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The implications of government policy and identification of minorities in China Hickson, Dayna Dione 1997

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THE IMPLICATIONS OF GOVERNMENT POLICY AND IDENTIFICATION OF MINORITIES IN CHINA by DAYNA DIONE HICKSON B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1993 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1997 © Dayna Dione Hickson, 1997 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) Abstract The government of the People's Republic of China o f f i c i a l l y recognizes China as being composed of 56 n a t i o n a l i t i e s . China's 55 minorities only make up 8.8 percent of i t s t o t a l population, while the majority, the Han, compose approximately 91.2 percent (Gladney 1991: 223). This investigation of minorities i n China attempts to reveal that the government has adopted special p o l i c i e s for i t s 55 recognized minorities. The reasons for, and the consequences of minority p o l i c y w i l l be addressed, as w i l l the complex relationship that exists between the minorities and the Han majority. F i n a l l y , the p o l i c i e s themselves and t h e i r u t i l i t y w i l l be examined i n order to ascertain whether the p o l i c i e s have been b e n e f i c i a l and to whom. The methodology used i n t h i s investigation consists of participant observation and personal interviews. I t r a v e l l e d to North-East China's J i l i n Province, where I conducted ethnographic research. This fieldwork focussed on the Chinese-Korean minority l i v i n g i n the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, and i s used to put the scholarly l i t e r a t u r e into perspective. The Korean-Chinese hold a special position, unlike no other n a t i o n a l i t y i n China. Not only are the Korean-Chinese f a i r l y recent immigrants, but t h e i r educational lev e l s are believed to be the highest i n the nation, considerably higher than national averages (Lee 1986: 3-4, 117). The b i r t h r a t e of the Korean-Chinese i s also highly commended as i t i s the lowest of any one n a t i o n a l i t y , including the Han (Gu and Zhao 1994: 19). Thus, although the Korean-Chinese can be used to show the linkages between the l i t e r a t u r e and fieldwork, one must not forget the special circumstances that they enjoy, which I elaborate upon further i n t h i s thesis. E s s e n t i a l l y , through examination of the l i t e r a t u r e and the ethnographic fieldwork I have conducted, several conclusions are put for t h i n t h i s thesis. F i r s t , special p o l i c i e s exist that favour China's 55 minority groups over the Han majority. Second, these p o l i c i e s could have been enacted for several reasons. These include: 1) to allow China to continue along the s o c i a l i s t path; 2) as an attempt to correct past i n j u s t i c e s ; 3) to increase the o v e r a l l standard of l i v i n g of China's c i t i z e n s ; 4) to provide defence against border attack; 5) to reduce minority discontent; 6) to promote a better image of China; 7) to r e l i e v e population density problems i n urban areas; 8) to allow China to better exploit i t s natural resources; and 9) to promote national unity, and l o y a l t y and reduce l o c a l nationalism and Han chauvinism. Third, these p o l i c i e s benefit both parties, with no one party being t o t a l l y dependent on the other. F i n a l l y , although some authors disagree (Gladney 1991; Mackerras 1994), i t w i l l become apparent i n t h i s thesis that minority p o l i c y in China has been successful for the most part. TABLE OF CONTENTS Abs trac t . i i Table of Contents i v Acknowledgement v i Introduct ion 1 China's M i n o r i t i e s : General Information 7 Chart 1 - The Populations of China's N a t i o n a l i t i e s 8 Chapter One - C l a r i f i c a t i o n of Important Terms. 13 Who i s 'Chinese'? 13 Who Comprises the 'Chinese' Majority .......15 What i s a Minority?: Problems of D e f i n i t i o n 15 D e f i n i t i o n of the Chinese Term Minzu 16 Chapter Two - Minor i ty I d e n t i f i c a t i o n and H i s t o r y i n C h i n a . . .18 Nationality I d e n t i f i c a t i o n i n China......... ....18 Application of S t a l i n ' s Theory to China .22 Nationality Willingness as a Factor .....26 I Know Who You Are, But Who Am I? 28 F i r s t Attempts to C l a s s i f y Groups 30 Objective Differences and the C l a s s i f i c a t i o n Process.... 33 The Creation of E t h n i c i t y i n China 35 Minority Policy: O f f i c i a l Aims.. 39 The Treatment the Minorities i n the Past 40 Government Policy Toward Minorities i n the Twentieth Century... .41 The Discontent of the Minorities ........47 Chapter Three - The Aims of Minor i ty P o l i c y and the Law of Regional Autonomy 49 The S o c i a l i s t Path i 49 The S o c i a l i s t Path and Regional Autonomy i 50 The Four Modernizations, Regional Autonomy and the S o c i a l i s t Path 53 Regional Autonomy: Necessary Conditions for i t s Implementation 53 What i s Regional Autonomy? 54 The Law of Regional Autonomy: The Poli c y I t s e l f . . . . . . . . . 5 6 The Regional Autonomy Law of 1954 56 The Regional Autonomy Law of 1984 58 Educational Benefits and the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy 63 Crit i c i s m s of China's Laws of Regional Autonomy 65 Is Controlled Autonomy Really Autonomy? 68 iv Chapter Four - Other P o l i c i e s that Af f ec t M i n o r i t i e s 70 China's Minorities and Education: Other Benefits 70 Concerns with Regard to Minority Education 72 Family Planning and China's M i n o r i t i e s . . . i 74 Possible Reasons for Relaxation of Family Planning For Minor i t i e s 76 C o n f l i c t s Between Family Planning and China's Min o r i t i e s 77 Some Other Concerns for China's Minorities 79 Minority Policy: Why was i t Created? 80 Chapter F ive - Putt ing Theory to P r a c t i c e : The Korean Case. .84 The Korean Minority: Why i t Represents a Special Case...84 The Koreans: Their Immigration To China 85 The Koreans Become a Minority 90 Korean-Chinese Identity 93 Yanbian: The New Home of the Korean Nationality 95 Yanbian's Autonomous Administration 96 The Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture 98 Yanbian's Economic and Industrial Basis 99 Population and Family Planning 100 The Korean Minority: Reasons for the Decrease i n Birthrates 102 The Korean Minority: An Example of Successful Family Planning 105 One Chi l d Per Household: The Unintended Benefits 106 The Korean-Chinese and Education 107 Educational Benefits 115 Problems In The Yanbian Education System 119 Problems and Sources of Discontent 122 Possible Concerns i n the Future for the Korean Minority 124 Chapter Six - Assessments and Conclusions 128 Bibl iography . 132 v Acknowledgement There are many individuals whom I wish to thank for having assisted me with t h i s research. However, three such individuals are i n d e l i b l y printed i n my mind. These indivi d u a l s are special to me, because of t h e i r selflessness, dedication, good humour and perseverance, they aided me i n my research through the tra n s l a t i o n of l i t e r a t u r e , interpretation, and the introduction of invaluable information, as well as encouraged me to persevere and succeed. Therefore, I wish to thank Wang Hong, Wu Xiao Huir and Xiao Qi for the parts that they played both as my assistants and l i f e - l o n g friends. v i Introduct ion Since the establishment of China i n 1949, i t s government has recognized the country as being composed of 56 n a t i o n a l i t i e s . Presently China's 55 minorities comprise 8.8 percent of i t s population, with the Han majority making up the other 91.2 percent (Gladney 1991: 223). Those i n power, both i n the Communist Party of China and the State, are Han. In t h i s essay I w i l l use a number of methods to show that the government of China has allowed special leniency or benefits to i t s 55 recognized minorities. Why the government f e l t t h i s was necessary and how the minorities receiving these benefits f e e l i s perhaps of more importance than the actual l e g i s l a t i o n i t s e l f . It w i l l become obvious that there i s a complex relationship between the i n s t i t u t i o n s and the individuals affected by them, and that t h i s relationship aids both the Han majority and the minorities. The government of China has enacted special laws to benefit i t s minorities. It has stipulated that these laws are necessary to solve what i s known as the 'nationality problem'. It i s believed that once the minorities' l e v e l s of education, and economic statuses are raised s i m i l a r to the l e v e l of the Han, the 'nationality problem' w i l l cease to e x i s t . When t h i s occurs, those i n the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) believe that the n a t i o n a l i t i e s of China w i l l move together to the next stage of 1 development, socialism. Thus, the ultimate goal of the PRC (People's Republic of China) and the CCP i s to continue along the s o c i a l i s t path u n t i l socialism i s reached. Keeping t h i s i n mind then, the PRC government has allowed certain benefits for i t s minorities. The PRC's reasons for these benefits are stated to be d i r e c t l y , and s o l e l y linked to the s o c i a l i s t path and to the r e a l i z a t i o n of the four modernizations (a prerequisite of socialism). However, perhaps there were other reasons for the implementation of minority p o l i c y on the part of the PRC. It i s not the purpose of t h i s work to debate whether these objectives were planned or unintended, but rather to show that the implementation of special p o l i c i e s does have more consequences than those recognized by the CCP and the PRC Government. It i s important to point out then, that t h i s does not mean that the government has a 'hidden agenda' or u l t e r i o r motives, but rather that the o f f i c i a l view neglects some factors that have contributed to, or resulted i n , government support and assistance for China's 55 recognized minorities. The above mentioned benefits are not merely one-sided however. The minorities not only receive assistance, but i n turn a i d the country and the communist cause themselves. (A more detailed analysis of the complex rela t i o n s h i p between China's majority and i t s minorities w i l l be a main focus of t h i s work). Therefore, the minorities themselves have reasons for wanting, and accepting, these benefits. For example, some minorities posit that repayment of past i n j u s t i c e s (poor treatment of 2 minorities by the r u l i n g classes) i s the major reason that special p o l i c i e s must be implemented. Also, i t i s clear that generally speaking, discrepancies i n the standards of l i v i n g , education, and o v e r a l l well-being of the minorities and the Han do e x i s t . However, other reasons must be considered factors as well. What these l a s t two paragraphs point out i s that the relationship between the government and the minorities i s far from simple. Rather, there i s a complex relationship, where neither the government nor the minorities i s acting as a parasite on the other. Instead, the present s i t u a t i o n of affording special treatment to minorities i n China and the acceptance by the minorities of t h i s a i d tends to benefit both partie s . Each group has i t s own perceptions ( o f f i c i a l and u n - o f f i c i a l ) as to why p o l i c i e s have, and should be implemented, as well as whether these p o l i c i e s have succeeded or f a i l e d . I t i s the purpose of t h i s s o c i o l o g i c a l investigation to examine the i n t e r -relationships between the two groups, to discover the intended and unintended r e s u l t s , the overt and hidden reasons for such p o l i c i e s , and whether these relationships do indeed serve to benefit both groups concerned. In order to accurately compare the government's position to those of the minorities, both an examination of scholarly l i t e r a t u r e as well as fieldwork have been undertaken. The l i t e r a t u r e has been compiled i n both China and Canada, using a variety of sources. I have translated a large portion of the l i t e r a t u r e from Chinese to English with assistance from others. Ethnographic fieldwork has been incorporated to add strength to t h i s investigation. The fieldwork that has been undertaken consists of two methods: participant observation and personal interviews. It i s not within the scope of t h i s essay to point out the weaknesses or strengths of such approaches, but rather to use the information gathered to enrich the work at hand. However, one must not forget that the information was gathered in a Communist country which l i k e l y has bearing on the r e s u l t s . The majority of the fieldwork was accomplished on three separate occasions i n two d i f f e r e n t c i t i e s . The f i r s t location, A l a d i , i s situated i n North-East China's J i l i n Province approximately 40 kilometers outside of J i l i n C i t y . I t has a population of about 2,500 individuals, a l l of whom are Korean-Chinese. The individuals and t h e i r l i v e s i n t h i s v i l l a g e can be seen as d i f f e r e n t from other Korean-Chinese in several ways. F i r s t , t h i s area i s inhabited s o l e l y by Korean-Chinese. Second, Aladi was set up as an experimental commune in the 1960s. For t h i s reason, and because of t h e i r successful a g r i c u l t u r a l y i e l d s and high standard of l i v i n g , Aladi i s used as an example for other units i n the area to follow. Therefore, t h i r d , Aladi i s host to a f a i r number of t o u r i s t s , and some families now make th e i r l i v i n g by r e l y i n g s o l e l y on tourism. Fourth, at the time of my v i s i t approximately 90 percent of the men aged 18-35 were not l i v i n g i n A l a d i , but were v o l u n t a r i l y relocated to Korea to work. This not only effected those l e f t behind, but has also resulted i n increased prosperity for the region. One Korean-Chinese individual from Aladi estimated that the men who go to South Korea to work as labourers come home with ten to twelve times as much money as they would have made in Aladi in the same time period. Information gathered at t h i s location consisted of participant observation, i n both public and private spheres, and informal interviews with some of A l a d i 1 s c i t i z e n s . The second location, where the majority of the fieldwork was conducted, i s the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture also located i n J i l i n Province. A more detailed description of i t s location and economic s i t u a t i o n w i l l be discussed l a t e r . I t r a v e l l e d there on two separate occasions to observe as well as to interview Korean-Chinese. Ten individuals were interviewed both formally and informally for a t o t a l of three hours. The individuals were of both sexes, ranged i n age from 18 to late 60s and held a v a r i e t y of occupations (including students and the r e t i r e d ) . The interviews were conducted by myself, with assistance from a translator when necessary. This fieldwork lends support to the l a s t portion of t h i s thesis on the Korean-Chinese i n an e f f o r t to put theory to practice and to examine the complex in t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between the Han and the minorities. This fieldwork also accurately depicts the dual nature of minority p o l i c y and how both parties are dependent on' each other, yet both benefit at the same time. Now that the main purpose and methodology have been addressed i t i s important to examine how the thesis w i l l be 5 revealed. F i r s t , the problems encountered during the process of minority i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and the ambiguity of such terms w i l l be addressed. Also, the influence of S t a l i n ' s d e f i n i t i o n of 'nation' i n the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of minorities and the p r a c t i c a l application of his theory w i l l also be elaborated upon, as they have undoubtedly played a role in the creation of present minority p o l i c y i n China. One of the f i r s t o f f i c i a l p o l i c i e s to afford special treatment to China's 55 minorities was the Regional Autonomy Law of 1954. This law, and the second version i n 1984, are the largest, most all-encompassing forms of l e g i s l a t i o n enacted with regard to n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n China and are therefore worth close scrutiny. These two regional autonomy laws as well as others with be examined with s p e c i f i c emphasis on education and family planning and then the p r a c t i c a l u t i l i t y of these minority p o l i c i e s w i l l be addressed. The application of p o l i c i e s for minorities and the subsequent e f f e c t s on the minorities themselves w i l l be examined both at the macro and micro l e v e l s . This w i l l serve to uncover the relationship between the minorities and the majority and to i l l i c i t the benefits gained by both p a r t i e s . Documentation compiled through ethnographic research w i l l not only allow one to compare e x i s t i n g l i t e r a t u r e with f i e l d experience, but w i l l also serve as a guide when assessing the shortcomings or benefits of n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y i n China. Since l i b e r a t i o n then, the Chinese Government has developed cert a i n p o l i c i e s that have separated the rig h t s of i t s 6 \ 55 minorities from the Han majority. i t i s these p o l i c i e s , t h e i r necessity and effectiveness that w i l l be examined i n t h i s s o c i o l o g i c a l investigation. Before I present my discussion and findings on my research in China, i t i s important to point out where t h i s thesis f i t s i n the larger realm of sociology. By attempting to delineate the boundaries and relationships between groups i n China, one may be be able to use t h i s information to better understand n a t i o n a l i t y relations i n other areas of the world. However, one must not forget that China's s i t u a t i o n , and that of i t s n a t i o n a l i t i e s , i s quite d i s t i n c t . China i s a communist country with an excessively large population problem. Although China i t s e l f boasts a long history, most n a t i o n a l i t i e s that l i v e there do not. Each n a t i o n a l i t y has i t s own customs, habits, ideology and history. Also, each n a t i o n a l i t y has i t s own wants and needs and has made di f f e r e n t contributions to the nation. Therefore, although useful, t h i s thesis may not be considered by some as a 'true' s o c i o l o g i c a l representation of n a t i o n a l i t y r e l a t i o n s that can be e f f e c t i v e l y c a r r i e d over as a universal model. China's M i n o r i t i e s : General Information Although the population of some minorities can be seen as concentrated i n certain areas, many n a t i o n a l i t i e s are scattered throughout China. One minority, Gaoshan, are an exception to t h i s as they reside only i n Taiwan and have a population of 2,909 according to the 1990 census. This makes them China's second smallest minority (Refer to Chart 1; Pgs. 8-10). Although 7 1 The Populations of China's Nationalities' Nationality 1953 Census 196^  Census 1982 Census 1990 Census (% Growth) (% Growth) (% Growth) Han 5472S3.057 65129636S 940.880.121 ' .1,042,422287, (19.00) .(43.82) (10.80) Zhuang 6.611.455 S386.140 13388.118 15.489.630 (26.84) (5933) (15.70) Manchus 2.418.931 2.695.675 4304.160 9.821,180 (1144) (59.48) (128.18) Hui • 2359350 4.473.147 7227.C22 8,602.978 (25.67) (6139) (19.04) Miao 2311339 2,782.088 5.036377 7398.035 (10.78) (80.83) (46.89) Uygurs 2.775.622 3.996311 5.962.814 7214.431 (43.98) (49.07) (20.99) Yi 3.254.269 2380,960 5.457251 .6372.173 (3.89) (6130) (20.43) Tujia — .524.755 2.834,722 . 5,704223. ( - ) (439.82) (10123) Mongols 1,462.956 .1,965,766 3,416.881 4,806.849 (3437) (7335) (40.68) Tibetans 2.775.622 '2301.174 3.874.035 4393330 (-9.89) (53.73) (.1837) Bouyei 1247.883 1348.055 .2.12? .389 2345,059. (8.03) (5730) (19.91) Dong 712.802 836.123 1.426335 2314~.014' (1730) (70.44) .-(7626) Yao 665,933 . £57265 1,403,664 2.134.013' (28.73) . (63.62) (52.03) Koreans 1.120.405 1339.569 1.766.439 1.920397 (19.56) . (31.67) '• (S-~3) Ba: 567.119 706,623 1332.010 1394.827 (24.60) (60.07) •(40788) Hani 481320 628.727 1.059,404 1253552 (30.65) (68.41) (1836) 309375 491,637 •908,414 1.111.718 (-3.48) (84.60)' . £ 2 3 8 ) Li 360,950 •438.813 •818255 1,110,900 (2137) (8631) (35.76) Da: 478,966 535389 840390 lr025J28 • (11.78) (56.86) (21:95} She — 234.167 368.832 ',630378. ( - ) . . (5731) (70.91) Lisu 317,465 .270.628 480,960 574.856 (-14.75) (77.72) (1932) Gelac — 26.852 53,802 437997-( - ) (10036) (714:09) Lahu 139,060 191241 304,174 411.476 (3732) (59.05) (3528) Dongxiang 155,761 • 147.443 279397 373,872 Nationality 1955 Census 1964 Census 19S2 Census 1990 Census '(Growth %) (Growth %,! (Growth % i (-5.34) (89.49) (33.81) Va 286.158 200272 298.591 351.974 (-30.01) (49.09) ' (IV.88.. Sim: 132566 156.099 • 286.487 345.993 (16.87) (S3.53) (20.77) Naxi 143.453 156.796 245.15- 278.009 (9.30) (56.35) Oiang 35:660 49.105 102.768 198252 (37.70) (109.28) (92.91) Tu 53277 77.349 .159.426 191.624 (45.18) . (106.11) (202) XlD£ 19.022 33.438 85.629 172.847 (75.79) (150.10) (106.68) Muiam — 52.819 90.426 159328 (-) (7120) (7620) •J£xrpz 70.94-4 70.151 113.999 141349 . (-1.12) (62.51) (24.17) Dam — • 63.394 94.01- 121357 (-) (48.30) (29.08) Jmgpo 101.852 57.762 93.008 119209 (-43.29) (61.02) (28.17) Saiar 30.658 34.644 69.102 87.697 (13.00) (99.35) (26.91) Blang — 39.411. 58.476 82280 (—) (48.37) (40.71) Maonan — 38.135 71.968 (—) (70.38) (88.72) Taiiks 14.462 16236 26.505 35338 (1227) (6324) (26.54) Irrrni — 14298 24237 29.657 (—) (69.51) (22.36) Acnang — 12.032 20.441 27.708 {_) (69.89) (3535) Nii. — 15.047 25.166 27.123 (-) (53.96) (17.08) Bwenias 4.957 9.681 1 19343 26315 (95.30) (99.80) (36.04) Gin : — 4293 11.995 18.915 ( - ) (179.41) (57.69) J i D C — — 11.974 18.021 ( - ) (-) (50:50) Benglong or Deang — 7261 12295 15.462 ( - ) (6933) (25.76) Uzbeks 13.626 7.717 12.453 14.502 (-45.37) (6137) (16.45) Russians 22.656 1.326 13304 (-94.15) (12134) (360.10) Nationaiiiy 1953 Census 1964 Census 1982 Census (Growth %) (Growth %) Yugurs 5.861 5.717 10.569 (48.07) (84.87) • Bonari 4.957 5.125 9.027 (3.39) (76.14) Monba — . 3.809 6248 '(—) (64.03) Oroqen 2262 2.709 4.132 (19.76) (52.53) Dening — 3.090 4.682 (-) (5132) Tatars 6.929 2294 4.127 (-66.89) (79.90) Hezhen — 718 1.476 ( - ) (10537) Gaoshan 329 366 •1349 (1125) (32322) Lhoba — — 2.065 ( - ) Nongren 195.670 Sharen 112.435 I ^ ( — ) <• •) Others 1.072,642 ( ) Others noi yet identified — 32,411 881.838 ( — ) (2.612.66) Total 582,605,417 691220,104 1.003.937,078 (18.64) (4524) 1990 Census (Growth %) 12297 (1635) 12212 (352S) 7.475 (19.64) . 6.965 (6836) 5.816 (2422) 4.873 (18.08) 4245 (187.60) .2.909 (87.80) 2312 (11.96) ( - ) ( - ) 749341 (-15.03) 1.133,682301 (12.45) "The source for the 1953 census is State Statistical Bureau Population Statistics Section, Zhongguo renkou tongji nianjian 1988 (Zhongguo zhanwang chubansht, Beijing. 1988), p. 273, and ior the 1964, 1982, and 1990 censuses Slate Statistical Bureau Population Statistics Section. Zhongguo renkou •tongji nianjian 1990 (Kexue iishu wenxian chubansht. Beijing. 1991), pp. 56-7 and 12-15. See also Coun Mackerras and Amanc.2 Yorke, The Cambridge Handbook of Contemporary China (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991), p. 206. Taken from Mackerras 1989: 238-240. 10 China's minorities only occupy 8.8 percent of the t o t a l population, they inhabit over 60 percent of China's t o t a l land mass. The land i n China has been divided into various administrative units, and some of these areas have been recognized as special n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous areas. There are presently f i v e n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous regions: Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinjiang (Uygur) Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region, Ningxia (Hui) Autonomous Region, and Guangxi (Zhuang) Autonomous Region. The Inner Mongolian Region, the f i r s t region to be established by the Chinese Communist Party, came into being on May 1, 1947 (Ma 1994: 25). "Tibet, the l a s t minority area liberated, formally inaugurated the Tibet Autonomous Region i n 1965. By the end of 1985, China had f i v e autonomous regions at the p r o v i n c i a l l e v e l , 31 autonomous prefectures, and 96 autonomous counties" (1994: 25). Counties are the smallest administrative units, followed by prefectures and then regions. Yunnan province, located i n China's southern region, boasts the largest v a r i e t y of minorities, having over twenty d i f f e r e n t groups residing within i t s borders. Correspondingly, Yunnan also has the largest number of autonomous administrative units. According to the Communist Party, seven more autonomous counties w i l l be established i n the future (Ma 1994: 434-448). The regions that are presently designated as n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous areas have some common c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . F i r s t , they are primarily located on China's borders, and therefore have s t r a t e g i c relevance. Second, these areas tend to be sparsely populated, when compared to the other regions. Also, these special zones are divided into larger chunks of land per unit than the rest of the country. Lastly, these n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous areas are abundant i n natural resources (Ma 1994: 3). The s i g n i f i c a n c e of these areas and t h e i r locations w i l l be discussed l a t e r . At present, China's largest minority, i s the Zhuang, who already had a population of over f i f t e e n m i l l i o n i n 1990 (Mackerras 1994: 238). Other minorities with a population of over one m i l l i o n include: Manchus, Hui, Miao, Uygurs, Y i , Tujia, Mongols, Tibetans, Bouyei, Dong, Yao, Koreans, Bai, Hani, Kazaks, L i , and Dai respectively (1994: 238). At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are seven minorities with a population of less than ten thousand people. These are: the Monba, Oroqen, Derung, Tatars, Hezhen, Gaoshan and Lhoba. The smallest minority, the Lhoba, has a population of only 2,312. At the time of the 1990 census, 749,341 Chinese c i t i z e n s remained u n i d e n t i f i e d with regard to t h e i r n a t i o n a l i t y status (Refer to Chart 1; Pgs. 8-10). 