Ethnicity and Policy: Ethnic Minorities and Official Power in China
Etnicidad y política Estatal: Las comunidades étnicas minoritarias frente al poder oficial en China
Official policy defines China as a unity of many nationalities. This definition marks the country's policy towards ethnic and national minorities. While the country is inhabited by a number of ethnic groups, the article indicates the existence of a cultural hegemonic center (the Han). The article examines the concept of 'minority nationality' and its limitations faced with the long term Han-promoted model of civilization. The article presents several case studies (such as the Yi minority in Southern China, the Premi in Yunan, and the lnner Mongolia) which illustrate a relationship between ethnicity, history, and dominant ideologies. Based on his ethno historic work the article suggests several political implications, most importantly the reproduction of the cultural center in the model of education, the use of Mandarin and the local languages, and the relationship between Chinese nationalism as promoted by the state and its minority-based local versions. The article ends with a corollary on the tension between the national the multi-cultural state.