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The Case of the Missing Indigene: Debate Over a “Second-Generation” Ethnic Policy

By Mark Christopher Elliott


The last few years have seen a vigorous public policy debate emerge over a “second generation” ethnic policy (di’erdai minzu zhengce) which, if implemented, would constitute a major revision of ethnic politics in China. Despite the fact that nationalities policy is a notoriously sensitive subject within China, the debate is happening openly in newspapers, academic journals and on the Internet. The prominence accorded to anthropological theory and international comparison is a notable feature of the debate. This article first explores the main positions in the ongoing policy discussion, then goes on to argue that, rather than comparing China’s non-Han peoples to minority immigrant populations in the industrialized democracies, a better comparison is to indigenous peoples. It then considers why this perspective is completely missing from the present debate.East Asian Languages and Civilization

Publisher: 'University of Chicago Press'
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.1086/679274.
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