Home>News Center>China

Ethnic minorities experience progress
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-01 01:37

Ethnic groups in China firmly oppose separatist activity since it runs counter to historical values, violates Chinese law and is against the common will of the people, a senior official in charge of ethnic minority affairs said yesterday.

"National unity is the mainstream of Chinese history," Wu Shimin, vice-minister of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission told a news conference on the release of a first ever white paper on Chinese regional autonomy for ethnic minorities.

A Tibetan girl, wearing traditional  Tibetan dress, poses for photograph while attending a TV program shooting in Nanning on February 2, 2005. [newsphoto]  
Meanwhile with the encouragement of some alien forces, "a very few separatists" do exist, such as those who are seeking "independence" in Tibet and "Eastern Turkistan" forces, the vice-minister noted.

As a multi-ethnic country, China has made steady progress in the course of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, Wu said. "As a Uygur proverb goes, 'Let the dogs bark, (but) the trade caravan will keep moving.'"

Answering an inquiry on the possibility of a visit of Dalai Lama to the mainland, Wu said the stance of the central government is always "clear cut and consistent."

Beijing is ready to negotiate with the Dalai Lama at any time on the condition that he admits that Tibet is part of China. He would also have to agree that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China and back the one-China policy, he said.

For more than 50 years, the system for regional autonomy for ethnic minorities has ensured that ethnic groups in China enjoy equality, Wu said.

Ethnic minorities, with a population of more than 10 million or less than 10,000, have their own autonomous areas, according to law.

But due to geological and historical reasons, some of the regions where the ethnic minorities live still suffer from backwardness and poverty when compared with the rest of the nation, he noted.

The nation is adopting measures, such as increasing investment and improving education and the legal system, to speed up economic and social development in such regions.

Mao Gongning, a commission official in charge of policy and law, said the nation put poverty alleviation for 22 ethnic minorities into the government's 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05).

Populations of minority groups of less than 100,000 mainly inhabit remote or frontier areas where the living standards are under par, he said.

A six-year working programme (2005-10) has been mapped out by the nation to ensure such groups have enough food and clothing and improved living standards, he said.

During 2003-04, the nation invested 117 million yuan (US$14.1 million) to transform infrastructure, such as water, power and roads, Mao said.

Thanks to the nation's "go-west" development strategy, extra fuel has been sent to such areas for economic and social development there, he said.

Statistics indicate by the end of 2003, China had established 155 ethnic autonomous areas.

Of these, five are autonomous regions at the province level, 30 autonomous prefectures and 120 autonomous counties.

(China Daily 03/01/2005 page1)

  Today's Top News     Top China News

GDP ecological costs closely calculated



Suicide bomb kills 125 near Iraq marketplace



Survey shows stock market top concern



Telecom legislation speeds up



Divorce rate 21.2 percent up in 2004



Shenzhen man set for star trek


  Divorce rate 21.2 percent up in 2004
  Ethnic minorities experience progress
  GDP ecological costs closely calculated
  Legislature passes renewable energy bill
  Survey shows stock market top concern
  Telecom legislation speeds up
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Va people celebrate progress
US to be nearly half minority by 2050
Stories of shells and silver
Quadrennial Chinese national ethnic games opens
Left-Handers Day celebrates creative minority
Zhu stresses need to teach nation's minorities
Chinese minority ethnic group culture under strict legal protection
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008