older official ideology has little purchase on the emergent social realities, and the state’s response has been to swerve to the right by emphasising statist cohesion and the idea of an all-inclusive Chinese nation. These notions need legitimacy, which is met in part by theories that have emerged to compete for prominence – among them the “Zhong Hua nation”, the “descendants of Yan and Huang”, the “people of the dragon”, and other quintessences of “Chinese culture” and “Chineseness”.

The period when China’s official ideology has swung rightwards has coincided with the country’s acquisition of tremendous economic strength and political influence in the international arena. The perception of a rising China is acutely felt at home. In particular, it acts to reinforce Han Chinese ethnic identity and nationalist sentiment; this in turn influences the internal ethnic relationship, by heightening the sense of insecurity felt by non-Chinese minorities facing economic marginalisation and cultural assimilation .

Two more positive factors intensify the process of a sharpening of ethnic identity in regions such as Xinjiang. First, many people in Xinjiang share close ethnic affinities with those in the five central Asian and majority-Muslim states – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. These states, which emerged out of the collapse of the former Soviet Union, represent a powerful reminder to the Uyghur in Xinjiang of their distinct identity and potentially different political loyalty in relation to their Han Chinese neighbours.

Second, the past two decades have witnessed the spread of new communication technologies such as the internet and the mobile phone. These have facilitated new forms of discourse, organisation and information flows on the part of the Uyghurs and comparable peoples. The connections between people in Xinjiang and those across the border or in the wider diaspora are an important part of this.

At the same time, the creation of online networks also creates the possibility that false or malicious rumours can have nefarious effects in the real world; the Guangdong violence and that in Urumqi were characterised by the online fanning of hatred between Han Chinese and Uyghurs.

Much of this online orchestration of prejudice exploits pre-existing ethnic stereotypes. It is important to recognise here that these can work both ways. For example, at the national people’s congress in Beijing in 2004, I witnessed the then Xinjiang governor Ismail Tiliwaldi react with visible irritation to a formulaic question from a Hong Kong journalist that invited his comment on the large number of common crimes allegedly committed by Uyghurs in Chinese cities. Tiliwaldi reminded the questioner of the need for balanced reporting, and added that ethnic population-exchange went in both directions.

The huge number of Chinese people who have migrated to Xinjiang in recent decades include many who have been through China’s own prison system; some too are survivors of the many large state prisons scattered across Xinjiang’s Gobi desert). Indeed, from the Manchu dynasty to 1949, Xinjiang played a role not unlike colonial-era Australia to Britain, as the enforced destination of many of its convicts. Members of local non-Chinese minorities complain about the high proportion of convicts among the Chinese immigrant population.

The emergence of deep divisions along ethnic lines – even when they fall, as they usually do, very far short of violence – suggests that much more than cosmetic repairs and propaganda spins will be needed if the fundamental problems in areas such as Xinjiang are to be addressed.

A quiet end

Today, many Chinese regard the old system of nationality-based regional autonomy as a proven failure. They criticise what they perceive as the central state’s excessively benign policy towards ethnic minorities, claiming that this extends even to treating people as above the law. They blame especially the so-called “two restraints and one leniency” policy announced by the CCP in 1984, which enjoins leniency in restraining and prosecuting crimes committed by members of minorities.

These attitudes fuel nostalgia for the “good old days” of the 1950s, when Xinjiang was under the iron reign of General Wang Zhen – notorious for his merciless handling of ethnic and religious affairs, including the massacre of large numbers of minority people. Even Mao Zedong criticised Wang Zhen for his “ultra-left” zealotry and later removed from his Xinjiang post.

Wang Lixiong recounted his personal experience in Xinjiang in his book Our West Region is Your East Turkistan. He encountered the sharp contrast of views expressed by the different nationalities about General Wang Zhen and to the Chinese warlord Sheng Shicai,who had ruled Xinjiang in the 1930-40s. The ethnic minorities in Xinjiang regarded Wang Zhen and Sheng Shicai as ruthless mass-killers; some even called Wang Lequan, the current Xinjiang party boss, “Wang Shicai”. But most Chinese in Xinjiang see Wang Zhen and Sheng Shicai as national heroes who expanded and consolidated Chinese territory.

These attitudes influence political beliefs. Many influential Chinese figures – including Qian Xuesen, and other leading intellectuals and dissidents – have asked the Chinese authorities to re-examine the “favouritist” nationality policy. Some even have called for the cancellation of the existing nationality-based autonomous regions, and returned Xinjiang to its status as a Chinese province. The American model of “melting-pot” assimilation is widely regarded as the solution to China’s ethnic problems.

Wang Lixiong too has more recently argued that China can do without the system of nationality-based regional autonomy, as long as individual rights are guaranteed under a democratic system. He says: “If individual rights are guaranteed, naturally the rights of ethnic groups consisting of individuals can be guaranteed; hence the nationality-based regional autonomy is no longer needed” .

An impossible problem

A wider view, however, suggests that there is little empirical evidence in international history for the view of Chinese dissidents that democracy is something of a miracle solution to ethnic conflicts. Dibyesh Anand wisely comments that a “non-communist democratic China may not necessarily be more accommodative of minority interests” (see Dibyesh Anand, “China’s borderlands: the need to rethink”, 15 July 2009).

In theory, China historically incorporated non-Chinese regions not via the will of leaders or by naked conquest, but by forging agreements with local ethnic elites – either radical (in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia) or conservative (Tibet). The basis of these agreements is a compromise between Chinese communist goals and non-Chinese nationalist demands for national autonomy or liberation. The pacts include the “seventeen-point agreement” and many other directives promulgated by Chinese communists and local non-Chinese communist and nationalist collaborators around 1949. The legitimacy of the nationality-based regional-autonomy system derives from these agreements .

In another words, the major ethnic minorities of the autonomous regions consider that they joined the People’s Republic of China in 1949 as groups – with their elites (revolutionary or conservative as the case may be) as their political representatives in the new system.

But after 1949, the ethnic elites within the system were gradually purged and replaced by more obedient ethnic cadres, who became the only legitimate representatives of their groups left within the system. China’s lordly policy toward non-Chinese nationalism means that non-Chinese minority cadres have more worries than their Chinese counterparts about defending local interests .

Now, sixty years on from 1949, the nationality system may serve a legitimation purpose for China as a multi-ethnic state – but in practice it has lost its original meaning. China is at a crossroads: after decades of capitalist reform, state control – including the nationality system – is in deep tension with forces of unrestrained economic change.

In this respect, the call for American-style assimilationism to deal with non-Chinese minorities represents support for a market-forces solution: one that (it is argued) tends to break down regional and ethnic barriers, and replace ethnic relations with individually-based economic relations. The logic is that as a result the state’s core character would change from a multi-ethnic one into a homogenous nation-state.

A tough choice

The way Chinese authorities have responded to the Xinjiang riots has been criticised by both the Chinese public and Uighur exile groups. It is Chinese authority’s supranational (even ostensibly “neutral”) stance – seeing the riots not as an ethnic incident but as a political one – that is scorned come by Chinese (for the “official” position, see Fu Ying, “Unity is Deep in China’s Blood”, Guardian, 13 July 2009).

For the Uyghurs in Xinjiang and other non-Chinese minorities, the great concern is how far Chinese authority can resist increasingly populist opinion and retain this limited neutrality. The answer to this question will affect how far and how much non-Chinese minorities can identify with the state. As China’s society becomes more loose and state power recedes, government policy is more and more subject to social influences.

The Chinese authorities face a tough choice over how they maintain the state’s legitimacy and deal with ethnic relations. If they seek to respond to growing Han Chinese ethnic nationalism by accelerating assimilation of non-Chinese groups, this would provoke the minority-nationalist causes with which the Chinese state found some accommodation in 1949: national self-determination and national liberation. But if they seek to amend and improve existing multi-ethnic arrangements to improve inter-ethnic relations in autonomous regions, they risk severe problems with Chinese business interests and popular opinions.

China has no easy way out. The fires of Lhasa, and now Urumqi, cannot be extinguished without the most intelligent and sophisticated policy mix. But even that might not be enough. Several genies are out of the bottle, and flying free. Welcome to the 21st century, China.

Note from the author (Hohhot): this article is cross-posted at Open Democracy.


There are currently 5 comments highlighted: 44087, 44117, 44260, 44287, 44306.

161 Responses to “Letter: Xinjiang, Tibet, beyond: China’s ethnic relations”

  1. Charles Liu Says:

    Hothot, “security forces killing some protesting Uyghurs, in circumstances that are not yet clear”

    First of all, I would not call the death and destruction “protest”. Also, here’s a footage showing the behavior of the rioters, and why they were shot:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=aa8_1248037806

    00:34 – one man produces a machete inside the mosque
    00:40 – second man joins first, holding mechete
    00:43 – third man joins, holding mechete
    00:45 – people are chased outside by 3 men with mechete
    00:48 – 3-4 shots were fired out of camera
    00:56 – a man charging with mechete was shot, falls to the ground
    00:57 – the man gets up, charges again
    01:00 – the man is shot agan, falls to the ground
    01:01 – second man with mechete continues to charge towards direction of gunshot
    01:08 – second man is shot, falls to the ground (police are now in camera)
    01:10 – second man gets up, charges and was shot again
    01:16 – three police standing over third man, calling for ambulance. Mechete is next to the man
    01:21 – injured man is loaded onto ambulance
    01:29 – police leaving the scene with mechetes and a bag
    01:43 – police couting 20 mechetes inside the bag
    01:46 – XUAR govenor Nur Berki describes the incident where 3 men with mechetes raised, chasing parishioners and security guards out of the mosque, and charging police once outside

    Now, can you tell me if anything you mentioned in your long article can justify the violence shown in the footage? Are the police justified in their shooting?

    Towards the end of the segment(minute 02:00), the reporter also mentioned during the press conference Nur Berki stated the 12 rioters shot on 5/7 were commiting violent crime at the time. Again are the police justified in shooting people commiting arson and murder?

  2. Allen Says:

    Hothot,

    If market forces and globalization have caused fissures along ethnic lines, I don’t know if ethnic nationalism would solve the problem. Even if Xinjiang were independent, the same forces of globalization would still put pressure on the traditional way of life. If ethnic minorities feel they cannot compete against Hans from other parts of China, any newly formed independent country probably would not be able to compete against China also.

    I agree that “The fires of Lhasa, and now Urumqi, cannot be extinguished without the most intelligent and sophisticated policy mix.” But I will go even broader than that, I believe it will take top-notch intelligent policy making and execution from the central gov’t to dispel social, class, ethnic, and environmentally-driven discontents in the coming decades.

  3. BMY Says:

    First of all , the author has addressed many issues which contributes to today’s ethnic problems and many of them I agree. However things I would like to say:

    1. What happened on 7/5 was not a clash between ethnical rivals. There was clash between protestors ,rioters and police . Most of the deaths were caused by planned, organized, ethnic militia carried out ethnic cleanings onto bystanders who belong to different ethnic group . On 7/7, when thousands of armed Han mobs were looking for revenge but they were stopped by police and again the ethnic clash did not happen on that day .

    2. The disbanded Republic of East Turkestan was not equal to Xinjiang. It was a set up by Stalin only in a very small area of XinJiang.

    3. The recruitment problem in P&C Corp is not unique in XinJiang. The “Third front” factories in other part of China have similar problem as I experienced and posted on another thread. I am not convinced it’s ethnic based.

    4. The accusation of “worse even than “colonialism” is also too simplistic. It’s more to do with communist planed economy mode than ethnic policy. When ShangHai one city along produced 12% of GDP in the 70s and early 80s, their money had been used to build cities like BeiJing. When ShanXi supplied coal to the industry region in the east and all the heating energy to all the country, the local peasants next to the mine had no coal to cook their dinner and warm up their house.

    5. The millions of layoff workers lost everything who had devoted their whole life to the state owned SOE and they had no less grievance than people who didn’t get to work for state owned enterprise. They protest but they do not kill.

    6. The social economic gap between the eastern region and western region , between rural and urban has caused lots of problems. Again this is due to the reform policy in the beginning which was favourite eastern region , but the policy was not designed to targeted ethnic. The millions of poor presents in Henan, Shanxi, SiChuan and some other provinces have no land to farm and are systematically discriminated by the state and urban residents. Their priests and churches have to be underground and often get arrested. While in XiJiang,mosques are state sponsored and imams are on state pay slip . These poor peasants have no less grievance . They protest but they don’t kill bystanders.

    I am not here to play blame games. All the issues need be addressed crossed the whole country. To highlight/prefer one than the other has already contributed to today’s problems.

  4. Hemulen Says:

    @Charles Lui

    It would be polite if you could try to respond to some of the points that Hohhot made.

    @Allan

    Market forces and globalization do not work uniformly, but are shaped by state policy. The Chinese government is open to foreign capital and investment, but it restricts foreign influence in many arenas, especially media. If China opened its doors completely to foreign influence, just the way Xinjiang and Tibet have been opened to unrestricted Han Chinese influence, then your comparison might work.But the playing field is not even. As things stand now, state policy provides Han Chinese with more opportunities than it does to Uighurs or Tibetans, whose culture and languages are being marginalized by Chinese policy. That is a problem that has to be addressed.

  5. Charles Liu Says:

    Why is that while 9/11 is almost never mentioned in conjuction with America’s failing in middle east policy and muslin world’s legitmate grievences, only condemnation of violance against Osama Bin Ladin – when unprecedented death and destruction occures in Xinjian, the violence infalmmed by Kadeer and WUC’s false slavery and genocide accusation, takes a back seat to any grievences that can never justify it?

    This glaring double standard when it comes to China, and sympathy towards those who commit violence, is utterly disgusting.

    BTW, all those “non-Chinese” this and that is supposed to reconcile division or infalme it? Or does “non-Han Chinese” is completly intolerable to the author, since it implies recognition of China’s established soveregnty and current states?

    And what’s this “obedient ethnic cadres” business? Any minority Chinese citizen not rioting against the establishment, even out of their own free will, is automatcally denigrated? It’s beyong “too simplistic”.

  6. may Says:

    “Wang Lixiong too has more recently argued that China can do without the system of nationality-based regional autonomy, as long as individual rights are guaranteed under a democratic system. He says: “If individual rights are guaranteed, naturally the rights of ethnic groups consisting of individuals can be guaranteed; hence the nationality-based regional autonomy is no longer needed” .”

    – Hohhot, thanks a lot for your thoughtful analysis, but may I ask where does Wang’s quote come from? Is it from 亚洲周刊 The International Chinese Newsweekly? If it is, I don’t think your quote is an accurate representation of Wang’s view. This is the original Chinese:

    Reporter asks: 有人说民族自治过时了,你认为呢?

    Wang replies: 的确国内这种声音近年不断放大,说民族自治是苏联模式,已被证明失败,应该採纳美国模式,不去人为地划分民族、强调民族。这似乎已经成为主流声音,权力当局对此也会很有兴趣。但是你不能光讲美国模式,而不看到美国模式的基本前提——那就是民主和对人权的保证。如果个人权利能够得到保证,由具有人权的个人组成的族群当然也会有得到保证的权利,就不一定需要民族区域自治。而在个人权利得不到保证的时候,民族的权利怎麽得到保证呢?如果这时再被剥夺掉民族区域自治的保护,便只能受到更多欺凌。所以我说,在目前的政治制度中,很难产生从根本上解决问题的方法。一个真正民主和自由的、有充分人权保证的社会体系,才是解决中国民族问题的根本所在。

    不过,当政治制度发生转型时,恰恰可能使得原本积压的民族矛盾大暴发。从苏联解体,到南斯拉夫内战,到当年印度和巴基斯坦的分治等都可以看到转型过程的险恶。如何解决这种与民主转型如影相随的民族衝突,避免所出现的灾难,又是一个重大的课题。

    original interview is here: 專訪:獨立作家、民族問題專家王力雄
    新疆問題需要新思維和大轉變 .紀碩鳴

    http://www.yzzk.com/cfm/Content_Archive.cfm?Channel=ae&Path=232819631/29ae4a.cfm

    I don’t have the time to do a line-by-line translation now, but basically
    1. Wang thinks if individual rights and freedom can be guaranteed in China, the nationality-based autonomous regions is not necessarily needed. “不一定需要民族区域自治” means Wang thinks in a democratic China whether autonomous regions should remain is open for discussion. He did not say in absolute terms that autonomous regions should go. Your translation of his reply is not accurate.

    2. The whole point of Wang’s reply is that he thinks under the current system, autonomous regions are necessary to safeguard minority groups rights and freedom. He is speaking up against dismantling the system in the interview.

  7. BMY Says:

    My question to everyone? If all the so called “uneven political problems” like the ration of each ethnic in the government, the ethnic language been promoted and used ,ethnic preference policies removed etc, economic gap between region has been fulfilled. Would all this stop ethnic tension or bloodshed? we simply look at Balkan(not in Kosovo) .

    Then is there anything need be done to every conmen folks to stop the ignorance, discrimination against each other which I think is also very important.

    Anyone who has worked in the industry area in the south or being universities(in China) ,which all concentrated with large number of young people from different province ,would know there are brawls happens all the time between groups based in different origin , sometimes resulted in the loss of life. ShaoGuan was just a extreme example. There are hidden rules among some factories owners that not to hire too many from s## province and h## province just to prevent the gang fights.

    One incident I experience in uni was there was a big argument between one of my classmate , who is from XinJiang(he is Han) and another student from a different class in canteen. Then hours later , a group of students stormed into our floor and looking for the XinJiang student. They asked” where are you from” with Beijing accent before they punch other students. One of my classmate answered ” I am from Beijing, so?” And he avoided the punches. We can change “BeiJing” to other names like “LiaoNing”,”Sichuan” “Hunan” or whatever(not happen that often on the students from South-East), it still applies.

  8. BMY Says:

    First of all, I am not here against the idea of democracy and rights Mr Wang was talking about.

    But It’s a big question if democracy could ease the ethnic problems like Mr Wang would like to think. Again, let’s look at Balkan after dictator was gong then nationalistic politicians on every side used democracy and free speech to fan ethnic hatred, to win election, to encourage neighbours who used to live together peacefully in decades then to against each other

  9. may Says:

    BMY, in the last paragraph of his reply, Wang speaks about the same problems you raised in your comment. He is well aware of the dangers ethnic tensions will pose to a transitional democracy. Since I was addressing to Hohhot in my last comment, I did not quote Wang’s complete reply. Sorry…..I have updated the quote and I also provided a link to the original interview in 亚洲周刊.

  10. rolf Says:

    Do not underestimate outside forces. To me some of the rioters look very well-trained and zealous. You could see the same during the riots in Lhasa last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4eclXP8-dw&feature=PlayList&p=04B4CDD6C20EA640&index=10

    Yazhou Zhoukan Interview With Hailaite (07/24/2009):

    Q: Where did you begin to feel that there will be an incident on July 5?
    A: After the Shaoguan incident, I felt that there will be a major incident with bloodshed. Even before the Shaoguan incident, there was a hint of a major incident in Xinjiang. After the Shaoguan incident, I wrote three blog posts on the impact of this incident. My analyses re-affirmed the judgment.

    [...]

    Q: If the overseas forces can organize the July 5 incident, doesn’t that prove that they still have a lot of power inside China?
    A: Yes, definitely. I keep feeling that the July 5 incident was organized by Hezbollah. It is an illegal religious organization which has developed rapidly in southern Xinjiang over the past few years. I have studied this organization. It was founded by an Afghan. When this Afghan person died, his student (a Pakistani doctor) re-organized and promoted the organization. Hezbollah is an underground organization in China, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 1997, when Hezbollah first appeared in Xinjiang, it only had a few hundred members. The data from the relevant departments last year said that this organization may already have 10,000 members in Xinjiang now.

    On the day of July 5, I watched the rioters assault, smash and loot along Xinhuanan Road. A hundred people gathered and dispersed in a highly organized manner. They all wore sport shoes. From their accents, they are basically from Kashar and Hotin. I did not see them carrying knives. I determined that they were Hezbollah because of the slogans that they used. The rioters said, “Hans scram! Kill all the Hans!” Apart from those, there was also “We want to build an Islam nation! We want strict enforcement of Islamic law!” The goal of Hezbollah is to restore an Islamic government that enforces Islamic law strickly. This is a branch of fundamentalism. This organization is very tight and its membership is very peculiar in that they absorb young peasant men around 20 years old. This organization is very backwards and have no social base within the Uighurs. All those who have received even a slight bit of education would be totally uninterested in them. The organizations that are infiltrated from the outside have only very small influence. If the government goes after that, they can be completely eradicated. There ix no need to have anti-terrorism in all sectors of society in Xinjiang.