12 Chapter One: C l a r i f i c a t i o n of Important Terms Who i s 'Chinese'? One of the f i r s t tasks that must be undertaken i n t h i s investigation of n a t i o n a l i t i e s within China, i s to delineate the boundaries between 'Chinese' and 'non-Chinese 1. "[A]re the seventy m i l l i o n non-Han inside China 'Chinese'? By n a t i o n a l i t y , c e r t a i n l y . By race, often.... By persuasion, occasionally... By assimilation, very widely...." ( S i n c l a i r 1987: 111). Some individuals refer to the 'Chinese' as one e n t i t y and China's minorities as another. In t h i s respect, they do not equate being 'Chinese' with c i t i z e n s h i p , but rather to some b i o l o g i c a l notion of race. This became clear i n two of my interviews with Han in d i v i d u a l s . Both of them, when discussing the role that the Han had played i n aiding the minorities, used the word 'Chinese' to mean Han. They both stated, "We, the Chinese must help the backward minorities". When confronted with t h i s dichotomy, one Han individual noted that 'Chinese' sometimes refers only to the Han, and the second Han individual stated that the Han were the only 'true Chinese'. Therefore, when the word 'Chinese' i s used, one must f i r s t discern whether i t refers to the whole population of China ('Chinese' as c i t i z e n s ) or to the Han ('Chinese' as b i o l o g i c a l ) . The use of the word 'Chinese' as for both meanings can lead to confusion. This author's use of the term 'Chinese' w i l l always be related to c i t i z e n s h i p as w i l l be explained i n the next paragraph. It i s not within the scope of t h i s essay to debate whether 13 the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n 'Chinese' i s b i o l o g i c a l , s i t u a t i o n a l or a combination of the two, but rather to examine the formation and ideology of n a t i o n a l i t i e s within the 'Chinese' spectrum. Therefore, i n t h i s work and " [ i ] n the o f f i c i a l viewpoint of Beijing, a Chinese i s any c i t i z e n of the People's Republic of China" ( S i n c l a i r 1987: 111). It i s important to reemphasize however, that by supporting t h i s p a r t i c u l a r d e f i n i t i o n of 'Chinese' I am not accepting that there i s a 'Chinese race', nor that there i s a p a r t i c u l a r 'Chinese' e t h n i c i t y . Rather, the term 'Chinese' w i l l be used to refer to those people that have ci t i z e n s h i p as accorded by the People's Government of China. According to the laws of China then, "a Chinese c i t i z e n i s a natural person who possesses c i t i z e n s h i p i n China" (Liu 1991: 1390). Under t h i s d e f i n i t i o n , a natural person must possess two c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : s/he must have already been born and s t i l l e x i st, and her/his position as a c i t i z e n must have been confirmed by the nation and relevant c i t i z e n s h i p rights accorded as a re s u l t (1991: 1390), Since i n r e a l i t y those who have already been given, or have not received, c i t i z e n s h i p cannot be disputed, the term 'Chinese' i n t h i s essay w i l l not be debated. By attempting to categorize individuals as 'Chinese', one also groups those who are not 'Chinese', as 'un-Chinese' or 'foreigners'. "Therefore to say that about a quarter of the world's population i s Chinese i s also to say that about three-quarters are not Chinese" (Wee 1988: 2). I t i s from t h i s s t a r t i n g point that we w i l l begin to discuss the unique s i t u a t i o n of China's 56 n a t i o n a l i t i e s . Who Comprises the 'Chinese' Major i ty? Now that the d e f i n i t i o n of 'Chinese' has been examined, i t i s essential to go one step further and look at the differences between those so-labelled. As mentioned e a r l i e r , the recognized majority i n China, that composes approximately 91.2% of the population, i s Han. "The formation and development of the Han people was a continuous process of integration of the e a r l i e s t Huaxia t r i b e with bther related t r i b e s and ethnic groups. It was in the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) that they adopted the name 'Han'..." (Ma 1994: 2). Nationality, as o f f i c i a l l y defined by the PRC government and many 'Chinese' scholars, does incorporate a b i o l o g i c a l component. However, i t becomes apparent that the Han are i n no uncertain terms a homogenous, b i o l o g i c a l group. "The process of h i s t o r i c a l development of the Han n a t i o n a l i t y completely proves that Han are formed by mixing the blood of various n a t i o n a l i t i e s over a long period of time" (Liang, Chen and Yang 1985: 347). Instead of accepting that those l a b e l l e d 'Han' are pure-blooded, with common ancestry and strong b i o l o g i c a l linkages, one should instead r e a l i z e that "the word Han i s a c u l t u r a l rather than a r a c i a l description.... Even within the Han race there are enormous c u l t u r a l , l i n g u i s t i c and physical differences, just as there are i n the 'European' race" ( S i n c l a i r 1987: 9). Thus, i n China the recognized majority, although so la b e l l e d by the Chinese government, i s i n no way a homogenous, ideo l o g i c a l e n t i t y . What i s A M i n o r i t y ? : Problems of D e f i n i t i o n Defining n a t i o n a l i t y , although usually a complex issue, i s 15 extremely d i f f i c u l t i n the case of China. There appears to be no concise d e f i n i t i o n of minority, i t being l a b e l l e d only by what i t i s not - namely the Han majority. When examining minority "from the Chinese perspective i t would imply an ethnic group that i s r e l a t i v e l y small numerically compared with the largest n a t i o n a l i t y , and that i s distinguished from society at large and from the Han by certain s p e c i f i c a l l y national c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " (Heberer 1989: 12). As was put forth e a r l i e r , those c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s can be real or imagined and could have been invented before or afte r the process of n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . In t h i s sense then, 11 [a] 11 ethnic groups that do not belong to the majority Han n a t i o n a l i t y i n the People's Republic of China are today designated 'national minorities' (shaoshu minzu)" (1989: 10). Thus, minorities i n China are non-i d e n t i f i e d , gaining t h e i r status by what they lack, or by what they are not. D e f i n i t i o n of the Chinese Term Minzu Upon undertaking research about/in China, one becomes aware that the words 'nationality' and 'ethnicity' are often used interchangeably. This does not create as large of a problem as one might expect because i n China n a t i o n a l i t i e s are also synonymous with i t s ethnic groups. This confusion of English terms i s not unwarranted, however. There appears to be l i t t l e consensus as to the English meaning of the Chinese term minzu. "The Chinese draw no d i s t i n c t i o n between people (minzu), nation (minzu), n a t i o n a l i t y (minzu), and ethnos (minzu). This of course causes problems i n defining terms" 16 (1989: 10-11). Although t e c h n i c a l l y speaking, the word used to represent China's recognized minorities i s shaoshu minzu (which l i t e r a l l y translated means 'low number n a t i o n a l i t y ' ) , i n government l i t e r a t u r e minzu i s sometimes substituted. "The po l i c y pursued with these minorities and the terms used in defining that p o l i c y employ the reference word ' n a t i o n a l i t i e s ' (minzu), as i n n a t i o n a l i t y policy, n a t i o n a l i t y commission, n a t i o n a l i t y cadres, n a t i o n a l i t y t e r r i t o r i e s , etc." (1989: 10-11). This could cause some confusion however. The rights accorded to minorities (shaoshu minzu) are not the same as those accorded to the Han Yet i f one peruses the o f f i c i a l government documents sometimes no d i s t i n c t i o n i s made. On the other hand, some scholars point out that the use of a single term for both groups i n these p o l i c i e s promotes a sense of equality and integration between the majority and the minorities. The terms national minority and n a t i o n a l i t y are large l y i d e n t i c a l in China.... Minzu i s used to refer to a l l of China's n a t i o n a l i t i e s , the Han as well as the minorities. In common usage the term, on the one hand, indicates legal equality and, on the other, documents that a l l of China's n a t i o n a l i t i e s are subordinate to a higher authority (the state) (1989: 12). In conclusion, although the term minzu i s used to represent several English words and undoubtedly confuses the minority issue in China, i t does not appear to pose a major problem. 17 Chapter Two: Minor i ty I d e n t i f i c a t i o n and His tory i n China N a t i o n a l i t y I d e n t i f i c a t i o n i n China In China before l i b e r a t i o n , ethnic i d e n t i f i c a t i o n or d i v i s i o n of groups based on n a t i o n a l i t y (or ethnicity) was not an issue open for debate. "Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Republic of China, recognized China merely as a "republic of f i v e n a t i o n a l i t i e s ' i n the twenties" (Heberer 1989: 34). Later when the Guomindang came into power, they saw the d i f f e r e n t groups as extensions of the Han, not as d i s t i n c t n a t i o n a l i t i e s . Thus, before 1949 n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n was not attempted (1989: 34). It was not u n t i l the early 1950s that e f f o r t s were made by the government of China to delineate the boundaries between ethnic groups. At t h i s time the process was far from simple, as there was l i t t l e agreement as to what a n a t i o n a l i t y constituted, and how the c i t i z e n s of China should be separated into n a t i o n a l i t y groupings. Even presently scholars seem to disagree on the basis of n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n in China. The majority point out that i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , which began i n earnest iri the mid-1950s, took i t s roots from S t a l i n ' s theory of 'nation'. Others however, support the idea that perhaps subjective or s i t u a t i o n a l factors were taken into consideration as well. There i s l i t t l e doubt that the o f f i c i a l d e f i n i t i o n of n a t i o n a l i t y i n China as advocated by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), can be seen as heavily influenced by S t a l i n . According to t h i s theory, a nation i s a h i s t o r i c a l l y 18 evolved, stable community of people, based upon the common possession of four p r i n c i p a l a t t r i b u t e s , namely: a common language, a common t e r r i t o r y , a common economic l i f e , and a common psychological make-up manifesting i t s e l f i n common s p e c i f i c features of national culture (Mackerras 1994: 141; Liu and He 1989: 5). As mentioned above, four main factors were used as a basis to o f f i c i a l l y i d e n t i f y people and c l a s s i f y them into the corresponding n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n China. I t i s important to examine each factor i n d i v i d u a l l y i n order to better understand the process and how i t resulted i n the formation of China's 56 n a t i o n a l i t i e s . Common Language The f i r s t determining feature of n a t i o n a l i t y i n China i s common language. "[C]ommon language i s the most important, stable and prominent one the four features. Every n a t i o n a l i t y has i t s own common language, i f there i s no common language, there i s no n a t i o n a l i t y . But t h i s i s not to say that, people that speak a common language belong to the same n a t i o n a l i t y " (Liu and He 1989: 5-6). The above quotation does not in f e r that each n a t i o n a l i t y must have i t s own unique, common language, but rather can be interpreted that within each n a t i o n a l i t y a common language must e x i s t . Sometimes more than one n a t i o n a l i t y may share the same common language. For example, Mandarin, the o f f i c i a l language of China, i s the common language used by several n a t i o n a l i t i e s . Although these groups share the same language, t h i s does not mean they have been mi s i d e n t i f i e d , or should automatically be considered the same n a t i o n a l i t y . Americans, Canadians, Australians, and B r i t i s h a l l speak English but are not 19 the same n a t i o n a l i t y . In the 'Chinese' case "[t]hough Han and Hui n a t i o n a l i t i e s speak a common language, they are not the same na t i o n a l i t y because they d i f f e r i n other features" (1989: 6). Thus, sharing a common language does not mean that no v a r i a t i o n e x i s t s . L iu and He state that a common language does not have to be exactly the same, but that there may be some differences in pronunciation or d i a l e c t s as n a t i o n a l i t i e s have been influenced by other groups. In fact, sometimes minor variations in language can be traced back to the d i f f e r e n t h i s t o r i e s of n a t i o n a l i t i e s (1989: 6). Therefore, the f i r s t c r i t e r i o n of n a t i o n a l i t y , although i t must be common, does not need to be i d e n t i c a l . The degree to which i t can vary i s a concern that w i l l be addressed l a t e r . Common T e r r i t o r y Next, according to S t a l i n ' s theory, to q u a l i f y as the same na t i o n a l i t y , individuals must reside i n a common t e r r i t o r y . The same t e r r i t o r y mainly refers to the area where a na t i o n a l i t y inhabits, as they are geographically connected and not divided by some inaccessible natural conditions such as sea, and mountains; they are b a s i c a l l y united i n p o l i t i c s , they are not divided by country borders or p o l i t i c a l zones for a long period of time (1989: 6). 'Chinese' n a t i o n a l i t i e s are c l e a r l y not divided by sea, although other natural conditions perhaps separate some of them. "Of course, saying a n a t i o n a l i t y must have a common region i s not to say that the people who inhabit the same region are the same na t i o n a l i t y ; i t i s also not to say that the same n a t i o n a l i t y should inhabit the same region forever" (1989: 7). Rather i t points out that members of one 'nationality' must l i v e / o r have 20 l i v e d i n a common area to be given a label as such. Common Economic L i f e In l i n e with S t a l i n ' s characterization of n a t i o n a l i t i e s i s the t h i r d determinant, common economic l i f e . "A common economic l i f e i s the objective material strength that unites a n a t i o n a l i t y together and i s the decisive condition for the forming and development of a n a t i o n a l i t y . If there i s no common economic l i f e , n a t i o n a l i t y i t s e l f does not ex i s t " (1989: 7). In China's recognized autonomous areas, n a t i o n a l i t i e s often share the same economy and receive the same, or very s i m i l a r benefits on the macro-scale. Cohabiting i n the same t e r r i t o r y f a c i l i t a t e s a common economic l i f e , and t h i s i n turn allows members of minorities to reaffirm t h e i r membership i n the group. "If the individual parts of a n a t i o n a l i t y are divided by economy for a long period of time, then the individual parts w i l l be assimilated by other n a t i o n a l i t i e s or they w i l l form a new na t i o n a l i t y . . . " (1989: 7). Not only i s a common economy essential i n St a l i n ' s view, but i t also regulates and influences the other three aspects as well (1989: 7). Common Psychological Make-up According to S t a l i n , the l a s t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i s related to the mind-set or psychological make-up of the group. Nationality psychological c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are the r e f l e c t i o n of h i s t o r i c a l , natural and economic conditions of the d i f f e r e n t n a t i o n a l i t i e s . Because of differences i n h i s t o r i c a l development, h i s t o r i c a l encounters, natural environment and social-economic l i f e , d i f f e r e n t n a t i o n a l i t i e s form t h e i r own unique c u l t u r a l art, customs and also psychological features (1989: 8). 21 For example, although Man, Hui and Han speak a common language, inhabit a common t e r r i t o r y and are cl o s e l y linked with regard to economy, they do not comprise the same na t i o n a l i t y , because t h e i r thoughts and feelings are not the same (1989: 8). Therefore, as can be seen i n the other cases mentioned above, a dependent relationship between common psychological make-up and the other three factors i s evident. A p p l i c a t i o n of S t a l i n ' s Theory to China Not only do these previous elements comprise what one refer s to as a ' n a t i o n a l i t y 1 , but they are esse n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h i s group. S t a l i n emphasizes that these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s separately cannot compose a nation. Rather, i t i s the four together that defines t h i s boundary. If even one c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i s not evident, then the nation ceases to ex i s t ( S t a l i n 1955: 307). But by r i g i d l y adhering to the notion that a l l four c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s MUST be evident for a 'nationality' to exist, obvious contradictions a r i s e . To avoid inconsistencies between t h i s theory and i t s application, two separate paths have been attempted. Some scholars "ignore or downplay S t a l i n ' s demand that none of the four c r i t e r i a could be omitted from any i d e n t i f i c a t i o n " (Mackerras 1994: 141). Others have attempted to redefine or make subtle changes to his d e f i n i t i o n i n order to make i t applicable to China's p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n . I support the second method because although S t a l i n stated these four c r i t e r i a ALL must be evident i f a group were to be considered a 'nationality'; he did not point out to what degree. When we take out d i f f e r e n t n a t i o n a l i t i e s and compare them with each other, though sometimes one feature i s quite prominent (such as a n a t i o n a l i t i e s ' psychological make-up), sometimes another feature i s f a i r l y prominent (such as language), sometimes another feature (such as t e r r i t o r y , economic l i f e ) i s quite prominent. Every nation i s made up of the four features (Liu and He 1989: 8). By i n s i s t i n g that a l l of the aforementioned c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s must be evident, but s t i l l allowing for differences in degree, one i s able to successfully adapt S t a l i n ' s model to the 'Chinese' s i t u a t i o n . Attempting to interpret S t a l i n ' s view i n t h i s manner however, lends i t s e l f to new problems. Many scholars disagree as to how loosely these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s should be interpreted, and i n fact, whether they should be adapted or followed with r i g i d i t y . For example, not every minority has i t s own language, unique i n i t s e l f , and some minorities do hot a l l speak the same common language at a l l . Rigid application of St a l i n ' s theory then, would not c l a s s i f y groups such as Hui, who use the same common language as the Han, as a separate minority. However, i f common language i s loosely interpreted as simply recognizing the same language as t h e i r main method of communication, t h i s would not r e s u l t i n contradictions for minorities such as the Hui. Also, individuals could sometimes use a language for communication that i s not th e i r recognized common language. For example, when I t r a v e l l e d to Shanghai I noticed that the people spoke a special d i a l e c t , Shanghaiese. They were able to converse i n Mandarin, but used t h i s other d i a l e c t instead. Interpreting common language i n t h i s way then, means that pronunciation and 23 word usage would merely be seen as variations of the same language. Some n a t i o n a l i t i e s are spread over China's vast area, t h e i r common language has evolved separately over time and can only be understood by those residing i n that area. For example, the d i a l e c t s spoken by the Han i n North-East China, Shanghai and Guangzhou d i f f e r greatly although they are based upon one common language. These variations do not permit individuals from these three areas to comprehend each other i n oral conversation. Only i n written language can these problems be overcome as t h e i r written characters have not evolved separately. The scattered nature of the Han population and the minorities also prove that the r i g i d a pplication of the 'common t e r r i t o r y ' c r i t e r i o n would r e s u l t i n some n a t i o n a l i t i e s losing t h e i r status as separate groups. Minorities such as Hui, Mahchu and Miao are not concentrated i n one geographical area i n China, and are separated by natural conditions such as mountains. However, the common geographic area that S t a l i n referred to should be examined i n a broader context. Namely, that these minorities a l l reside i n the same geographical area - China, and therefore are not separated at a l l . Next, a common economic l i f e does not adequately characterize many n a t i o n a l i t i e s within China, as those minorities situated i n autonomous areas often enjoy economic benefits that t h e i r peers i n non-autonomous regions do not. In fact, the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy devoted several a r t i c l e s guaranteeing that minorities within autonomous areas receive special economic considerations. This i s not to say that they receive large 24 numbers of individual benefits, but rather, they obtain group p r i v i l e g e s such as investment i n schools, public f a c i l i t i e s and companies as a re s u l t of l i v i n g i n certa i n areas. As far as St a l i n ' s fourth factor, common culture i s concerned, i n some situations n a t i o n a l i t i e s , although s t i l l belonging to one group, exhibit c u l t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s most often found i n another. Since culture i s constantly s h i f t i n g and readjusting, assuming that there i s a stable non-changing e n t i t y l a b e l l e d 'common culture' i s problematic i n i t s e l f . In sum, because S t a l i n did not emphasize how rigorously one must adhere to these four c r i t e r i a for a n a t i o n a l i t y to remain a d i s t i n c t entity, one i s able to successfully modify h i s theory to the 'Chinese' s i t u a t i o n . Although, the Chinese government used S t a l i n ' s model as a basis for n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and allowed the minorities some degree of autonomy, the Chinese s i t u a t i o n cannot be seen as i d e n t i c a l l y p a r a l l e l to the Soviet one. Dreyer points out that the minorities i n the (former) USSR were republics i n themselves and therefore could secede from the Union. However, as i s evidenced above> the autonomous areas of China were i n no way afforded the same luxury, even i n theory. She also goes on to state that on the whole, there was more freedom with regard to culture and language under Soviet p o l i c y (1976: 263-264). So by adopting S t a l i n ' s theory to the Chinese s i t u a t i o n , the Chinese government did not accord the n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n China the same power and rights that were a l l o t t e d to the republics i n the Soviet Union. 25 N a t i o n a l i t y Wil l ingness as a Factor The use and adaptation of St a l i n ' s theory to characterize and i d e n t i f y n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n China i s not enough i n i t s e l f . The objective nature of the above mentioned c r i t e r i a ignore the dual process and subjective nature of n a t i o n a l i t y formation. Many individuals, who support the more f l e x i b l e approach, place heavy emphasis on the actions of the people themselves. "[I]n China a consensus has been reached that s c i e n t i f i c c r i t e r i a are not s u f f i c i e n t for a d e f i n i t i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of an ethnic group as an independent n a t i o n a l i t y , that i n addition the opinion of the members of such a group c a r r i e s just as much weight" (Heberer 1989: 33). Rather than sta t i n g that S t a l i n ' s four features are the only determinants necessary for n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and categorization i n China, many scholars (myself included), emphasize the dual nature of id e n t i t y . By t h i s i t i s meant that categories are not merely imposed on n a t i o n a l i t i e s , but that they also make contributions and have input i n t h i s process. The second basis of n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s na t i o n a l i t y willingness. In researching the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of n a t i o n a l i t i e s , n a t i o n a l i t y willingness refers to the subjective willingness expressed i n terms of whether they are Han or minority n a t i o n a l i t y a f t e r a l l , whether they are a single n a t i o n a l i t y . Nationality willingness can be understood as the common subjective ideology and common willingness of a n a t i o n a l i t y . While deciding how to i d e n t i f y n a t i o n a l i t i e s , we must respect the willingness of n a t i o n a l i t i e s as t h i s i s one of the s t a r t i n g points of n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n (Liang, Chen and Yang 1985: 403). Support of willingness i n the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n process represents an important step for n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n China, as i t tends to suggest a decision made by the minorities themselves rather than 26 something imposed upon them. However, one must not be too optimistic by assuming that 'respecting the willingness' of n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n e f f e c t means that the minorities themselves act u a l l y have input i n the o f f i c i a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n process. Although one may accept that n a t i o n a l i t y willingness i s a necessary component in the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and maintenance of n a t i o n a l i t y boundaries i n China, one must not forget that the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n by the PRC government does not factor the subjective feelings of the n a t i o n a l i t i e s themselves into i t s decisions. Heberer supports my p o s i t i o n that the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of minorities i s based on both the w i l l of the community as well as on a s c i e n t i f i c ( b i o l o g i c a l ) basis (1989: 32). Fei Xiaotong, one of the s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s involved i n the i n i t i a l n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n processes of the 1950s pointed out that the c r i t e r i o n i d e n t i f i e d by S t a l i n should be employed f l e x i b l y to the Chinese s i t u a t i o n , and that self-consciousness should also be included. He believes that the feelings and b e l i e f s of a n a t i o n a l i t y , separate from i t s common ideology, should also play a role in ethnic i d e n t i f i c a t i o n (Fei 1980: 155). Fei's own opinion should not be confused with the stand taken by the PRC Government and the methods used i n the o f f i c i a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n process. Thus, although Fei supports n a t i o n a l i t y willingness and ideology as a factor, i t was not part of n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i n China. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g however, that the subjective w i l l of the people i s being considered as relevant as t h i s was something that S t a l i n strongly opposed (1989: 32). 27 Not one of the individuals that I interviewed f e l t that n a t i o n a l i t y willingness was/or should be a factor i n n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . Instead, they took n a t i o n a l i t y as a given, b i o l o g i c a l f a c t . One i n d i v i d u a l i n p a r t i c u l a r related an i n t e r e s t i n g story with r e l a t i o n to his n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . Born Han, at about age 45 his father found out that his great-grandfather had a c t u a l l y been Miao, a recognized minority. Along with his two s i b l i n g s , his father petitioned for a change i n status. His s i b l i n g s were granted status, and he was denied, although they had been brought up together and had the same family ancestry and history. The i n d i v i d u a l accepted t h i s decision by the government without challenge and attributed his f a i l u r e to government bureaucracy. He r a t i o n a l i z e d his defeat by st a t i n g that the d i s t r i c t already had too many people that were designated minorities, and therefore i t was more d i f f i c u l t to change one's status. After h i s application was rejected, he did not reapply. He did not consider himself Miao, and yet he l a b e l l e d his brother and s i s t e r as such. Thus, since the government had characterized him as Han, Han he would remain (Interview #11 A p r i l 1996). The ramifications of t h i s categorization w i l l be examined further i n the next section. I Know Who You Are , But Who Am I? As the PRC Government's methods of categorization do not tend to take into account the subjective nature of n a t i o n a l i t y formation and the willingness of the people, t h i s creates contradictions between the o f f i c i a l categorization and the feelings and b e l i e f s of some n a t i o n a l i t i e s . This can be shown 28 using two examples. F i r s t , although the man who petitioned to become Miao and was refused accepted t h i s decision, at one point at least, he believed himself to be a n a t i o n a l i t y that was d i f f e r e n t than his government c l a s s i f i c a t i o n (Interview #11 A p r i l 1996). Perhaps one could argue that i t was not his f e e l i n g and subjective b e l i e f that he was Miao but ' r e a l i t y ' . However, the end r e s u l t was the same - a discrepancy between the government d i s t i n c t i o n and that of an i n d i v i d u a l was evident. The second example becomes obvious when one examines the number of individuals who as yet remain unidentified. After the o f f i c i a l designation of China's 55 minority groups and the Han majority, there s t i l l remained individuals or groups that were not o f f i c i a l l y part of a s p e c i f i c n a t i o n a l i t y , or who rejected the groupings imposed on them. According to the 1990 census, 749,341 people were categorized as 'not yet i d e n t i f i e d ' by the government (Mackerras 1994: 143). This i s an e s p e c i a l l y large number i n view of the f a c t that: 1) the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n process took place over 40 years e a r l i e r , 2) ten years af t e r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n (1964) there were only about 32,000 individuals that were 'unidentified' (1994: 240), and 3) recently there have been large numbers of individuals who have successfully petitioned to have t h e i r n a t i o n a l i t y statuses changed. Since the f i r s t c l a s s i f i c a t i o n process, the success of whole groups to become recognized as new n a t i o n a l i t i e s has not been successful. Heberer notes that i i i the late 1970s and early 1980s over 80 non-recognized groups, comprising more than 900,000 people, reapplied for minority status. The majority of them had 29 been rejected i n the 1950s, but due to renewed e f f o r t s to c l a s s i f y those s t i l l without status i n the 1980s, these groups repetitioned (1989: 37). For example Mackerras wrote of one group c l a s s i f i e d as Miao that recognizes i t s e l f as a separate ethnic group, the Gejia. "Their grounds for t h i s separate i d e n t i f i c a t i o n aire differences i n language, r e l i g i o n , v i l l a g e s t y l e , and clothing" (1994: 144). However, the State N a t i o n a l i t i e s Commission refuses to acknowledge them as a separate group. In sum, i n adapting S t a l i n ' s method of na t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , the PRC Government must not neglect the willingness or ideol o g i c a l mindset of those so-labelled. F i r s t Attempts To C l a s s i f y Groups When representatives from the newly established People's Republic of China f i r s t attempted to separate i t s peoples into n a t i o n a l i t i e s , several obstacles arose. F i r s t l y , some groups were not w i l l i n g to come forward and obtain minority status as they were f e a r f u l of the consequences. Before l i b e r a t i o n , because the former reactionary r u l e r s c a r r i e d out the n a t i o n a l i s t p o l i c y of na t i o n a l i t y prejudice and n a t i o n a l i t y oppression, they denied the existence of many minority n a t i o n a l i t i e s and minority prejudice which made many minorities dare not admit t h e i r own na t i o n a l i t y , and t h i s brought d i f f i c u l t i e s i n i d e n t i f y i n g n a t i o n a l i t i e s a f t e r l i b e r a t i o n (Liang, Chen and Yang 1985: 395). Some of those o f f i c i a l l y c l a s s i f i e d into groups did not want to be seen as such. On the other hand, many other groups that had applied for status were rejected. This was shown e a r l i e r i n the case of the Gejia who were refused status as a separate n a t i o n a l i t y , and also i n the case of the Han individual who 30 wanted to be recognized as Miao. The complexity of the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n at that time (China being a newly established republic) also added to the confusion when n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n was f i r s t attempted. In f a c t , as we w i l l see i n the next paragraph, the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n process was influenced by p o l i t i c s as well. The f i r s t attempts to o f f i c i a l l y delineate minority groupings i n China can be traced back to the mid-1950s. From 1953 i t sent out special i d e n t i f i c a t i o n groups, including ethnologists such as Fei Xiaotong, to check the v a l i d i t y of claims being made by various groups for status as minority n a t i o n a l i t i e s . Since the new government