Chapter 13: Xinjiang
* Léo-Paul Dana INTRODUCTION This chapter, stemming from field research in China, is about small business in Xinjiang, the country’s largest administrative region. Here, the Han-Chinese are a minority, and most people are Muslims. Whereas the Han-Chinese introduced a firm-type economy to Xinjiang, the non-Han sphere of activity is concentrated in the bazaar economy. While the firmtype economy is a means to an end (monetary reward), the bazaar is an end in itself; the bazaar helps the indigenous Uygurs to preserve their cultural identity. Their bazaar is a social and cultural system. Given that these people have a Turkic culture and they speak a Turkic language, this has facilitated trade with bazaar entrepreneurs in the rapidly developing, newly independent republics of central Asia. A very rich literature has examined the Han-Chinese and their business enterprises, even outside China. Examples include a study of entrepreneurs among Han-Chinese in the State of Mississippi (Loewen, 1971); research on Han-Chinese entrepreneurs in the United States (Light, 1972); a study of self-employment among Han-Chinese in New York (Wong, 1987); a report on Han-Chinese entrepreneurs in Calgary (Ray et al., 1988); a study of Han-Chinese entrepreneurs in Canada (Brenner and Toulouse, 1990); a description of Han-Chinese in Vietnam (Dana, 1994); and an analysis of Han-Chinese entrepreneurs from Hong Kong (Dana, 1995). In contrast, less is known about non-Han business in China. While the non-Han people are a minority in China, the Han are a minority in Xinjiang. Xinjiang means ‘new frontier’ in Chinese. Most of the...
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