    In Chinese: http://www.yzzk.com/cfm/Content_Archive.cfm?Channel=ag&Path=2311577102/30ag3a.cfm

    In translation: http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20090711_1.htm

  11. BCnAZ Says:

    Today “we” have the web, look at the same scenes around the world. The fighting of we the people against each other, all the while the freedom crushing New World Order is being lowered on all of us ?
    Here in the USA the person who holds our highest office has today purposefully generated hatetred between the Blacks and the Whites.
    Resist Hateing your fellow man and DO FEAR the Power Seekers !

  12. Hohhot Says:

    thanks for your thoughtful comment, sorry i could not response earlier, i am in a different time zone, have to sleep and go to work before coming back to discuss my posting.
    to Charles Liu, my writing is not intended to justify any killings, not even justify nationalism from either side, but try to understand the conflict in soci0-historic context.
    Will come back write more later

  13. TonyP4 Says:

    China’s policy for minorities is quite fair: (1) one-child policy does not apply to minorities. (2) many other special privileges. The children of inter racial marriages most likely stick with the minority group to have these privileges.

    China has invested a lot in Tibet and western territory. They have conflicts/resentment for sure (same as black riots in US or HK Chinese moving into Vancouver), but there are more advantages for local folks than disadvantages.

    Minorities should be assimilated into main stream to maintain better harmony. It does not mean the cultures/languages of the minorities are suppressed. When I traveled in China, I noticed Tibetan and Yunnan’s cultures have been maintained via the dancing and music.

    Today we do not view Mongols and Manchurians as foreign conquerors but one of the 55 minorities (same as the native Indians in US except from John Wayne’s movies). They have been assimilated into Chinese culture and their own cultures are part of Chinese culture.

  14. Nimrod Says:

    Thank you to the author. This is a good review collecting the highlights of discussions we’ve had here. The article over all strikes the right tone, dispassionate, which I like. I have one issue though, with regard to the XJPCC: “It has taken the best farmland in Xinjiang and diverted rivers from the upper streams to its further advantage.” This is misleading. Large hydrological improvements such as these require sophisticated engineering and a high amount of capital investment and self sacrificing labor. Otherwise these would be useless land which the locals obviously did not use for large scale farming for all the times they have been there. Only XJPCC could (and did) do this, and so they now sit on what are very productive farmland. As I mentioned elsewhere, the XJPCC deliberately set up apart from existing towns and settlements and took the border areas in Xinjiang for defense reasons.

    Anyway, I suppose for good policy, they should hire more minorities (which they do already, just not up to some people’s desired percentage, it seems), if only to integrate many of them into mainstream Chinese society. In fact, XJPCC may be the one way out of the ethnic assimilation/preservation impasse, by providing local cooperative economic benefits with a socialization goal.

  15. miaka9383 Says:

    @Allen
    Here’s my response to your comment about Ughers..
    I believe that Chinese Government should teach Ughers Mandarin. I think that is a good idea. But the Ugher language should not disappear because they should be allow to speak it at home. Having their own rule of the land only means they can collect their own taxes, establish different set of law.. even like on the reservations preventing intruders if they don’t want to. But under the Chinese Government umbrella. I think that how it works so well in U.S is that the state government does not interfere with tribal government’s rule unless there is a conflict of interest and the federal government deals with it. I think the most important part is that everyone in China no matter what race you are look at each other as equals. Therefore there shouldn’t be Han Chinese only signs and Ugher Taxi drivers can pick up both Han customers and other minorities. Having preferential policies are only effective when it keeps the minority just as competitive as the majority.
    There is nothing wrong at all in mass migrating Hans into this area. But when you have racism where the Hans refuse to do business with Ughers and vice versa, and the criminal penal code is different for two races that are all Chinese… you are going to have major problems. If CCP does not Xingjiang to have its own soverignty, it needs to create laws that make everyone equal. Or they can follow suite as the U.S and create this federal, state, tribal power balance. But seriously, somethings needs to change or else there are going to be more minority uprisings.

  16. Nimrod Says:

    miaka9383,

    While what you say is all true on its face, the issue is deeper. It’s the classic tension of equality of opportunity vs. equality of outcome. It would be nice to achieve both, but for nearly all cases that is impossible. China’s minority issue is like that, with a lack of equality of outcome. That’s the visible aspect of it. When there is also a lack of equality of opportunity, that would be bad, but I’m never convinced that removing it solves the problem, as it will simply reveal the lack of equality of outcome as the problem underneath — which is much more difficult to overcome. The worst is (and that’s why some Hans are unhappy) to have no equality in opportunity and outcome, but have the two be tilted in opposite directions. This is somehow what we have, and it certainly breeds resentment.

    Now, Hemulen would probably respond with, no, no, they are in the same direction, since Uighurs actually are disfavored in opportunity. I counter that partly that observation is mixing up results with opportunity. I maintain that Uighurs have better opportunities than Han Chinese of similar economic backgrounds — but of course that is intertwined with pre-existing outcome.

  17. Charles Liu Says:

    Miaka @ 16, “Ugher language should not disappear because they should be allow to speak it at home.”

    Do you even know what you are talking about? There’s absolutely no law forbidding Uyghurs speaking their language at home, and the law requires signages in Uyghur.

    Look at some of the riot photos of burnt store fronts, they have both Chinese and Uyghur. According to Wikipedia over 10 millon people speak Uyghur. Compare this with the fact last native Eyak speaker died last year, and 20 other Alaskan native language are under threat of extinction today in America.

    http://www.cogsci.indiana.edu/farg/rehling/nativeAm/ling.html

    Also, your “follow suite as the U.S and create this federal, state, tribal power balance”

    You realize you are advocating the Chinese government take away 99.99% of existing XUAR, round up every Uyghur and put them in tiny pockets of disjointed reservation plots? That’s the tribal power balance you speak of, same as what the Isralis are doing to the Palestinians, aka “The Final Solution”.

  18. miaka9383 Says:

    @Charles
    I never said they were forbidden to speak the language. Read Allen’s comments before you comment on mine. I am going off of Allen’s comment about language.
    Before you accuse me of not knowing what I am talking about, go check your facts about Native Americans before talking to me. This will be my last response to you unless you have something of intelligence to say.

  19. Allen Says:

    @miaka9383,

    I will do a quick digression about Native American Affairs. Native Americans do not have self rule in the same sense that we talk about self determination under international law. Every Native American is a full American citizen and are subject to all the laws of United States. The amount of “self rule” by native americans seems to me to be quite limited (see http://www.thecre.com/fedlaw/legal22x.htm for a short list of laws governing Native American Affairs; see specifically, eg, (these are short but important passages of laws) http://www.thecre.com/fedlaw/legal22x/uscode25-1a.htm, http://www.thecre.com/fedlaw/legal22x/uscode18-1153.htm, and http://www.thecre.com/fedlaw/legal22x/uscode18-1152.htm).

    Anyways, back to Xinjiang. I have some questions regarding this statement: “Having their own rule of the land only means they can collect their own taxes, establish different set of law.. even like on the reservations preventing intruders if they don’t want to.”

    * Are you advocating transforming Xinjiang as a whole into a reservation for the Uighurs or are you advocating setting up large sections within Xinjiang as “Uighur only” reservations? How large are these pockets?

    * Would Uighur be subject only to their ethnic / religious law or also the broader Chinese laws?

    * Would non-Uighurs living in the areas where other Uighurs live be subject to Uighur ethnic / religious laws in addition to the broader Chinese laws?

    * What are the core areas of laws Uighurs ought to be able to make? Consider an example, if Uighurs want to implement a strict set of Muslim laws such as Sharia (many of which the West has accused as violating human rights), should those be allowed? If Uighurs want to implement strict regulations on practice of religion, should those be allowed? Must the reservations be democratic or can they have male dominated clerics run the show? These are meant to be out of the blue questions…

  20. miaka9383 Says:

    @Allen
    Though Native American self government is limited, they actually achieve a lot more than you give them credit for. From Papers it doesn’t look like a lot but I know for a fact that tribal government do have a lot of power.

    As for the Ugher questions
    1. I am advocating seeting aside large pockets of xingjiang as Ugher only reservation.
    2. Ughers wold be subject to their own ethnic/religious laws as well as the broader Chinese laws since they are the citizens of China.
    3. I think if this Ugher’s only area would be established, it would be up to the Ugher “government” to decide of non Ugher’s were to live there. And they would be subjected to the “res” laws… just like I would be if I was a guest up to the Jemez Pueblo here in NM.
    4. They should be able to make their own criminal penal laws, taxes on their land and if they want to implement a strict set of muslim laws they should. (Honestly even if it violates human rights)
    I know I sound crazy but honestly, they should.
    There is an Ant tribe part of Jemez pueblo, so it is against the tribal laws to kill ants. (I am serious!! Don’t laugh) Therefore no one kills ants, if they find an ant hill they digg it up and move it.

  21. Hohhot Says:

    I can agree what Allen said, socio-economic forces can intensify ethnic nationalism, but the goal of nationalism is not always economic, but political, to be the master in their own house. If economic development can erase ethnic discontent and solve nationalist problems, as Chinese authority like to believe, not only there would be no ethnic grievances in China, but also there would be much less independent states in the world, there would be much less UN members.
    **
    Allen Says:

    If market forces and globalization have caused fissures along ethnic lines, I don’t know if ethnic nationalism would solve the problem. Even if Xinjiang were independent, the same forces of globalization would still put pressure on the traditional way of life. If ethnic minorities feel they cannot compete against Hans from other parts of China, any newly formed independent country probably would not be able to compete against China also.

    I agree that “The fires of Lhasa, and now Urumqi, cannot be extinguished without the most intelligent and sophisticated policy mix.” But I will go even broader than that, I believe it will take top-notch intelligent policy making and execution from the central gov’t to dispel social, class, ethnic, and environmentally-driven discontents in the coming decades.

  22. Hohhot Says:

    BMY Says:

    July 24th, 2009 at 2:36 am
    First of all , the author has addressed many issues which contributes to today’s ethnic problems and many of them I agree. However things I would like to say:

    1. What happened on 7/5 was not a clash between ethnical rivals. There was clash between protestors ,rioters and police . Most of the deaths were caused by planned, organized, ethnic militia carried out ethnic cleanings onto bystanders who belong to different ethnic group . On 7/7, when thousands of armed Han mobs were looking for revenge but they were stopped by police and again the ethnic clash did not happen on that day .

    2. The disbanded Republic of East Turkestan was not equal to Xinjiang. It was a set up by Stalin only in a very small area of XinJiang.

    3. The recruitment problem in P&C Corp is not unique in XinJiang. The “Third front” factories in other part of China have similar problem as I experienced and posted on another thread. I am not convinced it’s ethnic based.

    4. The accusation of “worse even than “colonialism” is also too simplistic. It’s more to do with communist planed economy mode than ethnic policy. When ShangHai one city along produced 12% of GDP in the 70s and early 80s, their money had been used to build cities like BeiJing. When ShanXi supplied coal to the industry region in the east and all the heating energy to all the country, the local peasants next to the mine had no coal to cook their dinner and warm up their house.

    5. The millions of layoff workers lost everything who had devoted their whole life to the state owned SOE and they had no less grievance than people who didn’t get to work for state owned enterprise. They protest but they do not kill.

    6. The social economic gap between the eastern region and western region , between rural and urban has caused lots of problems. Again this is due to the reform policy in the beginning which was favourite eastern region , but the policy was not designed to targeted ethnic. The millions of poor presents in Henan, Shanxi, SiChuan and some other provinces have no land to farm and are systematically discriminated by the state and urban residents. Their priests and churches have to be underground and often get arrested. While in XiJiang,mosques are state sponsored and imams are on state pay slip . These poor peasants have no less grievance . They protest but they don’t kill bystanders.

    I am not here to play blame games. All the issues need be addressed crossed the whole country. To highlight/prefer one than the other has already contributed to today’s problems.

    Hohhot:

    I can agree ” What happened on 7/5 was not a clash between ethnical rivals. There was clash between protestors ,rioters and police , but behind the 7/5 deadly violence is ethnic grievance and hatred, there are socio-historic explanations for that. I am sure armed police did not use real bullet to stop Chinese mobs as they had done to Uyghur mobs in Urumqi.

    If you say the Republic of East Turkestan was set up by Stalin, you can equally say the PRC was set up by Stalin. The point is, those RET people maybe pro-Soviet, they represented local ethnic nationalism as well, just as the CCP, they were communists, but they represent modern Chinese nationalist aspirations.

    Xinjiang Corps was set up 10 years earlier than the 3rd front project, the former is immigration colony, the latter is defence and political project, as you said, not ethnically based.

    Uyghur intellectual’s “worse than colonialism” argument, simplistic maybe, is still a largely valid argument. If you compare Xinjiang autonomous regions with Chinese province such as Shanxi, you confuse ethnic nationalism with regionalism. Nationality autonomous regions, instead of Chinese provinces, were set up around 1949 because local peoples had different ethnic identities and even different political loyalty from Chinese people.

    Structured unemployment for Chinese in Chinese provinces are not an issue of ethnic grievance, nor is unemployment of non-Chinese peoples in Chinese inland. If non-Chinese people are sidelined or disadvantaged in labour market in their ancestral land, it becomes an ethnic issue. To say that non-Chinese peoples and Chinese people are equally ill-treated by the state does not mean ethnic minorities’ rights are as well respected as majority Chinese.

  23. Hohhot Says:

    @Charles Liu

    I like to use non-Chinese and Chinese to avoid confusion. The other day I saw a Chinese TV presenter working for Phoenix Satellite TV saying overseas Chinese Uyghurs(hai wai wei wu er hua ren), it just ridiculous and confusing. Many Ethnic minorities in China do not like to be called as Chinese, they are Uyghurs, Tibetans, Mongols Kazarks… imagine what would happen if Scots or Welsh people were called as English by British authority. I guess for many non-Chinese minorities, “zhong guo ren”(the peoples/people of China) is more acceptable than han ren, hua ren(chinese).

    Another ridiculous practice is Chinese authority insist non-Chinese spell their names in Chinese spelling(han yu pin yin), hence there are many weird Uyghur names, even Turkic people could not pronounce, e.g., wuerkaixi, Dilixati… Weird Tibetan names cannot recognized by Tibetans, Mongolian names cannot recognized by Mongols elsewhere

    for ethinc minority cadres in autonomous regions, the accusation of national splittism is like the sword of Damocles. In the same way, ethnic minority intellectuals and dissidents are more closely watched and harshly punished. Do you know why there are no non-Chinese outspoken dissidents or right activists? because they are in prisons. Do you know why many Chinese activists wang Lixiong can have passports to go abroad, why his ethnic Tibetan wife cannot get a passport? why it is so difficult for Uyghurs to get passports?

    Charles Liu Says:
    …BTW, all those “non-Chinese” this and that is supposed to reconcile division or infalme it? Or does “non-Han Chinese” is completly intolerable to the author, since it implies recognition of China’s established soveregnty and current states?

    And what’s this “obedient ethnic cadres” business? Any minority Chinese citizen not rioting against the establishment, even out of their own free will, is automatcally denigrated? It’s beyong “too simplistic”.

  24. scl Says:

    miaka9383, why are you advocating racial segregation? If white americans are willing to move into black neighborhoods, e.g. Jersey City in New Jersey, things will get much better in the U.S. Conversely, when large amounts of blacks and other minorities can move into a predominantly white neighborhood without causing the whites fleeing like rabbits and the housing prices dropping like stones, then this would truly be a wonderful world here in America.

  25. miaka9383 Says:

    @scl
    People should be able to choose whereever they want to live. If they want to live in a black neighborhood they can and vice versa. But what I am talking about is letting minorities like Ughers who doesn’t have a common belief system to still abide by Chinese laws but they should still be allowed to govern their own community. If the Ughers decides to step out of their community to work they should be able to, but there is no reason why they can’t govern their own community and still be Chinese. If Ugher community have the same sovereignty as provincial power and the CCP as a whole over looks these powers, it would definitely make things a little bit easier. They wouldn’t have to worry about Han Chinese taking all of their land and opportunity. I sincerely think this is the root cause. Of course as Nimrod said, it could be more complicated than that, but when you affect someone’s livelihood that is when you have problems.

  26. Charles Liu Says:

    Miaka, so you are okay with the Chinese government taking 99% 99.98% of XUAR territory and round up Uyghurs and put them in tiny pockets of reservations, like what we are doing? Right now Uyghurs live in one large contiguous historical territory, while Native Americans have lost nearly all of their land.

    Are you also okay with Uyghurs live 20 years less than average Chinese? It is a fact while Native Americans have highest unemployment rate, they live as much as 20 years less than average American.

    I’m not okay with that, as above would mean huge steps backwards for the Uyghurs.

  27. miaka9383 Says:

    @Charles
    Get your facts straight. Talk to a Native American. Go to their community. Stop depending on the internet for your information which may be biased. Do you know why Native Americans live 20 years less than average Americans? Have you been to a Native american community? Do you know why they have high unemployment rate? Do you know anything about Native Americans besides on the internet and from the textbooks?

  28. Charles Liu Says:

    Miaka, I’m American, I know about my own coutry. I stand by the citations I provided. If you feel they are not correst let’s see your citations.

    stop depending on facts is last resort argument from someone who don’t have the facts. I’m not from Mainland China and I really don’t have a fight in this; I’m just speaking up for what I feel is wrong, and holding China to a different standard while rationalizing our own problem, is wrong.

  29. miaka9383 Says:

    @Charles
    Seriously, come to New Mexico. I will take you on to a pueblo. I will take you to a navajo res, and I will show you how things are done. Questioning one’s American ness makes you sound like a neo con. You are very welcome to visit. I have many Native American friends that you can talk to. You can even talk to my Navajo cousin in law. They will prove you wrong.

  30. miaka9383 Says:

    And Charles keep on emphasizing that you are an American does not mean you know EVERYTHING about U.S. You listed examples on south dakota and north dakota but in the paper it did not reference anything about the working Native Americans that live away from the reservations. Do you know they have their set of penal code and government? I extend invitation to whoever that wants to come to NM.

  31. Steve Says:

    @ Charles: Being American doesn’t mean you know about your own country when it comes to Native American knowledge. You might or you might not. To assume one is related to the other is a logical fallacy.

    Also, you used quotation marks yet you did not quote miaka accurately. She actually said “Stop depending on the internet for your information which may be biased.” You yourself have made that same argument many times concerning western media.

    If you want to paraphrase, you should not use quotation marks.

  32. Charles Liu Says:

    Miaka, you mean Native American have to yield to forced assimiliation into whiteman’s society if they want to live? God have you no shame?

    I’ll ask you again, are you okay with Uyghurs being rouned up and put in reservation that’s 0.02% of current XUAR territory? What you are advocating is genocide. The fact we’ve done it, and is still putting the Native Americans under out collective boot TODAY, does not mean the Chinese should do it too.

    What you are not telling is NM, having 12,442 sq miles of reservation territory, is the 3rd largest in the nation. Most reservation land is less than 0.1% of total territory (used to be 100% NA territory.)

    Steve, I stand by the facts I cited. If you feel they are incorrect, let’s see you refute it.

  33. Allen Says:

    @Steve, miaka9383,

    This is definitely off topic – but for my information, can you briefly (very briefly) describe how autonomous Native Americans are today?

    Based on my Internet reading of Native American reservations, the Native Americans’ self governance involves merely implementing administrative functions of the Indian Affairs dept – i.e. managing medicine, education, safety, and other social services… They are not setting their own rules by which to run their lives; they only run government programs.

    I admit I can be completely off since I have never been to any Native American reservations nor done any serious research in Native American law … Maybe one or two examples would help me out.

  34. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I do not think US can say that its “assimilation” of the Native Americans is a “success story” by any means.

    Emulating US policies on Native treatment would not be wise for China.

    Whether or not the “Native Americans” today are happy is rather post facto argument, since they hardly have any alternative choices.

    And let’s get real: Native American tribes cannot declare secession from US, and they can’t even impose property taxes on their own land.

  35. Charles Liu Says:

    Allen, while the NA subject itself may be OT, but the compare and contrast to demonstrate the hypocrisy in hoding China to a different standard when it comes to subjugated indiginous population, is relevant to the discussion.

    The horse we rode in ain’t that high. Pot, meet Kettle, etc.

    Raven “Emulating US policies on Native treatment would not be wise for China.”

    Not only is it unwise, it amounts to genocide. Heck, TAR/XUAR are large contiguous historical territory (not 0.02% of original), and people are free to interact, form kinship, preserve their language culture, way of life. Why would anyone wish genicide upon them is beyond me. Do you know Hitler’s Final Solution was modeled after early US Indian management policy?

  36. Steve Says:

    @ Charles #33: Is this addressed to myself or miaka? Or is just the last paragraph addressed to me? What does it have to do with avoiding a logical fallacy or misquoting miaka? And what does it have to do with Xinjiang or Tibet?