had made i t known that i t regarded the minorities as equals, over 400 groups registered as n a t i o n a l i t i e s by 1955 (Mackerras 1994: 142). This created a dilemma. Were there r e a l l y 400 n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n China? And i f there were, how could China successfully accommodate them and unite them toward her common goal of socialism? "In i d e n t i f y i n g a n a t i o n a l i t y i n China, two basic determinations had to be made: (1) whether the group was a national minority or a part of the Han n a t i o n a l i t y ; and (2) i f an ethnic minority, did i t constitute an independent n a t i o n a l i t y or only part of such a n a t i o n a l i t y " (Heberer 1989: 35). Keeping these questions i n mind while using S t a l i n ' s theory as a basis for i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , Fei Xiaotong "found more than 100 minorities. As such d i v e r s i t y was p o l i t i c a l l y not admissible, he attempted to work out a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n that would reduce the t o t a l number" (Eberhard 1982: 157). The reduction of groups from over 100 to 55 strengthens the argument that S t a l i n ' s theory was used as a model, not as a r i g i d framework. Not only were the large quantity of groups that f i t the 31 model (and should therefore be afforded status) a problem, but clashes with current ideology also arose. Heberer notes that a group of over 2,000 individuals claiming to be Jewish were denied ethnic status as a single e n t i t y by the government because at that time Judaism i n China was supposedly non-existent. "In t h i s case the Chinese government rejected recognition as a minority because of the 'external p o l i t i c a l explosiveness' of the issue" (Heberer 1989: 39). In sum, such considerations as p o l i t i c a l f e a s i b i l i t y seemed to outweigh 'true n a t i o n a l i t y ' status i n some situ a t i o n s . In the end, only a small percentage of those groups that had applied for status were o f f i c i a l l y designated as 'Chinese' n a t i o n a l i t i e s . "By 1957, f i f t y - f o u r ethnic groups were recognized as independent n a t i o n a l i t i e s (the Jinuo were recognized i n 1979, making f i f t y - f i v e ) . The o f f i c i a l recognition was granted to the n a t i o n a l i t i e s by the Chinese State Council" (1989: 34). I t i s important to note that since 1979 the number of recognized n a t i o n a l i t i e s remains unchanged. Although some groups have migrated to d i f f e r e n t areas throughout China and no longer share a l l of S t a l i n ' s four features, the o f f i c i a l designation of 56 n a t i o n a l i t i e s has remained i n t a c t . "[S]ince the clear demarcation of ethnic boundaries i s drawn o f f i c i a l l y , one i s now u n l i k e l y to see new minority groups emerge, assimilate, or amalgamate as they did h i s t o r i c a l l y i n China's peripheral lands" (Wu 1989: 22). In summary then, i t has become apparent that: 1) S t a l i n ' s model was used as an adaptation and was secondary to other factors i n some cases, 2) over 700,000 32 individuals s t i l l remain un i d e n t i f i e d i n a country where i d e n t i f i c a t i o n techniques and c r i t e r i a have c l e a r l y been established, and 3) the PRC's objective d e f i n i t i o n and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of n a t i o n a l i t i e s does not f i t with i t s subjective r e a l i t y . This i s because ... an objective c l a s s i f i c a t i o n cannot be confused with people's subjective ethnic i d e n t i t y , and, furthermore, cannot be represented by a clearcut, independent c u l t u r a l category.... [A] minority group may be c u l t u r a l l y s i m i l a r to the majority group, although by law and s e l f - i d e n t i t y they are separate ethnic e n t i t i e s (Wu 1989: 22). Thus, although the laws and government c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s remain r i g i d , i n r e a l i t y a process of shedding and adopting new ethnic i d e n t i t i e s s t i l l e xists in China. " C u l t u r a l l y , these various processes of change of ethnic composition may s t i l l continue, while individuals may s t i l l pass ethnic boundaries due to the allowance of choice of 'ethnic id e n t i t y ' for persons with 'mixed' ancestors " (1989: 22). Whether the boundaries of e t h n i c i t y i n China allow for these s h i f t s or changes has s t i l l not been touched upon. This w i l l be discussed further using the Korean minority i n North-East China as a concrete example. Object ive Differences and the C l a s s i f i c a t i o n Process Liang, Chen and Yang state that eight d i f f e r e n t situations arose during the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n China during the mid-1950s. The d i v e r s i t y between groups i n China at that time, and the fact that some groups were a f r a i d , or did not want to be recognized as minorities led to extreme d i f f i c u l t y when attempting to c l a s s i f y n a t i o n a l i t i e s based on S t a l i n ' s concept of 'nation'. Many of these d i f f i c u l t i e s can be linked to the 33 contradictions between minority s e l f - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and the government's o f f i c i a l designations. Fei Xiaotong, one of the scholars responsible for the separation of n a t i o n a l i t i e s into groups i n the 1950s, pointed out that they encountered eight d i f f e r e n t situations that hampered and/or confused the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n process. The f i r s t s i t u a t i o n arose where the Han occupied minority t e r r i t o r y , kept t y p i c a l Han ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s and culture, did not r e a l i z e they were Han and therefore assumed they should be grouped with the minority. The second occurred when several Han groups moved into a minority area, and c o n f l i c t s and differences amongst the Han were evident. This c o n f l i c t resulted i n one or more groups of the Han seeing other Han groups as 'Other' or 'different' and therefore some Han tended to i d e n t i f y with the minority groups prevalent in the area. Thirdly, some minorities exploited other non-Han n a t i o n a l i t i e s as ordered by the Han. As a r e s u l t , the oppressed refused t h e i r oppressors entrance into t h e i r n a t i o n a l i t y grouping. Fourth, through inte r n a l migration, minorities came into contact with, and were greatly influenced by, the Han. However, there was prejudice that precluded mixing amongst them, and therefore they wanted to ret a i n t h e i r independent status. F i f t h , i n some cases a single minority s p l i t due to migration. Although t h e i r culture, language, and customs remained the same, they were renamed. Sixth, parts of a n a t i o n a l i t y were separated geographically, accepted the new culture, but retained t h e i r own language. They were l a b e l l e d by others as belonging to the new grouping. Seventh, some minorities became scattered over large 34 areas and t h e i r language and culture evolved d i f f e r e n t l y . However, they were s t i l l regarded as composing the same minority. Lastly, within an individual minority there was sometimes dissention with regard to being one, or more than one, grouping (Liang, Chen and Yang 1985: 425-426; Fei 1980: 148). What becomes apparent once again i s that although S t a l i n ' s model was used as a guide, subjective decisions were made during the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of minorities i n the People's Republic of China. The Creat ion of E t h n i c i t y i n China Before the s p e c i f i c p o l i c i e s created for China's minorities are examined, what t h e i r creation has meant in the larger scheme of n a t i o n a l i t y r e l a t i o n s i n China should be discussed. The creation and implementation of s p e c i f i c p o l i c i e s does not only r e s u l t i n changes i n the l i v i n g situations of the minorities, but also greatly e f f e c t s both t h e i r culture and customs as well. By t h i s i t i s meant that the creation of such p o l i c i e s could, and has, led to the construction of e t h n i c i t y , minority groups, culture and customs. Equality of a l l n a t i o n a l i t i e s and respect for minority cultures are foundational p r i n c i p l e s of China's minority p o l i c y today. This i s a p o l i t i c a l statement and the implementation of such a p o l i t i c a l p o l i c y has consequences on the construction of e t h n i c i t y and culture of the minority groups i n the nation (Wu 1989: 21). By creating p o l i c i e s to deal with 'minorities' then, 'minorities' are created as a group. This i n turn makes them a concrete e n t i t y d i f f e r e n t from the 'majority', the Han. Not only i s e t h n i c i t y i n China created, but i t i s o b j e c t i f i e d and has resulted i n the invention of concrete 35 i d e n t i f i e r s and labels. An example of an i d e n t i f i e r of e t h n i c i t y would be Chinese residence permits. Every in d i v i d u a l has a residence card which must be kept on his/her body at a l l times. This card i s required for almost anything from r e g i s t e r i n g into a hotel, to buying a t r a i n t i c k e t . The n a t i o n a l i t y of each individual i s stamped on the card i t s e l f . "In China, national i d e n t i t y i s not only 'imagined 1; i t i s stamped on one's passport" (Gladney 1994: 98). In summary, af t e r n a t i o n a l i t y was created as an entity, and China's 56 recognized groups established, i d e n t i f i e r s arose that served to delineate the boundaries between the d i f f e r e n t groups. Another example of i d e n t i f i e r s that tend to reinforce created e t h n i c i t y i n China are the e x o t i c i z a t i o n of minorities. "Their ' p r i m i t i v i t y ' contrasts with supposed Han 'modernity.' Minorities become a marked category, characterized by sensuality, colorfulness, and exotic custom. This contrasts with the 'unmarked' nature of Han i d e n t i t y " (1994: 102). Some minorities have few outwardly v i s i b l e customs and habits that set them apart from the Han ( i . e . , Manchus). In some cases these are groups that have surpassed the Han i n some respects. For example, the Koreans are not portrayed as primitive or backward, perhaps because they boast the highest education levels and lowest birthrates i n China. Rather, these minorities, and esp e c i a l l y the Han, have been characterized as 'normal' and exemplary by the government and the CCP. This perhaps in part explains why the word 'Han' sometimes replaces the word 'Chinese' - here 'Han' refers to 'normal' or 'average Chinese'. Gladney i s 36 very c r i t i c a l of t h i s creation of ethnic i d e n t i f i e r s , and states that they are nothing more than "[t]he homogenization of the majority at the expense of the exoticized minority" (1994: 94-95) . The creation of e t h n i c i t y i n China goes much further than just a t t r i b u t i n g i d e n t i f i e r s to the minorities i n order to make them appear mysterious and exotic. In some cases the minorities are treated as a commodity. An obvious example can be seen i f one tra v e l s to a number of minority palaces throughout China. Upon v i s i t i n g two minority palaces, one i n B e i j i n g and the other in Shenzhen, i t became apparent that minority culture was created and exaggerated i n order to commodify and exoticize China's 55 minorities. In both cases s c a n t i l y clad minorities meet t o u r i s t s near the entrance, dancing to music with a heavy, savage beat. Upon walking around the a t t r a c t i o n , one finds many minority individuals performing ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' r i t u a l s and customs under the eager eyes of t o u r i s t s . Pictures are taken, t r a d i t i o n a l dishes are eaten, 'differences' are emphasized and f i n a l l y the minorities can rest. However, i f one stays around long enough, one w i l l see a d i f f e r e n t p i cture. I t i s of those same individuals speaking Mandarin, China's o f f i c i a l language, not the language of t h e i r own minority, and wearing jeans and T-shirts rather than long, brightly-coloured costumes. One also sees them eating the same kind of (or similar) food that the Han eat, t r a i n i n g new r e c r u i t s how to act l i k e minorities, how to dance or greet i n t h e i r special 'ethnic' way. It would be d i f f i c u l t to prove that these customs have never existed. The fact that the minorities have to be taught what they t e c h n i c a l l y should know about t h e i r culture i n order to work, points out that e t h n i c i t y has been created, or at the very least, re-created. The purpose of t h i s i l l u s t r a t i o n i s not to c r i t i c i z e or debate the creation of e t h n i c i t y , nor to b e l i t t l e the n a t i o n a l i t y areas or the people who l i v e there, but rather to reemphasize the constructivism that has taken place and to recognize i t for what i t i s . Some parts of these minority palaces were f a i r l y accurate depictions of minority l i f e s t y l e s , while others were not. What i s essential to remember then, i s that the creation of p o l i c i e s for minorities has i n turn led to the creation or recreation of the ethnic groups or ethnic customs themselves. Another concern related to the creation of ethnic i d e n t i t i e s i s the fact that ( l i k e some of the minorities above), although some individuals are l e g a l l y recognized as minorities, they lack the i d e n t i f i e r s . By t h i s i t i s meant that they have no obvious customs, habits, etcetera that separate them, or make them ' d i f f e r e n t 1 , from the Han. For example, children whose parents are not of the same n a t i o n a l i t y are sometimes able to choose which ethnic group they w i l l belong to. People i n China are choosing more and more to have themselves o f f i c i a l l y i d e n t i f i e d as minorities whether or not they t r u t h f u l l y i d e n t i f y themselves as such i n order to be e l i g i b l e for minority benefits. Therefore i t i s quite f e a s i b l e that " [ c ] h i l d r e n from mixed marriages receive a Han upbringing, no longer speak any language other than Han Chinese, and as a rule also consider themselves Han. They 38 are members of 'national minorities' only on paper" (Heberer 1989: 92). This tendency could not only lead to a f a l s e increase i n the minority population (and corresponding decreases i n Han births) as well as to other problems. This w i l l be discussed in more d e t a i l using the Chinese-Korean minority as an example. Minor i ty P o l i c y : O f f i c i a l Aims After the d e f i n i t i o n and categorization of n a t i o n a l i t i e s was finished, the Chinese government took on the task of creating s p e c i f i c p o l i c i e s for i t s 55 recognized minority groups. However, they soon r e a l i z e d that "trying to balance the p r i v i l e g e s of the minority races with the r i g h t s guaranteed to a l l c i t i z e n s of the People's Republic i s a task than can be both demanding and d e l i c a t e " ( S i n c l a i r 1987: 13). In attempting to create such p o l i c i e s , the government focused on six main tasks as a framework, and developed p o l i c i e s correspondingly. These were: to p e r s i s t i n q u a l i t y of n a t i o n a l i t i e s and strengthen n a t i o n a l i t y unity, carry out n a t i o n a l i t y regional autonomy, develop minority cadres, aid the development of the minorities' cultures and economies, emphasize the use of minority language, and to respect the customs and habits of minorities (Liang, Chen and Yang 1985: 417). One must keep i n mind that the p o l i c i e s that w i l l be discussed l a t e r use these aims as t h e i r s t a r t i n g point. It w i l l also become apparent that these tasks and t h e i r f u l f i l m e n t i s part of the PRC's greater ambition - socialism. The linkages between minority policy, these aims and the s o c i a l i s t path w i l l become clearer as t h i s essay unfolds. 39 The Treatment of the M i n o r i t i e s i n the Past When one examines the present p o s i t i o n of i t s minorities, China's long history cannot be neglected. It i s argued by many scholars that China's hi s t o r y plays an i n t e g r a l role i n i t s peoples' present circumstances, as well as being a reminder of past i n j u s t i c e s . Perhaps n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y evolved as such a consequence. It i s essential then, to examine past treatment of n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n China in order to better comprehend t h e i r present circumstances. Before the twentieth century, minorities i n China did not exi s t as such. By t h i s i t meant that they were not considered c i t i z e n s of China and were not accorded status, minority or otherwise. These individuals> who would l a t e r be known as China's minorities, suffered persecution and abominable treatment, both by the r u l i n g classes and other minorities themselves. "In the hundred years or so before China's l i b e r a t i o n , people of a l l n a t i o n a l i t i e s shared a common misfortune, being subjected to i m p e r i a l i s t aggression and feudal oppression" (Ma 1994: 25). In the time of Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties and Kuomintang rule, t h i s resulted i n an increasingly large number of reb e l l i o n s and uprisings (1994: 18-19), which i n turn resulted i n l i t t l e unity and t o t a l chaos. Under the various feudal dynasties and the Kuomintang government, national oppression and inequality remained the rule, and a u n i f i e d , multi-national state was maintained under the conditions of oppression and internecine struggle, including wars between various n a t i o n a l i t i e s tormented by l o c a l separatist forces (1994: 20). These groups did p e r i o d i c a l l y unite i n order to overthrow t h e i r 40 oppressors, however. In the Taiping Rebellion of 1851, the Revolution of 1911, and the May Fourth Movement i n 1919, the people united to overthrow feudalism and to combat imperialism (1994: 19). Even during these periods however, the minorities were s t i l l viewed as 'savage' and i n f e r i o r to the r u l i n g classes. As minorities were not c i t i z e n s of China, s p e c i a l p o l i c i e s for minorities were not even seen as an issue before the twentieth century. However, as the twentieth century emerged, the treatment and therefore, s i t u a t i o n , of the minorities underwent d r a s t i c changes. Government P o l i c y Toward M i n o r i t i e s i n the Twentieth Century The treatment of minorities i n China since the beginning of the twentieth century can roughly be separately into four phases: Nat i o n a l i s t , Pre-Communist, Communist (just a f t e r l i b e r a t i o n ) and present day treatment. The f i r s t phase of the twentieth century saw the influence of the Chinese leader Sun Yat-Sen and his N a t i o n a l i s t approach. As noted e a r l i e r , he believed that China was made up of f i v e core n a t i o n a l i t i e s . Although he at f i r s t adopted an a s s i m i l a t i o n a l i s t stance, he l a t e r altered his view i n favour of the willingness of the people. Sun Yat-Sen, the leader of the revolution of 1911 and for a short time president of China, was at f i r s t of the opinion that China's minorities should be quickly brought to a l e v e l s i m i l a r to that of the Chinese, so that assimilation would be possible. Later he began to speak of the need to raise the c u l t u r a l l e v e l of the minorities so that they themselves could decide whether they would l i k e to be integrated or be allowed s e l f -government (Eberhard 1982: 14). This l a t e r change i n thinking i s said to have influenced Sun Yat-Sen aft e r he witnessed the Russian Revolution, ... and his p o l i c y of 1924 spoke of self-determination and autonomy, the same terminology that Lenin had used. The government should help and guide small, weak r a c i a l groups toward ultimate self-determination and s e l f -government - t h i s was Lenin's important change of the o r i g i n a l Marx-Engels theory that each society would have to develop stage by stage from a primitive society to s o c i a l i s t society. Lenin proclaimed that t h i s long process could be shortened by the guidance of a 'developed' country (1982: 153-154). Although during t h i s period minority groups as we know them had yet to be i d e n t i f i e d and so-labelled, N a t i o n a l i s t leaders supported the autonomy and self-determination of the minority ex i s t i n g groups. The next stage, Pre-Communist, was characterized by co-operation (although somewhat limited), between those i n power and China's n a t i o n a l i t i e s . This however i s perhaps not so much due to the fact that Communists act u a l l y supported t h i s kind of approach, but rather they recognized the importance of gaining the minorities' assistance and support for t h e i r Communist struggles. "During the confrontations with the minorities i n Southwest of China at the time of the Long March the Communists became aware of the problem of minorities. They often needed help from the minorities through whose areas they marched, or at least t h e i r permission to pass through" (Eberhard 1982: 155). As a r e s u l t of successful r e l a t i o n s during the Long March, Mao Zedong took t h i s cooperation one step further. He supported a new p o s i t i o n A l l minorities should be given equal rights with the Chinese. They should not be forced to learn Chinese but rather be encouraged to develop t h e i r own cultures. They should control t h e i r own a f f a i r s - but they must 42 l i v e i n a u n i f i e d state together with the Han Chinese. Mao's statement of November 6, 1938 led to the adoption of the concept of 'autonomous areas,' which Lenin had developed (1982: 155). The position to include autonomous areas for minorities i n China must not however be recognized as autonomy without conditions. Autonomy was only considered possible i f i t did not endanger national cohesion. Aside from f a c i l i t a t i n g the Communist cause and gaining a l l i e s to support them during the war, Mao Zedong and his followers planned for the future as well. They r e a l i z e d that with the present h o s t i l i t i e s of the minorities intact, once the Communists were in power the minorities would not so r e a d i l y volunteer to become members of New China ( O l i v i e r 1993: 32). Therefore, the Communists' change i n thinking not only f a c i l i t a t e d t h e i r success during the Long March, but was adopted i n order to s o l i d i f y China's success under t h e i r reign. Shortly a f t e r l i b e r a t i o n the f i r s t o f f i c i a l minority p o l i c y was established under the influence of Mao Zedong. This p o l i c y emphasized integration rather than the a s s i m i l a t i o n a l i s t p o l i c i e s of the past. Under t h i s kind of p o l i c y n a t i o n a l i t i e s were guaranteed both equality and autonomy, but i t was stressed that t h i s would not be at the expense of national unity (Mackerras 1994: 145). Although i t appears that the minorities' s i t u a t i o n has improved under the leadership of the Communists, one must r e a l i z e that the minorities do not enjoy t o t a l autonomy, but limited r i g h t s . This i s because [o]n one point, however, the CCP has always been si m i l a r to the Guomindang. I t places an extremely high p r i o r i t y on national unity. Its f i r s t task was to e f f e c t i v e l y unify the state i t had created. Next to 43 i t s own overthrow, i t s greatest fear has always been the secession of n a t i o n a l i t y regions and the consequent dis i n t e g r a t i o n of the PRC (1994: 140). Consequently, whatever power accorded to the minorities was c a r e f u l l y a l l o t t e d , keeping national unity i n mind. Eberhard points out that t h i s p o l i c y derived from Lenin's theory of 'national i n form, s o c i a l i n content' (1982: 157). In order to accomplish t h i s , the CCP promoted the image of the 'older brother' who helps his 'younger brothers' to develop and r a i s e themselves up to his l e v e l . This not only would r e s u l t i n national unity i t was hoped, but also embedded the s p i r i t of patriotism i n both the minorities and the Han that would aid them (Eberhard 1982: 157). Heberer points out that during the Cultural Revolution substantial changes were made to n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y i n China. F i r s t , at t h i s time n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y was deemed unnecessary as China was no longer regarded as a multinational country. Second, there no longer were special economic p o l i c i e s i n minority (autonomous) regions. Third, regional autonomy was characterized as e v i l , as contradicting national unity and therefore the d i s s o l u t i o n of some autonomous areas was the r e s u l t . Fourth, languages, t r a d i t i o n s , r e l i g i o n s , customs, manners and minority holidays were condemned and/or abolished as they were seen as 'backward'. F i f t h , economic p o l i c i e s were developed and implemented that did not take into account the natural resources or s k i l l s of minority members which often resulted i n increased poverty for these groups. Sixth, i l l i t e r a c y among minorities also rose due to the abolishment of minority schools and other 44 areas of learning (1989: 25-27). The present Communist Party i n China blames the Gang of Four for the intentional persecution of the minorities i n the past because during the Cultural Revolution the Gang of Four denied the existence of minority problems. Humiliation, i n s u l t s , oppression, and an attempt at forced assimilation; destruction of the ecological equilibrium and ruinous exploitation; economic plundering of the minority regions: these were the consequences of the Cultural Revolution for the national minorities and t h e i r regions (Heberer 1989: 29) . The Gang of Four carried out a f a s c i s t d ictatorship and held t i g h t control over the minorities. They also forced assimilation on the minorities who faced persecution i f they did not r e a d i l y submit (Renmin Ribao 15 Dec. 1978). "Beginning i n 1958, a campaign developed that c a l l e d for the assimilation of the minority peoples, with a t o t a l disregard for the rights of s e l f -government guaranteed by the Constitution" (Ma 1994: 31-32). During the Cultural Revolution, the n a t i o n a l i t i e s ' i n s t i t u t e s that looked af t e r minority a f f a i r s were closed down, and those that did not comply were dealt with accordingly. This only served to negate a l l of the past advances that had been made in minority r e l a t i o n s and to severely injure n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y in China (1994: 32). After the Cultural Revolution and the overthrow of the Gang of Four however, the Communist Party of China attempted to correct past i n j u s t i c e s . At the same time they set out to educate the masses on n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y and how the aims of the Communist Party coincided with the aims of China's n a t i o n a l i t i e s . 45 They combined t h i s with a strenuous e f f o r t to aid the minorities, e s p e c i a l l y i n the areas of labour and material resources (Renmin Ribao 15 Dec. 1978). This l a s t phase then, can be seen as having begun i n the late 1970s afte r the reign of the Gang of Four ended, and i s continuing on today. One of the important milestones i n t h i s era of minority relations i s the publication in 1980 of Zhou E n l a i 1 s 1957 speech on n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y . Although Zhou f i r s t made the speech on August 4, 1957, at the time i t was suppressed as i t did not f i t with the ideology of the r u l i n g powers. In 1980 however, i t was recognized as an important speech as i t strengthened the attempts of the Chinese government, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, to unite the minorities and reduce oppression (Mackerras 1994: 153-154). Zhou Enl a i wrote "We oppose two types of chauvinism, namely, b i g - n a t i o n a l i t y chauvinism (in China t h i s refers to Han chauvinism) and l o c a l - n a t i o n a l i t y chauvinism, with p a r t i c u l a r attention to combating Han chauvinism. Both types of chauvinism are manifestations of bourgeois nationalism" (Beii inq Review 3 March 1980: 14). In fact, concerted attempts to reduce the ever-spreading Han chauvinism and l o c a l nationalism by the CCP had begun even before Zhou Enlai's declaration was made public. They i n fact can be linked with t h i s new period of minority p o l i c y . Therefore, the government's approach and continued emphasis on national unity was not only emphasized i n order to ra i s e the standards of the 'backward minorities' as had been the aim of Mao Zedong afte r l i b e r a t i o n , but was also a mechanism used to defuse chauvinist and secessionist attitudes in 46 China's majority and minorities respectively. To r e i t e r a t e , Han chauvinism i s the tendency of the Han and other dominant n a t i o n a l i t i e s to look down upon, to discriminate against, or otherwise i l l - t r e a t the smaller or weaker n a t i o n a l i t i e s . At the opposite end of the spectrum i s the other e v i l , that of lo c a l nationalism, meaning the tendency of minority n a t i o n a l i t i e s to secede from the PRC (Mackerras 1994: 146). The attempts to defuse these and the influence t h i s campaign had on the Korean minority i n s p e c i f i c w i l l be analyzed l a t e r . The Discontent of the M i n o r i t i e s Although s p e c i f i c laws for the minorities and th e i r autonomous regions were put into e f f e c t not long a f t e r l i b e r a t i o n , government p o l i c y has continually been c r i t i c i z e d by them. In fact, these kinds of l e g i s l a t i o n are sometimes seen as l i t t l e more than token displays of equality, that in r e a l i t y , are neither adhered to, nor r e a l l y accord any concrete benefits. Heberer states that although some righ t s were established in the 1950s, they were not backed by the 1954 constitution and therefore there was l i t t l e guarantee that these rights would be enforced (1989: 41). Even worse, those rights that were guaranteed on paper were not reinforced when the Constitution was amended i n l a t e r years. "[T]he 1978 constitution did not even grant minorities the righ t s that they had been given under the 1954 constitution" (1989: 41). In the early 1980s general discontent with these laws, or perhaps the lack of adherence to them by the government, led the minorities to put forth a larg e l y united e f f o r t i n order to bring about change. The People's Daily reported on t h i s c o n f l i c t . 