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Ian Goodrum
China is not eradicating Islam. China is not eradicating Islam. China is not eradicating Islam. China is not eradicating Islam. China is not eradicating Islam. A thread.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
This is going to take a lot of explaining, because what I do is research things rather than post in all-caps about Evil China to rake in the Twitter points. Please bear with me.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
First, a (semi-) brief primer on Chinese ethnic policy. China is far more diverse than most in the West think. Officially, there are 55 recognized ethnic minority groups in China, and the PRC constitution lays out their rights.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
This includes the right to religious expression. There are Buddhists, Taoists, Christians, Muslims and Jews in China, as well as practitioners of folk religions. The constitution gives protection to these groups, despite the PRC’s status as an atheist state.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
Owing to the gap in development between minority groups (who make up about 8.5 percent of the population) and the majority Han people, the government has enshrined special rights into law for those groups. They are as follows.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
Preferential policies include equal representation in government —in some cases, in excess of the population share — state-sanctioned use of ethnic minority languages in courts and media, and protection of indigenous customs.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
Language development has been key. Shortly after its founding, the PRC spearheaded efforts to standardize scripts and alphabets for local languages.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
This extends to the school system, where bilingual education creates an immersive environment for minority children to learn Mandarin, the country’s lingua franca.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
As minority children mostly speak indigenous tongues at home, in practice this means classes are largely in Mandarin. The study of Uyghur or Tibetan, for example, would be similar to a foreign language class in the West.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
Ethnic minorities have been given greater freedom than the majority Han people when it comes to family planning and the one-child policy. Officially, minority group families were allowed two children, but in many rural areas there are even higher limits.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
This thread isn’t about Tibet, but family planning policy has been incredibly lax for Tibetans in their autonomous region — a strange thing a country would do for an ethnic group Westerners claim the CPC sees as a threat.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
As a result of these policies, the total population of ethnic minority groups has increased since the establishment of the PRC, as has their share of the population.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
Where religious freedom is concerned, a bevy of laws protects the expression of religious belief, as well as discrimination on the basis of religion.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
Specifically in Xinjiang, thousands of mosques operate, as do many Islamic schools. Support is given to the publishing and translation of religious books.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
Solidarity with Muslims within the party is encouraged through participation in religious events like the Hajj, and meetings between officials and religious groups are common.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
Major institutions exist to train and educate students — mostly Uyghurs — in Islam. You can see for yourself here.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
The principle of ethnic unity is paramount in China, so special care is taken to emphasize its importance. This is why separatism is a matter of deep concern to the government. More on that later.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
Along with these protections, the party and government have prioritized economic development in minority areas, which historically have been behind more populated regions of the country when it comes to industrialization and modernization.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
Through infrastructure building, investment and trade, the fortunes of impoverished western regions of the country have skyrocketed, though there is still a long way to go.
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Ian Goodrum Jun 7
Replying to @isgoodrum
The PRC’s unbelievably successful poverty alleviation campaign has not found an exception in minority regions. Medical care has also improved exponentially. Now growth in these areas outstrips the national rate.
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