    As to my view on reservations, I already posted it on another thread to a comment from Allen. And “whiteman’s society” is a racist remark.

  37. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Let’s not forget, US will be having a real problem soon with “assimilating” the current generation of immigrants, many Hispanic poor migrant workers.

    Even in DC, there are now rather overt signs of racial discrimination against these people, eg. talks of increased crimes and declining property values due to the influx of the new immigrants.

  38. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I still like my new phrase: “Cultural Suicide”.

    Hey, if there is such a thing as “cultural genocide”, then there must also be “cultural murder”, “cultural suicide”, and “assisted cultural suicide”.

  39. Hohhot Says:

    may Says:

    – Hohhot, thanks a lot for your thoughtful analysis, but may I ask where does Wang’s quote come from? Is it from 亚洲周刊 The International Chinese Newsweekly? If it is, I don’t think your quote is an accurate representation of Wang’s view. This is the original Chinese:

    …如果个人权利能够得到保证,由具有人权的个人组成的族群当然也会有得到保证的权利,就不一定需要民族区域自治。而在个人权利得不到保证的时候,民族的权利怎麽得到保证呢?….

    Hohhot:

    i did not quote wang Lixiong, just paraphrased a point he had made during the interview. Many liberal minded Chinese tend to believe that once individual rights are guaranteed, group rights are automatically guaranteed. Human rights, civil rights and the perceived national rights are two different things. Many people do not agree a democratic China would solve ethnic problems in China, it might make it worse.

  40. miaka9383 Says:

    @Allen
    If you look at one of the biggest Native Nations’ website which is Navajo you can tell what the governmental structure is like. http://www.navajo.org
    They are just as sovereign as a state government. They actually give a brief history and if you look under government they even tax their own people. I will find more for you…

    @Charles
    I already have answered your question, multiple times. I don’t answer to hostility. You are very welcome to visit me down here in NM and I will show you around and talk to the people around here. I can show you in person how things are done.

  41. Charles Liu Says:

    Miaka, “They are just as sovereign as a state government.”

    Within less than 0.1% of their original territory. Why would you wish this on the Uyghurs is beyond me.

    Also your statment is incorrect. While states can have National Guards, US Code forbid the Native Nations from arming themselves.

  42. miaka9383 Says:

    @Allen
    Here is a nearby Sandia Pueblo’s government page. They have a nice page about misconceptions about Indians. http://www.sandiapueblo.nsn.us/faq.html

  43. Steve Says:

    @ Charles: The Navajo tribal police handle police matters on the reservation and are armed. Navajo can own guns when living on the reservation. Tribal gun laws overrule state gun laws, at least on Navajo land. They are subject to federal gun laws so, for instance, they cannot own assault weapons. State roads through the Navajo reservation are under state jurisdiction, so someone with a state gun permit in New Mexico could drive through the Navajo reservation legally provided they never left the road.

  44. miaka9383 Says:

    @Charles
    Here is a map for you according to the census beaureau. Keep that in mind that they don’t have majority of their own land but their population is definitely growing.
    You can go look on the websites of Navajo Nation and from sandia pueblo to clear up your misconceptions.
    The Native American nation is not a single entity, so when refer to them please do not lump them together.
    http://ftp2.census.gov/geo/maps/special/aian_wall/aian_us.pdf
    Gathering of Nations is coming up in the fall. I welcome everyone of you to come check it out and talk to these people.

  45. Hohhot Says:

    Nimrod Says:

    Thank you to the author. This is a good review collecting the highlights of discussions we’ve had here. The article over all strikes the right tone, dispassionate, which I like. I have one issue though, with regard to the XJPCC: “It has taken the best farmland in Xinjiang and diverted rivers from the upper streams to its further advantage.” This is misleading. Large hydrological improvements such as these require sophisticated engineering and a high amount of capital investment and self sacrificing labor. Otherwise these would be useless land which the locals obviously did not use for large scale farming for all the times they have been there. Only XJPCC could (and did) do this, and so they now sit on what are very productive farmland. As I mentioned elsewhere, the XJPCC deliberately set up apart from existing towns and settlements and took the border areas in Xinjiang for defense reasons.

    Anyway, I suppose for good policy, they should hire more minorities (which they do already, just not up to some people’s desired percentage, it seems), if only to integrate many of them into mainstream Chinese society. In fact, XJPCC may be the one way out of the ethnic assimilation/preservation impasse, by providing local cooperative economic benefits with a socialization goal.

    Hohhot:

    i think this is a very important issue you raised, that is different views of land and territory. in 1950s and 60s, Chinese immigrant farmers in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia probably would call all non-farming land as wild land, hence the land without ownership, for example grassland, and semi gobi used by nomads and semi-nomadic people to feed their animals and for other use. Not until very recently has the term eco-system been widely used in china. Then transition of China from a political unity of no private properties to an economic power busying defining private property rights makes the land issue in ethnic minority areas very complicated.

  46. Charles Liu Says:

    Steve, don’t be obtuse. Miaka claimes “They are just as sovereign as a state government.”, while the fact is we do not allow Native Nations to arm themselves (as in forming militia or mlitary guards) like states can:

    http://www2.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode25/usc_sec_25_00000072—-000-.html

    Above US Code forbids hostility against us, and if they do all treaties are nullified, including peace treaty, which means we can lawfully anhiliate them (and people advertise this as “content”).

    Tribal police carrying pistol, under jurisdiction of local/federal goverment, has nothing to do it. I’m talking about tanks and bombs.

  47. miaka9383 Says:

    @Charles
    “Also your statment is incorrect. While states can have National Guards, US Code forbid the Native American from arming themselves.”
    You said “arming themselves” which almost means to me bear arms which is owning guns. They can own guns. That uscode does not specify anything about arming themselves. Do you mean they cannot have their own militia? They still follow the constitution which give them right of bear arms by the 2nd amendment. That US Code you have specified just talk about hostility not about arming oneself. Do you want to be more specific? Is there a specific penal code that Native Americans can’t own guns?

  48. Steve Says:

    @ Charles: What did I say that was obtuse? I didn’t make any claim, I just told you what the current situation was regarding specific circumstances related to gun ownership on one particular reservation. Don’t be obtuse and assume I meant otherwise.

    But then I didn’t realize the Navajo nation was a part of either Xinjiang or Tibet. How silly of me…

  49. Hohhot Says:

    Ma Beiming, a famous Chinese blogger, writes: no ethnic equality in China
    in the end of his comment, he says, ethnic issue is ignored by those charter 08 signitories. In terms of dealing with ethnic minorities, Communists and democractic activists are no different.

    马悲鸣

    中国政府一再声称中国境内各民族平等。其实并无此事。中国所有决策机构都是以汉人为主,点缀几个少数民族作摆设。而且即使汉族成员,也无实质上的表决权,都是主席团几个主任委员暗箱作业拍板,绝大部分与会汉族成员和作为摆设的少数民族及妇女成员不过是举手机器。

    当然,机器表决的结果也未必百分之百全错,但错误率绝对高过百分之五十。

    美国有反歧视法,任何待遇不能因为种族、肤色、信仰、性别、年龄有别。但这仍不能表达平等。美国最大的平等,是联邦五十个州的权力地位平等。这平等就表现在美国最高立法机构参议院里。

    美国不管是人口第一大的加州,还是地盘第一大州阿拉斯加,或最小的夏威夷和罗德岛,都是联邦平等成员。每州都平等地向参议院派两名议员。立法时,各州都有平等的两票。因参议员是从各州竞选出来的,故民共两党都有可能。有的州是两名民主党,有的州是两名共和党,也有的州是民共各一。任何提案付诸表决时,就由这一百名议员投票。

    为了达到各州的平等。在一个提案表决前,每位议员都有平等的两分钟(或五分钟、十分钟,由程序动议决定)走上主席台演讲的时间。任何议员都有权放弃这个扇动别人按自己意愿投票的权力,但无权超时。很多中国人把每人两分钟演讲理解成精兵简政。其实不对。这是平权。我在电视上看到过老布什任内打解放科威特之战的表决。那次是每人两分钟发言权。

    美国的众议院是按每五十万人推举一名议员的比例产生的。美国有两三亿人口,众议院大约有五百人。但五百人无法开会。如果每人两分钟发言,就得一千分钟,或者十六、七个小时,或者两个工作日。等听了两天越听越烦的发言之后,最终该投是或否,已经晕菜了。

    众议院代表民意,不代表联邦平等。参议院才代表联邦各州的平等。

    中国既然声称自己是各民族平等,那么就应该成立民族院,由五十六个民族,每族推举两名代表构成。任何立法或重大提案的表决,都给每位代表平等的两分钟(或五分钟、十分钟,由程序动议决定)发言权。这一百零二人的民族院为中国最高立法机构,不管是人口最多的汉族,还是最少的赫哲族,都是平等的两名代表。这才能证明中国真的各民族平等。

    全国人民代表大会按每五十万人口推举一名代表,总数两千六百人构成,代表民意,只负责民生立法,而无权民族平等法的表决。象双语教育,计划生育的民族差异等立法就属于民族平权法。这次乌鲁木齐暴发的七五民族冲突的重要起因之一,就是中国政府以双语教育为名解雇汉语不过关的维吾尔语文教师以加速汉化引发的积怨。如果双语教育立法能在民族院里表决,肯定不是这种结果。

    中国政府只图自己干得痛快,而不考虑被解雇的汉语不过关的民族语文教师沦入底层的悲惨前途,终于逼出流血惨案,就是不让少数民族在民族政策立法上有平等表决权的结果。

    两千六百人的全国人大,每个表决每人平权的两分钟发言,共计五千两百分钟,或六十小时,或七个半工作日,或一周半。听完了演讲,还如何能头脑清醒地投票?

    中国所谓的民族平等只是口头上的。少数民族代表都是已经彻底汉化了的政治花瓶。连抗战时的汪伪政府都不如。汪政府毕竟还是中国政府,其成员并不是彻底日化了的中国人。

    民族院在社会主义国家是有先例的。苏联的两院就是民族院和联盟院。民族院按民族划分推选议员。联盟院按各加盟共和国划分推举议员。当然这两院在前苏联也都是政治花瓶。苏联的最高决策机关是苏共中央政治局。但人家毕竟还是有民族院这么个机构存在。中国则根本没有,却一再大言不惭地声称中国境内的各民族平等。

    你那民族平等在哪里?

    请给我们指出来。

    国内异议分子起草的所谓《零八宪章》何曾想到这些?

    国内民共两方不过一丘之貉。

    http://www.hjclub.com

  50. Charles Liu Says:

    Miaka, can you show me one Native Nation that has an equivland of “National Guard”? I believe I mentioned “National Guard” preceeding “arming themselves”.

    Individuals owning guns under US local/federal jurisdiction is not only irrelevant, it further goes to show just how limited tribal sovereignty is, in terms of territory, sovereign independence, and de facto states.

  51. miaka9383 Says:

    @Charles
    There is not. But it is not relevant that they can’t own guns and make their own gun laws and have their own police force. Also national guard is actually under federal jurisdiction not state or tribal jurisdiction.
    Hence it is called U.S National Guard. They actually states on the national guard website that they are federally commissioned not state commissioned.

  52. Steve Says:

    @ Charles #51: Tribal laws concerning individual gun ownership are the same as state laws concerning individual gun ownership. So the sovereignty of gun ownership for tribal or state are the same with both being under federal law. Tribal law is not below but equal to state law. How is that irrelevant? And what does any of this have to do with Xinjiang or Tibet?

  53. Charles Liu Says:

    No, Miaka, you claimed “They are just as sovereign as a state government.”, but that’s not true is it? States can arm themselves and organize military (National Guard, tanks and bombs), but Native Nations can’t – because we outlaw all hostility from them, including having their own armed force.

    The facts on state national guard and militia disagree with your “just as sovereign as a state” claim, per your own admission you can not find one Native Nation with a National Guard, how about Tribal Defense Forces? That’s zero for two.

    No Steve, indvidual owning a gun under US local/federal jurisdiction has nothing to do with why Tribal government is not “as sovereign as a state government” per Miaka’s claim. We are talking about sovereignty on larger basis.

    BTW can you show me a Native Nation with equivlant to National Guard or State Defense Forces? Miaka says he/she can’t.

    And of course, all this goes to show what the Chinese are doing isn’t all that different than us. Matter of fact in some respects their Uyghurs are better off than our “Uyghurs”.

  54. Allen Says:

    @miaka9383,

    Thanks for the links.

    As I promised earlier, I will make this digression short! ;-)

    My take for now: I still don’t think Native American self rule amount to any sovereignty in the real sense of the word. Whatever power and influence tribal governments have depends on the largess of the Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court.

    This article presents what I think is a good quick review of the nature of Native American sovereignty.

    Suffice to say, it contains a very convoluted history! At times, Indian sovereignty is considered to derive its legitimacy merely from federal legislation. At other times, Indian sovereignty is considered to derive its legitimacy from the precolonial condition of the Indian tribes as independent peoples.

    The excerpt below is a good summary:

    The concept of sovereignty, however convoluted and contradictory, remains an important part of federal Indian law. Tribal councils established under the Indian Reorganization Act are regarded as vehicles of “tribal sovereignty”; they act as governments and not just as corporations, though they are often limited by federal funding and authority….

    Both the ideas [that tribal sovereignty derive from the status of Native Americans as independent peoples and that tribal sovereignty is merely a right extended by the Federal government] have been part of federal Indian law from its inception, and are the reason why Chief Justice Marshall could say, in formulating the foundations of this law in the Cherokee Nation case, “The condition of the Indians in relation to the United States is perhaps unlike that of any other two people in existence.”

    In assessing the results of “tribal sovereignty” at the close of the 20th century, Vine Deloria, Jr., and Clifford Lytle wrote, “Local institutions that served Indians were in a much stronger position even though they now resembled the local units of government that served other Americans and possessed little that was distinctly Indian. Indians themselves had assimilated to a significant degree….” This may be the ultimate irony, that “tribal sovereignty” could prove to be the vehicle for incorporating indigenous nations within the colonizers’ civilization. It may also be true that the persistence of “tribal sovereignty” has kept alive the idea of local sovereignty, of “the people” as the ultimate source of legal authority.

    The idea of indigenous sovereignty surfaced internationally and with intensity in the Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, E/CN.4/Sub. 2/1994/56, issued in 1994 as a report to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. This document, which may eventually become the basis for an international protocol or convention, stirred up the ancient debates. The United States took an official position that the word “peoples” was inappropriate in a statement of “rights,” because it implied group rights, which would threaten the sovereignty of states. The United States and others argued that “rights” adhere only to individuals, and that no group may be recognized as having any legal existence independent of a state. Indigenous nations, on the other hand, asserted that the Draft Declaration was meant to embody just such group rights, that these were essential for the survival of indigenous peoples worldwide. Struggles about indigenous sovereignty continue into the 21st century, on as grand a scale as in any other era.

    I think there is no point for me to make more conclusions until I am able to go on a reservation and talk to people what their life is really like…!

  55. Steve Says:

    @ Charles: My name’s not miaka and I never said they were equal. No government whether federal, state, tribal or local is totally sovereign and none are equal to the other. They are not “more or less” but different. US Territories also operate under different rules concerning sovereignty.

    BTW, miaka is a ‘she’. And what does any of this have to do with Xinjiang or Tibet? I don’t see any correlation though you say there is one. Could you get into those specifics so it can relate to the topic of the thread?

  56. Charles Liu Says:

    Steve, then you should read the thread more fully before responding.

    Of course the point is not about the Native Americans; the point is to show, thru compare and contrast, the Chinese aren’t doing anything that different, and we should not hold them to a standard we can’t meet ourselves, eg, the false claim about extent of tribal sovereignty miaka made to rationalize what we are doing is better than what the Chinese are doing, or advocating setting aside “large pocket” of existing contiguous XUAR for Uyghur, while tiny, desolate, disjointed reservations plots are 0.02% of original Native American territory.

  57. Steve Says:

    @ Charles: But there aren’t any reservations in China so I still don’t see the connection, and I wouldn’t want to see reservations in China. It seems to me that China is trying for integration rather than separation, so it’s just the opposite of the reservation system. I don’t think the Uyghur should have sovereignty separate from China and I don’t think the Chinese government thinks so either. Because it’s labeled an “autonomous region”, it has differences from other non-autonomous provinces but nothing like the reservation system. Uyghur are free to leave Xinjiang and move to any province they like, so there isn’t any restriction of movement.

    Since there is no sovereignty in Xinjiang apart from the CCP, why does that subject keep coming up?

  58. Hemulen Says:

    I have no energy to read through this whole thread, but it looks a bit depressing to say the least. Is this a blog about the US? Why don’t we rename this blog “Rocky Mountains” and debate US lack of respect towards native Americans from a Chinese point of view? That seems to be the direction this discussion is going and then those of us who are not Chinese or American can go somewhere else. Or if there is any room for any other comparisons, here is a thought: why don’t we look at other parallels around the world, like French Canadians or Swedish Finns? Or Switzerland? Or perhaps India – if that is not an insult to some. I mean, there are other countries out there that have survived ethnic tensions and we might have something to learn from them. Just a thought. Varför är den goda dum – Varför är den kloka ond – Varför är allt en trasa?

  59. Wukailong Says:

    @Hemulen: “That seems to be the direction this discussion is going and then those of us who are not Chinese or American can go somewhere else.”

    Indeed. That’s what I’m considering…

  60. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “why don’t we look at other parallels around the world, like French Canadians or Swedish Finns? Or Switzerland?”

    How about the Germans in Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland? Used by Nazi Germany to sponsor an “independence”.

    UK Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, sent Lord Runciman to Czechoslovakia in order to see if he could obtain a settlement between the Czechoslovak government and the Germans in the Sudetenland. His mission resulted in the urgent recommendation to the return of the Sudetenland Runciman reported the following to the British government:
    Czech officials and Czech police, speaking little or no German, were appointed in large numbers to purely German districts; Czech agricultural colonists were encouraged to settle on land confiscated under the Land Reform in the middle of German populations; for the children of these Czech invaders Czech schools were built on a large scale; there is a very general belief that Czech firms were favoured as against German firms in the allocation of State contracts and that the State provided work and relief for Czechs more readily than for Germans. I believe these complaints to be in the main justified. Even as late as the time of my Mission, I could find no readiness on the part of the Czechoslovak Government to remedy them on anything like an adequate scale … the feeling among the Sudeten Germans until about three or four years ago was one of hopelessness. But the rise of Nazi Germany gave them new hope. I regard their turning for help towards their kinsmen and their eventual desire to join the Reich as a natural development in the circumstances.
    —[7]
    The Nazis, together with their Sudeten German allies, demanded incorporation of the region into Nazi Germany to escape “oppression”, in fact to destroy the Czechoslovak state. While the Czechoslovak government mobilized its troops, the Western powers urged it to comply with Germany believing that they could prevent or postpone a general war by appeasing Hitler.

    *

    And, oh yeah, here is what the Allies did after WWII to the Sudeten Germans.

    After the end of World War II, the Potsdam Conference in 1945 determined that Sudeten Germans would have to leave Czechoslovakia (see Expulsion of Germans after World War II).

  61. Otto Kerner Says:

    Hemulen,

    “Why don’t we rename this blog ‘Rocky Mountains’ and debate US lack of respect towards native Americans from a Chinese point of view?”

    That would be a fun blog, and I would definitely read and comment on it (provided it had anything intelligent to say). Of course, it would be completely impossible in reality, since I have seen no indication that anyone on the pro-Chinese-gov’t side actually cares about American Indians at all, as opposed to trotting them out occasionally to score rhetorical points. It’s hard to write a blog about something you don’t know or care about, after all …

    In any event, fun or otherwise, you are of course completely right that Fool’s Mountain is not that blog.

  62. Charles Liu Says:

    Hemulen, “US lack of respect towards native Americans from a Chinese point of view”

    Well, not sure what you’re talking about. I’m American, so my POV is an American one. I didn’t just visit some place; I live here, I know what I’m talking about.

    Steve, PLEASE read the thread. This started when Miaka suggested China should adopt our reservation system in comment 16.

  63. Wukailong Says:

    “Of course, it would be completely impossible in reality, since I have seen no indication that anyone on the pro-Chinese-gov’t side actually cares about American Indians at all, as opposed to trotting them out occasionally to score rhetorical points. It’s hard to write a blog about something you don’t know or care about, after all …”

    Haha, exactly. As someone who’s been interested in the plight of indigenous peoples since my youth (be they American Indians, Swedish samis, romanis, Ewenkis or whatever), I was curious at first why some of the responses I wrote was ignored. Somebody wanted to support Hawaiian independence, and I was happy to provide a link – but then only silence followed. I’ve asked Charles Liu what he thinks the moral standard should be for the US government on things such as the war on terror and the Middle East policy – no answer. It seems that people are obsessed proving no guilt by double guilt – and then go about their business.