47 The minorities' discontent erupted at the t h i r d session of the National People's Congress (the Chinese parliament) i n September 1980, when heavy c r i t i c i s m s , proposals, and demands from minority delegates were for the f i r s t time presented to the public i n the d a i l y press. These concessions must be seen from the perspective that the minorities have e f f e c t i v e l y enjoyed no more than mere paper autonomy since the f i f t i e s (Heberer 1989: 41). They i n fact demanded r e a l i z a t i o n of past promises and the establishment of t o t a l , rather than limited, regional autonomy. As part of the push for more control over t h e i r n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous regions, the minorities also stressed the need for self-administration (Heberer 1989: 42). Although the a i r i n g of the minorities' c r i t i c i s m s was c l o s e l y followed by the implementation of new minority l e g i s l a t i o n ( i n fact the largest and most all-encompassing law to date), i t should not be assumed that t h i s was a d i r e c t r e s u l t of t h e i r demands. Rather a unique set of circumstances, including China's b e l i e f i n the s o c i a l i s t path, played a greater r o l e . 48 Chapter Three: The Aims of M i n o r i t y P o l i c y and the Law of Regional Autonomy The present s i t u a t i o n of the minorities i n China has now been examined. The problems with n a t i o n a l i t y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , i t s theory and the results of the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n process have been discussed as well. I t i s now time to examine the reasons for t h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n on the part of the government. As w i l l become evident i n the next few paragraphs, these purposes are cl o s e l y linked to China's desire to follow the S o c i a l i s t Path. The S o c i a l i s t Path China's long-range p o l i t i c a l aims have played an int e g r a l r o l e i n the implementation of p o l i c i e s for minorities since l i b e r a t i o n . Although i t i s not within the scope of t h i s paper to of f e r a detailed analysis of Marxist theory, i t i s important to b r i e f l y show how the Chinese b e l i e f i n t h i s doctrine has influenced current n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y i n China. The Marxist theory, that the u n i f i c a t i o n of the p r o l e t a r i a t w i l l lead to the emancipation of the masses, has led to continued stress on cohesion and unity for China's n a t i o n a l i t i e s . According to Marx's doctrine, " [ i ] n history, only the p r o l e t a r i a t can r e a l l y eliminate the segregated state among various n a t i o n a l i t i e s and emancipate every n a t i o n a l i t y , because only by emancipating a l l the oppressed n a t i o n a l i t i e s can the p r o l e t a r i a t achieve i t s own f i n a l emancipation" (Qiu 1989: 38-39). In t h i s c l a s s i s t analysis then, the p r o l e t a r i a t must work to better the si t u a t i o n of those disadvantaged, which i n the case of China, are i t s 55 recognized minorities. therefore, a p o l i c y to promote 49 equality among the n a t i o n a l i t i e s as well as e f f o r t s to improve the minorities' s i t u a t i o n have been stressed. The S o c i a l i s t Path and Regional Autonomy In order for China to successfully move along the s o c i a l i s t path, the Law of Regional Autonomy was introduced. "The s p i r i t of strengthening and developing s o c i a l i s t r e l a t i o n s among n a t i o n a l i t i e s i s r e f l e c t e d i n every chapter of the regional autonomy law. I t might even be c a l l e d the law to maintain and develop s o c i a l i s t r e l a t i o n s i n China" (Be i j i n g Review 25 June 1984: 19). After the introduction of the second Law of Regional Autonomy i n 1984, Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, Chairman of the NPC Na t i o n a l i t i e s Committee pointed out that under Communist Party p o l i c y , n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n China, regardless of s i z e , are a l l equal. In fa c t , the CCP's p o l i c y of equality and unity has been implemented to ensure prosperity for a l l of the various n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n the People's Republic of China (25 June 1984: 17). Therefore, laws to help rai s e the l i v i n g standards and conditions of the minorities have been established. In t h i s way, "[t]he national p o l i c i e s of the Party and the state are for the benefit of China's national minorities. They are manifestations of the s o c i a l i s t relationships of unity and mutual-aid between d i f f e r e n t peoples, and are the basic guarantee of the interests of a l l people i n China" (25 June 1984: 19). The chairman also stated that "[b]y implementing regional national autonomy in a multi-national country l i k e [China], the r i g h t of each minority group to administer i t s own in t e r n a l a f f a i r s and the unity of the minorities and u n i f i c a t i o n and independence of the country are 50 both guaranteed" (Beijing Review 24 June 1984: 17). Thus, the Law of Regional Autonomy and other such p o l i c i e s for minorities in China both benefit the minorities themselves as well as support the s o c i a l i s t aims of the Communist Party and the State. Not only are s o c i a l i s t r e l a t i o n s strengthened by adopting regional autonomy, but t h i s p o l i c y also supports Marxist theory. On the structure of the state, Marxists hold that, a l l else being equal, a u n i f i e d , large nation i s superior to a small nation or a country with a federal system. Lenin developed Marxist theory on national regional autonomy i n a u n i f i e d multi-national country, and pointed out that so long as the n a t i o n a l i t i e s are able to set up a u n i f i e d state, they should seek national regional autonomy rather than federation or secession (Beijing Review 4 May 1987: 14). A combination of f a i t h i n Marxism, h i s t o r i c a l circumstances, and the CCP's long-range p o l i t i c a l goals perhaps led to the adoption of the Law of Regional Autonomy. Not only does the Law of Regional Autonomy promote unity and cohesion through equality, but i t also prohibits discrimination, chauvinism and l o c a l nationalism. "In order to reinforce and develop s o c i a l i s t r e l a t i o n s , the regional autonomy law points out in i t s preface that Han n a t i o n a l i t y chauvinism and l o c a l -n a t i o n a l i t y chauvinism should both be opposed" (Beijing Review 25 June 1984: 19). Therefore, i n contrast to the approaches of the past, the Communist Party of China i s making an e f f o r t to gain the assistance of the minorities by allowing them a greater deal of autonomy and freedom as t h i s w i l l i n turn assure the success of the CCP's long-range goals. Thus far, emphasis has been placed on the implementation of minority l e g i s l a t i o n and how t h i s w i l l lead to improvement of the 51 minorities' p o s i t i o n as well as accomplish China's aims. However, one must not neglect the role that the minorities themselves play i n t h i s process. This s i t u a t i o n i s not created i n a vacuum, but also r e l i e s on the willingness and e f f o r t put for t h by the minorities themselves. " I t i s because of the minority peoples' own e f f o r t s and t h i s assistance that some minority n a t i o n a l i t i e s have been able to leap over several h i s t o r i c a l stages of development and march forward on the broad road of socialism together with the Han n a t i o n a l i t y " (Qiu 1989: 38). Although unity i s es s e n t i a l , without the agreement and cooperation of the minorities, China would not be able to prosper and r e a l i z e i t s aims. How could s o c i a l i s t construction i n China be carried on smoothly i f the Han n a t i o n a l i t y had not gained e f f e c t u a l cooperation from the minority n a t i o n a l i t i e s ? There i s no doubt that the close cooperation among the various n a t i o n a l i t i e s w i l l greatly promote the economic contacts and c u l t u r a l exchanges among them and achieve the great goal of common development and common prosperity (1989: 38). Although the implementation of regional autonomy suggests that the Chinese government supports equality for a l l and wants to improve the s i t u a t i o n of i t s 55 recognized minorities, one must not forget that implementation of such p o l i c i e s has also benefitted the Han and has helped the government to achieve i t s own agenda. The minorities themselves benefit China, as c i t i z e n s that have helped to b u i l d China and they continue to play an important part i n i t s success. How the minorities have p o s i t i v e l y contributed to CCP and State goals, and the dual relationship between these i n s t i t u t i o n s and China's 55 52 minorities, w i l l be elaborated when possible reasons for the introduction of minority p o l i c y i n China i s addressed. The Four Modernizations. Regional Autonomy and the S o c i a l i s t Path Although the f i r s t Law of Regional Autonomy was introduced in 1952 and put into e f f e c t i n 1954, i t was not u n t i l a f t e r the introduction of the four modernizations that concrete measures were put into place for China's 55 minorities. However, on the whole, China was not firml y set on the road to reform u n t i l the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee i n December 1978 gave top p r i o r i t y to the four modernizations of industry, agriculture, science and technology, and national defence, and established Deng Xiaoping f i r m l y i n power (Mackerras 1994: 140). Thus, unity, cooperation and emphasis on the four modernizations were seen as necessary factors that could lead China to i t s ultimate goals. In an e f f o r t to maintain these factors then, China has placed importance on i t s national minorities and laws that benefit them. Regional Autonomy: Necessary Condit ions for i t s Implementation There are three situations where regional autonomy w i l l be exercised, and autonomous areas established. Keeping i n mind the complex relationships between the n a t i o n a l i t i e s of the area, t h e i r economic development, and t h e i r various h i s t o r i c a l circumstances, autonomous areas w i l l be established where: 1) one main minority inhabits an autonomous area, 2) one minority i n the area comprises a large percentage of the population and other minorities who reside i n that area, make up a smaller percentage of the population, or 3) when two or more minorities occupy the same area, with no one minority comprising the majority of the 53 population (Government of China 1954: 270-271). I t i s important to note that no s p e c i f i c percentages are used and therefore the Han often comprise the greatest percentage of the population i n a minority area. This law also states that some Han MUST reside i n these areas, although how many or what percentage i s acceptable i s not stipulated (Liang, Chen and Yang 1985: 423). Thus, one of three situations must be evident for autonomous areas to be established. What i s Regional Autonomy? In the preface of the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy, regional autonomy i s defined as follows. "Nationality regional autonomy i s the fundamental p o l i c y of the Chinese Communist Party that uses Marxism and Leninism to solve the n a t i o n a l i t y problems of our country, and i s one of the most important p o l i t i c a l systems of the nation" (Government of China 1984: 2). According to t h i s theory, one of the ways that n a t i o n a l i t y problems are to be solved i s through the establishment of regional autonomous areas. "According to the Constitution and the Law of Regional National Autonomy, regional national autonomy means that the minority n a t i o n a l i t i e s , under u n i f i e d state leadership, practise regional autonomy in areas where they l i v e i n compact communities, and e s t a b l i s h organs of self-government for the exercise of autonomy" (Beijing, Review 23-29 Nov. 1987: 25). Regional autonomy and the benefits accorded to minorities i n the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy are only practiced i n c e r t a i n areas of China. This results i n a large percentage of China's area being allocated as autonomous areas, prefectures or counties. 54 "Together, the autonomous administrative regions i n 1987 covered a t o t a l area of 6.1 m i l l i o n square kilometers (64 percent of the area of the country) and comprised a population of 142.5 m i l l i o n people, including more than 62.5 m i l l i o n members of national minorities" (Heberer 1989: 40). Even though these s t a t i s t i c s are s l i g h t l y outdated, two points become evident. F i r s t , although China's 55 minorities only comprise a l i t t l e over eight percent of the t o t a l population i n China, special areas designated as autonomous comprise over 60 percent of the t o t a l land mass. Second, i n those s p e c i a l l y designated areas, the minorities do not represent the majority, as they only comprise approximately 42 percent of the t o t a l population there. The implications of these s t a t i s t i c s w i l l be examined when we look at possible reasons for the d i v i s i o n of China into autonomous areas and the implementation of n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y by the PRC government. As emphasized above, the main aim of minority policy, and more s p e c i f i c a l l y the two Laws of Regional Autonomy, i s to aid the Communist Party of China and i t s c i t i z e n s to continue on the s o c i a l i s t path. In order to ensure a u n i f i e d , concerted e f f o r t then, i t has been decided that regional autonomy should be implemented. Nationality regional autonomy, under the u n i f i e d leadership of the nation, i s to carry out regional autonomy i n the areas inhabited by each minority, to set up autonomous administrations and to exercise autonomous ri g h t s . The implementation of n a t i o n a l i t y regional autonomy r e f l e c t s the nation's s p i r i t of f u l l y respecting and protecting every minorities rights to control t h e i r own internal a f f a i r s , and r e f l e c t s the nation's p r i n c i p l e of continually carrying out equality, u n i f i c a t i o n , and common prosperity for every minority (Government of China 1984: 2). 55 To state that these are the guiding p r i n c i p l e s that led to the adoption of special minority p o l i c i e s i s not to say that these were the only considerations. Other possible reasons or benefits from the implementation of such l e g i s l a t i o n w i l l be looked at shortly. The Law of Regional Autonomy: The P o l i c y I t s e l f The f i r s t Law of Regional Autonomy that accorded r i g h t s and pr i v i l e g e s to China's minorities was passed on February 22, 1952 and implemented two years l a t e r . Although t h i s law has been reformulated and amended over the years, t h i s f i r s t l e g i s l a t i o n should be c a r e f u l l y examined. By comparing the two laws of regional autonomy that were written t h i r t y years apart, one w i l l be better aware of any changes that have taken place with regard to minority benefits. This i s important because the 1954 Law of Regional Autonomy was heavily c r i t i c i z e d by the minorities on the basis that i t a c t u a l l y held few benefits and was merely a vague piece of l e g i s l a t i o n that promised great changes but held few. Therefore, i t i s important to compare the 1954 and 1984 laws to see i f any concrete differences are evident, and i f these changes in fact a c t u a l l y 'make a difference' as far as the minorities are concerned. The Regional Autonomy Law of 1954 The Regional Autonomy Law of 1954 guarantees many rights to the minorities that are already guaranteed to the Han. The majority are fundamental rights guaranteed to a l l c i t i z e n s of China, and are merely r e i f i c a t i o n of the constitution. For example, "[a]11 the people from the minorities enjoy equal rights 56 with l o c a l Han Chinese i n thought, speech, publication, meetings, association, communication, body, residence, movement, r e l i g i o n , and demonstration, which everyone must not discriminate against" (1954: 260). However, there are other clauses i n the Law of Regional Autonomy that refer to special benefits a l l o t t e d only to China's 55 recognized minorities. The majority of the a r t i c l e s i n the 1954 law refer to the regional autonomy of minorities, and appear to be somewhat vague. For example, one a r t i c l e reads "[t]he higher levels of the people's government must respect the autonomous rights of each autonomous region, and help to r e a l i z e those r i g h t s " (1954: 275). At no point i s 'respect' defined, and how those rights w i l l be 'realized' i s also not c l e a r l y delineated. Another area that i s mentioned i n the 1954 law has to do with representation of minorities i n the administrative units of autonomous governments. The law states that [t]he people's administration of the autonomous region should mainly be comprised of members from that n a t i o n a l i t y which c a r r i e s out regional autonomy; at the same time, i t should also include appropriate numbers of members from other minorities and Han Chinese from that autonomous region (1954: 272). I t becomes apparent that t h i s clause does not give concrete benefits to minorities as i t uses the word 'should' which leaves some degree of choice open to those i n power. Also, i t states that 'appropriate numbers' should come from other minorities and the Han. Who decides, and how many people (or what percentage) make up 'appropriate numbers' i s also l e f t to the d i s c r e t i o n of those i n power; Also, by including the Han i n t h i s l e g i s l a t i o n 57 i t i s i n fact not only b e n e f i t t i n g the minorities, but i s also protecting the rights of the majority. Along with rights come duties and obligations. These are also delineated i n the 1954 Law of Regional Autonomy. The emphasis on autonomous regions as being parts of a larger whole, inseparable from the People's Republic of China i s evident, as i s the fact that the autonomy afforded to the special units i s s t r i c t l y regulated by the PRC Government. "Every Nationality Autonomous Region i s an inseparable part of the t e r r i t o r y of the People's Republic of China. The autonomous administration of every Nationality Autonomous Region i s a f i r s t rank l o c a l regime under the common leadership of the Central Government" (1954: 270). The fact that the autonomous administrations must report to, and have t h e i r laws accepted by, the Central Government i s also written i n the 1984 l e g i s l a t i o n and i s a constant source of discontent amongst the minorities. The Regional Autonomy Law of 1984 The 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy i s the most a l l -encompassing piece of l e g i s l a t i o n giving rights to minorities i n China to date. The State Constitution of December 4, 1982 paved the way for the implementation of t h i s amended pol i c y , and in fact, many st i p u l a t i o n s i n the constitution were l a t e r written into the actual regional autonomy p o l i c y i t s e l f . "The Law of Regional Autonomy for Minority N a t i o n a l i t i e s was adopted on 31 May 1984 and came into operation on 1 October the same year. I t followed very c l o s e l y the ideas already l a i d down i n the State Constitution of 1982, but further embellished and strengthened 58 them" (Mackerras 1994: 156). In fact the f i r s t clause of t h i s l e g i s l a t i o n states that "[t]he Law of National Regional Autonomy in the Peoples Republic of China i s created according to the Constitution of the Peoples Republic of China" (Government of China 1984: 3). Like i t s 1954 predecessor, i t guarantees minorities the basic rights that the Han enjoy. For example, under Section 1 A r t i c l e 10 of the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy, i t states that minorities i n autonomous areas have the r i g h t to develop t h e i r own language and writing, and also the freedom to keep or reform t h e i r own customs and t r a d i t i o n s (1984: 4-5). But unlike the former 1954 law, i t seems to o f f e r more concrete benefits for China's 55 recognized minorities and attempts to expand those autonomous powers accorded to them 30 years e a r l i e r (Mackerras 1994: 155). Altogether there are seven sections i n the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy, which i s seventeen pages i n length. O f f i c i a l l y i t was put into e f f e c t to maintain, and emphasize the need for, unity amongst the n a t i o n a l i t i e s l i v i n g i n the PRC, as well as to f a c i l i t a t e movement along the s o c i a l i s t path. As i t s name i n f e r s , t h i s law's main focus i s to delineate the boundaries and to some extent ensure the implementation of autonomy for China's minority groups. The 1984 law states that China's n a t i o n a l i t y areas are divided into autonomous regions, prefectures, and counties with the greatest power being held by the regions. Like i t s predecessor 30 years e a r l i e r , the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy also emphasizes that these areas are inseparable parts of the 59 People's Republic of China (Government of China 1984: 3). While examining some of the s p e c i f i c benefits that the minorities have been accorded i n greater d e t a i l , i t i s important to point out that most of these benefits can only be r e a l i z e d by those minorities l i v i n g within the autonomous zones mentioned above. A large part of the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy i s devoted to delineating the control that the minorities have i n t h e i r own autonomous zones. "Autonomy does not mean that these regions have the ri g h t to secede from the sovereign t e r r i t o r y of the People's Republic of China, but i t does mean that, under the 'direction of higher aut h o r i t i e s , ' they enjoy cert a i n special rights over other administrative units" (Heberer 1989: 40). The limited autonomy that they receive i s one of the most c r i t i c i z e d aspects of n a t i o n a l i t y law. Although t e c h n i c a l l y they are allowed to decide whether to adopt, change or not implement State laws, t h e i r own laws must be approved by higher lev e l s of government. If resolutions, decisions, decrees and instructions of the higher-level state departments do not s u i t the p r a c t i c a l situations of the autonomous l o c a l i t i e s > the organizations of self-government may a l t e r or simply not implement them, provided that they have the approval of the state department concerned (Government of China 1984: 7). Although the minorities are supposed to be able to create t h e i r own laws according to t h e i r s p e c i f i c circumstances and needs, i t becomes apparent that they do have l i m i t a t i o n s . The p o l i c i e s that they choose to adopt must not only be i n accordance with the Constitution and the law (Beijing Review 25 June 1984: 18), but must be approved by higher lev e l s of government, which have the 60 ultimate decision when i t comes to adopting or vetoing a law. The People's Congress of the n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous areas have the r i g h t to create autonomous regulations and separate regulations according to the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h e i r l o c a l n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i t i c s , economy and culture. These autonomous regulations and separate regulations i n the autonomous region go into e f f e c t a f t e r being reported to the standing committee of the National People's Congress. The autonomous regulations and separate regulations of the autonomous prefectures and counties go into e f f e c t a f t e r being reported and approved by the standing committee of the People's Congress of the province or the autonomous region and put on record a f t e r being reported and approved by the standing committee of the National People's Congress (Government of China 1984: 7). Therefore, one must r e a l i z e that the minorities do not exercise t o t a l control over t h e i r areas, but rather p a r t i a l autonomy. This often does not r e s u l t i n the minorities a c t u a l l y governing t h e i r own a f f a i r s . According to t h e i r l o c a l s i t u a t i o n , the autonomous administrations of the n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous areas have the right to adopt special p o l i c i e s and s p e c i a l measures to accelerate the development of the economy and culture i n n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous areas when they are not against the p r i n c i p l e s of the constitution and the law (1984: 4). It seems that they are permitted to develop t h e i r own p o l i c i e s i n order to s u i t t h e i r unique s i t u a t i o n . However, the next a r t i c l e points out that t h i s autonomy i s never at cost to the whole. "The autonomous administration of the n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous areas must put the o v e r a l l interests of the whole nation f i r s t and e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y f u l f i l every task given to them by higher lev e l s of the national administration" (1984: 4). Therefore, what appears to be control of government i n recognized autonomous areas, i n fact r esults i n l i t t l e more than paper p r i v i l e g e s . Another of the more well known sections i n the Regional 61 Autonomy Law of 1984 focuses on the representation of minorities i n government. According to the law, The chairmanship of the autonomous region, head of the prefecture, and county magistrate s h a l l be c i t i z e n s of the n a t i o n a l i t y exercising regional autonomy. The other members of the People's Government i n the autonomous region, prefecture, county s h a l l be chosen from members of that n a t i o n a l i t y and other minorities exercising regional autonomy (1984: 6-7). As a r e s u l t of enacting t h i s law, minorities, once numerically underrepresented at a l l l e v e l s of government, now more than outnumber t h e i r actual percentage i n the population. "Of the 2,978 deputies to the Sixth National People's Congress (NPC) i n 1983, there were 405 from minorities, constituting 13.5 per cent of the t o t a l . The smallest ethnic minorities - the Hezhe and Lhoba - which have fewer than 2,000 people, have t h e i r own representatives i n the NPC" (Beijing Review 22 Oct. 1984: 7). Not only do minorities comprise a larger percentage of those who s i t i n government positions, but rights governing legal hearings have also been established. For example, when carrying out l i t i g a t i o n every minority i n d i v i d u a l has the r i g h t to have his/her own language used (Mackerras 1994: 156). The 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy also contains economic provisions for minorities who reside i n autonomous regions. "The n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous areas can launch foreign economic trade a c t i v i t i e s with the approval of the State and can also set up foreign trade ports with the approval of the State department" (Government of China 1984: 9). Not only are they permitted to deal i n foreign trade, but n a t i o n a l i t y governments are able to spend t h e i r own revenue from these transactions, and are able to 62 receive subsidies from higher l e v e l departments to o f f s e t t h e i r losses i f they have them (Beijing Review 25 June 1984: 18). Also, the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy s t i p u l a t e s that s p e c i a l funds must be set aside to help the minority areas develop t h e i r own culture and economy (Government of China 1984: 15). "To promote economic and c u l t u r a l development i n the minority areas, the state allocated more than 83 b i l l i o n yuan (about US $33 b i l l i o n ) between 1950 and 1983" (Beijing Review 22 Oct. 1984: 8). These minority regions even enjoy lower taxes on some projects as well (Government of China 1984: 8). Also under t h i s l e g i s l a t i o n , "[t]he autonomous administration of the n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous areas can, under the guidance of national planning and according to the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and needs of the l o c a l i t y , create economic p r i n c i p l e s , p o l i c i e s and plans" (1984: 8). However, as mentioned e a r l i e r , higher lev e l s of State government can reject any laws or decisions that they do not deem suitable. Lastly, when the state administration decides upon i t s means of production and means of subsistence, they must look a f t e r the needs of the minority areas according to the Law of Regional Autonomy (1984: 15). In conclusion, when comparing the two regional autonomy laws, i t becomes apparent that some economic benefits were added to the 1984 document. Whether these adjustments resulted i n any concrete economic dividends for China's minorities remains to be established however. Educational Benef i ts and the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy When China's minorities achieved the r i g h t to adapt or enact new p o l i c i e s and laws t h i s also i n d i r e c t l y allowed them autonomy 63 i n other areas. One of these i s education. "Autonomous areas may develop t h e i r educational system independently i n accordance with the state's educational p o l i c y , making t h e i r own plans, deciding on the establishment of schools, and the forms of schooling, the curriculum, the language used i n teaching and method of e n r o l l i n g students" ( B e i i i n q Review 25 June 1984: 18). The present s i t u a t i o n and benefits a l l o t t e d to minorities i n the area of education w i l l be addressed when education p o l i c i e s are examined i n greater d e t a i l . According to the state's education p o l i c y and the st i p u l a t i o n s of the law, the autonomous administration of the n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous area decides i t s l o c a l education programmes, school systems, forms of running schools, teaching content, languages of in s t r u c t i o n , method of enrolment for d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s and d i f f e r e n t kinds of schools (Government of China 1984: 11). Of course, these decisions a l l have to be approved by higher leve l s of government and there appears to be l i t t l e v a r i a t i o n between minority educational i n s t i t u t i o n s and Han i n s t i t u t i o n s . The state establishes n a t i o n a l i t y colleges and n a t i o n a l i t y classes and n a t i o n a l i t y preparatory courses s p e c i a l l y for the enrolment of minority students i n higher l e v e l u n i v e r s i t i e s . They can also adopt d i r e c t i o n a l enrolment and education measures. When higher l e v e l u n i v e r s i t i e s and vocational schools enrol new students, they must appropriately relax the enrolment c r i t e r i a and requirements for minority students (1984: 17). The s t i p u l a t i o n s above are somewhat vague as the words 'appropriately relax' and 'can' allow for choice on the part of those required to enact special p o l i c i e s . Also, variations can sometimes be seen i n the individual treatment of students, as some receive benefits because they are l i v i n g i n recognized autonomous areas. 