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"We are part of the same family" : China's ethnic propaganda

"Wir sind Teil der gleichen Familie" : Chinas ethnische Propaganda
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Brady, Anne-Marie

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Abstract The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government works hard to promote an image of ethnic harmony in China and downplays ethnic conflict by carefully controlling public information and debate about ethnic affairs. Despite such efforts, the recent clashes in Tibetan areas in 2008 and violent riots in Urumqi in 2009 reveal the weaknesses of this approach. This paper surveys the broad themes of ethnic propaganda (minzu xuanchuan) in present-day China, looking at the organisations involved, the systems of information management they utilise, and the current 'go' and 'no-go' zones for debate. The paper forms part of a larger study of the politics of ethnicity in China. It is based on primary- and secondary-source research in Chinese, secondary sources in English, and extensive interviews with Chinese bureaucrats and scholars regarding China's ethnic affairs conducted during fieldwork in China in 2002, 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. Ethnic issues in China concern not only the minority peoples there, but also the majority Han - hence, my definition of ethnic propaganda incorporates materials relating to all of China's ethnic groups. The paper uses the events in Tibetan areas in 2008 and in Urumqi as case studies to demonstrate how these policies play out in periods of crisis. It concludes with a discussion of the role that ethnic propaganda plays in maintaining China's long-term political stability and its international affairs.
Keywords China; ethnic group; ethnic relations; propaganda; communist party; minority policy; information policy; reporting; Tibet; international relations; campaign; language; censorship; public opinion; Far East
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Media Politics, Information Politics, Media Law
Method empirical; qualitative empirical; quantitative empirical
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 159-181
Journal Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 41 (2012) 4
Issue topic The politics of ethnicity in China
ISSN 1868-4874
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works