    I understand Chinese who are upset about double standards. I am too. I just don’t understand these people who claim there are no problems. Of course everybody will deny they claim there are no problems, but actions speak louder than words. Like TonyP4 said, dumb nationalism is always dumb.

  64. Wukailong Says:

    Though I should add: I’ve learned a lot about the US on this blog.

  65. huaren Says:

    Hi Wukailong, #64,

    To be fair though – I actually think a lot of pro-China (or pro-CCP if some readers here prefer) FM readers are only interested in defending China (or CCP) – no more and no less. Don’t fault them for not being “human rights” champion for anyone else. And I think it is not necessarily fair to label these pople nationalistic or whatever.

    You know, many people are not going to understand this point. Its like a family feud. Once it is started and ongoing for a while, it doesn’t matter who stabbed first. Ending the feud is very difficult.

    Personally, I got sick of “Western” media bias, and that’s what got me started blogging.

  66. Wukailong Says:

    @huaren: Fair enough. My post above might have been unnecessarily provocative, though I also hope that it would be more obvious who actually cares for a country or place and who doesn’t. Just being from another country doesn’t mean you despise China or agree with the Western media in general. Defending a country isn’t just saying that the government always gets it right or that everything depends on foreign forces. That’s what TonyP4 has always been saying.

    I tended to be very upset about media bias, but these days I have other worries… I guess something that humbled me is that I’ve seen so many different kinds of media biases, and most people only know about their own (that is, bias against China, Israel, the US, your own sect or whatever). I can’t ask anyone of these to be human rights advocates or any other kinds of advocates, but I can ask them to try to be objective or at least try to see if others are having similar problems.

    Back in the good old days, when Sweden’s PM lambasted the US over the Vietnam war, their response was that “you guys were neutral during WWII, so what moral claims do you have?” If we always use this argument, then everybody should just abstain from criticism. I just don’t believe it’s feasible.

  67. allbluedream Says:

    @Wukailong: I do think that people should refrain from using criticism as much as possible. I believe that educators today generally recognize that praise solves problems while criticism only creates them. As a teacher myself I can testify that praise works better, especially with ‘problematic kids’. Politicians have yet to realize this.

  68. raventhorn4000 Says:

    WKL,

    I don’t think Chinese mind “criticism” per se.

    If you have some valid questions of policies, laws, etc., we would be more than happy to discuss them.

    But on the other hand, if you are going to rehash ignorant assumptions and accusations, that would call into question your “moral claims”.

    *
    some criticisms based upon ignorant assumptions are insulting.

    For example, if I come to your house, and I see your wife with a bruise, should I immediately say, “So, you beat your wife today?”

    *
    By nature, some criticisms are serious accusations.

    If you intend to level the heavy criticisms, you better have the facts to back up your claims.

    Throwing “genocide”, “totalitarianism”, “racism”, etc. around without sufficient facts to back them up, People will naturally see a pattern of insults, rather than “criticisms”.

  69. BMY Says:

    Hohhot says ‘I can agree ” What happened on 7/5 was not a clash between ethnical rivals. There was clash between protestors ,rioters and police , but behind the 7/5 deadly violence is ethnic grievance and hatred, there are socio-historic explanations for that. I am sure armed police did not use real bullet to stop Chinese mobs as they had done to Uyghur mobs in Urumqi. “

    BMY says: I agree there are social-historic reasons behind the ethnic hatred. About” I am sure armed police did not use real bullet to stop Chinese mobs as they had done to Uyghur mobs in Urumqi” we need to know more details. Like the live bullets were shot at whom doing what. To shot someone just yelling slogans and to shot someone who with knife hacking another person are very different matters. I was not there I can’t judge which bullet should be shot and which should not. I am not sure if police would shot live bullets or not if the Han mob had been hacking buses full of passengers and chopping bystanders. Also on the day of 7/7, police had overwhelmingly man power and better equipped which might be another reason Han mob couldn’t go any further and no need to be shot at with live bullets.

    Hohhot says “If you say the Republic of East Turkestan was set up by Stalin, you can equally say the PRC was set up by Stalin. The point is, those RET people maybe pro-Soviet, they represented local ethnic nationalism as well, just as the CCP, they were communists, but they represent modern Chinese nationalist aspirations. “

    My point was not about who set up RET. My point was RET was not equal to XinJiang in the 40s in terms of size while XinJiang was refered as RET in the 40s.

    Hohhot says “Xinjiang Corps was set up 10 years earlier than the 3rd front project, the former is immigration colony, the latter is defence and political project, as you said, not ethnically based.”

    My point is they are very similar organized and operated . Based on my experience of every 3rd front factory I knew/lived they have very small portion of workforce came from local surrounding population- Han or not Han. This need be detailed analysed based on then social-economical condition, then PRC industry operation model rather than simply painted it as racism.

    Hohhot says”Uyghur intellectual’s “worse than colonialism” argument, simplistic maybe, is still a largely valid argument. If you compare Xinjiang autonomous regions with Chinese province such as Shanxi, you confuse ethnic nationalism with regionalism. Nationality autonomous regions, instead of Chinese provinces, were set up around 1949 because local peoples had different ethnic identities and even different political loyalty from Chinese people. “

    I can see your point. But my take is different. To explore oil in XinJiang then transfer them to the east is no different with to dig out the coal in Shanxi then transfer it to the east. And there are many other things operated in similar way which is more to do with PRC’s economy operation model than driven by colonialism. We can also argue “reverse colonialism” if we see how billions of dollars of tax payers money generated from the east region pure into the west region.(what’s the difference between cashes and oil?)

    Hohhot says ” Structured unemployment for Chinese in Chinese provinces are not an issue of ethnic grievance, nor is unemployment of non-Chinese peoples in Chinese inland. If non-Chinese people are sidelined or disadvantaged in labour market in their ancestral land, it becomes an ethnic issue. To say that non-Chinese peoples and Chinese people are equally ill-treated by the state does not mean ethnic minorities’ rights are as well respected as majority Chinese.”

    Most who are sidelined or disadvantaged in labour market in one’s ancestral land. One of the causes of today’s ethnic problem in PRC I believe is we see every thing with ethnic lense. Everywhere people are reminded their ethnic identity in PRC. grievance is grievance. A Uyghur’s grievance is no more no less than a Henanese’s grievance. If we say my grievance is ethnic and more important/special than yours and that’s what’s happening in PRC .And worse had happened in elsewhere. Also two are both ill treated , one went to the street and carried out mass killing and one didn’t. Then I think not only illed policy needed be reviewed . (Please let me be clear most of Uyghur are decent hardworking people just like any people)

    Mr Ilham Tohti’s argument of “Xinjiang has been supplying oil, coal, gas and cotton to more developed Chinese regions, yet locals have to pay higher prices for some of those products than are charged in inland Chinese areas.”

    Do you have the original Chinese version of what he says in Chinese .He might have more detailed data like how much oil/cotton the east region of China has imported from XinJiang and from other part of the world and how the oil/cotton market/demands/competition/tax etc differ between XiJiang and the cost line which might affect the price structure. I often see some branded Made in China shirts in local store even cheaper than the same thing sold in China after all the exporting/importing/wholesale/retail. I am neither economist nor business people but I guess Mr Ilham should have offered more detailed analyze somewhere rather than just plain painting.

  70. miaka9383 Says:

    @Charles
    This will be my last response on the topic. The only reason that I suggested that they set aside a pocket of land is because you and R4K continues make false claims about native americans that you know nothing about. I suggested it because you asked me what I thought and if we were to put U.S and China on the same pedastal to avoid the hypocrisy that is what China should do. U.S successfully after so many years continuing improving race relations. What has China done that is so successful? I continuously criticize China’s race policies even if it makes them seem GENEROUS it doesn’t work and it needs to be fixed somehow. It is not a hypocrisy in my reasoning is that you continuously bring up Native Americans like you know what you are talking about. Allen concluded that their sovereignty isn’t so much but seriously come out and see, they rule their own land.

    @Hemulan
    I am sorry. I was just responding to Allen and Charles who continuously make false claims about Native Americans or give non Americans text book history. I got very tired of reading their rational and I felt obligated to respond. I got carried away. But talking about U.S race relations have nothing to do with China race relations but according to Charles and R4K it shows U.S hypocrisy so us Americans should go away and shut up.

  71. raventhorn4000 Says:

    miaka,

    If you want to talk about race relations, why talk Chinese policies in a vacuum?

    Why should anyone NOT discuss US “assimilation”?

    Sounds like you are the one who wants us to “shut up”.

    *
    “Come out and see, they rule their own land”??

    That’s your argument on laws of “sovereignty”??

    I’m sorry, legal definitions don’t work on what you think is “sovereignty”.

    It’s plainly ridiculous.

  72. Hemulen Says:

    @Hohhot

    Your entire post has been cut and pasted from Open Democracy. I really like the post, but are you really the author?

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/xinjiang-tibet-beyond-china-s-ethnic-relations

  73. Allen Says:

    @miaka9383 #71,

    You wrote:

    I was just responding to Allen and Charles who continuously make false claims about Native Americans or give non Americans text book history.

    Hmm… Not sure what false claims or false American text book history I gave.

    If you mean my opinion that Native Americans today as a group are not sovereign peoples, I stand behind that assessment. The argument that sovereignty is never absolute doesn’t cut it. I might as well say, freedom is never absolute. Hence, people who are in Gitmo, having some ability to walk around on their own free will, are Free…

    Legally, the official position of the U.S. is that Native Americans are not independent sovereign peoples, they are merely U.S. citizens. See last paragraph of quote I provided in my comment above.

  74. miaka9383 Says:

    @R4K
    By law definitions to you it is not sovereign. But 1, they call themselves soveriegn nation. 2. Federal government recognize them as such. 3. Just come out and see for yourself. I see many Native nations alive and well around me. Like I have said before Tribal government has same power as the state, which all falls under federal government umbrellas. There are many things that are different. If you murder a person on tribal land you go to tribal court, you don’t go to federal court or state court.
    I refuse to argue with you about what I know as fact because I live here. You can’t possibly understand how it works until you see it. Using your words, it is just plainly ridiculous to think you know something when you know what’s in the text books and not in reality.

  75. miaka9383 Says:

    @Allen
    I mean “I was responding to allen. as well as charle’s false claims”

  76. Allen Says:

    @miaka9383,

    Having re-read your comments above, I think maybe I get what you are getting at. You seem to be saying, despite the horrendous history of the past, Native Americans seem to be relatively happy today as citizens of the U.S., as they are allowed to practice many important aspects of self rule on their land (reservations). They may not be sovereign peoples under International Law, but the U.S. gov’t treats them well, help them with various services, and allows them to set up many aspects of self rule…

    Why can’t the Chinese do the same with Uighurs?

    I don’t think that’s an unreasonable position necessarily to take, though instead of comparing to Native Americans, you can simply make direct pronouncements on what to do with Uighurs. When Native Americans are mentioned, it brings up too much garbage; the historical and legal rights are quite contorted.

    If you live on Native American Indian Lands, you probably have special insights on at least how one version of limited self rule works – how it does not endanger the fractioning of a nation while still giving local populations a sense of real empowerment. This alone is valuable insight – regardless of the real legal status of Native American Indians today.

    Just my 2 cents…

  77. miaka9383 Says:

    @Allen
    The thing is I did not want to get into this debate about Native Americans. I just get agitated people that use Native Americans as an example without knowing certain aspects of who or what they are and how they work. Personally, I think Native Americans are totally irrelevant (I have said that over and over again) to China’s race relations. I think, by using the same standards, China can do so much better than U.S if they implement their race policies correctly. That COULD be done without racial segregation. It would take a tremendous of intelligence from the Chinese government to do so which right now I am not sure if they possess. I think China cares too much of what appears on the surface(losing face) than to seriously look at the root problem. If they can change that aspect of themselves, they could improve greatly surpassing the United States at the current state.

  78. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “By law definitions to you it is not sovereign. But 1, they call themselves soveriegn nation. 2. Federal government recognize them as such. 3. Just come out and see for yourself. I see many Native nations alive and well around me. Like I have said before Tribal government has same power as the state, which all falls under federal government umbrellas. There are many things that are different. If you murder a person on tribal land you go to tribal court, you don’t go to federal court or state court.
    I refuse to argue with you about what I know as fact because I live here. You can’t possibly understand how it works until you see it. Using your words, it is just plainly ridiculous to think you know something when you know what’s in the text books and not in reality.”

    Some may call that the perfect example of “brainwashed”.

    There is no such thing as “Contracting” yourself to be “sovereign”, when the authority does not meet the legal criteria.

    I frankly don’t care if the Federal Government and some parties recognize themselves to be “Wizards of Oz”.

    Native Tribal Governments are not “sovereigns” because they don’t meet the legal criteria.

    *

    Incidentally, Tribal Governments do not have the same power as States.

    As I said before, they can’t even pass laws to impose PROPERTY TAXES on their own land.

    On that, Tribal governments have even less authority than the federal territories of Puerto Rico, or Guam.

    Why does that matter? If a government cannot impose property taxes on their own land, that means they have no true ownership of land.

  79. Hohhot Says:

    @Hemulen
    I am the author

  80. Allen Says:

    @Hohhot,

    Would you want us to place a note that this is a cross-posted entry and have us reference the Open Democracy site?

  81. Hohhot Says:

    @Allen

    Please add a note as you said and refer to opendemocracy.net. Please forgive me if I breach any rules here.

    @BMY

    BMY says:My point was not about who set up RET. My point was RET was not equal to XinJiang in the 40s in terms of size while XinJiang was refered as RET in the 40s.

    i agree, there are many other different peoples in Xinjiang. If you rank those dominant ethnic groups in Xinjiang history, Uyghurs are probably after a few other peoples. In a impossible scenario if Chinese leave Xinjiang alone, nobody knows which people would dominate the new independent state.

    BMY says:My point is they are very similar organized and operated . Based on my experience of every 3rd front factory I knew/lived they have very small portion of workforce came from local surrounding population- Han or not Han. This need be detailed analysed based on then social-economical condition, then PRC industry operation model rather than simply painted it as racism.

    the 3rd Front projects is mainly built in the south and southwest regions, away from the north and northwest frontiers, for the obvious reason, e.g., preparing for a war with the USSR. The P&C Corps were set up mainly in the north and northwest frontier regions(non-chinese regions, sorry!) with a different purpose, e.g., to relieve Chinese inland population pressure, to change ethnic demography.

    BMY, sorry i have to leave it here, will continue the discussion next time. many thanks

  82. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Hothot,

    I find your comparison of Dharamsala to Yanan rather amusing. (in your other article).

    Mao built an army of over 1 million Chinese with another 1 million in reserve in 10 years. And that’s just the PLA, not including the support economy in Yanan with complete heavy and light industries to produce virtually everything they needed.

    Dharamsala has had what 140,000 Tibetans (starting with about 80,000) after 50 years? And every year, more young Tibetans leave Dharamsala because of lack of jobs.

    “A matter of time”? That’s rather vague and overly assuming.

  83. Bob Says:

    ^^^^ It seems like I was having the same problem. A while ago I tried to post something in another thread. I got nothing after I pressed Post button, and my post couldn’t be retrieved.

    Maybe Steve’s ghost is in the working?

    Trying to post again …

    Edit: it’s good this time.

  84. Hohhot Says:

    @BMY

    i just lost my reply to your comments, i will do it tomorrow.

    @Allen

    Please add a note as you said, I apologize if i’ve breached any rules here.

    @raventhorn4000

    it is only a partial comparison of Dharamsala and Yanan, mainly about the so-called soft power, perceived by Titetans and international world. Chinese authority cannot compete against the Dalai lama and his exile government in termes of values and attractiveness to win the hearts and minds of Tibetans

  85. Steve Says:

    Those posts got hung up in the spam filter for some unknown reason. I just released all of them. I guess there was a ghost in the machine.

    Hohhot, your reply to BMY is posted now.

  86. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “it is only a partial comparison of Dharamsala and Yanan, mainly about the so-called soft power, perceived by Titetans and international world. Chinese authority cannot compete against the Dalai lama and his exile government in termes of values and attractiveness to win the hearts and minds of Tibetans.”

    Surly you are missing the historical irony here.

    Mao was hardly the darling of the world when he was in Yenan. Edgar Snow hardly made a dent in Chiang Kai-shek’s reputation in the West. Chiang Kai-shek and his wife were pulling in BILLIONS of US dollars from the West and eating lobsters with heads of Western nations, while Mao was winning the Chinese Civil War.

    “Attractive”?

    If you must compare “soft power”, The Dalai Lama is not even as capable as Chiang Kai-shek (who was nicknamed “Cash my check” by a US General).

    Dharamsala can pull in all the “attractive” Western support it wants, that’s not much of a “soft power”. Real “soft power” is not a beauty contest.

    “Attractive”?

  87. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Here is a little interesting bits talking about Dharamsala’s rampant corruption:

    Forced Labor for India’s War Machine

    The Indian government was extremely unhappy about having a powerful revolutionary army at its northern border–especially after 1959 when the hurricane of peasant land revolution swept into Tibet. India itself is a vast semi-feudal country–it was filled with exploited peasants who were watching the lessons and methods of Maoist revolution closely.

    As the Tibetan refugees arrived in India, the Indian military was feverishly preparing for war with Mao’s “Red China.” The Dalai Lama and his Kashag cabinet reached an agreement with India’s Nehru government: in exchange for settlement land and supplies, the Dalai Lama offered thousands of Tibetan refugees as forced labor. They were sent to high mountain workcamps building military roads for the Indian army to attack the Maoist revolution in China.

    In 95 workcamps, 18,000 to 21,000 Tibetan refugees were worked under horrible conditions. They were paid 30 cents a day, not enough for food. Many starved or were simply worked to death. Many died of illnesses, dynamite explosions and landslides. Grunfeld reports that even Tibetan refugee officials admitted in 1964 that these workers were worse off than they would have been if they had remained in Tibet.

    When the refugees were sent to the workcamps, many of their children were forcibly taken from them. Grunfeld says that “five thousand children were taken from their parents to live in permanent refugee camps. Three thousand others were permitted to stay with the parents in the road camps…and there were frequent reports of children under the age of fifteen engaged in hazardous work.”

    Some lamaist hypocrisy needs to be pointed out here: For decades the Dalai Lama denounced the Maoist revolutionaries for building roads in Tibet–and accused the revolutionaries of using “forced labor.” His lamaist propaganda machine denounced the revolution for making his lamaist clergy do physical labor (like raising their own food) and for supposedly weakening the traditional Tibetan family. Meanwhile the exile forces of the Dalai Lama basically handed over Tibetan refugees to be forced labor for the Indian government on road gangs and took their children from them.

    In his 1990 autobiography the Dalai Lama specifically describes how he personally worked out the details for the work camps in discussions with India’s Nehru, and the Dalai Lama notes that there were former nuns and monks out on the road gangs. The Dalai Lama adds that, at the time, he tried to look at the positive aspects of these ordeals, saying “pain is what you measure pleasure by.” Ulag forced labor is a key social custom of traditional Tibetan feudalism, in which feudal masters can demand forced labor from “their” serfs and slaves.

    In 1990 the Dalai Lama admitted that some Tibetan exiles were still working in such road camps. But, he wrote that this is not deplorable because today’s poor Tibetans are on road gangs “of their own free will”–as wage labor.

    The Golden Rule

    The ruling Tibetan exiles left Tibet because the coming revolution in land threatened the basis of their class and its power–the feudal ownership of land. Class distinctions and privileges was key to the “traditional culture” the Lamaists intended to preserve.

    The old Tibetan government and ruling class emerged as the rulers over the refugees. The Dalai Lama’s Kashag cabinet represented the most powerful clerical and aristocratic interests. His family, especially his powerful brothers, emerged with their hands on key funds, especially CIA money. The Dalai Lama himself served as the top ruler with his hand firmly on many purse strings.

    The hereditary ties of serf and lord did not carry over in the exact same forms to the chaos of exile, but new oppressive class structures were created. In the main they were based on modern capitalism’s “Golden Rule”: He who has the gold makes the rules.

    Over the years, the Dalai Lama has maintained his power over an intensely squabbling and divided movement by keeping his tight control over the money. From the beginning, he controlled millions of dollars–from a treasure trove of gold and silver extracted from the masses of Tibetan people. The Dalai Lama says it was worth $8 million.

    Grunfeld writes: “One of the major sources of political power for the Dalai Lama is his ability to control relief funds, educational scholarships and the hiring of Tibetan teachers and bureaucrats.”