64 Aside from the areas of p o l i t i c s , education, family planning, and economics, minorities l i v i n g within the autonomous regions enjoy other p r i v i l e g e s as outlined by the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy. For example, the law states "[w]hen the enterprises and i n s t i t u t i o n s i n the n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous areas r e c r u i t more members, minorities must be given p r i o r i t y ..." (1984: 8). Also> the autonomous areas have the right to r e c r u i t t h e i r own public security forces, although these f i r s t have to approved by the State department (1984: 8). This does not mean that a l l , or even a large percentage of, the p o l i c e and other security forces are minorities, but rather that the administrative unit holds the power to choose i t s own force. C r i t i c i s m s of China's Laws of Regional Autonomy There are many c r i t i c i s m s l e v e l l e d at the laws set up to benefit the minorities. The f i r s t i s with regard to representation i n government. The government and i t s o f f i c i a l s point to increases i n the number of minority representatives i n parliament to show that the Law of Regional Autonomy has brought about d e f i n i t e change. They quote that "[o]n a per capita r a t i o t h i s gives them twice the number of seats to which they would be e n t i t l e d on a simple percentage basis" ( S i n c l a i r 1987: 114). Having a higher percentage of minority delegates i n government promotes a p o s i t i v e image of the minorities, as well as shows the willingness of the government to bring about change. However, as S i n c l a i r makes clear, "these delegated are a l l l o y a l Party or government o f f i c i a l s who are not going to rock the ship of state..." (1987: 114). This means that i t does not matter i f 65 these minority representatives occupy seats i n government as they are often lo y a l to those i n power and are not l o y a l to t h e i r own minority. Also, larger percentages i n the government do not correspond to increases i n CCP membership. Mackerras states that t h i s increase i n elected representatives only refers to the government, not to the Party (CCP). In China there i s a d i s t i n c t i o n between Party and the government, with the members of the CCP holding more power than elected government representatives (Mackerras 1994: 156). Therefore, promising the minorities larger representation i n government i s not as important an act as i t f i r s t appears, because control s t i l l remains with the Han. Although the 1954 and 1984 Laws of Regional Autonomy accorded some fundamental rights to minorities throughout China, these laws focussed on those l i v i n g within the various designated autonomous regions. This presents a problem f o r those minorities who l i v e outside of these domains. Approximately 11 m i l l i o n members of national minorities (roughly one-sixth of the t o t a l ) l i v e outside autonomous regions i n 'mixed' regions; another 5.7 m i l l i o n have no autonomy because of t h e i r r e l a t i v e l y sparse settlement patterns. Since these 18.7 m i l l i o n enjoy no e f f e c t i v e autonomy, i t i s doubly d i f f i c u l t for them to lay claim to any rights at a l l , l e t alone to r e a l i z e them (Heberer 1989: 53). This leaves them with two options: to move to a minority area or to go without many of the p r i v i l e g e s accorded to others who are the same n a t i o n a l i t y as themselves. I f they wish to relocate i n minority areas, minority members must f i r s t have permission from the Central Government and then from the autonomous 66 administration of the minority area. Also, they, i n moving into an autonomous area, have far greater l i k e l i h o o d of being with those l a b e l l e d the same as themselves and w i l l reside i n the border regions as t h i s i s where the majority of autonomous areas are located. Thus, although the laws of regional autonomy accord minorities equal rights and benefits, some minority indiv i d u a l s are unable to r e a l i z e them. The next c r i t i c i s m of minority l e g i s l a t i o n l i e s i n the discrepancy between adoption of laws and evidence that these laws are being car r i e d out. That i s , adopting a p o l i c y does not necessary mean that i t w i l l be put into p r a c t i c e . "For that reason, laws are i n e f f e c t u a l because they remain subordinate to the party's claim for p o l i t i c a l power, and thereby leave the minority population subject to the despotism and a r b i t r a r y w i l l s of authorities and functionaries" (Heberer 1989: 43). Even i f these laws are implemented as they are written i n the Constitution, many clauses are too vague or d i f f i c u l t to enforce and do not o f f e r any concrete benefits to China's national minorities. Formally, the 1984 law grants the autonomous units more ri g h t s . But evaluation of the law reveals that the clauses are formulated i n such general terms that the law i s i n e f f e c t u a l without supplemental and substantial l e g i s l a t i o n . They may provide guidelines for future l e g i s l a t i v e regulations, but for now t h e i r l e g i s l a t i v e bark i s stronger than t h e i r b i t e (1989: 43). Therefore, although the laws appear promising at f i r s t , perhaps the symbolism of adopting laws for minorities c a r r i e s more weight and si g n i f i c a n c e than the actual laws themselves. Also, The Communist Party of China considers a set of legal 67 instruments s u f f i c i e n t protection for the rights of minorities. But Chinese experience has shown that during periods of ideol o g i c a l and p o l i t i c a l r a d i c a l i z a t i o n , laws and legal decrees quickly lose t h e i r force. The 'laws' therefore o f f e r no legal security, at least as long as the Communist Party stands above the law (1989: 43). Also, as was evidenced when the history of minorities i n China was discussed, p o l i c i e s toward minorities have fluctuated over time. Not only have d i f f e r e n t governments i n China adopted various measures, but the governments themselves have been known to change t h e i r views toward minorities while i n power. Thus, act u a l l y having the laws does not mean that they w i l l be enforced. Is Contro l l ed Autonomy Rea l ly Autonomy? As has been mentioned above, the largest c r i t i c i s m of Regional Autonomy Law i s that i t does not a f f o r d enough control to the minorities and t h e i r autonomous administrations. [A]utonomy i s subject to the in t e r e s t of both the state and the Communist Party of China. The constitution (which i n t e r a l i a implies adherence to the s o c i a l i s t system) and precepts of the state at large are binding for a l l n a t i o n a l i t i e s . Within t h i s scope, the n a t i o n a l i t i e s are t h e o r e t i c a l l y e n t i t l e d to make t h e i r own decisions on development concepts - that i s , with approval from above. This approval requirement i s i n ef f e c t a safeguard against a region or minority i n one way or another p u l l i n g out of the union. Thus autonomy i s severely r e s t r i c t e d from the very outset (1989: 52). In theory, the autonomous administrations have the right to create t h e i r own laws or choose not to implement state laws. In r e a l i t y however, i f the state does not support the changes proposed by the autonomous administration, i t can override these decisions as a parent does a c h i l d . In these regions, the language(s) and writing(s) of the 68 region's autonomous n a t i o n a l i t y (or n a t i o n a l i t i e s ) should be used; administration must (or should) be i n the hands of functionaries from the minority population; the regions can promulgate t h e i r own laws and regulations, draw up t h e i r own production plans (within the bounds of the central state plan), and choose t h e i r own path of economic and c u l t u r a l development (within the l i n e s of the constitution). Furthermore, the autonomous regions can administer l o c a l finances themselves (within the framework of f i n a n c i a l planning for the state as a whole), and can have t h e i r own l o c a l security forces (1989: 40-41). In the above quote, Heberer notes that following these laws i s not a necessity but a choice. In sum, the autonomy afforded the autonomous regions i s limited autonomy at best. 69 Chapter Four: Other P o l i c i e s that Af f ec t M i n o r i t i e s China's M i n o r i t i e s and Education: Other Benef i ts Aside from those s t i p u l a t i o n s i n the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy, minorities enjoy other educational benefits as well. 'Nationality Schools,' i n which the language of the l o c a l minority or minorities i s the language of in s t r u c t i o n , have been restored or new ones established in recent years i n minority regions. Children from ethnic minorities may study i n these n a t i o n a l i t y schools at state expense u n t i l they complete the upper le v e l of secondary school, which allows them to take part i n the u n i v e r s i t i e s ' admission examinations (Heberer 1989: 50). As w i l l be mentioned l a t e r , during the l a t e 1970s a campaign against l o c a l nationalism led the government of China to change the language of i n s t r u c t i o n i n minority schools and u n i v e r s i t i e s . Since the 1900s n a t i o n a l i t y schools have had the option of teaching i n t h e i r own languages. However, i n the l a t e 1970s t h i s p r i v i l e g e was l i f t e d and classes were a l l taught i n China's o f f i c i a l language regardless of what i n s t i t u t i o n students were attending. This i s because in s t r u c t i n g minorities i n t h e i r own languages was seen to promote l o c a l nationalism and s u p e r i o r i t y complexes amongst the minorities and to contradict integration and national unity. However, in the 1980s, [g]uided by t h i s new orientation toward minority n a t i o n a l i t i e s , the Chinese government restored the use of minority languages, provided additional funds for construction of minority schools, developed textbooks in minority languages, and paid more attention to t r a i n i n g minority cadres and teachers (Lee 1986: 100, 103). Aside from investment at the i n s t i t u t i o n a l l e v e l , i n dividual study incentives were also increased. " I t also increased annual 70 educational subsidies to minority students from three to f i v e yuan per student i n primary schools and from fourteen to twenty yuan per student i n middle schools" (Lee 1986: 103). These sums of money, although very l i t t l e , perhaps play an important role i n the delineation and maintenance of n a t i o n a l i t y boundaries as they separate minorities who receive benefits, from the Han who do not. Although members of the same minority l i v i n g i n the same area receive the same monthly allotment, the amount of t h i s study incentive varies from minority to minority. The perspectives of some minority students who receive t h i s money w i l l be discussed when examining the s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n of Korean-Chinese students i n the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture. Minority students who enter u n i v e r s i t y or college also enjoy other advantages that t h e i r Han peers do not. "Many u n i v e r s i t i e s have set up courses to help prepare minority applicants for the examinations, for which t h e i r passing grade i s lower than for Han" (Heberer 1989: 51). Minorities can enter u n i v e r s i t i e s with lower entrance exam scores than the majority. However, t h i s p r i v i l e g e varies from minority to minority and i s region dependent as well. Nevertheless, preparatory courses and lower entrance requirements allow some minority individuals a chance to receive the higher education that they would not have had i f these laws were not i n place. Also, there are n a t i o n a l i t y u n i v e r s i t i e s , colleges and i n s t i t u t e s , that admit Han students, but for the most part give enrolment preference to those belonging to China's 55 recognized minority groups. To ensure greater p a r t i c i p a t i o n of minority students i n college programmes, minority applicants i n areas where national minorities l i v e i n compact communities have been granted admission with scores on college entrance exams 10-20 points lower than for Han students and they can answer the exam questions i n t h e i r own languages (Beijing Review 17 Nov. 1980: 8). Some minority students are even offered special courses and scholarships i n order to encourage them to remain i n t h e i r autonomous region a f t e r graduation. "Eleven N a t i o n a l i t i e s Institutes (minzu xuevuan - special u n i v e r s i t i e s ) o f f e r s p e c i a l i z e d courses for students from minority regions i f they agree to return to t h e i r region. Admission i s based on a quota system of so many persons of each n a t i o n a l i t y " (Heberer 1989: 51). It w i l l become apparent however, that some of these benefits also come with obligations. Thus, although these p r i v i l e g e s allow for greater opportunities for minority students, they also place added stress and pressure on these in d i v i d u a l s . Concerns With Regard to Minor i ty Education The advantages that minorities enjoy also come with some disadvantages as well. The f i r s t can be seen as an i n d i r e c t r e s u l t of the newly renewed emphasis on aiding minorities i n general. Yanj i u Tuanj i e , a popular journal i n China, stated that some Han individuals are resorting to bribery and other f a l s e measures i n order achieve minority status. Since members of ethnic minorities should be given p r i o r i t y i n admission to i n s t i t u t i o n s of higher learning as well as i n h i r i n g and promotion, Han Chinese have attempted i n recent years to r e g i s t e r t h e i r children i n minority regions through i l l e g a l means, including bribery and connections, and have them declared members of national minorities. They also submit f a l s i f i e d proof that t h e i r ancestors were members of minorities (1989: 51). 72 Although o f f i c i a l l y , government spokespeople do not admit that t h i s i s a large problem, both Han individuals and minority members note that t h i s i s often the case. One Han individual stated that he had paid 10,000 Renminbi (equivalent to about $1600 Canadian) per person for himself and his wife to become minority c i t i z e n s . He stated that i t i s quite easy to change one's status from Han to minority i f one has the money. In t h e i r case, the couple wanted to change t h e i r o f f i c i a l status so that they could enjoy minority benefits, which include educational opportunities for t h e i r daughter, as weli as the chance to have another c h i l d . After t h e i r minority status was changed, they decided not to have a second c h i l d but s t i l l wanted to maintain t h e i r newly established status (Interview #5 June 1996). Another problem voiced by minorities with regard to education i s the concern that with educational aid and an increased education l e v e l , some individuals w i l l either subconsciously become more l i k e the Han, or w i l l d e l i b e r a t e l y turn t h e i r backs on t h e i r minority i d e n t i t y . Although China has special n a t i o n a l i t y u n i v e r s i t i e s , t h i s does not necessarily mean that the language of i n s t r u c t i o n i s a minority language. As w i l l be seen l a t e r , although Yanbian University i n J i l i n Province was the f i r s t minority u n i v e r s i t y established i n China and i s situated i n the heart of the Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Mandarin Chinese i s used as the language of in s t r u c t i o n . Therefore, [t]here i s a danger that the future upper stratum of minorities w i l l no longer know t h e i r own ethnic language and w i l l spurn t h e i r own ethnic group... A 73 r i s e i n the l e v e l of education would come to mean an increased a s s i m i l a t i o n and s i n i f i c a t i o n of the minority populations, and a decreased l e v e l of i d e n t i t y for these people (Heberer 1989: 51). As was evident when discussing minority members i n congress, i t i s feared that an increase i n educational l e v e l could r e s u l t i n individuals distancing themselves from t h e i r c u l t u r a l heritage and way of l i f e i n favour of the Han l i f e s t y l e . Family Planning and China's M i n o r i t i e s Presently the one-child p o l i c y i n China i s s t r i c t l y enforced. I t has been i n e f f e c t since the 1970s and i s an e f f o r t to reduce China's growing population and aid i t s s o c i a l i s t drive. The plan c a l l s for each couple to have only one c h i l d , and for families with one c h i l d to enjoy certain advantages (monthly subsidies, better kindergartens and schools, larger residences, larger plots of t i l l a b l e land i n the countryside, e t c . ) . These advantages are to lapse i f an additional c h i l d i s born. However, i f the f i r s t c h i l d i s handicapped or dies, another b i r t h i s permissible. Exceptions to the rule are peasants i n problem areas, ethnic minorities, and couples themselves who were only children, a l l of whom are allowed to have more than one c h i l d (1989: 74). When asked how China enforces t h i s policy, Chen Muhua, Director of the National Family Planning Committee, had several responses. She stated that the launch of propaganda campaigns and the education of the masses are e f f e c t i v e measures (Guanqming Ribao 27 Oct. 1981). Other methods include to: [ e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y advocate late marriage, late pregnancy, fewer b i r t h s , eugenics, encourage one c h i l d per couple, supply couples that adopt b i r t h control measures with free preventative pregnancy medicine and instruments, o f f e r free s t e r i l i z a t i o n operations, and of f e r paid recuperation for those who undergo such operations (27 Oct. 1981). It i s not the purpose of t h i s paper to discuss the merits or 74 drawbacks of such l e g i s l a t i o n , but rather to point out b r i e f l y that the one-child p o l i c y does e x i s t . China's recognized minorities have by and large been exempt from following t h i s p o l i c y . However, in the early 1980s, the Chinese government o f f i c i a l l y stated that minorities would no longer be t o t a l l y exempt from family planning, although i t was stressed that they would not have to follow the p o l i c y to the same extent as the Han. "In The Instructions About Further Improving Family Planning announced by the Central Government of the Communist Party and the State i n 1982, i t c l e a r l y s tipulated: 'the minorities also must adopt the p o l i c y of family planning, but the requirements should be relaxed a l i t t l e . ' " (Xu 1986: 36). After t h i s decision was passed, the Central government allowed the autonomous administrations to implement and enforce t h e i r own family planning according to t h e i r special needs. However, only two years l a t e r , the Central Government imposed i t s own r e s t r i c t i o n s . Changes to the 1980 p o l i c y that further r e s t r i c t e d c h i l d b i r t h s appeared i n the Xinan Minzu Xueyan Xuebao soon a f t e r . In 1984 the central authorities ruled that the one-c h i l d family should be encouraged for minorities comprising more than ten m i l l i o n members (which has so far affected only one group, the Zhuang) and that a l l other n a t i o n a l i t i e s could have two children per couple, and under special circumstances even three; four children or more were not to be permitted (Heberer 1989: 81-82). Thus, although i t f i r s t appears that the Central Government l e f t the issue of family planning s o l e l y up to the autonomous administrations, t h i s was not the case. Document 117, announced i n October 1985, c l e a r l y s tipulated that i n c i t i e s and towns two children per 75 couple i s advocated for minorities, three children are allowed for couples with sp e c i a l circumstances; i n the countryside (including pastoral areas) three children are allowed per couple, and four children are allowed for those with sp e c i a l circumstances. One c h i l d per couple i s not encouraged for the minorities (Xu 1986: 37). Therefore, l i m i t s on minority autonomy have once again been evidenced. However, some minorities are able to support t h e i r own autonomous administration's family planning p o l i c i e s while not contradicting those of the government. As some p o l i c i e s were implemented by the autonomous governments of each region, there has been some v a r i a t i o n between and among groups. Some p o l i c i e s enacted by the autonomous governments support up to four children, while a large number encourage two to be the maximum (Heberer 1989: 82). I t i s interes t i n g to note that as these p o l i c i e s are only v a l i d within autonomous areas. There i s no mention made of special p o l i c i e s for minorities that l i v e outside of these areas. Poss ib le Reasons for Relaxat ion of Family Planning for M i n o r i t i e s Although possible reasons for the implementation and approval of special p o l i c i e s for China's 55 recognized minorities w i l l be addressed i n the next section, i t i s important to point out that the relaxation of minority b i r t h control p o l i c y could be related to the percentage that the minorities hold of the t o t a l population. Some minorities are a f r a i d that i f they reduce or control t h e i r b i r t h s i t could r e s u l t i n a reduction of t h e i r percentage of China's population. As they see i t , t h i s could r e s u l t i n a loss of ri g h t s and/or benefits, or perhaps even an end to recognition as an o f f i c i a l minority. This could be based 76 on the fact that "[t]he l i f e expectancy of minorities i s lower than that of Han. There are manifold reasons for t h i s , among them poorer l i v i n g , work, geographical, and n u t r i t i o n a l conditions" (Heberer 1989: 92). However, as Xu points out, t h i s kind of concern i s unwarranted. Since the establishment of New China the growth of minorities has exceeded that of the national average. If the family p o l i c y i s followed as planned, the population of China's 55 minorities w i l l s t i l l s t e a d i l y increase (1986: 38). I t i s important to c l a r i f y however, that the average percentage of b i r t h s for minorities w i l l s t e a d i l y increase i f current trends continue. Thus, perhaps some minorities who have shown steady decreases i n population growth and corresponding drops i n population numbers ac t u a l l y do have reason for concern. Therefore, perhaps t h i s could have been a factor that resulted in the relaxation of population p o l i c y for China's minorities. C o n f l i c t s Between Family Planning and China's M i n o r i t i e s Being r e s t r i c t e d to having only one c h i l d can c o n f l i c t with the values and b e l i e f s of some minority cultures or merely not coincide with individual desires. Many minorities prefer to have more than one c h i l d i n order to guarantee that someone w i l l care for them when they are aged, because they f e e l the need to combat the mortality rate or the presumed mortality rate, and because some minorities place emphasis on having sons to carry on the family name (Heberer 1989: 79). "For them, to have more male heirs means more blessing for the parents" (Yan 1989: 80). Some minorities that have t r a d i t i o n a l l y had large families do not see the necessity of reducing b i r t h s . In fact, they tend to be 77 extremely wary of government encouragement, as i t i s viewed as a method of adaptation, where one could lose one's culture and become less l i k e 'us' and more l i k e 'them'. "Birth control seems to many minorities to be an attempt at assimilation, making family planning i n these regions an explosive issue" (Heberer 1989: 79). Therefore, reducing the number of b i r t h s , whether through force or through encouragement, presents some serious problems for many minorities. While some minorities are concerned that t h e i r population w i l l dwindle as a r e s u l t of encouraging one c h i l d per couple, t h e i r Han counterparts are a f r a i d of the opposite. As the one-c h i l d p o l i c y i s s t r i c t l y enforced for the Han, they do not see how the minority populations can do anything other than occupy a greater and greater percentage of the t o t a l population. "In 1986, according to o f f i c i a l data, 99.7 percent of the Han but only 66 percent of minorities adhered to family planning p o l i c i e s " (Renmin Ribao May 3, 1987 i n Heberer 1989: 83). If t h i s trend continues, perhaps the Han w i l l occupy a smaller and smaller majority, u n t i l the minorities become the majority. "A population expert calculated that the Han could be only a bare majority, i f at a l l , i n just 100 years i f the one-child family were to become the rule for the Han" (1989: 84-85). However, the majority of Chinese, both Han and minorities, do not believe that t h i s could happen. In fact, both sides state that there would be no need to severely r e s t r i c t minority b i r t h s as the Han w i l l never be outnumbered by the minorities. 78 Some Other Concerns for China's M i n o r i t i e s Another area of minority discontent i s the lack of control they have i n regulating immigrants moving into t h e i r autonomous zones. Assimilation i s not d i r e c t l y intended (as i t was during the C u l t u r a l Revolution), but the creation of a Han majority i n the minority regions w i l l undoubtedly encourage i t . And the fact that the minorities perceive i t i n t h i s way i s shown by t h e i r resistance to the i n f l u x of Han and to mixed marriages (Heberer 1989: 98). In the 1984 Law of Regional Autonomy there i s a s t i p u l a t i o n that protects the Han by guaranteeing the e l e c t i o n of Han individuals to minority regions. Therefore, some non-minorities must l i v e within China's recognized autonomous areas. The steady increase of Han into these regions has resulted i n the minorities a c t u a l l y comprising a smaller and smaller percentage of the population i n n a t i o n a l i t y autonomous areas. The Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture i s an excellent example. When the area was established the Korean-Chinese held the majority. However, in combination with t h e i r low b i r t h rate and the increasing numbers of Han relocating to the area, the combined percentage of minorities i n the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture (all-f i f t e e n minorities) i s not as great as the percentage of the Han majority occupying the area. As many minorities see i t , [iImmigration p o l i c y was and i s a v i o l a t i o n of the rights of the autonomy of minorities, even i f i t has helped to create an i n d u s t r i a l base for t h e i r regions. The autonomous administrative units have neither the means nor the rights to undertake countermeasures. The i n f l u x of large segments of the Han population undermines the strength of the autonomous minority of a region, and i t can also disrupt the economic structure (1989: 97-98). 79 However, according to the government of China, there are important reasons that support the migration of Han to minority areas. F i r s t l y , a larger population would make better use of the abundant natural resources that occupy many minority areas. Secondly, an increase i n population (Han) would serve as greater protection against foreign threat and invasion and would make the borders more m i l i t a r i l y secure. Next, internal migration from areas of high population density (Han areas) to those of low population density (minority regions) would r e s u l t i n an evening out of population density and re l i e v e the burden i n overpopulated areas, while s t i l l b e n e f i t t i n g the less populated ones. Lastly, the mixing of Hah and minorities could lead to lead to integration of minorities into the 'Chinese' mainstream (1989: 96). However, i n c o n f l i c t with the reasons espoused by the government of China, the minorities see t h i s i n f l u x of 'others' into recognized minority areas as a threat to themselves and to the autonomy that they hold so dear (Interview #1 March 1996). Minor i ty P o l i c y : Why was i t Created? In the previous section, the benefits accorded to just over eight percent of China's population were examined, as were the problems and contradictions that have resulted. It i s now important to examine why these p o l i c i e s have been put i n place -why those that hold the power and are c l e a r l y i n the majority have w i l l i n g l y adopted special l e g i s l a t i o n to aid the minorities. It i s important both to examine the o f f i c i a l reasons given, as well as to speculate on other possible factors that played a rol e . 