From Unity to Harmony—Progress or Regress?
  • Chih-yu Shih


The focus of this book is that the Chinese State reaches out to ethnic communities through three different channels of autonomy, ethnicity, and poverty. However, each of these channels designates a submissive position to ethnic citizenship. The institution of autonomy is the most effective among the three in the field experiences in co-opting ethnic officials and cadres. This is because the autonomous status assigns an unmistaken identity to the local community, whose leaders the state recruit to serve government positions as the role model of their respective ethnic group. Moreover, policy privileges that aim at economic development and political recognition are contingent upon the autonomous status. Every few years on the anniversary of the granting of autonomous status by central authorities, each autonomous jurisdiction holds celebration. It is not exaggerating at all to say that in China, autonomy and unity are symbiotic concepts in the official discourses on ethnic minorities.


Ethnic Identity Central Authority Ethnic Community Autonomous Status Harmonious Society 
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© Chih-yu Shih 2007

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  • Chih-yu Shih

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