    Each camp was run by a “Camp Leader” appointed by the Dalai Lama. One scholarly study of these exile camps reports that the Camp Leader “is considered the king of the settlement. He can virtually command people within the settlement.”

    The corruption of the Tibetan exile camps is notorious. Relief supplies, particularly medical supplies, have been found on sale in the market in MacLeod Ganj, less than two miles from the Dalai Lama’s place of residence.

    Grunfeld reports that “the relief operations have been bedeviled with organizational rivalry and the intrigues of `unsavory members of the Tibetan ruling clique.’ ” The Dalai Lama’s late sister Tsering Dolma was a well-known example of the “unsavory”–she was widely hated for the haughty and corrupt way she ran a personal empire of children’s “boarding schools” containing over 3,000 children.

    Grunfeld writes, “while the children in her care were frequently on the verge of starvation (a refugee worker recalls an incident in which she was attacked by starving children as she was carrying a plate of breakfast scraps) she was noted for her formal, twelve-course luncheons. Meanwhile in bitterly cold weather the children were clad in `thin, torn, sleeveless cotton frocks–though when VIPs visit the Upper Nursery every child is dressed warmly in tweeds, wool, heavy socks and strong boots.’ ”

    Deadly Class Distinctions

    Eighty percent of the Tibetan refugees settled in India–with most of the rest settling in Bhutan, Nepal, and Sikkim. The Indian government did not want all the Tibetans concentrated in one area–so settled them in 20 camps widely scattered throughout India.

    The lowland camps in southern India were deadly to Tibetans who were not accustomed to living in a hot, humid climate. The old Tibetan feudal customs regarding sewage, garbage, washing and cooking proved deadly in the heat–where disease ravaged the refugees. In one early camp half the refugees died in the first year.

    The Dalai Lama’s clique developed a simple system for deciding who settled where. Rich feudals and the anti-communist activists stayed in the cool, hilly camps of north India. The poor serf-exiles went to the hot, humid, crowded, deadly camps of the south.

    One study of Tibetans in the north found that 25 percent described themselves as previously very rich, 20 percent as rich, 40 percent as middle class, 15 percent as lower-middle class. None said they had been “poor” back in pre-revolutionary Tibet. The researcher summed up that in northern settlements, “The refugees disproportionately represented the monastic hierarchy, upper classes and the active participants in the Tibetan resistance movement.”

    A study of the Mundgood settlement in the south found that almost all had been poor serfs, herders and artisans in old Tibet. Not only was life in the south a death sentence for many poor exiles, but over the following years much less money was spent on creating jobs and schools in those southern camps.

    Class exploitation appeared within the camps too. The Dalai Lama describes how he cashed in his gold stash and set up capitalist enterprises using Tibetan refugees as wage labor–an iron pipe factory, a paper mill and other enterprises he calls “money-spinning projects.”

    One southern camp at Bylakuppe eventually got some capital to set up a dairy farm and carpet factories. A section of exiles used the “aid” to became full-scale exploiters–working neighboring landless Indian peasants as field hands and house servants.

    Meanwhile, the masses of poor exiles live in wretched conditions. Grunfeld quotes an American doctor saying in 1980 that most refugees were “living in extreme poverty in unhealthy settlements on `leftover’ land in the poorest areas of India. Most of their energies are devoted to the personal struggle for survival…the people sink into poverty, apathy, illness, alcoholism and despair.”

    When people talk of “preserving traditional Tibetan culture” they should remember the deadly class distinctions central to that feudal society.

    Preserving Some Customs, Modifying Others

    For obvious reasons, Tibet’s exiled lamaists don’t talk publicly about preserving central Tibetan traditions like ulag (forced labor) and serfdom. In the recent pro-lamaist film Little Buddha, for example, lamas are shown carrying whips when they instruct courtyards filled with young monk-novices–but the whips are portrayed as a gentle instructional device (like a coach’s whistle).

    In his 1990 autobiography, the Dalai Lama admits that he had to forbid some traditional “formalities” in front of foreigners. For instance, by tradition lower-class Tibetans were punished if they looked above the knees of their masters. In the old society, many had never seen the faces of their oppressors. And everyone was required to “prostrate” themselves face-and-belly-down in front of the Dalai Lama. Outsiders seeing those customs got a glimpse of the repulsive elitism so central to the Lamaist teachings–the rulers of old Tibet claim to be divine, perfected reincarnations of immortal Buddha-like spirits. The Dalai Lama modified such “formalities” to help create a romanticized version of “traditional Tibetan culture” for public consumption.

    At the same time, the lamaists set up highly conservative communities that did, in fact, preserve many core feudal traditions. For example, Grunfeld writes: “Women are even worse off than their male counterparts, for they need permission–from a male–to leave the camp; they cannot vote; and they are given second preference when it comes to education.”

    Grunfeld estimates that half the Tibetan children in exile receive no education–in keeping with lamaist hostility toward mass education. And those youth who go to school are often indoctrinated in lamaist teachings hostile to science, innovation and work. Grunfeld cites one discontented Tibetan who claimed that his nephew, after nine years of schooling, had never read a newspaper or an entire book.

    Another hypocrisy must be pointed out here: For years, Tibetan exiles have denounced Maoists for the fact that, even during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, advanced education in Tibet was often taught in the Han (Chinese) language. There were two reasons for this: There were basically no books or teachers available to teach many advanced political and scientific subjects in the Tibetan language, and it helped the unity of the revolutionary movement to have Tibetan activists and cadre able to communicate in the written language widely used by many language groups in China. At the same time, Maoist revolutionaries mobilized the Tibetan people to develop Tibetan-language typewriters and to create condition where the Tibetan language could be used far more broadly in higher education and government.

    Meanwhile, it must be pointed out that the lamaists adopted English as the main language of instruction in their exile school system. The Dalai Lama tries to justify this practice in his 1990 autobiography by repeating the argument used in India’s neocolonial school system–that English is “the international language of the future.”

    There is more hypocrisy: In their propaganda, the Tibetan upper class exiles make a fetish about “Tibet’s traditional culture.” In reality, many have contemptuously shed this traditional culture, sending their children to expensive English boarding schools. The Dalai Lama’s authorized biographer Roger Hicks describes how, by the late 1960s and early 1970s, that younger generation was becoming largely westernized.

    The Dalai Lama’s youngest brother, Tendzin Choegyal, is a famous example of this. He is supposed to be the eighth incarnation of an immortal spirit called Ngari Rimpoche. He was educated at the prestigious Catholic St. Joseph prep school in Darjeeling, where the rector claimed Choegyal had “forgotten all that nonsense about being an Incarnation.” Hicks reports that Choegyal himself says, “I’m a banana–yellow on the outside and white on the inside.”

    Grunfeld points out that the exiled Dalai Lama’s money and power only continues as long as there are many stateless refugees. Consequently, it was to the benefit of the exile leadership to keep the masses of Tibetans in children’s homes, transit camps and temporary facilities for decades. For the same reasons, the Dalai Lama’s “government” opposes mixed marriages between Tibetan exiles and Indians and opposes masses of exiled Tibetans applying for citizenship in India–even though this legal status would make their lives much easier. Meanwhile it is common for the wealthy Tibetan upper class to apply for non-Tibetan status–including two of the Dalai Lama’s brothers who are U.S. citizens.

    Many poor Tibetan exiles have their own reasons for rejecting the ways of old feudal Tibet. Grunfeld writes: “An anthropologist who interviewed many of the poorer refugees reported that they viewed the old society with some sense of shame and discussed it with outsiders only with extreme reluctance; he reported that `a number indicated to me that they would prefer to remain in Mysore [India] rather than return to Tibet as it was under the old system.”

    The Dalai Lama’s public relations apparatus feeds the outside world a travel brochure image of Tibetan exile life: as a spiritual Shangrila of noble monks waiting to bring their blessed “traditional culture” back to an impatiently waiting Tibetan people. This media image is essentially a cruel and brutal hoax.

  88. Wukailong Says:

    @allbluedream (#68): Praise is probably better as a teaching tool than criticism is, but that doesn’t mean that criticism should never be used. People should learn to accept both. As for politics, I agree that public criticism doesn’t work that well.

    @raventhorn4000 (#69): I agree completely! :) Actually, I agree there’s a lot of bad media reports out there that just doesn’t cut it. I’ve never agreed with claims about genocide and totalitarianism (though I don’t know what the situation is like in areas like Tibet and Xinjiang, and neither do most people commenting here). Racism does exist in China, but it is not alone in that regard.

  89. Charles Liu Says:

    Miaka @ 75, please stop your dishonest debate. Your statement:

    “Tribal government has same power as the state”

    Is false. Please name one Native Nation with equivlant of National Guard or State Defense Force. You can’t name one because we (yes, I’m American; I’m not from Mainland China) outlaw Native Nations from arming themselves.

    As to your “large plot” statement, it is IMHO complete disgenuous. Would you be satisfied if 99.98% of XUAR is taken away from the Uyghurs and they are rounded up, placed in reservation that’s 0.02% of their original territory? If we can’t measure to the same ber, what right do we have to demand the Chinese?

    Again, none of this have anything to do with China, but it goes to show the hypocrisy and double standard we place on China.

  90. real name Says:

    14
    “When I traveled in China, I noticed Tibetan and Yunnan’s cultures have been maintained via the dancing and music.”
    recalled me:
    In some places ‘Tibetan’ song and dance troupes sometimes consist of non-Tibetan performers.
    When I queried him, he laughed and said, “tourists don’t know the difference anyway.”
    http://japanfocus.org/-Ben-Hillman/2773

  91. BMY Says:

    @Hohhot #24

    “Another ridiculous practice is Chinese authority insist non-Chinese spell their names in Chinese spelling(han yu pin yin), hence there are many weird Uyghur names, even Turkic people could not pronounce, e.g., wuerkaixi, Dilixati… Weird Tibetan names cannot recognized by Tibetans, Mongolian names cannot recognized by Mongols elsewhere”

    I guess there is no other way for people to be able to pronounce these names without put them into Chinese characters first. PinYin is just a attachment of the characters based on the mandarin pronunciation. Only a small portion of Chinese people , who are native mandarin speakers, are lucky enough to have their pin yin name match their actual pronunciation .

    Doesn’t 铁木真 sound much more cool than Temtsel for most of Chinese people ? :)

  92. Wukailong Says:

    @Hohhot (#24): Given the nature of the Chinese script, and the fact that pinyin is only a translation of that (as opposed to, for example, a true rendition of the original name), I don’t think you can blame the Chinese state for using transliterations. It also has a historical precedent – Tibetan or Mongol names, for example, were translated early on into Chinese. The same things of course goes for Chinese names that were transliterated using other languages.

    There are many things the Chinese government can be criticized for… But surely not this.

  93. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “In some places ‘Tibetan’ song and dance troupes sometimes consist of non-Tibetan performers.
    When I queried him, he laughed and said, “tourists don’t know the difference anyway.””

    Preserving Culture.

  94. Hohhot Says:

    @BMY & Wukailong

    BMY Says:

    “Another ridiculous practice is Chinese authority insist non-Chinese spell their names in Chinese spelling(han yu pin yin), hence there are many weird Uyghur names, even Turkic people could not pronounce, e.g., wuerkaixi, Dilixati… Weird Tibetan names cannot recognized by Tibetans, Mongolian names cannot recognized by Mongols elsewhere”

    I guess there is no other way for people to be able to pronounce these names without put them into Chinese characters first. PinYin is just a attachment of the characters based on the mandarin pronunciation. Only a small portion of Chinese people , who are native mandarin speakers, are lucky enough to have their pin yin name match their actual pronunciation .

    Doesn’t 铁木真 sound much more cool than Temtsel for most of Chinese people ? :)

    Wukailong Says:
    Given the nature of the Chinese script, and the fact that pinyin is only a translation of that (as opposed to, for example, a true rendition of the original name), I don’t think you can blame the Chinese state for using transliterations. It also has a historical precedent – Tibetan or Mongol names, for example, were translated early on into Chinese. The same things of course goes for Chinese names that were transliterated using other languages.

    There are many things the Chinese government can be criticized for… But surely not this.
    ————-

    Lodi Gyari, Tsering, Denzin are commenly recognized Tibetan names, But for the people of the same names, if they have Chinese passports, their names would be spelt as Jia Ri Luo Di, Se Ling, Dan Jing, like Chinese names. Ilham Tohti, the detained Uyghur intellectual, if he is released one day and can get a passport, his name would be spelt as Yi Li Ha Mu Tao He Ti. It is like one day the US authoriy suddenly ask American Chinese with the names like Xu or Xie to write their names like “She”or “Sheer” on their IDs.

    Pin Yin is a latinized form for Chinese characters and ethnic Chinese names only, there are much easier ways to latinize non-Chinese spelling languages. Chinese is a language based on writtern characters, while many non-Chinese languages like Latin family are spelling languages based on pronouciations. By the same reason, you cannot spell Genghis Khan as Cheng Ji Si Han, Muhamod as Mu Han Mu De. Historically premodern Chinese scholars spelt the same non-Chinese names in different ways as they liked, because they neither understood non-Chinese languages nor care about those barbarians,(unlike the present Chinese government who claim to respect non-Chinese minority languages)

  95. Hohhot Says:

    @raventhorn4000

    raventhorn4000 says:

    Surly you are missing the historical irony here.
    Mao was hardly the darling of the world when he was in Yenan. Edgar Snow hardly made a dent in Chiang Kai-shek’s reputation in the West. Chiang Kai-shek and his wife were pulling in BILLIONS of US dollars from the West and eating lobsters with heads of Western nations, while Mao was winning the Chinese Civil War.

    “Attractive”?

    If you must compare “soft power”, The Dalai Lama is not even as capable as Chiang Kai-shek (who was nicknamed “Cash my check” by a US General).

    Dharamsala can pull in all the “attractive” Western support it wants, that’s not much of a “soft power”. Real “soft power” is not a beauty contest.

    “Attractive”?


    Hohhot
    obviously you can a low opinion of the “scoop of the century” (foreign Affairs book review) , Red Star Over China is widely regarded to play a an important role in swaying Western and Chinese opinion in favor of Mao and Chinese communists in Yanan.

    When you compare the Dalai Lama with Chiang Kai-shek(常凯申 :-), you should know the inter-governmental relationship of the KMT regime and US were “hard relationship”, while the Dalai Lama and the Western governments have a soft-relationship without any formal links. Chiang had no soft power to speak of. Like you said, Chiang was called ‘Cash My Check’ , and Truman also regarded the Chiang clique “grafters and crooks” .

    I’ve noticed you posted a long piece on dharamsala’s corruption. it would be another scoop of the century if you can overshadow the mountainous evidence of chinese governmet corruption with more postings like that:-)

  96. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “obviously you can a low opinion of the “scoop of the century” (foreign Affairs book review) , Red Star Over China is widely regarded to play a an important role in swaying Western and Chinese opinion in favor of Mao and Chinese communists in Yanan.”

    “Swaying”?

    Are you forgetting the “Who lost China” era in US politics? I think you are exaggerating too much Edgar Snow’s book (the man was blacklisted by US publishing companies and put on FBI’s watchlist for almost 10 years!)

    “while the Dalai Lama and the Western governments have a soft-relationship without any formal links.”

    I wouldn’t call an annual multi-million dollar tax payer funded grant program to be “without any formal links”. Just because people don’t want to acknowledge the governments’ involvement, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Frankly, the money trail is obvious and stinky.

    “I’ve noticed you posted a long piece on dharamsala’s corruption. it would be another scoop of the century if you can overshadow the mountainous evidence of chinese governmet corruption with more postings like that:-)”

    No need, some of us are well aware of Dharamsala and the TGIE’s corruptions. (as well as many government’s corruption.)

    The question WAS, what is this “Matter of time” you spoke of, when TGIE is so evidently corrupt? (which you do not bother to talk about at all, and so I assume you do not dispute it.)

    So spare me the comparison of Dharamsala to Yanan. If Yanan was that corrupt as Dharamsala, History of China might have been different.

  97. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Back in the US, Snow was targeted by conservatives as a “public danger”, his talks picketed and heckled. His vocal opposition to the Vietnam War made many enemies and his publishing outlets dried up completely. He was forced into exile in Switzerland where he lived until his death from cancer.

    *

  98. Hohhot Says:

    @raventhorn4000

    raventhorn4000 Says:
    “obviously you can a low opinion of the “scoop of the century” (foreign Affairs book review) , Red Star Over China is widely regarded to play a an important role in swaying Western and Chinese opinion in favor of Mao and Chinese communists in Yanan.”

    “Swaying”?

    Are you forgetting the “Who lost China” era in US politics? I think you are exaggerating too much Edgar Snow’s book (the man was blacklisted by US publishing companies and put on FBI’s watchlist for almost 10 years!)

    Hohhot: you’ve got the soft power wrong again, it is about winning the hearts and minds of ordinary people rather than the machiavallian politicians, McCarthists, witchhunters and big corporations

  99. Steve Says:

    Historical note: When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, Edgar Snow’s books were popular in most colleges and Mao’s “Little Red Book” was even more popular. Neither of these books were censored or banned. All the things R4K has said happened to Edgar Snow in the 40s and 50s are correct, but his reputation was lifted much higher in the 60s. Strangely enough, the height of both his and Mao’s popularity in the States was during the Cultural Revolution.

  100. foobar Says:

    #24, 95 Hohhot,

    It is like one day the US authoriy suddenly ask American Chinese with the names like Xu or Xie to write their names like “She”or “Sheer” on their IDs.
    It would be like that if the Tibetan language already had an official system of Latinizing the names, and if Tibetan citizens have been using said system to spell their names on their passports, and if suddenly the Chinese authority asked them to change it to Pinyin. I doubt any of these ifs are true.

    Also, the IDs in China do not have Pinyin in them. It will be only in Chinese, for Han people. For some ethnic minorities, the IDs will be in their native language on top of Chinese. I am pretty sure it is the case for Tibetan, Mongol, Uyghur, Zhuang, Korean, and not the case for Manchu and Hui (which mostly use Mandarin). Not so sure about other ethnicities. It also depends on where you reside. i.e. if you do not live in an autonomous region/prefecture/county etc, it will be much harder, if at all possible, to obtain an ID with two languages, at least locally.

    The passport at present is in Chinese and English (the names in the English version are spelt with Pinyin). I think in the future it’s possible to adopt something similar to the ID system. So far the issuance of passport hasn’t allowed special provisions with regard to different ethnicities and autonomous regions, and we are stuck with the problem for now.

    Wuerkaixi was born and raisedp in Beijing, he went to college in Beijing. It could be his choice or or it could be local regulations that his name is spelt as such. He’s been in Taiwan for a long time now. If he wanted to “correctly” spell his name, he would have numerous opportunities.

    Dilixati is not Pinyin.

    Lodi Gyari, Tsering, Denzin are commenly recognized Tibetan names
    ‘recognized’ as in recognized in English or recognized in Tibetan?

  101. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “you’ve got the soft power wrong again, it is about winning the hearts and minds of ordinary people rather than the machiavallian politicians, McCarthists, witchhunters and big corporations.”

    Sure, and how many Americans joined Mao’s cause in the Chinese Civil War?

    (Last count I think there were total of 2!)

    And how many years before Dharamsala Tibetan population reaches over 200,000??

    Just what sort of effect did Edgar Snow’s book have?

    What “hearts and mind” are you talking about?

    “the hearts and minds of ordinary people rather than the machiavallian politicians, McCarthists, witchhunters and big corporations”????

    Rather interesting considering that Dalai Lama’s followers in Dharamsala are funded by machiavallian politicians, McCarthists, witchhunters and big corporations.

  102. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Strangely enough, the height of both his and Mao’s popularity in the States was during the Cultural Revolution.”

    Maybe among the new age American Communists who became disillusioned with Stalin.

    Fat lot of good that did.

  103. BMY Says:

    @Hohhot,

    I fully understand spell “Genghis Khan as Cheng Ji Si Han” sounds funny. But to average Chinese people who don’t read English(or any Latinized spelling) ” Genghis Khan” also sounds funny. Maybe Pin Yin need be reformed to adapt more latinized prounoucation. Or latinized spelling(equivalent to Pin Yin ) need be introduced for some ethnic languages. But there is a risk to be labeled as “culture genocide” if it happens.

    What’s the big deal the same Chinese name 陈 has been spell as Chen,Chan,Chin,Tran . Should this also lead to a nationalistic argument?

    Any way, this is just Lauguage issue I don’t see this is a political issue.