80 To successfully continue along the s o c i a l i s t path, China has emphasized both the four modernizations and the development of i t s economy. Giving a i d and other benefits to the minorities who l i v e i n China's border areas then, holds s t r a t e g i c importance as far as the government of China i s concerned. This i s f i r s t due to the abundance of resources i n China's border regions. "Minority areas contain large quantities of unworked mineral deposits, the majority of China's forestland, and over 80 percent of her meat-, milk-, and wool-supplying animals. E f f e c t i v e e xploitation of these could r e s u l t i n a marked improvement of the Chinese standard of l i v i n g " (Dreyer 1976: 4). Not only are valuable resources available, but the minorities provide a cheap work force w i l l i n g to extract such minerals. Therefore, the e f f o r t s of the minorities (as well as the Han l i v i n g i n the area) w i l l not only r e s u l t i n r a i s i n g t h e i r standard of l i v i n g , but w i l l also benefit the whole nation. Next, the area occupied by a large percentage of China's minorities i s st r a t e g i c for another reason as well. Located i n China's outlying areas, the autonomous regions and the minorities l i v i n g there are important for border defense. As Marx stated, the ideal i s to have a large u n i f i e d country, rather than a smaller one. By occupying the outer areas that perhaps the Han are not as w i l l i n g to l i v e i n , the minorities are able to strengthen China's p o s i t i o n . If h o s t i l e to [Beijing] government, such minorities could weaken border defense, increase the danger of attack by a foreign power, and r e s u l t i n loss of t e r r i t o r y for the Chinese People's Republic (CPR). Conversely, an e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y Communist Chinese 81 minority group not only strengthens border defense, but provides p o t e n t i a l for i n f i l t r a t i n g a neighboring state's borders and for increasing the t e r r i t o r y of the CPR (1976: 3). The outlying areas are not nearly as densely populated as China's other regions. In fact, although China's 55 recognized minorities only comprise approximately eight percent of the t o t a l population, t h e i r occupation of about 60 percent of China's t o t a l land mass (a large percentage of which i s located i n border areas) allows them some power and leverage. Since so many of China's minority n a t i o n a l i t i e s l i v e near borders, they have inevitably exercised some e f f e c t on China's r e l a t i o n s with i t s neighbours, i n some cases s i g n i f i c a n t l y , i n others i n only a mild or unimportant way. Many of China's minorities have conationals on the other side of the PRC's borders with foreign countries (Mackerras 1994: 167). The Korean Autonomous Prefecture, situated i n China's North-Eastern J i l i n province, i n fact borders North Korea, the area from which the Korean-Chinese 1 ancestors came from. If discontent were to surface, the Korean minority could side with i t s conationals i n North Korea, or even secede and move across the border. In conclusion, keeping the minorities content with t h e i r present s i t u a t i o n i s important for accomplishing the s o c i a l i s t drive as well as for ensuring that China's borders are well protected. Another factor that could have led to the introduction of such favorable p o l i c i e s i s the i d e o l o g i c a l importance of such benefits. Although, i n the case of the Korean minority, many of the benefits accorded to them are l e f t unused or do not amount to any major changes, they are unwilling to give them up. Three 82 Korean-Chinese individuals stated that t h i s i s because of the 'feelings' that come as a r e s u l t of these benefits, and the fact that they are one of China's o f f i c i a l national minorities (Interviews #1, #7, and #10 June 1996). By a l l o c a t i n g special benefits to the minorities i n order for them to 'feel s p e c i a l 1 , t h i s serves to reduce t h e i r discontent and demonstrates the success of China's p o l i t i c a l system. "A prosperous, contented minority population i s l i v i n g proof of the successes the Chinese model of socialism can have for non-Han peoples. On the other hand, r e b e l l i o u s minority groups protesting oppression can only lend credence to the claims of the enemies of the CPR" (Dreyer 1976: 4). Not only does i t show of f China's strengths, but i t i s also a mechanism used to minimize China's bad reputation as far as i t s human rights are concerned. These p o l i c i e s also serve as a way to make up for past i n j u s t i c e s , which according to those currently i n power, were not the f a u l t of t h e i r government, but rather of governments i n the past. In t h i s sense i t tends to reduce the fears of some minorities with regard to assimilation, as t e l e v i s i o n , radio and other propaganda advertise China's contented minorities. Therefore, while aiding China along i t s s o c i a l i s t path, giying special considerations to i t s 55 minorities also has other r e s u l t s . 83 Chapter F i v e : Putt ing Theory to P r a c t i c e : The Korean Case The Korean M i n o r i t y : Why i t Represents a Spec ia l Case To t h i s point, the construction, i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and history of minorities i n China have been addressed. The current laws pertaining to China's 55 minorities i n the areas of education and c h i l d b i r t h as well as t h e i r autonomous p o l i c i e s have also been examined. It i s now important to use t h i s information -- to examine how the unique s i t u a t i o n of the minorities i n China, combined with the present p o l i c i e s have resulted i n t h e i r present circumstances. To accomplish t h i s , the remainder of t h i s work w i l l focus on one minority, the Korean-Chinese, as they are a special case. As early as the l a t e 1950s "[t]he Koreans seemed to be adapting rather well, and t h e i r achievements were usually praised throughout China: they were c i t e d as models i n the l o c a l as well as national press. The Koreans were far from being a 'trouble-making' n a t i o n a l i t y " ( O l i v i e r 1993: 89). This essay w i l l focus mainly on t h e i r achievements i n the respects of education and reduction i n c h i l d b i r t h s , although these are not the only areas that set the Korean minority apart from the others. Their educational l e v e l and adherence to the one-child p o l i c y praised as being the highest among the minorities, but they have even surpassed the Han i n these respects. These two factors w i l l be examined to show the steps the Korean-Chinese took to achieve t h e i r present position, how they adapted and/or used the benefits accrued to them as minorities, and the concerns they have with 84 regard to t h e i r l i v e s i n China and present minority p o l i c y . The Koreans: T h « i r immigration To China The h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t i o n of the Korean minority i n the context of China i s unique. U n t i l about the 1950s, i n contrast to most n a t i o n a l i t i e s whose populations were regulated p r i m a r i l y through natural reproduction, the population of the Korean minority was dependent on immigration from Korea. Although they can be seen as r e l a t i v e l y recent immigrants, there appears to be l i t t l e consensus as to when the Koreans f i r s t came to China. Some scholars state that Koreans migrated to China as early as the Tang Dynasty, while others believe the migration occurred at the end of the Ming dynasty or beginning of the Qing Dynasty. Some theoris t s argue that Koreans didn't s e t t l e i n China's Northeast u n t i l much l a t e r , i n the middle of the nineteenth century ( J i n 1984: 80). However, the majority of scholars agree that the f i r s t waves of Koreans who came to China should not be linked to China's present day Korean minority. This i s because a large percentage of them were i l l e g a l immigrants and they were not i n China for a substantial length of time. Koreans arrived i n China before the middle of the 19th century. Some went w i l l i n g l y , while others were forced to go. During the Qing Dynasty, more Koreans entered China, t h i s time through i l l e g a l means. However, most of them were forced to return to Korea by the Chinese government. The few s e t t l e r s that remained i n China, larg e l y i n Liaoning province, did not tend to keep t h e i r Korean l i f e s t y l e . Instead, they assimilated into the Han culture and adapted the Han way of l i f e . For t h i s reason, 85 the immigrants who came during these e a r l i e r periods have no clear linkages to China's present day Korean minority (1984: 80). According to Huang, Korean immigration to China can be seen as consisting of four periods: 1) l a t e 1600s to mid 1800s; 2) mid 1800s to early 1900s; 3) around the 1910s; and 4) 1920s to 1940s (1993: 57). The f i r s t period of immigrants, as noted above, i s not considered as having strong linkages with the Korean minority i n China and are therefore not relevant to t h i s discussion. However, the l a t t e r three periods w i l l now be discussed. The second period of Korean immigration, which began i n the middle of the nineteenth century, can be characterized as immigration due to economic hardship. In the 1860s, natural disasters which resulted i n famine i n two of Korea's northern provinces, Hamgyong and P'yongan, led to the immigration of Koreans across the border into China ( O l i v i e r 1993: 19). However, t h i s was i l l e g a l immigration and was not supported by either China or Korea. I t was not u n t i l 1879 that a treaty was signed to promote f r i e n d l y r e l a t i o n s between the two countries, and afforded protection for those Koreans already residing i n China. However, i t was made clear that further immigration would not be tolerated on both sides (1993: 19). Construction of railways, and a treaty signed i n 1883 that regulated trade between J i l i n Province and neighboring Korea, led to the removal of the ban on immigration j u s t a few years l a t e r . The removal of t h i s r e s t r i c t i o n led to mass immigration of Koreans into China's Northeastern J i l i n Province, mainly along the Tumen River, i n the 86 present day Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture (1993: 19). Thus the l a t t e r part of the 19th century saw an i n f l u x of Koreans who were escaping the famine i n t h e i r home country and hoping to better t h e i r l i v e s i n Northeast China. The t h i r d period, which began around 1910, also saw large numbers of Koreans s e t t l i n g i n China's northeastern provinces. "According to Japanese figures, between 1910 and 1920, 98,657 Koreans migrated to the north of the Yalu River i n the region west of the Sino-Korean border, while 93,883 went to the area north of the Tumen River to the east, making a t o t a l of 192,540" (Mackerras 1994: 124). At t h i s time, Japan had annexed Korea and was a large presence i n t h i s country. Koreans revolutionaries who opposed the Japanese, and Koreans fearing Japanese exploitation, f r e e l y migrated to China (Huang 1993: 58-59). "The annexation of Korea set o f f a big wave of Korean immigration into Northeast China that affected not only Yanbian, but the whole Northeast. That s i g n i f i c a n t l y altered the character of Korean immigration, with p o l i t i c a l reasons for emigration becoming increasingly more important" ( O l i v i e r 1993: 21-22). As was the case i n the late 1880s, a treaty was signed r e l a t i n g to Koreans l i v i n g i n China. This document, the Sino-Japanese Agreement, was signed by Japan and China i n September of 1909 (Lee 1986: 17). "In accordance with A r t i c l e 5, Koreans were given the right to own land and dwellings, to f r e e l y cross the Tumen River i n either d i r e c t i o n , and to export t h e i r products from Yanbian. Meanwhile, by 1910, there were more than a quarter of a m i l l i o n Koreans i n Manchuria" (1986: 19). More importantly; the recognized presence 87 of the Koreans i n China supplied the Japanese with an excuse to govern t h e i r a f f a i r s there. "As soon as Japan annexed Korea i n 1910, i t claimed that a l l Koreans i n China were, by d e f i n i t i o n , Japanese subjects. The Japanese used Koreans as a convenient vehicle for expanding t h e i r influence i n Manchuria at a time when China was preoccupied with the confusing dynamics of governmental changes and warlord p o l i t i c s " (1986: 19). Thus, the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n Korea during the 1910s led to the migration of Koreans into China. The l a s t period, 1920-1945, can be characterized as impelled immigration due to economic factors. Japanese rule i n Korea resulted i n many Koreans losing t h e i r land and l i v e l i h o o d , and t h i s made Koreans w i l l i n g to make new l i v e s i n China (Huang 1993: 57-60). The number of Korean residents i n China grew to about 459,000 i n 1920 and to about 607,000 i n 1930. A large majority of Koreans went to China to avoid economic hardship at home and to seek new opportunities on the bustling Manchurian f r o n t i e r . . . S t i l l others escaped Japan's repressive c o l o n i a l r u l e i n Korea and joined the r i s i n g anti-Japanese movements i n Manchuria (Lee 1986: 22). However, i n many cases l i f e i n China was not as easy as i t had f i r s t appeared. During the 1920s i n Manchuria "[m]any Koreans suffered from a combination of hardship and tragedy - capricious l o c a l taxation and economic exploitation, armed banditry, mass a t r o c i t i e s , and various physical punishments" (1986: 22-23). Upon r e a l i z i n g that t h e i r circumstances had only worsened i n China, some of those who had l e f t Korea w i l l i n g l y returned i n the 1920s. The s i t u a t i o n was so severe that the number of 88 repatriates that returned to Korea reached 35 percent by 1928 (1986: 23). In the early 1930s the trend changed again, when many Koreans were forced to relocate to mainland China. "Korean migration i n t e n s i f i e d when Japan ac t u a l l y set up i t s state of Manchuria i n 1932. The Japanese adopted a fifteen-year plan to move some 1.5 m i l l i o n Koreans to Manchuria which, though never f u l l y implemented, made a very substantial impact on the Korean population i n China" (Mackerras 1994: 124). Lee states that the reasoning behind t h i s plan was twofold. F i r s t l y , the Japanese were i n desperate need of labour to help carry out t h e i r ambitions i n the newly established Manchukuo, which was the state that the Japanese set up i n northern China. And secondly, by sending the Koreans abroad, the Japanese encountered l i t t l e resistance when they took over Korean farmlands (Lee 1986: 27). Even though the 15-year plan was not f u l l y implemented, the number of Koreans i n China passed the m i l l i o n mark i n 1938 and reached about 1.3 m i l l i o n i n 1941 - the year when the P a c i f i c War started. Unlike e a r l i e r Korean immigrants, the new ones came from the southern provinces of Korea and moved not only to Yanbian, but also to the northern areas of Manchuria (Lee 1986: 28). In the 1930s, under Japanese rule, the Koreans were awarded dual c i t i z e n s h i p (Manchukuon and Japanese). This was not a p r i v i l e g e accorded to China's Han majority however. Therefore, Koreans occupied higher legal status than t h e i r Han counterparts although they were forced to move to China under the state of Manchuko (1986: 26). Despite (or perhaps due to) t h e i r special treatment under 89 Japan's c o l o n i a l rule of Manchuria, many Koreans returned to t h e i r homeland afte r Japan's surrender i n 1945 (Mackerras 1994: 124). Those who l e f t China were mostly individuals who feared the Communists or had sided with the Japanese during the war. Some also wished to return to t h e i r homeland where they f e l t the linkages were stronger ( O l i v i e r 1993: 57-58). "Those with l e f t i s t sympathies went to the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, which had been divided at the 38th p a r a l l e l as soon as l i b e r a t i o n came, while those with more conservative leanings went south, but most simply returned to t h e i r homes" (Mackerras 1994: 124). Those who decided to stay i n China did so perhaps because: they had already made new l i v e s i n China and had both other family members and possessions there, they s t i l l wanted to make a success of t h e i r immigration to China, and some individuals were part of the Communist movement. Perhaps more importantly, since immediately following l i b e r a t i o n crossing the border was not prohibited, some Koreans remained i n China to see what would happen i n both countries before deciding where to l i v e ( O l i v i e r 1993: 57-58). However, af t e r Japanese control was f u l l y relinquished and the People's Republic of China was established, the Koreans who chose to stay i n China l o s t t h e i r c i t i z e n s h i p and corresponding rights accorded to them under Japanese rul e . The Koreans Become A Minor i ty After Japan surrendered i t s p o s i t i o n i n China, two important events paved the way for the recognition of the Koreans as a separate minority i n China. The f i r s t was the c i v i l war that brought about the l i b e r a t i o n of China. "More than 50,000 Koreans 90 joined the struggle against Chiang Kai-shek and helped the Communist troops l i b e r a t e the nation" (Yin 1994: 56). Because the Koreans risked t h e i r l i v e s for the Communist cause, and helped to e s t a b l i s h the People's Republic of China, t h i s placed pressure on the Chinese government when i t came to awarding the Koreans c i t i z e n s h i p (Interview #2 March 1996). The next event that influenced China when deciding to af f o r d the Koreans c i t i z e n s h i p status, was t h e i r l o y a l t y to China during the Korean War. This war, which began i n 1950 and lasted three years, forced the Koreans i n China to a l l y with either China or the United States. "During the War of Resisting U.S. Aggression and Aiding Korea (the 'Korean War', 1950-53) some 46,000 Koreans from the Yanbian region joined the Chinese People's Volunteers, along with some 5,000 interpreters, p o l i t i c a l workers, transport workers and nurses" (Yin 1994: 56). This allegiance and assistance to a land and people that had not accepted the Koreans as c i t i z e n s or accorded them any other special protection could also have been a deciding factor when i t l a t e r came to ci t i z e n s h i p issues. When large numbers of Koreans sided with China during the war, perhaps i t was not so much an obvious choice FOR China, but rather a decision AGAINST the United States (Interview #1 March 1996). This means that perhaps the Koreans supported China as they were not w i l l i n g to help those who were c l e a r l y d i f f e r e n t from them, the people i n the United States. "[T]he outbreak of the Korean War i n 1950 gave the CCP a good opportunity to consolidate i t s own rule by i n c i t i n g hatred of foreign 91 imperialism" (Mackerras 1994: 147). O l i v i e r points out that at t h i s time the Koreans did not c l e a r l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e between country of residence and country of b i r t h or ancestry, and therefore did not see the choice that they were making as a substantial one (1993: 59). "Like many other wars fought at the beginning of new eras i n many countries, the Korean War united the people behind the new regime. It boosted t h e i r patriotism and attenuated t h e i r differences by focusing t h e i r attention on a common enemy" ( O l i v i e r 1993: 59). Whatever the reasoning on the part of the Koreans i n China, the r e s u l t was the same - they supported China. Since they had done so, t h i s forced the Chinese to recognize them as a l l i e s , and la t e r even as residents within the newly established People's Republic of China. "An important consequence of the Korean War was that i t forced China to decide the legal status of i t s Korean ethnic minority and accelerate the integration of t h i s already very unique minority group into the People's Republic" (1993: 60). Furthermore, i n the northeast the Koreans were recognized as an important group, and the areas they inhabited were on t h e i r way to being successfully i n d u s t r i a l i z e d . Therefore i t was reasonable f o r the government of China to l e g a l i z e the status of the Koreans and promote them as an example (1993: 61). As w i l l be evidenced shortly, the success of the Koreans (es p e c i a l l y i n the areas of education and population control) are often used to encourage others as well as to prove that the n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n China are indeed prospering. 92 Korean-Chinese Ident i ty Korean-Chinese seem to have a very strong sense of s e l f -i d e n t i t y , and a c t i v e l y maintain the boundaries between themselves and others. This can f i r s t be exhibited by examining t h e i r views on children who are 'mixed' - that i s , according to the Korean-Chinese not 100 percent (pure) Korean. A l l of the individuals I interviewed stated that common ancestry i s an essential factor of being Korean, so that without t h i s blood linkage one i s not Korean and never can be. However there was no agreement on how much ( i . e . what percentage) of blood an individual must have. What was common however was that 'being Korean' must be passed down from the father. If one's mother i s Korean, but father i s not, interviewees agreed that the c h i l d would not be considered Korean. They did mention that l e g a l l y i t i s up to the family to decide. However, they stated that i n almost a l l cases the family would not consider the c h i l d Korean i f i t was not passed through the father's side (Interviews #1-10 March, A p r i l 1996). Aside from ancestral linkages other factors that were said to 'make up' a Korean were: common history, language, t r a d i t i o n , culture, language, and ideology. However, i f any or a l l of these were lacking but the individual s t i l l had 'Korean blood' passed down from the father, they would s t i l l be Korean (Interviews #1-10 March, A p r i l 1996). This d i f f e r s from the o f f i c i a l view taken by the government of China, that uses S t a l i n ' s four e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of nation. They also pointed out that the willingness of an indi v i d u a l to belong to a group was of l i t t l e relevance, as i t was only what group they belonged to (in the 93 objective sense) that mattered. In t h i s sense these individuals a l l s e l f - i d e n t i f i e d themselves and t h e i r group as having blood bonds - a b i o l o g i c a l approach to i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . They did not tend to i d e n t i f y themselves when compared to others, but through t h e i r own c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s (Interviews #1-10 A p r i l , June 1996). Lee points out however, that the trend to follow the father's bloodline i s changing. More and more individuals are w i l l i n g to i d e n t i f y themselves as Korean, regardless of who in t h e i r ancestry was seen as Korean. This could either suggest a consciousness or willingness to s e l f - i d e n t i f y , or perhaps simply o f f e r a ways and means to receive the added benefits that being a Chinese minority encompasses. Even among those children who have Han Chinese fathers and Korean mothers, there i s a modest tendency for them to i d e n t i f y themselves as Koreans not only because they are proud of t h e i r p a r t i a l Korean parentage, but also because they can enjoy the advantages of a minority n a t i o n a l i t y ranging from educational opportunities and b i r t h control (two children permitted for a minority couple) to preferences given i n a rationing system (for example, more r i c e for Koreans) (Lee 1986: 163). Although none of the Koreans I interviewed would have agreed with t h i s assumption, one Han individual pointed out that even those that never had ancestral linkages are achieving minority status, a l b e i t through i l l e g a l means. I had noticed that he was wearing t r a d i t i o n a l Korean-Chinese clothing and had therefore asked his n a t i o n a l i t y . He stated that although there had never been an individual of Korean descent i n his family, he had bribed some government o f f i c i a l s to change his minority status and that of his wife. He stated that his children and t h e i r children would a l l be recognized or i d e n t i f i e d as Korean-Chinese. 94 Although t h e i r o r i g i n a l reason for changing t h e i r nationality-status was so that they could have another c h i l d , i n the end they decided one c h i l d was enough. However, they did not want to change t h e i r n a t i o n a l i t y status back to Han as they were given more benefits as a minority and they did not want to have to pay for the change. According to the in d i v i d u a l I interviewed, people would examine his residence card, and determine whether or not he was 'truly' Korean minority s o l e l y by that. Since his residence card had been changed to r e f l e c t Korean lineage, i n the eyes of both the government and other Korean-Chinese he was i d e n t i f i e d as Korean-Chinese. Therefore i t appears that one can create e t h n i c i t y , j o i n a minority group, and even convince those that maintain and protect the boundaries. Yanbian: The New Home of the Korean N a t i o n a l i t y The majority of Koreans who immigrated to China s e t t l e d i n China's northeastern provinces. A large percentage of them f i r s t went to J i l i n province, and more s p e c i f i c a l l y the area now known as Yanbian (Interview #1 March 1996). At present, J i l i n province has the largest percentage of Korean minority l i v i n g within i t s borders, numbering over one m i l l i o n . Up u n t i l September 1952, Yanbian was part of J i l i n Province's Special D i s t r i c t and encompassed an area of 29,991 square kilometers. At that time Koreans represented over 60% of the t o t a l population there ( O l i v i e r 1993: 71). In 1952 however, t h i s area changed i t s name and j u r i s d i c t i o n . "The Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture was formally set up on 3 September 1952, the f i r s t of the autonomous prefectures and among the e a r l i e s t of a l l the autonomous areas" 95 (Mackerras 1994: 147). Actually, when f i r s t established, Yanbian was delineated an area, but i n December 1955, i n accordance with the constitution, i t was renamed an autonomous prefecture (Guo, Hong and Ge 1986: 41). This a l t e r a t i o n was not meant to reduce the size or power of t h i s area, but to correct the use of mistaken terminology and to coincide with the constitution. "Yanbian was smaller than Taiwan and comprised only one c i t y , Yanji (detached from Yanji county i n 1953) and f i v e counties: Yanji (with i t s seat of government i n Longjing town), Hunchun, Helong, Wangqing, and Antu. Therefore, i t could not be an autonomous region equivalent to a province" ( O l i v i e r 1993: 73). At the time, and even presently, some Korean-Chinese are under the mistaken b e l i e f that power and/or land were stripped from them during t h i s process and i t i s sometimes s t i l l regarded as a source of discontent. Yanbian's Autonomous Adminis trat ion Although o f f i c i a l l y an autonomous zone i n 1952, i t was not u n t i l 1958 that i t s f i r s t autonomous government was established. Yanbian organized i t s people's congresses and people's councils i n 1958 following the ordinances approved by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress i n March 1958. The people's congresses of the basic administrative units elected representatives to the prefectural, c i t y , and county people's congresses. The term of each people's congress was two years and a l l meetings were conducted i n Korean and i n Chinese ( O l i v i e r 1993: 73). H i s t o r i c a l l y then, the establishment of the Yanbian Prefecture coincided with the Korean War. Therefore, i n the 1950s when the Koreans were allowed to select delegates at these leve l s of government, t h i s made them sympathetic to the Communist 96 Party and they consequently supported China over the United States. This was a clever t a c t i c on the part of the Communist Party. This delegation of power was limited and did not damage th e i r centralized control of China, yet i t p a c i f i e d the Koreans at a time when t h e i r help and allegiance was necessary for the Communist cause (1993: 5). " P o l i t i c a l work progressed rapidly, and large numbers of cadres of Korean o r i g i n were trained. By 1981, over 50 percent of o f f i c i a l s working at a l l levels of administration i n these autonomous areas were of Korean o r i g i n " (Yin 1994: 57). However, i n guaranteeing the Korean minority certain rights and the establishment of an autonomous government, the government had to assuage the concerns of the Han people who comprised a minority i n the area. "The authorities assuaged t h e i r fear and i n s i s t e d that both the Korean and Chinese languages be used i n the l o c a l organs of the autonomous region. They set up t r a n s l a t i o n o f f i c e s wherever necessary and re-emphasized mutual respect of each other's language and customs" ( O l i v i e r 1993: 78). In some areas of the prefecture however, t h i s designation as an autonomous area was welcomed by the Han. They r e a l i z e d that by inhabiting such an area, they would at least receive the common benefits and p r i v i l e g e s accorded to the public as a whole ( i e . investment i n schools and communication, e t c . ) . In any event, i t did not take much time u n t i l the Koreans were no longer a majority i n Yanbian. By the mid-1960s, they represented less than 50 percent of the t o t a l population i n Yanbian (1993: 118). Although the Chinese government awarded c i t i z e n s h i p and 97 other rights to the newly i d e n t i f i e d Korean-Chinese, t h i s does not mean that they did not suffer i n some respects. "[T]his r e l a t i v e success was achieved at the expense of t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l comparative advantage and wealth during the early decades of the People's Republic" (1993: 2). What Oliver i s r e f e r r i n g to i s that the o v e r a l l standard of l i v i n g of the Koreans deteriorated afte r l i b e r a t i o n . The Koreans, who were formerly wealthier and better educated than the Han, ultimately became disadvantaged in the post-Mao period and started to f a l l behind the increasingly successful Han. It i s only since the late 1980s that concrete e f f o r t s