  104. Alessandro Says:

    @Hohhot

    “It is like one day the US authoriy suddenly ask American Chinese with the names like Xu or Xie to write their names like “She”or “Sheer” on their IDs.”f h

    As it may have escaped u, Xu or Xie are nothing more than transliteration of the actual chinese characters indicating those surnames (which, incidentally, could also be very different even if anyway transliterated as Xu or Xie), which intrinsic meaning go lost in the transliteration…So u see, the US ALREADY ask people whose surname is – for example – 徐 or 许 and 谢 or 解 to become like they have the same surname, while in the reality they have not….and they don’t even have the possibility to also ask for the chinese characters to be added to the transliteration, cause US documents doesn’t allow it..(the same could be said for names coming from other cultures as well)
    So u see, as stupidity is involved, US and other countries are not any less so…

  105. BMY Says:

    Holhot says “I’ve noticed you posted a long piece on dharamsala’s corruption. it would be another scoop of the century if you can overshadow the mountainous evidence of chinese governmet corruption with more postings like that:-) ”

    Chinese government’s corruption has been well documented, talked by everyone everyday in or outside of China. It’s not news worth anymore . I guess dharamsala’s corruption is more newsworthy. I might be wrong as I am not a joniulist.

    Anyway, it’s no point to compare who has more or less corruption. both need be addressed and fixed.

    In the weekend, we cooked steamed buns and give our kids each of the buns. The two girls started arguing: one said “my bun is bigger than yours”
    The other said ” No, my one is bigger than yours”
    In the end they both cried and came to my wife to get the final say of whose bigger than whose :)

  106. Wukailong Says:

    @Hohhot (#95): Alright, now I understand your point better. Since Chinese is the official language of China (I know there are places where several languages are used, but it’s not nationwide) I guess it’s natural that they use that in passports, and then translate it into pinyin for all foreign countries that need the passport for their customs inspections.

    I’m very much into languages, so on a personal level I agree with your sentiments. It’s just that I don’t know how this would work out in practice. One possible way to solve it would be to have Chinese, your own language (hopefully just one) and a Latin translation based on the local language. Then it would say “Tenzin Gyatso” instead of “Dan Zeng Jia Cuo,” just to use an example.

    However, there’s an extra problem here. :) Unlike Pinyin for Chinese, many of these languages don’t even have a standardized transliteration. For Tibetan, you have at least three – Wylie (academic), Tibetan pinyin (PRC) and THDL Tibetan transcription (used by some American universities). You’d probably prefer some of the last two since the first one simply transfers Tibetan ortography into Latin letters. Tenzin Gyatso then becomes “bstan ’dzin rgya mtsho”.

    I’m not sure what holds for Uyghur, but I believe the same problem exists there. Even many exiled uyghurs use the Chinese transliteration of their names, though this might change in the future.

    The more I think about it, Chinese is probably one of the few languages that actually has one standardized transliteration system. Japanese has two and so does Korean. Arabic has no standard at all for Latin transliteration.

  107. Wukailong Says:

    Before someone says that China has several systems (Wade-Giles, Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin), I should point out that the first and third has been phased out. Tongyong Pinyin was a shortlived attempt to create an alternative transliteration for use in Taiwan. Depending on whom you choose to believe, the standard was created for linguistic reasons (to be able to write both Guoyu and Taiwanese with one system) or political reasons (to create a standard different from the mainland).

  108. may Says:

    “Pin Yin is a latinized form for Chinese characters and ethnic Chinese names only, there are much easier ways to latinize non-Chinese spelling languages. Chinese is a language based on writtern characters, while many non-Chinese languages like Latin family are spelling languages based on pronouciations. By the same reason, you cannot spell Genghis Khan as Cheng Ji Si Han, … …”

    @Hohhot( and others)
    Suppose I am a Naxi farmer 纳西族 in Yunnan and I do not know a word of English, would Genghis Khan be easily recognizable to me? Chances are “Cheng Ji Si Han” sounds more familiar and is more easily pronounceable by me because I have some exposure to Hanyu Pinyin through media or in the few years of primary school.

    And let’s not forget there are many other ethnic groups in China beside Tibetans, Mongols, and Uighurs. I must admit it always annoy me a little when people speak as if there are only Hans, Tibetans, Mongols, and Uighurs in China. The following is a list of 55 officially recognized ethnic groups in China and the languages they speak. How would you propose to spell all these ethnic groups’ names “correctly” and “respectfully” that 1) reflects a gennuin respect for their native tongue and 2) is easily recognizable by PRC citizens and Westerns alike?

    Let’s not forget many of these ethnic groups speak several different dialects just like Han Chinese.

    http://iel.cass.cn/news_show.asp?newsid=2030&detail=1

    55个少数民族使用语言的情况列表如下(不包括兼用汉语或其他少数民族语言的情况):
    民族名称 使用语言的名称
    蒙古族 蒙古语
    回族 汉语
    藏族 藏语
    维吾尔族 维吾尔语
    苗族 苗语
    彝族 彝语
    壮族 壮语
    布依族 布依语
    朝鲜族 朝鲜语
    满族 汉语
    侗族 侗语
    瑶族 勉语、布努语、拉珈语
    白族 白语
    土家族 土家语
    哈尼族 哈尼语
    哈萨克族 哈萨克语
    傣族 傣语
    黎族 黎语
    僳僳族 僳僳语
    佤族 佤语
    畲族 畲语
    高山族 泰耶尔语、赛德语、邹语、沙阿鲁阿语、卡那卡、那布语、排湾语、阿眉斯语、布农语、鲁凯语、卑南语、邵语、萨斯特语、耶眉语
    拉祜族 拉祜语
    水族 水语
    东乡族 东乡语
    纳西族 纳西语
    景颇族 景颇语、载瓦语
    柯尔克孜族 柯尔克孜语
    土族 土族语
    达斡尔族 达斡尔语
    仫佬族 仫佬语
    羌族 羌语
    布朗族 布朗语
    撒拉族 撒拉语
    毛难族 毛难语
    仡佬族 仡佬语
    锡伯族 锡伯语
    阿昌族 阿昌语
    普米族 普米语
    塔吉克族 塔吉克语
    怒族 怒苏语、阿侬语、柔若语
    乌孜别克族 乌孜别克语
    俄罗斯族 俄罗斯语
    鄂温克族 鄂温克语
    德昂族 德昂语
    保安族 保安语
    裕固族 东部裕固语、西部裕固语
    京族 京语
    塔塔尔族 塔塔尔语
    独龙族 独龙语
    鄂伦春族 鄂伦春语
    赫哲族 赫哲语
    门巴族 门巴语、仓拉语
    珞巴族 珞巴语
    基诺族 基诺语

  109. Hohhot Says:

    Many non-Chinese languages can be Lantinized, just simply by converting their alphabet into latin alphabet,. hence Lodi Gyari, Tsering, Ilham tohti, Genghis Khan are not English, but Tibetan, Uyghur or Mongolian language. By chinese constitution, ethnic minorities have equal rights to use their own languages as ethnic chinese. when chinese use pin yin to latinize chienese language, equally non-chinese peoples should be allowed to latinized their own language.

    As to 50 or so different ethnic groups in china, some of them have long political and cutlural history no less than ethnic Chinese, their ethnic identities have been existent as long as Chinese as a distinctive group, some of them were recognized and given a name by Chinese authoritie in 1950s, they are more official and artificial constructs than a socio-historic entities as other long established ethnic groups. The ethnic/national identities of bigger groups such as Tibetans, Mongols and Uyghurs, do not depend on some recognition/assignation by Chinese authority or any anthropologists.

    By categorizing 56 nationalities, Chinese authority, deliberatedly or not, have enhanced the ethnic consciousness of some smaller ethnic groups, and reduced the ethnic consciousness of long established larger groups like chinese, tibetans, mongols…it is a laughable(and chauvinistic too) for chinese to think, chinese authority/scholars have granted nationality identities to many non-Chinese peoples. The identities of many ethnic groups in China actually exist independently of Chinese thought! :-)

  110. Hohhot Says:

    Many non-Chinese languages can be Lantinized, just simply by converting their alphabet into latin alphabet,. hence Lodi Gyari, Tsering, Ilham tohti, Genghis Khan are not English, but Tibetan, Uyghur or Mongolian language. By chinese constitution, ethnic minorities have equal rights to use their own languages as ethnic chinese. when chinese use pin yin to latinize chienese language, equally non-chinese peoples should be allowed to latinized their own language.

    As to 50 or so different ethnic groups in china, some of them have long political and cutlural history no less than ethnic Chinese, their ethnic identities have been existent as long as Chinese as a distinctive group, some of them were recognized and given a name by Chinese authoritie in 1950s, they are more official and artificial constructs than a socio-historic entities as other long established ethnic groups. The ethnic/national identities of bigger groups such as Tibetans, Mongols and Uyghurs, do not depend on some recognition/assignation by Chinese authority or any anthropologists.

    By categorizing 56 nationalities, Chinese authority, deliberatedly or not, have enhanced the ethnic consciousness of some smaller ethnic groups, and reduced the ethnic consciousness of long established larger groups like chinese, tibetans, mongols…it is a laughable(and chauvinistic too) for chinese to think, chinese authority/scholars have granted nationality identities to many non-Chinese peoples. The identities of many ethnic groups in China actually exist independently of Chinese thought! :-)

  111. may Says:

    1.”Many non-Chinese languages can be Lantinized, just simply by converting their alphabet into latin alphabet,… …”

    I am really very ignorant in this area, but I am happy to learn. A few questions to you and others:
    1)It seems you are saying Pinyin is a bad choice of Latinized form for Tibetan, Uyghur or Mongolian names because unlike Latin alphabets that are based on sound, Chinese language are written characters. But when Pinyin is used to represent Tibetan, Uyghur or Mongolian names, isn’t it used purely as a sound system as well?

    2)Or, your point is Latin pronunciation is closer to Tibetan, Uyghur and Mongolian than Pinyin pronunciation. Is this a view held by scholars in the field? I know Tibetan language and Chinese belong to a large language family called “Sino-Tibetan family”. Does this mean Tibetan names can be closely rendered in sound by Pinyin?

    3) Can you (or someone else) give me some examples of Chinese ethnic languages (other than Tibetan, Uyghur or Mongolian) that can be easily and better Latinized other than Pinyin?

    2. “hence Lodi Gyari, Tsering, Ilham tohti, Genghis Khan are not English, but Tibetan, Uyghur or Mongolian language.”
    OK, I have no objection if you want to call “Lodi Gyari, Tsering, Ilham tohti, Genghis Khan” “Tibetan, Uyghur or Mongolian language”. But it seems to me these names would still look quite un-pronounceable to someone who has no exposure to Latin pronunciation system, be it a Naxi farmer or any person in another ethnic group. On the other hand, since Pinyin is used as a national sound system, it is more likely that they can recognize an ethnic name in Pinyin.

    3 “when chinese use pin yin to latinize chienese language, equally non-chinese peoples should be allowed to latinized their own language.”
    Correct me if I am wrong, but are you proposing these 50 plus ethnic groups speaking 50 plus different languages each have their own Latinized form of language? On paper, yes, I am with you. I support the right of ethnic people to their native tongues. But, is this idea workable in reality?

    4. One finally thought: speaking of Pinyin depriving people’s right to their native tongue, I wonder if Pinyin can really represent sounds of Cantonese or Suzhou dialect that well. Should we also give Guangdong people and Suzhou people the right to Latinize their own dialect?

  112. Wukailong Says:

    Hmm, seems there will little agreement on the linguistic questions here. :)

    @Hohhot: I agree with you in spirit, but there are very few cases where a non-Latin alphabet can just be converted into a Latin transliteration. Even Russian doesn’t have a standardized transliteration, much less languages like Uighur and Tibetan. The problem lies in the fact that there is no 1-1 relationship between letters in one alphabet and another. I guess we won’t be coming further in this discussion, though.

    @May: There is pinyin for Cantonese, used in textbooks and language research on the mainland. It’s built on top of the pinyin used for Mandarin and quite ill-fitted for the dialect, I would say. The tones are marked by numbers. A better system in my opinion is Sydney Lau’s:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Lau_romanisation

    I’ve seen variations of this used in textbooks where the tones are marked much like in Hanyu Pinyin. There is an extra tone mark for the low level tone, =.

    I don’t think there is a pinyin system for Suzhou dialect because of the limited market. I have several textbooks on Shanghainese but they roll their own transliterations.

  113. Hohhot Says:

    @May
    do you that it is right thing to do to force Tsering, Danzin, or Gyari from China to bear the Chinese-sounding names like Ce Ling, Dan Jing, or Jia Ri, on their Chinese passports, different from the people of the same ethnic origins bearing the same names elsewhere? China hasn’t force Hong Kong people to use pin yin system to spell their names, why is that? because HK enjoys genuine autonomy, while non-chinese minorities have only the autonomy on paper?

    I know a few Chinse passport holders having problems to open bank accounts , because their name spellings, on the passport, their surnames are spelt literally as “XXX”. Or they just put down the first syllable as a surname as Chinese do. A Tsering may find “Ce” suddenly become his family name:-)That is the way Chinese public security to spell tibetan, Mongolian, and uiyghur names nowadays

    @Wukailong
    probably with a few minor changes Russian could be latinized, a lot easier than Chinese to be latinized. Mongolian is spelt in both traditional and Cyrillic alphabets, it can also be easily spelt in a Latin system, with some minor changes of course. The different spelling system in Inner Mongolia and Mongolian state is due to one Chinese person’s decision. Zhou Enlai had this stateman’s vision and forsaw the problems if Mongols across the border had used the same spelling system, and stalled on-going Mongolian language reform in Inner Mongolia in 1950s.

  114. foobar Says:

    #114 Hohhot,
    I know a few Chinse passport holders having problems to open bank accounts , because their name spellings, on the passport, their surnames are spelt literally as “XXX”. Or they just put down the first syllable as a surname as Chinese do. A Tsering may find “Ce” suddenly become his family name:-)That is the way Chinese public security to spell tibetan, Mongolian, and uiyghur names nowadays

    I’m not sure I get what you mean here though. Do you really mean someone’s surname is spelt as XXX on his passport? That will be really fucked up. I’m wondering if someone can corroborate on this.

    In China, you open an bank account with your ID card, not with a passport.

    Tsering is not a family name. And most Tibetans don’t have family names. I’m sure you are aware of that.

    The third ID card in the image below is a sample for someone of Tibetan ethnicity. In the Chinese part, both the first name 夏仓格 and the second name 普美平措朗杰 are of multiple Chinese characters, and they are separated by a bold dot [similar to how the Chinese write westerners names, like 乔治。布什 for George Bush]. Given that the IDs are issued by the Public Security Bureau, I find your statement
    “that is the way Chinese public security to spell tibetan, Mongolian, and uiyghur names nowadays” a little less credible.
    http://imgsrc.baidu.com/baike/pic/item/d048added4999b4bccbf1a0b.jpg

    I have seen Indians (Asia not North American) with single names who have to make up a last name on their US drivers licenses. While stuff like this happen, if it’s in China somehow there has to be an sinister, evil motivation behind it.

  115. Alessandro Says:

    “I have seen Indians (Asia not North American) with single names who have to make up a last name on their US drivers licenses. While stuff like this happen, if it’s in China somehow there has to be an sinister, evil motivation behind it.”

    As I said in #105, in USA, and other western countries as well, u don’t even have the possibility to have ur name or surname written in ur own language on the documents, everything must be transliterated and everything must be written using the latin alphabet, no matter what…but, god knows why, if it happens there it’s considered normal, if this happens in China must be somewhat evil…Magic of double-standards…

  116. may Says:

    @Wukailong: thanks for the info. For Cantonese, I know that under some circumstances, Guangdong people would also use Chinese characters to represent the sound of their dialect. But some of these Chinese characters are so odd that I can barely pronounce them. As for the Suzhou dialect, some of my relatives are from Suzhou. But my own dialect is so far apart from theirs that I can hardly communicate with them.

    @ Hohhot:
    “do you that it is right thing to do to force Tsering, Danzin, or Gyari from China to bear the Chinese-sounding names like Ce Ling, Dan Jing, or Jia Ri, on their Chinese passports, different from the people of the same ethnic origins bearing the same names elsewhere?”

    Are you saying Latinized form of Tibetan, Mongolian, and Uyghur names have been standardized internationally? But Chinese authorities choose to ignore it? If this is the case, then China needs to consider adding these internationally recognized spellings to the passports of these ethnic people. But I maintain that a Pinyin name should also be kept on the passport to match these people’s records domestically.

    To me, a Tibetan name Tsering Shakya (to use a famous Tibetan scholar’s name as an example) is a form of Latinized spelling given by the authorities of one’s country just as the Pinyin spelling “Ci Ren Xia Ja” used in China. It is different from Ci Ren Xia Ja(茨仁夏加) in that Tsering Shakya might have a closer resemblance to the actual Tibetan pronunciation than the Pinyin system. (But as I said, I am very ignorant in this regard, I could not tell for sure which one is a better approximation of the sound.)

    As far as I know, HK schools also teach Mandarin and Pinyin. I am not sure about name spellings on HK passports. Never actually seen one. Maybe some of the readers from HK can help me out here. But I have seem HK people spell their names in the Latinized form – it is called HK Government Cantonese Pinyin香港政府粵語拼音. It is also a “Pinyin” system but is somewhat different from the Pinyin system used in mainland China.

    You asked whether I think ethnic people should be forced to use Pinyin to spell their names. Since in general I don’t think people should be forced to do things against their will, so the answer is no. Your question leads to two more thoughts. 1) problem of procedural legitimacy – I am wondering if the adoption of Pinyin spelling was approved by relevant governing bodies and through legitimate channels. 2) in an ideal China, people should have a way to discuss the issue in the media or representative bodies if they think the current Pinyin spelling system is a serious violation of their right to their native tongue.

    This said, I still think we should consider the workability of having 50 plus ethnic groups each implementing their own Latinized spelling systems, and the communication and administrative problems it can cause for a country like China.

  117. TonyP4 Says:

    Several interesting posts on language.

    I can speak Cantonese (being made in HK), understand some Mandarin (thanks to the mini series from China and movies), and speak a little Mandarin (better than the Cantonese from Mandarin-speaking folks like my graduate schoolmates in Amherst, MA).

    The first emperor of China united the written language but not the spoken language, most likely due to the vast geographical size and communication about 2,000 years ago. Who says tyrant has no benefit o the society, haha!

    Via our casual e-mail, my high school classmates Bai Ding and Irene have some comments on language as follows:

    According to Bai, Cantonese is a better language for poems contrary to my original belief.

    Cantonese that need translation.
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/06/hong-kong-cantonese-needs-translation.html

    Cantonese that need explanation.
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/03/2.html

    New Cantonese in HK.
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/06/blog-post.html

    Dictionary for dirty Cantonese http://www.comti.com.cn/xcantonese/index.html

    Funny interpretation of the word 夫 http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/07/blog-post_06.html

    There are many in my blog that I may have missed to include all of them. Hope you will enjoy the jokes as they are. Sorry most are in Chinese.

  118. TonyP4 Says:

    Read some interest post about the oral languages.

    I speak fluent Cantonese (born in HK), understand some Mandarin (thanks to the mini series from China), speak very basic Mandarin (better than the Cantonese spoken by most Mandarin-speaking folks).

    The first emperor of China united the written language, but not the oral one about 2,000 years ago. Most likely it is due to the vast geographical size. Who say tyrant has nothing to contribute for civilization, haha.

    The following is stored from my blog from my casual e-mails with my high school classmates. Most are for fun. It is in ‘everything you want to know about Cantonese, but are afraid to ask’ category. According to Bai Ding being a poet, Cantonese is the best language for poems. Sorry all are in Chinese and some require Cantonese knowledge for full enjoyment.

    Chinese needs translation.
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/04/blog-post_13.html

    HK Cantonese needs translation.
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/06/hong-kong-cantonese-needs-translation.html

    The many meanings of 『夫 』
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/07/blog-post_06.html

    Who say Cantonese dirty words cannot be written down?
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/06/pg17.html

    Educate your language skill.
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/07/blog-post.html

    That should be enough to laugh your head off for a hot afternoon.

  119. jael Says:

    re the latinisation of tonal languages: Vietnamese was transliterated about 400 years ago from a script very similar to traditional chinese characters. The vowel section has been extended dramatically from the english language vowel sounds, to incorporate the full range of sounds. The problem with PinYin is of the expected relationship between the represented letter and the sound made, something which Vietnamese addresses.

    as may observes, implementing 50 something separate latinizations would be an administrative nightmare; but I think – though it would be a major linguistic effort – to produce even a 100 character alphabet to encompass a far wider range of sounds that PinYin is indicative of, and that could also represent sounds from minority languages. Improve the (pretty awful current) PinYin system and encompass a broader range of Chinese minority dialects and sounds – it’d be a win for everyone. There is no particular reason that a transliteration needs to stick to the 26 letters of the latin alphabet.

  120. TonyP4 Says:

    From some reason I could not continue from my last post.