have been made to f a c i l i t a t e the adaptation of the Koreans to economic l i b e r a l i z a t i o n while encouraging them to continue preserving and developing t h e i r language and culture i n order to re-establish the balanced relationship that had made the Korean case successful i n the early years of the People's Republic (1993: 2). Therefore, what many scholars seem to neglect or minimize i s that although the Korean minority today has made progress, i t i s not necessarily new ground. Although the gains by the Korean minority are often praised as examples of the success of n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y , one must not forget that i n some respects the conditions of the Koreans were already superior to the Han i n the 1950s, and they were merely r a i s i n g themselves to a l e v e l that they had before i t was taken away from them (Interviews #1 and #2 March 1996). The Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture J i l i n Province, i n China's Northeast, occupies an area of 187,000 square kilometers of which 54,823 i s occupied by minority autonomous areas, making up 29.4% of the t o t a l area (Wang and Ye 1995: 114). The largest minority prefecture within t h i s province 98 i s the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, which i s located i n the eastern part of J i l i n province facing the Japanese Sea. I t i s bordered both by Russia and North Korea, and i s made up of two municipalities, Tumen and Yanji. Yanji i s the c a p i t a l of the prefecture and also boasts China's f i r s t minority university, which was established i n 1949. Tumen i s well-known i n China as i t a t t r a c t s many t o u r i s t s who wish to view the North Korean border. Besides these two municipalities, Yanbian has f i v e counties: Antu, Dunhua, Helong, Longjing and Wangqing. The t o t a l area of Yanbian i s 42,700 kilometers with a population of 2,138,400 people as of 1993. The percentage of the population that i s minority i s 917,800 and occupies 42.9 percent of the t o t a l population (1995: 138). Of that 42.9 percent, Korean-Chinese compose 39.5 percent, and other minorities 3.4 percent of the population (Gu and Zhao 1994: 16). Yanbian's Economic and I n d u s t r i a l Basis Economically speaking, Yanbian i s known for i t s r i c h natural resources e s p e c i a l l y i t s forests, ginseng, and f r u i t s . I t i s perhaps best known as one of China's major sources of timber and forest products as well as for i t s production of tobacco (Yin 1994: 55). Yanbian's other natural resources include coal mines, 875 d i f f e r e n t species of plants, and hundreds of species of wild animals. In the i n d u s t r i a l sector Yanbian prides i t s e l f i n having over 1,000 enterprises including: the industries of metallurgy; e l e c t r i c i t y ; coal; chemical; machinery; food products; t e x t i l e s ; paper production; and medicine. In the areas of industry and 99 agriculture, production of tobacco, linen and f r u i t i n the Yanbian prefecture occupy 40 percent of the t o t a l p r o v i n c i a l production, while timber and cigarettes i n Yanbian comprise 45 percent of the province's t o t a l production (Gu and Zhao 1994: 17). In 1991, t h i s resulted i n the t o t a l i n d u s t r i a l production of the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture being the highest among the country's t h i r t y autonomous regions (1994: 19). Now that the history of Korean settlement, the demography of Yanbian, as well as i t s economic s i t u a t i o n have been examined, i t i s important to turn our attention to the s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n of the Korean-Chinese i n Yanbian. To do t h i s special attention w i l l be paid to the areas of family planning and education as i t i s in these two areas that the Korean-Chinese have made remarkable progress. Population and Family Planning As of 1990, the population of the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture was over two m i l l i o n . Although the area i s designated a minority autonomous region, the Koreans no longer make up the majority of the population, but only comprise just under 40 percent (Gu and Zhao 1994: 16). However, t h i s was not always the case. If we examine the population of the Korean-Chinese i n the Yanbian prefecture since i t s establishment, i t w i l l become apparent that t h e i r percentage of the t o t a l population has slowly decreased. Since the l i b e r a t i o n of China, the population of the Korean minority i n China can be analyzed as being comprised of three high points. The f i r s t movement, from 1954-1958, saw a b i r t h r a t e 100 of 3.5 to 4 percent, which corresponded to a 3 percent increase in the population. During the second stage, from 1962-1965, the b i r t h r a t e was only 3 percent while the rate of population increase dropped to 2 percent. In the t h i r d period, 1968-1972, the b i r t h r a t e was 2.5 percent for Korean-Chinese and the rate of population increase was 1.9 percent. After 1973 and the introduction of the one-child p o l i c y , the b i r t h r a t e dropped to 1.5 percent and the rate of population increase to around 1 percent (1994: 3). As noted e a r l i e r , the introduction of the b i r t h control p o l i c y for the Han i n the early 1970s did not include the minorities as well. What the above figures represent i s a steady reduction i n both b i r t h r a t e and population growth of the Korean minority. This reduction of the Korean minority b i r t h r a t e can also be seen from the proportion of babies born i n per family every year. Before 1982 (1980-1982) each family s t i l l had three or more children but t h i s proportion was extremely low, only occupying 5.6%. But i n 1981 i n the whole country, families that had three or more babies occupied 28.08% of the proportion of a l l the babies born (Zhang 1993: 94). Since l i b e r a t i o n the rate of population increase and the b i r t h r a t e of the Korean minority i n China have both continually decreased. This began well before the i n s t i g a t i o n of the one-c h i l d p o l i c y , so t h i s was not necessarily a d i r e c t r e s u l t of t h i s law, but perhaps linked to other factors. As the rate of population increase slowly dropped, and as some Koreans returned to t h e i r homeland a f t e r the surrender of Japan, the Korean-Chinese constituted a smaller and smaller proportion of Yanbian's population. "In 1955, Yanbian had 101 774,767 inhabitants with 543,800 Koreans (70.1% of the population). In 1959, the enlarged prefecture had 1,050,800 inhabitants but only 579,900 Koreans (55.1% of the population)" (Ye and L i i n O l i v i e r 1993: 117-118). As i s evidenced by the figures above, other n a t i o n a l i t i e s (primarily Han) migrated to the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture during t h i s period which also resulted i n the decrease i n proportion of population of the Korean-Chinese. Presently, the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture has sixteen separate minorities l i v i n g within i t s borders, although they make up a very small proportion of the population (Interview #3 1996). Although the Korean n a t i o n a l i t y ' s proportion of the population i n Yanbian has st e a d i l y decreased, the majority of t h i s n a t i o n a l i t y s t i l l l i v e s within J i l i n Province. The l a t e s t s t a t i s t i c s show that of the Korean n a t i o n a l i t y ' s 1,763,900 t o t a l population, over 90 percent l i v e i n China's three Northeast provinces: 190,000 i n Liaoning, 430,000 i n Heilongjiang, and about 1,000,000 i n J i l i n province (Yin 1994: 34). Since the Korean-Chinese population i s s t i l l increasing, but i t s proportion of the t o t a l population i n Yanbian i s decreasing one can only point out that the migration of other minorities and t h e i r higher birthrates have made substantial contributions to t h i s process. The Korean M i n o r i t y : Reasons for the Decrease i n B i r t h r a t e s One explanation for the decrease i n b i r t h rates of the Korean minority could be the recent trend to marry at a l a t e r age. Before the establishment of China, the average marrying age of Koreans l i v i n g i n Yanbian was seventeen years old. In the 1950s shortly af t e r l i b e r a t i o n , the average person chose to wait 102 u n t i l nineteen years of age, and i n the 1960s u n t i l twenty-one years old. S t a t i s t i c s as of 1990 point out that Korean-Chinese presently do not get married u n t i l over twenty-four years old, seven years l a t e r than i n the 1940s (Gu and Zhao 1994: 9). Therefore, the tendency to get married at a l a t e r age could play a r o l e i n the decrease i n c h i l d b i r t h s for the Korean-Chinese. The majority of the Korean n a t i o n a l i t y a t t r i b u t e t h i s decrease i n b i r t h rates and trend to marry l a t e r to individual decisions and willingness of the people, not to government p o l i c y (Interviews #1-10 A p r i l , June 1996). While one cannot argue that China's one-child p o l i c y has played an important role i n these decisions, i t i s not a d i r e c t r o l e . By t h i s i t i s meant that according to the Law of Regional Autonomy t h i s minority i s permitted to have two children. Instead, the majority of households have made a conscious decision to only have one c h i l d . Of course, according to people l i v i n g i n Yanbian, the leaders i n the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture place emphasis on the need to keep population low as well as spread other propaganda concerning the benefits of having only one c h i l d per household (Interviews #1, #9, #10 June 1996). However, for the most part, the willingness of the Korean-Chinese to have fewer children, i s a r e f l e c t i o n of the values that they hold. Objectively speaking, the decision to have an extra c h i l d has economic, personal and s o c i a l aspects that are often taken into consideration. Many Korean-Chinese f e e l that the benefits of having children include: someone to care for them in old age; the necessity of having a boy to carry on the family l i n e ; 103 someone to pass t r a d i t i o n s on to; and the pride one f e e l s from the accomplishments of one's offspring. The negative aspects of having more children could include: higher expenses and therefore an increased burden on the family. Too many children i n one household i s detrimental and r e s u l t s i n less care given to each c h i l d , and excessive childbearing i s not good for the mother's health (Zhang 1993: 102-103). Perhaps since they attach a great deal of importance to children's education, and play an active role i n the r e a l i z a t i o n of t h i s education both f i n a n c i a l l y and emotionally i t also makes sense to them to have less children. The decrease i n b i r t h rates and amount of b i r t h s has had an e f f e c t on the average age of Korean-Chinese. In 1982 the average age of Koreans was tabulated to be 24.3 years, while the other n a t i o n a l i t i e s average ages were a l l below 20 years of age, with the lowest being 16.2 years. But i n 1990, the Koreans average age jumped to 28.4 years (Gu and Zhao 1994: 3). The b i r t h rates of the Korean minority are the lowest i n China, but young children s t i l l comprise 25 percent of the Korean population. Surprisingly, those aged 50 years and older only represent approximately 16 percent of the population i n 1990 (1994: 5). If one takes into account the p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n of the Koreans i n China and t h e i r immigration history, t h i s can be r a t i o n a l i z e d . Their h i s t o r y i s not a long one, and between the 1940s to 1960s many Koreans returned to t h e i r homeland. Therefore t h i s age bracket, those aged 50 years and older, has the lowest average. Presently almost 60 percent of the population i s currently 104 between the ages of 15-49. In the next 20 years or so the Korean minority may be faced with the problem of an aging population. The Korean M i n o r i t y : An Example of Successful Family Planning In 1992 the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture was named as a model for a l l of the other minorities to follow with regard to family planning by the National Family Planning Committee and the Nationality Committee of the country (Gu and Zhao 1994: 1). This i s because According to the Fourth National Population Census, the b i r t h r a t e i n Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture i n 1990 was 1.643%, lower than that of the whole country and the whole province by 0.455% and 0.193% respectively; the natural rate of population increase was 1.001%, lower than that of the whole country and the whole province by 0.469% and 0.227% respectively; the rate of population increase of the Korean minority was only 0.873%, the lowest of any n a t i o n a l i t y i n the whole country (1994: 19). Although Korean-Chinese are permitted to have two chi l d r e n according to the law, they are praised for tending to have only one c h i l d . However, as mentioned above, the Korean-Chinese people a t t r i b u t e t h i s to t h e i r own decisions and willingness, not as an e f f o r t to adhere to the one-child p o l i c y . From the 1970s, the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture of J i l i n Province has been earnestly carrying out the government's instructions with regard to family planning. They have e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y and e f f e c t i v e l y launched t h e i r task and gained g r a t i f y i n g achievements, r e s u l t i n g i n an encouraging s i t u a t i o n . . . (1994: 18-19). What becomes apparent then, i s that the government of China does not take into consideration the Koreans' willingness to have fewer children, but uses t h e i r achievements to point out the successes of current government p o l i c i e s . 105 One C h i l d Per Household: The Unintended Benef i ts The reduction i n the number of children born into each household, has led to concrete benefits for the Korean-Chinese l i v i n g i n the Yanbian area. It i s estimated that from 1971-1991, 487,000 more people would have been born i n t h i s prefecture i f t h i s p o l i c y had not been implemented successfully. If that had been the case, i t would have placed an added economic burden of approximately 5,000,000,000 Renminbi, which i s approximately 800,000,000 Canadian d o l l a r s on the people l i v i n g there. Thus, t h i s reduction i n forecasted expenditures has resulted i n a better economic s i t u a t i o n i n the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture than would have otherwise been the case (Gu and Zhao 1994: 19). E a r l i e r i t was mentioned that t h i s minority i s w i l l i n g to have fewer children, regardless of government p o l i c y or encouragement from the State. This willingness i s for several reasons. The f i r s t can be seen as a s h i f t i n consciousness. The Korean-Chinese r e a l i z e that i f they want prosperity i n t h e i r region, and more s p e c i f i c a l l y i n t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l homes, they must enhance t h e i r l i f e chances rather than the quantity of people i n the area. Secondly, i n the Yanbian region a series of propaganda mechanisms were promoted to educate the Koreans with regard to family planning. These measures were combined with Korean culture and ethnic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n order to have a greater e f f e c t . Third, a p o l i c y developed by the autonomous government's administration to regulate the number of b i r t h s of the Korean n a t i o n a l i t y was adopted. Next, the sel e c t i o n and tr a i n i n g of cadres to promote family planning was emphasized. 106 They t r i e d to improve t h e i r s o c i a l environment by providing more, and better services than i n the past (1994: 19-20). Therefore, although i t i s c u l t u r a l l y accepted and encouraged to have less children, perhaps encouragement and education by the government did play a ro l e i n the reduction of b i r t h s , a l b e i t a subconscious one. One aspect that was not touched upon i n the work of other scholars that I f e e l played a role i n t h e i r decisions to reduce the number of births per family, i s the high educational l e v e l of the Korean-Chinese on the whole. As w i l l be elaborated upon shortly, they place great importance on education, and with education comes the knowledge and the a b i l i t y to improve t h e i r present circumstances. When the Korean immigrants f i r s t came to China, they promptly opened schools to educate t h e i r children they r e a l i z e d that t h i s education also had functional u t i l i t y (Interviews #1 and #2 March 1996). In t h i s respect, through education t h e i r consciousness was raised, and therefore they chose to have fewer children. In sum, education also played a part i n the decision to r e s t r i c t b i r t h s . Now i t i s important to examine the educational hi s t o r y and achievements that led to t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n . The Korean-Chinese and Education Since t h e i r immigration to China, the Korean-Chinese have consistently maintained a high l e v e l of educational achievement and has constantly stressed the importance of education. "[A]s r e l a t i v e newcomers to China, they have inherited a strong c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n and value system which invariably emphasizes 107 education both for i t s i n t r i n s i c i n t e l l e c t u a l purpose and for i t s functional u t i l i t y " (Lee 1986: 141). This b e l i e f should not be seen as related to t h e i r relocation to China, but i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y part of t h e i r own c u l t u r a l value system. There i s a "... t r a d i t i o n a l Korean saying that parents must educate t h e i r children even i f they have or s e l l t h e i r precious land or ox" (1986: 10). The Korean-Chinese with whom I spoke could not stress enough the importance of a good education. The older individuals pointed out that i f there was not enough money for meat or bread, they would s t i l l send t h e i r children o f f to attend school (Interview #1 March 1996). Also when asked what represented Korean-Chinese people and culture, what special c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s they had that no other minority or the Han possessed, one hundred percent of them pointed out t h e i r high l e v e l of education and determination to succeed i n t h i s respect (Interviews #1-#10 March, A p r i l 1996). The Korean minority places great emphasis on education for several reasons. F i r s t , during the annexation of Korea by Japan, education was promoted as a weapon that could be wielded to f i g h t o f f foreign invasion. "Most Korean educators, regardless of th e i r i n t e l l e c t u a l background, p o l i t i c a l sentiments, and re l i g i o u s a f f i l i a t i o n , shared a common desire to give a good Korean education to t h e i r children so that they could r e s i s t Japan's i m p e r i a l i s t ambitions and restore Korea's independence" (Lee 1986: 32-33). Secondly, the Koreans r e a l i z e d the p r a c t i c a l importance of learning the national language i n China - Mandarin. Therefore, as early as i n the l a t e 1950s Korean minority schools 108 began to o f f e r classes i n Chinese. "The Korean schools of Yanbian started to teach t h e i r students spoken and written Chinese together with Korean, instead of teaching them Korean f i r s t and them slowly including Chinese into the curriculum as had been the o r i g i n a l p o l i c y " ( O l i v i e r 1993: 119). However, t h i s placed an added burden on the Korean students, which made i t d i f f i c u l t for them to compete on equal ground with t h e i r Han classmates. The persistence and determination of the Korean minority with regard to education has c e r t a i n l y led to p o s i t i v e r e s u l t s . Among China's 55 minority n a t i o n a l i t i e s , i t i s widely believed that the Koreans have the highest l e v e l of educational attainment and sustain a strong sense of ethnic i d e n t i t y i n t h e i r i n t e l l e c t u a l and c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s . They are also considered highly i n t e l l i g e n t , hard-working, p o l i t i c a l l y active, and a r t i s t i c a l l y talented. This b e l i e f i s borne out i n the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture of J i l i n Province, which had developed a successful model for minority educational system (Lee 1986: 3-4). As w i l l be evidenced below, the quantity of educational f a c i l i t i e s and the sheer number of q u a l i f i e d teachers and students enroled i n these i n s t i t u t i o n s places the Korean minority's educational accomplishments i n a leading p o s i t i o n when compared to China's other minority n a t i o n a l i t i e s (1986: 141). Primary Education In the area of primary education, the Yanbian area had established programs for pre-school children as early as 1947, and o f f i c i a l l y opened i t s f i r s t kindergarten, four years l a t e r , i n 1951 (Lee 1986: 114). Progress move rapidl y and "[p]rimary schools were almost u n i v e r s a l l y accessible i n Yanbian as early as 109 1952; about 85% of school-age children studied at 577 primary schools at that time. The percentage was higher among Korean children (over 90%) than among t h e i r Han Chinese counterparts" (1986: 114-115). The percentage of Korean students that attended these schools i s remarkable for two obvious reasons. F i r s t , i t i s important to remember that at t h i s time the Koreans were involved i n the Korean War on the side of the Chinese, which did not make the establishment nor the attendance i n these schools an easy task. Also, the Koreans had not yet been awarded status as o f f i c i a l c i t i z e n s . In e f f e c t , they established schools i n an area that was not l e g a l l y t h e i r own, where they had few rights and benefits, i n order to better themselves i n t e l l e c t u a l l y as well as for the functional usefulness of education. Presently Yanbian s t i l l holds a high record i n the area of primary education. In fact, "[n]early 98 percent of a l l school-age children i n Yanbian entered primary schools i n 1981" (1986: 115), which points out that t h e i r emphasis on education i s s t i l l going strong. Secondary Education Korean secondary schools, referred to as 'middle schools' by the Chinese, have also undergone remarkable progress since the Korean minority f i r s t came to China. In fact, presently the number o f middle school graduates per 1,000 of people populating the Yanbian area i s approaching that of the developed countries (Gu and Zhao 1994: 19). In 1980, [t]he proportion of a l l middle school students was about 1,055 per 10,000 i n Yanbian; the number of Korean middle school students was 1,214 per 10,000 Koreans i n 110 Yanbian. The two figures were su b s t a n t i a l l y higher than the national average (484), the average (263) for a l l minority n a t i o n a l i t i e s , and even the average (880) i n J i l i n Province (Lee 1986: 117). The percentage of Korean minority students attending classes at the middle school l e v e l then, superseded not only the minority average, but also the national one. What i s also of i n t e r e s t i s that, according to the survey above, the students studying i n the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture also had a higher average than those who studied i n the other regions of J i l i n province. This suggests that the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture, not only has a high percentage of students attending classes (both Korean and other n a t i o n a l i t i e s ) , but that the Korean minority students there also comprise a higher percentage when compared to others of the same minority i n China. One of the middle schools i n the area has even been singled out as a national example because of i t s high l e v e l of educational achievement. "In 1978-1979, the Ministry of Education i n B e i j i n g included FYMS [ F i r s t Yanbian Middle School] in the l i s t of 20 national key schools i n primary and secondary education; i t was the only minority school so honored" (Lee 1986: 118). As a r e s u l t , the F i r s t Yanbian Middle School now receives sp e c i a l treatment i n the areas of budgeting, allotment of equipment and f a c i l i t i e s , as well as having access to q u a l i f i e d f a c u l t y (1986: 118). Other such benefits given to the Korean minority i n the area of education w i l l be touched upon l a t e r . One of the concerns that i s often raised with regard to the sp e c i a l i z e d school system at t h i s l e v e l i s the added burden i t 111 places on Korean students. In an attempt to adapt to the Chinese s i t u a t i o n , students take the majority of t h e i r courses i n Mandarin Chinese, the national language. Added to these however, are courses i n Korean language. The extra time spent i n the classroom as well as homework places an extra s t r a i n on Korean-Chinese students. However, they are quick to point out that i n the long term i t i s a great benefit to them and therefore are w i l l i n g to undergo t h i s e f f o r t . Another concern with regard to t h i s extra e f f o r t has to do with spreading themselves too t h i n . As they must take both Korean and Chinese lessons, i t i s feas i b l e that they w i l l have a greater degree of d i f f i c u l t y i n obtaining the same marks as those who are not Korean-Chinese. Because "students take only four hours of Korean-language courses a week in junior middle schools and then three hours i n senior middle schools, i t i s possible that they can excel i n neither Korean nor Chinese" (1986: 151). Therefore there i s the fear that they w i l l only learn the basics of both languages, and obtain middle marks or knowledge rather than concentrating on education i n one language. The individuals that I came into contact with during the course of my research however, did not seem to suffe r from t h i s . When asked, they d i d point out that they were more fluent i n Korean, but f e l t comfortable speaking i n both languages. In fact they stated they were more than able to adapt the language depending on the s i t u a t i o n at hand (Interviews #6-10 A p r i l , June 1996). U n i v e r s i t y Education Yanbian University, which took i t s f i r s t students i n 1949, 112 was the f i r s t minority u n i v e r s i t y i n China. I t was o r i g i n a l l y named the Northeast Korean People's University and i n the f i r s t year boasted 490 students. Its f i r s t students graduated i n 1952 (Lee 1986: 124). Even though the ov e r a l l q u a l i t y of Yanbian University i s not at a l l comparable to China's major national u n i v e r s i t i e s or J i l i n University at Changchun, i t prides i t s e l f as being the oldest minority u n i v e r s i t y i n China. I t i s probably one of the most advanced i n s t i t u t i o n s among China's 68 minority colleges, including 11 n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n s t i t u t e s (1986: 130). Upon conducting my research i n Yanbian, I v i s i t e d t h i s u n i v e rsity. One could say that there were no outward signs or markers denoting i t s special status as a minority university. In fact, aside from the odd male wearing t r a d i t i o n a l Korean velvet pants, or a few groups speaking i n Korean, t h i s u n i v e r s i t y was l i k e any other I had the opportunity of v i s i t i n g i n China. However, upon v i s i t i n g the recently established Yanbian University of Science and Technology, a private un i v e r s i t y whose administrators were o r i g i n a l l y from Korea, there can be no mistakes i n t h i s respect. From the signs and directions written i n Korean, to the answering of the phone, one i s aware that they have entered the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture. The food i n the caf e t e r i a was for the most part t r a d i t i o n a l Korean food, and the majority of the teachers have come from Korea to teach classes. In fact, many students admitted that t h e i r school i s unlike any other i n China, i n that i t has a heavy Korean influence. Some students stated that they were not comfortable speaking Chinese as they mainly speak Korean at school and home and were 'out of practice' (Interviews #6-8 March 1996). 113 As was seen i n the case of secondary education, Yanbian's higher education has also surpassed the that of the other minorities i n China i n some respects. "Whatever numbers were used, there was l i t t l e doubt that the number of Korean college students i n Yanbian was larger than the national average i n China (12.7 students per 10,000 people) and the average among China's minority n a t i o n a l i t i e s (7.6 students per 10,000 people) i n 1981" (Beijing Review 7 Oct. 1983: 44 i n Lee 1986: 137). Lee went on to emphasize that the Koreans are generally used as an example because t h e i r educational attainment lev e l s are also both higher than the national average as well as any other minority (Lee 1986: 6). In the late 1950s as a r e s u l t of the a n t i - r i g h t i s t campaign in China and the s p e c i f i c claim that the Koreans had l o c a l n a t i o n a l i s t i c tendencies, the language of i n s t r u c t i o n at Yanbian University was changed to Mandarin Chinese. The party was well aware of the importance of education as a tool to improve i n t e r - n a t i o n a l i t y relations while containing and taming the s u p e r i o r i t y complex of the Koreans. I t decided, therefore, to give preference to mixed-nationality schools over s i n g l e - n a t i o n a l i t y ones. The party authorities portrayed mixed-nationality schools as more conducive to the strengthening of i n t e r - n a t i o n a l i t y s o l i d a r i t y and unity throughout Yanbian ( O l i v i e r 1993: 114). This also had an e f f e c t on the composition of the faculty, as courses formerly taught by Korean minority individuals were now taught by Han. However, some Han teachers were not happy i n an area with such emphasis on Korean culture and teaching and therefore moved to other areas to teach (Lee 1986: 126). 