    The following is stored from my blog from my casual e-mails with my high school classmates. Most are for fun. It is in ‘everything you want to know about Cantonese, but are afraid to ask’ category. According to Bai Ding being a poet, Cantonese is the best language for poems. Sorry all are in Chinese and some require Cantonese knowledge for full enjoyment.

    Chinese needs translation.
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/04/blog-post_13.html

    HK Cantonese needs translation.
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/06/hong-kong-cantonese-needs-translation.html

    The many meanings of 『夫 』
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/07/blog-post_06.html

    Who say Cantonese dirty words cannot be written down?
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/06/pg17.html

    Educate your language skill.
    http://tonyp4joke.blogspot.com/2009/07/blog-post.html

    That should be enough to laugh your head off for a hot afternoon.

  121. TonyP4 Says:

    Sorry about duplicate posts as the system has some problems.

    Admin, please check why. It seems the server received my post but did not display on my PC for several minutes. It works fine now.

  122. Sonia Says:

    @HohHot. Regarding your comment #23.

    I think that the point of contention is that the translation of zhong guo ren is Chinese, and the translation of Han is…well…Han. Saying non-Chinese implies that these ethnicities are not Chinese; whereas, saying non-Han means that they are not Han-Chinese. It’s really a bit of technicality and PC-ness, but I think it’s quite important. Granted, there are many non-Han, especially abroad, who also regard themselves as non-Chinese, but that’s a specific grievance to being viewed as Chinese rather than to be mistaken as Han. I think that it is important to be very technical about these terms because the current political situation makes the distinction especially relevant.

  123. admin Says:

    @TonyP4,

    Any post that contains multiple links is likely to be trapped by the system spam filter. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  124. dan Says:

    Hohhot,
    I feel your anger. Base on your sentiments about language and non-Han people’s names spelling into pinyin system in China, what do you think about the plight of Chinese living in Indonesia for generations and were forced to completely Indonesian-ized their names? Chinese language was banned and Chinese schools (up until recently) shut down. Yet, those Indonesian Chinese have never received any supports from the likes of Human Rights protests. Those Chinese never staged any riots or protests but always at the receiving ends of brutalities courtesy of the majority group and with the local government stayed in the side line. Check and see how many ‘Han’ Chinese are represented in Indonesian government. It is as if Chinese in those regions are to be expected to be assimilated (which I don’t object, but forbid them to learn and keep their language?) into the society where they called home regardless how long they have been there. Today, Chinese Indonesians are a strange bunch in their ‘land’, they are not ‘Indonesian’ and they are not Chinese. Talk about people without root and irony, may be they should be included into Erkin Aletekin’s Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.

  125. Sonia Says:

    @dan

    I am also quite indignant about the plight of Chinese-Indonesians, but I feel like there may be a misunderstanding regarding the expected reaction to Human Rights violations. Many times, the plight and misfortunes of a particular demographic is only publicized if those people take it upon themselves to make it known. Although you do not explicitly say so, you seem to imply that even though Hohhot is against sinocizing non-Han names, he would be ok with Indonesian-izing Han names. You also seem to imply that because Chinese-Indonesians don’t vehemently protest and are largely unsupported and unrecognized, that it’s the correct action to take; that any other under-represented group, especially under Chinese rule, should also be docile and willingly assimilated, as if that’s the proper and standard mode of behavior. Somehow, because Chinese suffer silently under bigger bullies, ethnic minorities should also suffer silently under the Han-Chinese.

    If your point was simply to highlight another case of unrepresented people in the world, then I apologize, and please make yourself more clear next time. However, I’m tired of using the “Well, we don’t do that! So neither should they!” excuse to condemn activism from “the other side”, because it’s really fallacious. And in fact, from my perspective, it only highlights the frustrating lack of cohesion and spirit from overseas Chinese communities rather than point out the over-aggressiveness of domestic ethnic uprisings.

  126. Allen Says:

    @Sonia #125,

    It seems like your logic goes something like this: yes, there are lots of injustices (however you defined them) in the world. Some are within China, some are without. Some are even against the Chinese people. But it’s ok to focus disproportionately or almost exclusively on China. Focuses on any injustice is right, even if we focus disproportionally on China.

  127. Sonia Says:

    @Allen.

    Haha. I think you misunderstood me. But perhaps I should have been clearer.

    Anyone who knows me (although you don’t know me, so I’ll forgive you for it), knows that one of my biggest pet peeves is the disproportionate criticism laid on China. It is not so much the criticism that bothers me as much as the disdain, ignorance and arrogance masked by gentle concern, “human-rights” style.

    However, simply because others are obnoxious and offensive, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a grain of truth in what they say. While I won’t stand for other’s hypocrisy, I won’t use it to justify my own hypocrisy. I hope that makes some sense. What I mean is, that while I recognize a lot of China-bashers are just that, I can’t ignore what they say unless I know with a clear conscience that what they say is false. This is because I am Chinese, and I care a great deal about China. Therefore, I myself will focus disproportionately on China, and it pains me a great deal that my fellow Chinese (whether they regard themselves as Chinese or not) are on the receiving end of injustice.

    If you reread what I wrote, I wasn’t implying that we shouldn’t focus on Chinese-Indonesians or any other injustices. On the contrary, I think that we should. Had Dan perhaps phrased his comment “Yes, and did you know that this also happens.” (and perhaps he had meant to phrase it thus, I don’t know), I would have left it alone. But what I read and interpreted was (paraphrase plus liberal tonal interpretation): [yeah well, what do you think of this: Chinese-Indonesians also suffered...but they never protested!] It is very likely that I interpreted him wrong, but my initial reaction was that he thought that to not protest and suffer silently was the correct thing to do. It’s like the whole “who can bear the most pain without screaming” competition, as if the most silently victimized people would prevail to be the most virtuous and brave.

    Although I have a lot of beef with the separatist movements, I will give them this: they have made themselves known in the world, and it has given them significant leverage. Not enough to separate from China, but enough to make people the world over love and respect the Dalai Lama, and make the Beijing governments somewhat nervous.

    On the other hand, and I’m massively and unforgivably generalizing here, immigrants of Chinese descent have satisfied themselves with economic stability (and sometimes not even that), while rarely fighting for the political and social rights due to them. That passivity combined with economic ingenuity may have secured the Chinese the status of “model immigrants”, but it has set them back as an influential demographic group wherever they have settled. Of course, this has been changing and will continue to change. But I stand by my stance that Chinese immigrants, particularly non-political-refugee youths from the mainland, still have a far way to go in terms of social rhetoric and participation.

    Which is precisely one of the reasons that China is so misunderstood and disproportionately slandered in the World. It is exactly because those of the Chinese diaspora have not taken it onto themselves to show the world exactly what 1.3 billion Chinese people think. It reflects in the outdated views of people who think Chinese are un-individualistic and oppressed, or brainwashed, or ignorant and like to throw stones at Koreans protesting the Olympic torch relay.

    Like I’ve noted before, this has been changing. Especially, last year, in reaction to the ridiculous and biased media coverage of Tibet, Western journalists were forced to admit, albeit reluctantly and with confusion, that Chinese citizens and descendants have their own ideas unrepresented by the so-called objective media. I can only hope that this goes on in a productive manner (with more debunking youtube videos and fewer stone-throwing incidents).

    So to reply to you, I do not think that it is fair to focus on China. And I am in particular against the “silent martyrdom” of the Chinese diaspora. Furthermore, I detest using the frustrating “silent suffering” to counter “loud suffering”, in part because it implies that we overseas-Chinese should continue to suffer in silence.

    I hope that was somewhat clearer. If not, I’d be happy to elaborate further.

  128. may Says:

    @Tony: those entries in your blog are just hilarious. They cracked me up :) And I discovered many of the Chinese characters used to represent the dirty words in Cantonese are simply unrecognizable to me … …

    @jael: I like your idea of enlarging the current Pinyin system to better encompass the phonetic varieties of ethnic people as well as Han Chinese. Now come to think about it, I realized the Pinyin system is probably not even adequate to deal with the phonetic diversity of Han Chinese themselves – for example, Wu dialect吴语 (e.g., Shanghainese, Suzhou dialect), Cantonese, Hakka, Min dialect闽语, Hunan dialect湖南话, Jiangxi dialect江西话.

    I did a quick read on Wiki about the Vietnamese language. The situation seems comparable to China.
    1) There are 54 officially recognized ethnic groups in Vietnam.

    2) The Latinized Vietnamese language reflects the language spoken by the dominant ethnic group in the country – the Kinh (i.e., the Vietnamese people). The Kinh constitute about 86% of the total population.

    3) There are regional varieties of the language spoken by the dominant Kinh people. The Latinized Vietnamese script reflects the Middle Vietnamese dialect.

    4) It is not clear how well the current Latinized Vietnamese script accommodates the phonetic traits of other ethnic groups in the country.

  129. Hohhot Says:

    @dan,

    I sympathize with ethnic Chinese in Indonesia almost as i sympathize Jews in europe before the war, and I detest many Chinese polices towards ethnic minorities as I do to Isreali treatment of Arabs. The wrongs one nation force upon others cannot be justified/excused by the wrongs it had suffered elsewhere or in the past.

    China sometimes likes to use this packaging/linking tactics to defend against human rights accusations. There are always evidence you can found similar wrong doings committed in different places and different times, then you can always argue Chinese is just doing what someone has done before or does elsewhere.

    It is either a cynicism to a new level(frome everyday life to a world perspective) or an all-or-nothing attitude, i.e., no China’s problems could be solved without solving all the similar problem in the whole world. I guess this holistic method is close to Chinese philosophy that everything is part of everything…:-)

  130. Hohhot Says:

    @Sonia

    Sonia says:

    I think that the point of contention is that the translation of zhong guo ren is Chinese, and the translation of Han is…well…Han. Saying non-Chinese implies that these ethnicities are not Chinese; whereas, saying non-Han means that they are not Han-Chinese. It’s really a bit of technicality and PC-ness, but I think it’s quite important. Granted, there are many non-Han, especially abroad, who also regard themselves as non-Chinese, but that’s a specific grievance to being viewed as Chinese rather than to be mistaken as Han. I think that it is important to be very technical about these terms because the current political situation makes the distinction especially relevant.

    Hohhot:
    zhong guo ren = Chinese? what about American Chinese? In many central asian languages, Chinese are called as Kitai or similars. some of those peoples are Chinese citizens, but they do not call themselves Kitai. The meaning of Chinese, with its cultural and ethnic connotations, is cear, but confusing only when it is twisted with some political and even nationalist implications. It is highly needed to include “Zhongguoren” into english vocabulary to avoid confusions.

    (after a second reading, i think i misread your post, sorry about that)

  131. Sonia Says:

    @HohHot. You’re right. We need to define terms more clearly or introduce new terms to minimize confusion. “China”, “Huayi” and “Zhongguo” means different things to different people, which leads to a lot of misunderstanding.

  132. dan Says:

    It is not quite satisfying to me the way you framed the answer accompanied with this preconceived notion that I tried to raise the argument that since injustices happened to Chinese and therefore, blah, blah…I emphatically reject that kind of thinking. But thank you for your (Hohot and Sonia) replies.

    @Sonia,
    I don’t know how my sentence like this :

    -Those Chinese never staged any riots or protests but always at the receiving ends of brutalities courtesy of the majority group and with the local government stayed in the side line.

    can be interpreted into this reaction:

    “…but my initial reaction was that he thought that to not protest and suffer silently was the correct thing to do. It’s like the whole “who can bear the most pain without screaming” competition, as if the most silently victimized people would prevail to be the most virtuous and brave.”

    It is beyond me. Those Indo-Chinese were not trying to break away from the country. They have been living there for hundred of years. It was not like they were trying to ‘kick out’ other people and claim the place for themselves. They were Indonesians just like all others ethnically divert peoples there. They considered themselves subjects of the government.
    It was not like they have been trying to fight for their ‘independent’ or elected some leaders and became an agitated force for the Indonesian government; it was not like they have an exiled government directing them to stage protests to gain sympathy from the world; it was not like they didn’t consider themselves an active part of the Indonesian society; it was not like they didn’t want to be Indonesians. Injustices fall on them regardless.

    May be they should have been doing all of the above by your judgment? Are you advocating violence to end violence?

    Frankly, your interpretation revealed much about you.

  133. Sonia Says:

    @dan.

    Hmm. Perhaps I should have first asked you to elaborate further, and I apologize if my reply was somewhat hot headed. However, you mistake me regarding a call for violence.

    1. Social injustice befalls many who are tentative, shy, and passive. That is not news. It’s certainly not fair that anyone is on the receiving end of injustice. Human beings are not all-knowing, and neither are Human Rights Organizations. Therefore, it requires some sort of vocal activism that alerts the world. Without that, for the most part, those sufferers will suffer in silence. Now, this kind of activism may be violent, non-violent, or a mixture of both. I was not arguing that Indo-Chinese should rise up, rebel and riot. Being vocal does not equate sedition, rioting, or having an exiled government grumbling at every major event; it simply means making your laments known. The goal is not to gain sympathy from the world, although that helps, but to safeguard the rights that are due to you. It’s not a matter of force or violence, but of speaking and standing up for yourself. It’s not hard to imagine that those suffering in silence will be overlooked, and the loudest talkers get the most attention. All of society bears the burden of maintaining the rights for every individual. But, communities, and individuals, also have the right and responsibility of safeguarding and checking that their own rights are not being violated.

    2. Perhaps I was confused. I had thought that your comment was specifically in response to the discussion of sino-cizing non-Han names and other, harsher, injustices suffered by minorities in China. And now, I’m a little unsure of exactly what your point is. If you were just reminding us all that injustice happens regardless of how active and/or violent the reaction is, then I agree and we are in accordance that it is very much unfair. Perhaps you were simply asking why. Why is it that world-wide sympathy is afforded only to the most organized, most vocal, most financially-backed, sometimes more violent activists? Why does that sympathy elude those silent sufferers? Why can rich lobbyists hire hobos to wait in line for them while more grass-root activists miss out? It’s unfortunate, and if any of us knew how to fix it…well we wouldn’t be talking about it now.

    3. It is natural to react to a barrage of complaints with aversion and “ugh, this is so old!”. Not pointing fingers at anyone here! Just that from my own experience, many think that just because certain people’s (ie. African-Americans, Tibetans, etc.) voices seem to be heard loudly, that their grievances have already been addressed, and they find the continuation of such grievances annoying. Well, who wants to hear the same bad news all the time? I see that in the Chinese-American community all the time (though of course not a majority of the time). Frequent grumblings: “Stupid activist!”, “We suffered too, but you don’t see *us* parading!”, “Discrimination against black people is such a lie! They just want to sue the s*** out of everyone! That’s how they make money and fame!”, not to mention all the grievances over affirmative action. The attitude, though often not explicitly stated, is that Asian-Americans became “model immigrants” without all that “political rights non-sense”, therefore we’re better and harder-working than the rest of them, that other minorities are simply manipulating their minority status for some other goal. Those experiences perhaps colored my interpretation of Dan’s tone. If that was an inaccurate interpretation, then I sincerely apologize.

    4. I’m not condoning the violence in Tibet or Xinjiang, and I’m not blaming those “silent sufferers” for the oppression they suffer. I’m not even advocating activism over non-activism. I just meant that injustices happens across the world, and we can’t use people’s reactions to justify or explain the level of injustice that they are expected to receive. Furthermore, it’s a reality that activism (violent or non-violent) tend to make events more well-known, and well-known events usually get more attention than not well-known events.

    Again, I’d like to apologize if I misinterpreted you. Alas, it’s so hard to interpret tone in comments.

    In case you were wondering:

    It was actually the “Based on your…what do you think about…?” followed later by the “Yet…” that made me question the tone of your comment, and led me to the assumption that you were being a little accusatory. The question, which otherwise would be rhetorical, seemed to imply that Hohhot would be expected to hypocritically disagree with you. But you’re right, I shouldn’t have made such presumptions, and it’s quite silly to dissect tone, semantics, and writing style in such an informal setting. So again, many apologies.

    However, I’m not quite satisfied that my “interpretation revealed much about [me]“, as I’m not sure what it exactly revealed about me… that I am “advocating violence to end violence”? Well, let me assure you that I am not.

  134. jael Says:

    may; the situation in Viet Nam is very similar to China in many ways; but I think the primary difference is population size. With 1.3 billion people, Chinese minorities are large enough to demand social attention as whole groups. With Viet Nam’s 84 million, and the location of minorities in areas that are not resource rich (as compared to some of the more prominent minority groups in China) the Vietnamese get away being less accommodating to their minorities than the Chinese can. The model is, however, pretty much the same, esp. given the similar political/social context.

    The Vietnamese alphabet wasn’t designed to encompass minority languages; only tieng viet, the kinh language. As such, it doesn’t have symbols for all the sounds. What it does do though, and this is something that Pin Yin Chinese does not, is that it goes beyond a – z, and has a range of symbols that are indicative of sounds not represented by the latin alphabet.

    前 and 纏 *are both transliterated chin4 in the Yale Pin Yin of Cantonese; however when pronounced there is a difference in sound – but that difference cannot be expressed by the transliteration. Vietnamese gets around this by having two forms of “e”, each representing different sounds (also multiple forms of a, u, d and o). Any alphabet for Chinese sounds may well produce different variations; it would depend on the need. It would – for a start – provide a way to distinguish 前 and 纏 in Pin Yin!

    My point was not so much that the Vietnamese alphabet accommodates minorities – it wasn’t designed to. What is it though is a fine example of how looking beyond the latin alphabet, and extending it, to accommodate sound representations can work. One of the absurdities of the present Pin Yin systems is that they use symbols that were designed to represent sounds in an utterly different language, with no accommodation of the different sounds specific to the various Chinese dialects. More symbols! Greater accuracy!

    There would be a need to actually *design* an alphabet system with minority languages in mind. It’d be a mammoth undertaking, but I think it would be useful for Han as well as minorities, as you point out!

    *My example may be off; I’m new to Cantonese after years of VN; I *think* this is the example we were dealing with in class this week, but I could well be wrong

  135. BMY Says:

    @hohhot #130

    It really depends how you define the term “Chinese” . When the word of “Chinese” came up in ancient Europe, China was a multi ethnic country as always. It would be a surprise that the ancient Europeans, or Persians or Indus would only use “Chinese” to define one group of people in China.

    Few years ago, when a group of migrate workers from China had a dispute with a local Company. The news title on the paper was “Mongolian workers x xx ” because they were from inner Mongolia of PRC even those workers were majority Han Chinese. When a group of Afghanistan refugee arrived, the paper titled “Afghanistan refugee x xx” and actually in the article it was said they were ethnic Uzbekistani. When the orange revolution happening in Ukraine, the paper said ” the Russian speaking in the east region of the country xxx”

    I am all right with whatever one chooses. But I just don’t see the consistency when things related to China .
    Anyway, we have enough argument about “What is Chinese” last year

    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2008/07/03/what-does-it-mean-to-be-chinese/

  136. BMY Says:

    @hohhot #129

    “China sometimes likes to use this packaging/linking tactics to defend against human rights accusations. There are always evidence you can found similar wrong doings committed in different places and different times, then you can always argue Chinese is just doing what someone has done before or does elsewhere”

    Do you mean the PRC government “likes to use this packaging/linking tactics to …” on their policies or during the international debate? Do you have any source I would like to read? Or do you just read too much from the angry youth?

  137. BMY Says:

    @hohhot #129

    “I detest many Chinese polices towards ethnic minorities as I do to Isreali treatment of Arabs. The wrongs one nation force upon others cannot be justified/excused by the wrongs it had suffered elsewhere or in the past.”

    I fully agree with “The wrongs one nation force upon others cannot be justified/excused by the wrongs it had suffered elsewhere or in the past.” And I would never augue what happened to native Americans or native Australians have anything to do with what’s happening in China. If it is wrong then it needed be put it right.

    Regarding your statement of “I detest many Chinese polices towards ethnic minorities as I do to Isreali treatment of Arabs.”

    Do you mind if you can elaborate more about which policies in China targeting which minority group(s)are similar with Israeli policies on Arabs in Israel or in Gaza or in West Bank?

    Thanks

  138. BMY Says:

    @hohhot #113

    “Zhou Enlai had this stateman’s vision and forsaw the problems if Mongols across the border had used the same spelling system, and stalled on-going Mongolian language reform in Inner Mongolia in 1950s”

    Are you proposing to use Cyrillic scripts to replace traditional Mongolian scripts?

    Also ““Zhou Enlai had this stateman’s vision and forsaw the problems if Chinese across the straight/border had used the same script system, and carried on Chinese character reform in mainland China in 1950 ”

    Traditional Mongolian scripts have been kept and traditional Chinese scripts have gone as a result. Should I say CCP was in favor of Mongols by some logic?