114 Educational Benef i ts As one of China's 55 minorities, the Korean minority has received certain educational benefits a l l o t t e d by the government. One of the more obvious benefits i s with regard to entrance into u n iversity. As a minority, Korean students can enter u n i v e r s i t y with lower test scores than the Han. The Korean students i n J i l i n Province were a l l o t t e d 5 additional points i n t h e i r college entrance examination scores - the lowest bonus among a l l minority aspirants. Out of the maximum possible score of 600 points, J i l i n Province i n 1984 established a cutoff score of 400 points for college admissions. It was one of the highest cutoff points i n the country (Lee 1986: 105). The individuals I interviewed noted that i n Heilongjiang province the Korean-Chinese were a l l o t t e d 10 bonus points, and attributed t h i s difference to the fact that the students i n J i l i n Province had higher educational l e v e l s and achievements are higher than those of Heilongjiang (Interviews #6, #7, #10 June 1996). Some scholars and laypersons f e e l that t h i s additional advantage i s not needed and i n f a c t should be refused as a matter of pride (Lee 1986: 105). In fa c t , the students that I talked to did not know anyone who had needed, or admitted to needing the extra bonus points and f e l t that i t was an unnecessary gesture as Korean-Chinese i n general had no problems i n passing u n i v e r s i t y entrance exams (Interviews #6, #7 and #10 June 1996). Aside from entrance requirements on test scores minorities also receive other benefits when entering some u n i v e r s i t i e s . According to one source, the Nationality University i n B e i j i n g works on a quota system: there must be a certa i n number of individuals from each minority admitted every year. Since t h i s i s a n a t i o n a l i t y 115 university, t h i s i s an equitable system as the quotas are based on the percentage of each minority i n the t o t a l population. Another advantage for minorities i n the area of education has to do with t h e i r monthly allowance provided by the Chinese government. In ethnic schools such as Yanbian University, Korean students received 100 percent of t h e i r educational subsidy (17.5 yuan a month), while an average of only 85 percent was given to Han students. In addition to a free dormitory room, t h i s subsidy covered food, books, stationary, haircuts, entry to a public bath, recreation, and other miscellaneous expenses (Lee 1986: 106-107). The students i n Yanbian stated that they receive money for studies that supersedes that of the Han. However, i t was believed that i t i s only about four yuan more per month (65 cents Canadian). They pointed out that t h i s money cannot buy very much (not even one meal or a t a x i ride) but that t h i s allotment i s important to them. When asked why, i f the amount was so low, that i t was so important, they pointed out that i t i s t h e i r r i g h t to have i t . Some individuals stated out that although i t i s not needed they have always received t h i s extra allotment. If i t were to be taken away i t would be as i f t h e i r special p r i v i l e g e was taken away and therefore t h e i r recognition as a minority and i t s special p o s i t i o n would also be stripped from them. They also pointed out that the allotment for other minorities was not the same as for Koreans-Chinese. They did not begrudge those who receive more money than they, and f e l t that the Han students should also f e e l t h i s way (Interviews #6-8 March 1996). Therefore, although the extra allotment of money i s a d i r e c t 116 example of government aid, the amount given i s so low that i t i s l i t t l e more than tokenism as far as the Korean-Chinese are concerned. However, i t i s a token that they are not w i l l i n g to r e l i n q u i s h . Another measure that has been taken to further develop education i n Yanbian i s heavier investment than i n the past. Lee pointed out that i n 1976, Yanbian's budget was three times that of the amounts given to Han areas (Lee 1986: 113). This i s not to say however, that the budget has always been three times that of Han, nor that t h i s i s s o l e l y due to autonomy p o l i c y . Perhaps i t i s i n part due to the impeccable record and high l e v e l of educational achievement evident i n the Yanbian area. What i s known however, i s that "[t]he Yanbian Korean leadership paid special attention to educational programs i n t h e i r budgetary decisions. Renmin Ribao noted that Yanbian's educational expenditures i n 1982 showed a 96 percent increase over those i n 1978 and that the budget for basic educational construction grew 2.4 times during t h i s 5-year period" (1986: 113). Some Korean-Chinese students, while pointing out that they do not need special treatment with regard to u n i v e r s i t y entrance, did admit that government investment was necessary i n t h i s regard. They stated that government investment i n education i s necessary because although the l e v e l of education of the average Korean i s high, the conditions are not suitable (Interviews #6, #8, #10 June 1996). Therefore the students f e l t that they should enter u n i v e r s i t y on t h e i r own merit, but that the l e v e l of teaching and general conditions should be improved and that these 117 aspects are the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the government. Although the l e v e l of education of the average Korean-Chinese i n Yanbian i s quite high, they stated i t i s not a r e s u l t of p o l i c y , but through t h e i r own persistence and a b i l i t y . This success occurs despite the educational conditions i n Yanbian, not because of them. Therefore further government investment i s necessary. In fact, upon one of my v i s i t s to t h i s autonomous prefecture f i v e u n i v e r s i t i e s i n Yanbian had just amalgamated into one. The reason for t h i s was said to be to strengthen the higher educational system and prepare for the next century. However, upon further discussion I learned that China was now promoting a plan to improve i t s u n i v e r s i t i e s (Interview #11 June 1996). In year 2000, the Chinese government w i l l select 100 top u n i v e r s i t i e s i n the nation and give them added funding, and therefore prestige. It i s for t h i s reason that f i v e of Yanbian's u n i v e r s i t i e s joined forces. Other benefits i n the area of education include placing emphasis on the amount and q u a l i t y of teachers, establishing more publishing companies to publish books for n a t i o n a l i t y schools and the opening of some s c i e n t i f i c research i n s t i t u t i o n s to research, and thus improving education i n the area (Renmin Ribao 27 Aug. 1983). These e f f o r t s have been made because "the Party and the People's Government of Yanbian believe that the development of i n t e l l i g e n c e presupposes the improvement of n a t i o n a l i t y equality and the building of the four modernizations and so they pay even more attention to education" (27 Aug. 1983). Improvement i n the conditions i n the hope of improving education throughout China 118 would help the Chinese to achieve not only the four modernizations, but also push them further along the s o c i a l i s t path. Problems i n The Yanbian Education sy« i -qm The Korean-Chinese 1 educational l e v e l has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been higher than the other n a t i o n a l i t i e s . However, these indiv i d u a l s f e e l that the Han are 'catching up 1 because the Han are also emphasizing education, and because there are some problems i n the Korean-Chinese system (Interview #1 March 1996). As mentioned e a r l i e r , "[t]he educational system for the Korean minority n a t i o n a l i t y i n China i s not devoid of p o t e n t i a l l y serious problems and tensions. One of the most persistent pedagogical as well as p r a c t i c a l issues i s how to deal with the dilemma of b i l i n g u a l education" (Lee 1986: 150). It i s usually not u n t i l middle school, when the children are eight or nine years old, that Korean children l i v i n g i n the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture formally learn the Mandarin language (Interviews #1-10 March, A p r i l 1996). "The t o t a l weekly curriculum for Korean students had 3 or 4 more hours than that for Han students. I t i s therefore a considerable academic burden shared by a l l Korean students" (Lee 1986: 119). The majority of Han schools that have Korean classes only make them available to Korean minority students i n Yanbian. So although the Han and fourteen other minorities are l i v i n g i n an autonomous area where approximately 40 percent of the population i s Korean-Chinese, they do not study the Korean language. Another serious problem i s how to treat the Han who make up 119 the majority i n the area. Investment also i n d i r e c t l y benefits Han students, but extra money given to i n d i v i d u a l Korean-Chinese, and lower entrance requirements into u n i v e r s i t y are not given to the Han. This could create serious problems and animosity between the two groups. " I t i s probably true that the Han Chinese people, who constitute a majority i n Yanbian (58 percent), are supremely confident i n t h e i r c u l t u r a l s u p e r i o r i t y and do not f e e l threatened by t h e i r Korean neighbors" (1986: 153-154). However, having two sets of rules, one for minorities and the other for the Han, could r e s u l t i n resentment amongst those that are passed by, s o l e l y on the basis of t h e i r n a t i o n a l i t y (Dreyer 1976: 266). It also may create problems i n the eyes of the Korean-Chinese as they do not see these benefits as accruing to anything substantial but are unwilling to l e t them go. Also, i n constantly being praised for t h e i r high attainment, some Koreans could become 'too proud' of t h e i r success and look down on the Han and other minorities. This educational e l i t i s m could make i t d i f f i c u l t for intergroup r e l a t i o n s to be successful and aiso perhaps make i t d i f f i c u l t for some Koreans to f i n d employment that i s deemed suitable a f t e r graduation. "Another poten t i a l gnawing consequence of educational e l i t i s m among Yanbian Koreans i s an i n c i p i e n t sign of brain drain" (Lee 1986: 156). Not only do Korean students have more pressure placed on them by taking additional classes, but having the reputation of being e s p e c i a l l y educated and bright also adds stress to t h e i r circumstances. Lee points out that t h i s kind of 'brain drain' can ultimately lead to many young Korean Chinese leaving the 120 Yanbian area i n search of more e l i t e , suitable positions (1986: 159-160). Also, as the importance of education i s stressed, the number of individuals that take on technical or s k i l l e d jobs i s r e l a t i v e l y low. This creates a problem as Yanbian i s an area r i c h i n natural resources and therefore i s suited to those kinds of employment. Already, the tendency of individuals to receive a high l e v e l education and take on professional jobs or to leave the prefecture has influenced the development of t h e i r agriculture and industry, thus e f f e c t i n g t h e i r economy as well (Guo, Hong and Ge 1986: 43). Perhaps to quel l sbme of the c r i t i c i s m s by the Han majority in the area, Korean enrolment i n Han schools was r e s t r i c t e d i n the late 1970s. In a conscious attempt to correct the 'abnormal phenomenon' of Korean students entering Han Chinese schools, the Yanbian government i n i t i a l l y devised a quota system i n 1979: the number of Korean students enrolled i n Han Chinese schools should not exceed 10 percent i n each grade for primary schools and 20 percent i n each grade for middle schools (Yonbvon Kvovuk, #3: 1979 i n Lee 1986: 107). Later, t h i s system was abolished, and instead Koreans had to achieve higher entrance t e s t scores i n order to study i n Han schools (Lee 1986: 107). In an interview with Kang Yong-dok, Lee learned that " [ i ] n 1985 only 0.7% of Korean children attended the Han Chinese primary schools i n Yanbian and the corresponding figure was 12.7% i n Han Chinese middle schools" (1986: 108). Therefore, attempts to maintain the balance, to accord the Korean minority the rights they have been promised while s t i l l giving the Han majority some educational chances, have been successful 121 i n t h i s area. The high l e v e l of educational achievement by the Korean minority, e s p e c i a l l y i n the autonomous area of Yanbian, i s often c i t e d as an example throughout China. This i s for several reasons. F i r s t , i t encourages them to continue emphasizing t h e i r education and keep s t r i v i n g for further gains. The government sees i t as a concrete example of the success of minority p o l i c y . Also, i t provides a concrete framework or model that the other minorities can follow i n order to reach the l e v e l that the Koreans have attained (Lee 1986: 9 ) . The reasoning behind the s p e c i f i c p o l i c i e s enacted by the autonomous government when dealing with minority education i n Yanbian are more a l l -encompassing than those posited by the national government. The main goals of the education programs i n Yanbian, according to the Education Bureau of Yanji County are: The development of ethnic education i s needed to u p l i f t China's s c i e n t i f i c and c u l t u r a l standards, to promote unity among a l l n a t i o n a l i t i e s , to construct f r o n t i e r areas, and to strengthen national defense. I t i s also necessary for carrying out the p o l i c y of minority autonomy, creating a precondition for t r a i n i n g i n minority languages, and producing human resources for four-modernizations. In sum, ethnic education has a s i g n i f i c a n t s t r a t e g i c meaning (Yonbyon Kyovuk, #10: 1982 i n Lee 1986: 100). One may notice that t h i s reasoning coincides somewhat with the o r i g i n a l reasons posited by the f i r s t Koreans when they immigrated to China. Problems and Sources of Discontent The successes of the Koreans i n China, and more s p e c i f i c a l l y i n the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture are not without hard work 122 and overcoming many obstacles. As early as 1957, leaders i n the Yanbian area organized a meeting to discuss some pressing problems related to t h e i r area. These included: t h e i r unhappiness with Yanbian's p a r t i a l autonomy, how to reduce both Han chauvinism and l o c a l nationalism as well as how to solve the decreased output of mixed n a t i o n a l i t y cooperatives ( J i l i n Ribao 6 June 1957). They stated that more control of the autonomous area should be i n the hands of t h e i r own administration and that t h e i r prefecture should be enlarged as some surrounding counties contained Korean-Chinese that were not be n e f i t t i n g from autonomous p o l i c i e s (6 June 1957). The Korean-Chinese also c r i t i c i z e d the p r o v i n c i a l government for not paying attention to th e i r special needs. For example, they requested an increase i n soya bean sauce and decrease i n cooking o i l to coincide with t h e i r usage of these two products, but the p r o v i n c i a l government continually ignored t h e i r requests (6 June 1957). Han chauvinism has always been a problem that the Korean minority has had to deal with. As was mentioned e a r l i e r , one of the stated aims of the Law of Regional Autonomy was i n fact to discourage Han chauvinism and promote group equality and unity. However, "Han chauvinism accelerated the deterioration of the ov e r a l l p o s i t i v e achievements of the party's n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y i n the early 1950s" ( O l i v i e r 1993: 104). Perhaps i n an e f f o r t to combat Han chauvinism, or due to the praise given to the Korean minorities i n many aspects of d a i l y l i f e , many Koreans i n Yanbian began to think of themselves as superior to the Han and the other minorities. Korean-Chinese leaders made i t clear that although 123 love and support of North Korea i s good for Chinese-Koreans, they must not confuse t h i s with t h e i r allegiance to China. They must remember that they are c i t i z e n s of China, and a n a t i o n a l i t y within i t s bounds, no longer linked to North Korea i n t h i s respect ( J i l i n Ribao 6 June 1957). Also i n the Yanbian Daily the Korean minority was c r i t i c i z e d for t h e i r s u p e r i o r i t y complex and b e l i e f that the Han and other minorities were i n f e r i o r . Some Korean cadres admitted that they supported l o c a l nationalism, and i n c r i t i c i z i n g themselves inferred that they would not do so i n the future. Instead, these leaders pointed out the importance of n a t i o n a l i t y unity with the Han as the guiding force (Yanbian Ribao 12 June 1958). During the a n t i - r i g h t i s t campaign of the late 1950s, the Koreans were severely c r i t i c i z e d for these b e l i e f s and were i n fact often targeted when the government spoke of l o c a l nationalism. Poss ib le Concerns i n the Future for the Korean Minor i ty One of the areas that may present some problems for the Korean minority i n the future i s related to t h e i r reduction i n b i r t h s . If the numbers of Korean minority children born continue to decrease, not only w i l l the population grow at a slower rate when compared to other minorities, but the Korean minority w i l l face the challenge of an aging population. This w i l l place an immense burden on the young, who i n the future w i l l comprise the lowest percentage of the population to date. Also, t h i s w i l l serve to widen the generation gap and could r e s u l t i n contradictions i n thoughts and actions as well. The gap between the younger generation who were born i n China and those who are 124 middle-aged or older and who immigrated from Korea as Korean c i t i z e n s already appears to be widening. A s i g n i f i c a n t proportion of the Koreans i n t h e i r 50s and older belong to the f i r s t generation of immigrants and thus are nat u r a l l y i n c l i n e d to r e t a i n a strong sense of emotional and c u l t u r a l attachment to t h e i r native homeland. They a l l have personal memories of Japanese c o l o n i a l rule, the Korean independence movements, China's pre-Communist r e a l i t y , and the Korean War experience. As suggested by t h e i r attitude toward Sino-Korean sports contests, some Koreans seem to show t h e i r primary sentimental attachment to Korea (either North Korea or South Korea) rather than to China (Lee 1986: 160). When asked who they would support i n sports contests, the individuals who were middle-aged or older stated they would support Korea, while the younger generation held mixed views (Interviews #1-10 March, A p r i l 1996). Aside from allegiance to t h e i r former homeland, the two generations preservation of culture i s markedly d i f f e r e n t . "While the older generation may be anxious to preserve t h e i r e t h n i c a l l y d i s t i n c t educational and c u l t u r a l programs and to transmit t h e i r Korean values, customs, and aspirations to t h e i r descendants, the younger generation i s not always able or w i l l i n g to emulate t h e i r parental model" (Lee 1986: 161). The younger individuals exhibited strong pride i n being Korean, and plan to pass on some customs to t h e i r own children. However, t h i s passing on of t r a d i t i o n s was referred to as a "necessity", almost as a burden, not as something that they w i l l i n g l y did to teach the next generation (Interviews #7 and #8 March 1996). Whether the views of these youngsters are ac t u a l l y quite d i f f e r e n t than the older generations or are merely c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of individuals 125 i n that age bracket cannot be ascertained. What can be said however, i t the experiences that they have undergone i n China are quite d i f f e r e n t and therefore have influenced them d i f f e r e n t l y as well. An example of t h i s d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n thinking between generations can be witnessed i n t h e i r use of language. It must be noted that some of the individuals I interviewed tended to have studied, or were presently studying at a private minority univ e r s i t y and l i v i n g i n Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture. They stated that i n school and at home they usually speak Korean, which represents a large percentage of the time. When f i r s t meeting strangers and buying things i n stores, however, a l l respondents stated that they speak Mandarin f i r s t as they know that non-Koreans cannot speak Korean, but most l i k e l y Korean-Chinese can speak Mandarin (Interviews #6-8 June 1996). However, one individual stated that upon meeting an old man on the street who he did not know, he spoke Chinese f i r s t . The e l d e r l y Korean-Chinese i n d i v i d u a l , c r i t i c i z e d him for doing so, which made him question whether he had done the right thing. In the end, the student compromised and stated that i f the in d i v i d u a l 1 looks Korean 1 they tend to speak Korean, regardless of the circumstance (Interview #8 June 1996). Perhaps some differences i n thinking among the generations w i l l not re s u l t i n any concrete changes. When the unmarried individuals were asked i f they would marry people who were not Korean-Chinese many looked surprised and stated that they had never thought about marrying outside of t h e i r n a t i o n a l i t y before, and they did not f e e l that they a c t u a l l y had the opportunity to do so. If the opportunity arose they stated they were not adverse to such a union (Interviews #7 and #10 June 1996). Approximately t h i r t y percent stated t h e i r parents would not permit such a union, while the rest stated that i f i t was REALLY what they wanted perhaps they could marry out (Interviews #5, #7-10 June 1996). However, since the l i k e l i h o o d of meeting someone other than Korean-Chinese i s very low, these individuals may marry within t h e i r group, not i n t e n t i o n a l l y but just as a consequence of t h e i r s i t u a t i o n . Therefore, although these two generations stated that t h e i r opinions and values d i f f e r i n t h i s respect, there may not be any concrete variations as a r e s u l t . The Korean minority, although i t has made great advances since l i b e r a t i o n , w i l l not be without i t s own contradictions and problems to resolve i n the years to follow. 127 Chapter Six: Assessment and Conclusions The Government of the People's Republic of China has recognized China as being composed of 55 o f f i c i a l minorities and has afforded them favourable treatment. This thesis has been an investigation of that treatment, and how the relationship between the minorities and the majority has been effected by the creation and implementation of t h i s l e g i s l a t i o n . The nature of the relationship between the 55 minority groups and the Han majority i s not as simple as i t f i r s t appears. Although the Han majority have enacted p o l i c i e s that allow special p r i v i l e g e s to China's 55 minorities, the minorities themselves have also played an important role i n the b u i l d i n g and maintenance of China as a nation. In t h i s sense then, each group has i t s own reasons and expectations from t h i s complex relationship, and no one group i s t o t a l l y dependent on the other. Thus, the relationship between the minorities and the majority in China appears to be acceptable to both sides and i s working to improve the conditions of China and i t s people as a whole. Before sp e c i a l p o l i c i e s were created, China's people were separated into n a t i o n a l i t y groups. These separations were made using S t a l i n ' s theory of nation as a model. What has become apparent from the above discussion however, i s that the use S t a l i n ' s theory i s not enough i n i t s e l f . Instead, t h i s theory may be used as a guide, as a framework that must be adapted to f i t China's unique s i t u a t i o n . The People's Republic of China government has refused to examine other factors, such as n a t i o n a l i t y willingness, which also play an important role i n 128 i d e n t i t y formation i n China. As a re s u l t , many people s t i l l remain u n c l a s s i f i e d over 40 years aft e r the i n i t i a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n processes were attempted. With the creation of n a t i o n a l i t i e s , n a t i o n a l i t y culture has been created as well. In fact, concrete i d e n t i f i e r s such as dress, customs and residence cards r e i f y the notion that the minorities are non-Han or d i f f e r e n t . This thesis has shown that China's recognized minorities do indeed receive favourable treatment that can be linked to t h e i r created i d e n t i t i e s . The most obvious examples of special p r i v i l e g e s can ben seen i n the areas of education and family planning. There are even special laws and regions i n China that refer s o l e l y to the righ t s guaranteed to China's 55 recognized minorities. The PRC has stated that these p o l i c i e s are necessary to ra i s e the minorities up to the level of the Han, and unite the two i n order for China to continue along on the s o c i a l i s t path. However, i n t h i s investigation, other factors were uncovered. These included: the need for protection i n border areas; the need to extract valuable minerals and resources from China's borders; the fear that the discontent minorities may favor secession; China's need to appear humane; and the need to relocate some of China's population to sparsely populated border regions. Therefore i t has become apparent that China needs i t s minorities just as much as the minorities need China. A complex relationship exists, that although i t has i t s problems, seems to be an acceptable solution for a country such as China. One may ask where the Korean-Chinese f i t i n the o v e r a l l 129 scheme of n a t i o n a l i t y r e l a t i o n s i n China. Well, as has been exemplified i n t h i s thesis, the Korean-Chinese occupy a special p o s i t i o n . At f i r s t , the Korean-Chinese suffered as a re s u l t of n a t i o n a l i t y policy, but presently they serve as an example of China's success. The Korean-Chinese are well-educated and have one of the lowest b i r t h rates i n the country. In fa c t , they have already surpassed the Han i n some respects. An examination of the Korean-Chinese s i t u a t i o n gives one hope for China's future. Although t h i s n a t i o n a l i t y has already surpasses the Han i n the areas of education and family planning, they s t i l l receive, and want these benefits. This returns us back to the complex relationship between the majority and i t s minorities. Although the aim of the n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y according to the PRC and the CCP i s to raise the minorities to the l e v e l of the Han, the Koreans have surpassed them i n some respects. Yet, the p o l i c i e s remain i n place and the Korean-Chinese have no plans to reli n q u i s h them. Although some benefits they receive are not needed and do not r e s u l t i n concrete changes, the Korean-Chinese are unwilling to l e t them go (Interviews #1-10 June 1996). Perhaps t h i s serves to t e l l us that the system i n China w i l l succeed, and that i t w i l l be s e l f - c o r r e c t i n g and w i l l r e s u l t in the improvement of conditions for a l l i t s people. Not a l l scholars have such an optimistic view of n a t i o n a l i t y r e l a t i o n s however. There appears to be l i t t l e consensus with regard to the success of current n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y i n China. Although I have concluded that n a t i o n a l i t i e s and group re l a t i o n s are prospering under these p o l i c i e s , t h i s research must be put 130 into perspective. By t h i s i t i s meant that we should not forget that the n a t i o n a l i t y problem in China i s by no means eradicated, and that the laws and corresponding p r i v i l e g e s put i n place for China's minorities are far from perfect. In fact, some scholars (Heberer 1989; Gladney 1994; Mackerras 1994) are quite c r i t i c a l of n a t i o n a l i t y relations and p o l i c i e s in China, as was evidenced e a r l i e r i n t h i s thesis. According to Gladney, n a t i o n a l i t i e s i n China are commodified and o b j e c t i f i e d at t h e i r expense, and are part of a complicated rela t i o n s h i p based on binary opposites (Gladney 1994: 93-94). He provides several examples of t h i s commodification to i l l u s t r a t e what he f e e l s i s an unequal relat i o n s h i p between the minorities and majority (1994: 92-95). I t i s important to r e i f y that t h i s lack of consensus i n no way negates the findings of t h i s study, but rather shows that n a t i o n a l i t y relations i n China are both complex and varied. The fieldwork in t h i s thesis focussed on one minority, the Korean-Chinese. I have already emphasized the special p o s i t i o n that t h i s minority occupies i n China, and t h i s d i r e c t l y influences t h e i r opinions and the results of n a t i o n a l i t y p o l i c y for them. Therefore, p o l i c i e s that appear to be successful for one n a t i o n a l i t y group, may be detrimental for another. 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"Culture Change and Ethnic Identity Among Minorities i n China" E t h n i c i t y and Ethnic Groups in China. Chien Chiao and Nicholas Tapp eds. New Asia Academic B u l l e t i n Vol VIII. Hong Kong: Don Bosco Pr i n t i n g Co. Ltd., 1989: 11-22. Xu, X i f a . "Shilun Xinjiang Shaoshu Minzu de Jihua Shengyu Wenti" ("Discussion of the Family Planning Issue of Xinjiang M i n o r i t i e s " ) . Zhongguo Shaoshu Minzu D5 (October 1986): (36-40). 135 Yan, Ruxian. "Marriage, Family and Social Progress of China's Minority N a t i o n a l i t i e s " E t h n i c i t y and Ethnic Groups i n China. Chien Chiao and Nicholas Tapp eds. New Asia Academic B u l l e t i n Vol VIII. Hong Kong: Don Bosco Prin t i n g Co. Ltd., 1989: 79-87. Yanbian Ribao. "Zhengqu Zhengfeng Yundong Quanmian Shengli" ("Strive For the Total Victory of the R e c t i f i c a t i o n " Movement) 12 June 1958. Yin, Ma. ed. China's Minority N a t i o n a l i t i e s . B e i j i n g : Foreign Languages Press, 1994. 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Korean-Chinese. Yanji C i t y . March 4, 1996 and June 21, 1996. Interview Candidate #9. Korean-Chinese. Yanji City. A p r i l 6, 1996 and June 22, 1996. Interview Candidate #10. Korean-Chinese. Yanji City. March 2, 1996 and June 21, 1996. Interview Candidate #11. Han. Changchun. A p r i l 6, 1996. 137 

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