  139. Shane9219 Says:

    @BMY & hohhot #135

    >> “It really depends how you define the term “Chinese” . When the word of “Chinese” came up in ancient Europe”

    There is no ambiguity on what China and Chinese mean and represent in modern time. There is only this veiled desire to cut certain parts loose from China by some foreigners and confused minorities.

    This geo-political concept called China or 中国 took root among common people as earlier as Han Dynasty in reference to the central parts of Middle Kingdom where the emperors exercised direct control, while the surrounding regions were often assigned to emperors’ siblings, offspring, generals or important local ethnic rulers.

    It is wise to realize the situation of 19th century when declined Qing Dynasty failed to properly control its territory will not be repeated in modern time. So there is really few option for unsatisfied and ambitious Uighur, both overseas and those inside XinJiang, to seek self-determination and separation from China.

    They can either 1) discard this ancient and deep-rooted racial hatred, give up such illegitimate and ambitious dreams of East Turkestan and live peacefully side-by-side with the rest of population, or 2) move out and settle somewhere else.

  140. Shane9219 Says:

    Now it seems even Turkey no longer wanted to be a safe haven for disgruntled Uighur. Still, racial hatred is rooted deeply in the mind of some Uighur.

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1912653,00.html

    “It is hard for us to get permission to stay here. It’s not like it used to be,” he says. “But there is no going back now.” He mimics a knife slitting his throat and says “Han Chinese.” There is silence in the room, then the children — dressed in brightly colored batik print dresses — burst out laughing and begin imitating his motion. Mahmut smiles slowly. For a brief moment, this is just another family reunion.”

  141. Wukailong Says:

    @Shane9219 (#138): “There is no ambiguity on what China and Chinese mean and represent in modern time. There is only this veiled desire to cut certain parts loose from China by some foreigners and confused minorities.”

    So do you mean this is what BMY means? I’m curious about the question of how to define modern Chineseness, do I want to split China? Some time ago there was an entry on what it means being Chinese:

    http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2008/07/03/what-does-it-mean-to-be-chinese/

    Was that written by Buxi with the express intent of splitting China?

    “They can either 1) discard this ancient and deep-rooted racial hatred, give up such illegitimate and ambitious dreams of East Turkestan and live peacefully side-by-side with the rest of population, or 2) move out and settle somewhere else.”

    You keep mentioning “Indian elitists.” To me this sounds like “Chinese elitism.” Are there absolutely no legitimate grievances?

  142. Shane9219 Says:

    @Wukailong #141

    I don’t think you got my point correctly as I particularly referred the term of “geo-political concept of China”

    The geo-political concept of China is well-defined under international law, and modern Chinese means all citizens within the geo-political boundary of China, the concept of so-called “one China” .

    Readers of this forum are sure to recognize the history and civilization aspects of China. Multiple overlapping perspectives can bring confusion to the meaning of China and Chinese.

    Also, discussion of China has no relation with discussion of “India elitists”

  143. Hohhot Says:

    @BMY
    it is more than angry youth, the view is reflected by populist remarkes made by Chinese officials such as foreign ministry spokespersons and recently Xi Jinping in Mexico. As public opinion is gaining more influence in government policy making, some chinese leaders tend to become like like angry youths

    About the policies in China targeting which minority group(s)are similar with Israeli policies on Arabs in Israel or in Gaza or in West Bank, obviously a large number of Chinese settlers have been sent in to change local ehtno demographies in inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet, and local populations have been marginalized in all aspect of social life. The only chance for non-Chinese people to survive in such Chinese dominated societies is to become Chinese.

    BMY Says:
    @hohhot #129
    “China sometimes likes to use this packaging/linking tactics to defend against human rights accusations. There are always evidence you can found similar wrong doings committed in different places and different times, then you can always argue Chinese is just doing what someone has done before or does elsewhere”

    Do you mean the PRC government “likes to use this packaging/linking tactics to …” on their policies or during the international debate? Do you have any source I would like to read? Or do you just read too much from the angry youth?

    Vote +1BMY Says:
    @hohhot #129

    “I detest many Chinese polices towards ethnic minorities as I do to Isreali treatment of Arabs. The wrongs one nation force upon others cannot be justified/excused by the wrongs it had suffered elsewhere or in the past.”

    I fully agree with “The wrongs one nation force upon others cannot be justified/excused by the wrongs it had suffered elsewhere or in the past.” And I would never augue what happened to native Americans or native Australians have anything to do with what’s happening in China. If it is wrong then it needed be put it right.

    Regarding your statement of “I detest many Chinese polices towards ethnic minorities as I do to Isreali treatment of Arabs.”

    Do you mind if you can elaborate more about which policies in China targeting which minority group(s)are similar with Israeli policies on Arabs in Israel or in Gaza or in West Bank?

    Thanks

  144. Hohhot Says:

    @Shane9219

    Shane9219 Says:
    @BMY & hohhot #135
    “It is wise to realize the situation of 19th century when declined Qing Dynasty failed to properly control its territory will not be repeated in modern time. So there is really few option for unsatisfied and ambitious Uighur, both overseas and those inside XinJiang, to seek self-determination and separation from China.
    They can either 1) discard this ancient and deep-rooted racial hatred, give up such illegitimate and ambitious dreams of East Turkestan and live peacefully side-by-side with the rest of population, or 2) move out and settle somewhere else.”

    Hohhot: Uyghurs’ self-determination demand is a different issue, they have discontent due to their negative experience in Xinjiang, they feel dominated and exploited by incoming Chinese. Positive seeking independence is not the cause of all the protests and riots.

  145. Shane9219 Says:

    @Hohhot #144

    >> “they have discontent due to their negative experience in Xinjiang”

    No, those disgruntled Ulghur are only a very few given that the majority of 8M population (by 2003) Ulghur are law abiding. The discontent by those disgruntled Ulghur are mostly fueled by an ancient racial hatred and their ambition to establish an Islamic theocracy. Any excuse to use temporary economic imbalance and an inflow of Chinese people from other regions are to mask the true intent of those ambitious and disgruntled Ulghur. Ulghur population has to face up their historic psyche and world reality.

    In Xinjiang, there are many other ethnic minorities with significant population (see below according to the 2003 census). All of them live nicely with others except few disgruntled Ulghur.

    Kazak population was recorded as 1,352,100
    Hui population was approximately 866,700
    Mongolian population was totaled 166,900
    Kirgiz population was around 173,70
    Tajiks population was around 40,900
    Xibe population was numbered 40,300
    Manchu population was numbered 23,900
    Ozbek population of Xinjiang was numbered 14,600
    Russians population was numbered 11,100
    Daur population was numbered 6,700
    Tatar population was numbered 4900

    >>” they feel dominated and exploited by incoming Chinese.”

    What ??? You are still totally confused. Uighur Chinese in XinJiang are Chinese too. Many of them are living and working in other parts of China. What is wrong for Chinese from other region to move into Xinjiang, live and working there?

    I hear similar argument by a handful of foreigners and disgruntled Uighur. Such argument just don’t stick.

    >> ” Positive seeking independence is not the cause of all the protests and riots.”

    Seeking an illegitimate independence of Xinjiang in any form is illegal and will be dealt severely and swiftly. Period !

  146. Shane9219 Says:

    @Hohhot #143

    >>> “About the policies in China targeting which minority group(s)are similar with Israeli policies on Arabs in Israel or in Gaza or in West Bank”

    Any comparison between the situation of Uighur population in Xinjiang and Arabs of Middle East is groundless. This argument is used with sole purpose to make disgruntled Ulghur feel good about themselves.

  147. Steve Says:

    @ Shane9219: Do you think there might be a percentage of Uyghur who are disgruntled yet still law abiding and not wishing for independence but only for reform?

  148. Wukailong Says:

    If law-breaking was the sole marker of being disgruntled or not, then I’m perfectly sure most Iraqis love their occupation. After all, the attacks are just carried out by a small group of people. Same goes for most other occupied areas or places where government policies are disliked.

    @Shane9219 (#142): Of course the matter is simplified when you talk about it in terms of international law. On the other hand, not entirely simple – why doesn’t the concept of “One China” involve Mongolia, for example? That was a part of China according to the Republic of China.

    “Also, discussion of China has no relation with discussion of “India elitists””

    The relation is that you keep talking about “Indian elitists” in another thread, and obviously think it’s wrong to be an elitist, then you come here with very similar sentiments. Saying that a discussion is completely unrelated to something else as if it were a fact isn’t going to cut it with me.

  149. Hohhot Says:

    @Shane9219
    Shane9219 Says:

    August 1st, 2009 at 3:32 pm
    @Hohhot #144

    >> “they have discontent due to their negative experience in Xinjiang”

    No, those disgruntled Ulghur are only a very few given that the majority of 8M population (by 2003) Ulghur are law abiding. The discontent by those disgruntled Ulghur are mostly fueled by an ancient racial hatred and their ambition to establish an Islamic theocracy. Any excuse to use temporary economic imbalance and an inflow of Chinese people from other regions are to mask the true intent of those ambitious and disgruntled Ulghur. Ulghur population has to face up their historic psyche and world reality.

    In Xinjiang, there are many other ethnic minorities with significant population (see below according to the 2003 census). All of them live nicely with others except few disgruntled Ulghur.

    Kazak population was recorded as 1,352,100
    Hui population was approximately 866,700
    Mongolian population was totaled 166,900
    Kirgiz population was around 173,70
    Tajiks population was around 40,900
    Xibe population was numbered 40,300
    Manchu population was numbered 23,900
    Ozbek population of Xinjiang was numbered 14,600
    Russians population was numbered 11,100
    Daur population was numbered 6,700
    Tatar population was numbered 4900

    >>” they feel dominated and exploited by incoming Chinese.”

    What ??? You are still totally confused. Uighur Chinese in XinJiang are Chinese too. Many of them are living and working in other parts of China. What is wrong for Chinese from other region to move into Xinjiang, live and working there?

    I hear similar argument by a handful of foreigners and disgruntled Uighur. Such argument just don’t stick.

    >> ” Positive seeking independence is not the cause of all the protests and riots.”

    Seeking an illegitimate independence of Xinjiang in any form is illegal and will be dealt severely and swiftly. Period !

    ==============
    Hohhot:

    You should know that not everybody with grievance breaks the law and riots, hence understandably the people with agrievance is much larger than protesters and rioters. It is esp. true in the case of non-Chinese minorities because non-Chinese minority dissidents have been receiving harsher treatment than Chinese dissidents. You cannot say all the non-Chinese populations in Xinjiang(listed above) are satisfied population except for a handful of protesters and rioters. By your logic there would be no such thing as wide-spread anti-Americanism in Muslim world becasue suicide bombers and terrorists are just a tiny minority among the world wide Muslim population.

    Uyghurs do not like call themselves Chinese, why do you insist on calling them chinese? Isn’t that revealing? You don’t know what is wrong with large number of chinese people move in to dominate a largely non-Chinese society? You need some study on Chinese constitution and the laws on nationality autonomy. You need to know more why the Chinese communists applied the nationality autonomy system in the first place. Many ethnic Chinese nowadays doubt the policy. It is like hungry guy has eaten cakes and feel stuffed after 4th cake, then he somewhat thinks he only need to buy the 4th cake, the previous 3 are all waste of money. Many non-Chinese minorities have contributed greatly to the new republic, so the new state could be founded in 1949, intead of many years later, or on a much smaller territory

  150. Sonia Says:

    @Hohhot:

    We insist on calling them Chinese because that is technically what they are. Like I said previously, there is a distinction between non-Han and non-Chinese. Perhaps, that distinction is perceived as null for some minorities (and some Han), but there is technically a difference. I can understand that minorities have grievances and I can understand that some minorities don’t like being called Chinese. But I can also dislike being a U.S. citizen, and until I get out of this country and get naturalized to another nation, I am technically a U.S. citizen. I mean, it wasn’t my choice, I just happened to be born in Arizona, which 170 years ago happened to be Mexico. My parents and cousin used to be Chinese citizens, but are now Americans of Chinese decent. It’s a technicality.

    In casual conversation, we often equate Han and Chinese, and abbreviate Chinese-Americans to Chinese. But when we are discussing issues in which terminology has specific political implications, we should be aware of those political technicalities. To say non-Chinese means that they are not part of China, whereas to say non-Han means that they are not Han ethnicity but may or may not be part of China. There’s a difference.

    Even though I’m staunchly on the Chinese side in the case of unity of the state, I think that theoretically it’s fine for people to protest and to ask for independence or support any cause that they want to. However, everyone should be aware of consequences of their actions or non-actions. Peaceful protest for reform should, of course, not be violently dealt with, but violent mobs (while they may have explanations and justification) will not be tolerated by any government, and should expect the consequences of their actions, however justified those actions are to the participants. Furthermore, peaceful sedition (or independence, depends on your view), is posing a direct challenge to the state in a way that is not reform/progress-minded. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about what the appropriate consequences are, but I think that it’s a hard pill for any ruling body to swallow…not that it justifies killing innocents…but yeah, I’m not sure how I feel about that yet.

    My point is that currently, it really doesn’t matter if some Uyghurs don’t like to call themselves Chinese. If they really hate the word, then let’s vote on some other word that describes all the people in China, as defined by current geo-political borders. But I think that it doesn’t matter what the word is, if some people don’t like to be called Chinese, they also won’t liked to be called anything that implies a connection to the geo-political entity known as China. But that doesn’t stop them from being Chinese, or whatever our hypothetical new word is, because they live in China, they were born in China, and they are recognized by the Chinese state as citizens of China. If some day, an East Turkestan happens to exist, then they can call themselves whatever they want, say YYY. Then, all the Han, Mongols, Tartars, Kazakhs, etc. who are living there would also be known as YYY regardless of whether they like it or not, that is, if those minorities happen to be recognized by East Turkestan as citizens of that nation.

    If we can agree on this understanding…perhaps we cannot, then you’ll see that there is really nothing politically wrong with Chinese people moving into XinJiang since it has already been dominated by a Chinese society. Of course, you can make all sorts of points about Han’s moving into a non-Han society. But I think, at least currently, that’s a social and cultural problem more than a political problem. Doesn’t mean it’s less of a problem, but the context and terminology would be dramatically different.

    I agree that there are a lot of grievances and that most disgruntled people are not rioters, or even peaceful protesters, and that there are many issues to be discussed and debated. The majority Chinese government and people have not always been nice or fair or understanding to non-Han minorities, and these are all things we need to think about and address. However, in a debate in which political terminology and technicalities matter because we’re not sure of the context of each person’s perspective, let’s stick to some agreed-on terms. If East Turkestan were to someday happen, like Mongolia the nation happened, then I’d happily concede to call them by whatever names they choose to be called despite Chinese sentiment and nationalism. However, I’d appreciate it if others can reciprocate that, and call Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities Chinese while their being Chinese is a political reality, despite any personal sentiment to the contrary.

  151. Shane9219 Says:

    @Hohhot #149

    Who said Ulghur in China can not integrate with the rest of population? Who said these Ulghur don’t regard themselves as Chinese?

    Below is an old report on Ulghur population in Fengshu Township of Hunan Province

    ============================

    http://english.people.com.cn/english/200012/28/eng20001228_59085.html

    “They settled in Hunan during Ming Dynasty “More than 600 years back, Hala Bashi, a Uygur noble, acted under orders from Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), to guard Fengshu and was given surname “Jian”.”

    “In the areas where most residents are Han Chinese, the green mosques and growing number of restaurants serving Moslem food, let people feel a strong sense of ethnic Uygur culture.

    “The government has helped us build several mosques,” said Jian Dejiu. In the past 50 years, local governments have sponsored training of over 20 imams, two of whom have made pilgrimages to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

    Although ethnic Uygur people here seldom marry Han Chinese, they can speak Mandarin (Putonghua) in addition to their mother tongue Uygur language. ”

    Thirty-one-year-old Jian Yiming, head of Fengshu Township, said “what makes us ethnic Uygur people different from Han Chinese brothers is that the state policies are lopsided toward us Uygur people.”

    Local governments have encouraged ethnic Uygur residents to expand traditional slaughter and leather processing businesses, and ethnic Uygur residents have therefore led a far better-off life than Han Chinese in the areas.

    “We also spread our business skills to Han Chinese brothers, so that we ethnic Uygur people and Han Chinese can become prosperous together,” said Jian Yiming, also a graduate of the Central University of Nationality Studies.

    Though ethnic Uygur people only account for 20 percent of Fengshu Township’s total population, every leader of Fengshu Township has been selected from the ethnic Uygur group since Fengshu became an autonomous township of Uygurs in 1986. This group of ethnic Uygurs have a number of celebrities among them, including Jian Bozan, a well-known Chinese historian. ”

  152. Steve Says:

    @ Shane9219 #151: Your comment got hung up in the spam filter. I deleted the duplicate post and approved this one. Sorry for the delay.

  153. Otto Kerner Says:

    @ Sonia #150,

    Being as the precise meaning of words like “Chinese” or “American” is quite nebulous and vague, I don’t think that “technically” has anything to do with it. You’re drawing an analogy between the terms “Chinese” and “U.S. citizen”, but I would suggest that the correct analogy would be between “Chinese citizen” and “U.S. citizen”. Technically, the Uyghurs of Xinjiang are PRC citizens (the way you treat “Chinese” and “Chinese citizen” as the same thing also seems to imply that people who aren’t PRC citizens necessarily aren’t Chinese, although I’m sure that’s not what you meant).

    “If they really hate the word, then let’s vote on some other word that describes all the people in China, as defined by current geo-political borders.”

    I would suggest that “Chinese citizen” is the term you’re looking for.

    “If some day, an East Turkestan happens to exist, then they can call themselves whatever they want, say YYY. Then, all the Han, Mongols, Tartars, Kazakhs, etc. who are living there would also be known as YYY regardless of whether they like it or not, that is, if those minorities happen to be recognized by East Turkestan as citizens of that nation.”

    If someday part of Xinjiang somehow became independent, there’s a good chance they would simply call their state “Uyghurstan”. Nevertheless, I would definitely accept the argument that all the Han, Mongols, Tartars, Kazakhs, etc. who are living there would therefore become Uyghurs.

  154. jael Says:

    Otto,

    “Nevertheless, I would definitely accept the argument that all the Han, Mongols, Tartars, Kazakhs, etc. who are living there would therefore become Uyghurs.”

    You mean, Uyrhur citizens , no?

  155. Otto Kerner Says:

    Sorry — what I actually meant to say was “Nevertheless, I would definitely not accept the argument that all the Han, Mongols, Tartars, Kazakhs, etc. who are living there would therefore become Uyghurs.”

  156. Wukailong Says:

    Looks like Turkey’s involvement in Xinjiang has been going on for a long time:

    http://taipeitimes.com/News/archives/1999/10/12/0000006151

    There’s a lot of other interesting things in that article.

  157. admin Says:

    WKL,

    This article was part 2 of a series written by 曹長青(http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/曹長青) ten years ago. You may find the complete series at his personal site plus an interview with General Riza Bekin

    1.http://caochangqing.com/big5/newsdisp.php?News_ID=492
    2.http://caochangqing.com/big5/newsdisp.php?News_ID=493
    3.http://caochangqing.com/big5/newsdisp.php?News_ID=495
    4 http://caochangqing.com/big5/newsdisp.php?News_ID=496
    5.http://caochangqing.com/big5/newsdisp.php?News_ID=497
    6.http://caochangqing.com/big5/newsdisp.php?News_ID=498
    7.http://caochangqing.com/big5/newsdisp.php?News_ID=499
    Interview: http://caochangqing.com/big5/newsdisp.php?News_ID=500

  158. Wukailong Says:

    @admin: Wow, thanks!

    From the Wikipedia article it’s obvious he’s very anti-CPP, though that in itself does not necessarily discredit his articles. What do you think about the articles in general?

  159. admin Says:

    @WKL,

    He is not only anti-CCP, he is also anti-KMT, anti-Obama, anti-gay, and anti-… , well, many other things. He is not anti-cnn, though. ;)

    Basically I think he is well read but he is also the kind of person who decides his position first, and picks his facts to boost his position.

  160. Allen Says:

    @admin #159,

    You wrote:

    Basically I think he is well read but he is also the kind of person who decides his position first, and picks his facts to boost his position.

    You’ve just succinctly summarized the shady art of lawyering! ;-)

  161. Shane9219 Says:

    外国驻华使节:中国的民族宗教政策值得尊重

    “马哈茂德·阿拉姆强调,中国的穆斯林首先要清楚自己是中国人,要为中国的经济发展和社会和谐多作贡献。他指出:“一个国家就像一个大家庭,难免出现分歧。但分歧应成为加深感情的机会,而非制造分裂的机会。有些人不应歪曲事实,加剧中国这个家庭中的内部矛盾。”

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2009-08/13/content_11878134.htm

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