Handbook on Ethnic Minorities in China
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Handbook on Ethnic Minorities in China

Edited by Xiaowei Zang

This much-needed volume explains who ethnic minorities are and how well do they do in China. In addition to offering general information about ethnic minority groups in China, it discusses some important issues around ethnicity, including ethnic inequality, minority rights, and multiculturalism. Drawing on insights and perspectives from scholars in different continents the contributions provide critical reflections on where the field has been and where it is going, offering readers possible directions for future research on minority ethnicity in China. The Handbook reviews research and addresses key conceptual, theoretical and methodological issues in the study of ethnicity in China.
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Chapter 6: Nation-state building and multiculturalism in China

Minglang Zhou


In chapter 6, Minglang Zhou points out that the accommodation of multiculturalism in China has been a serious challenge since 1949. He examines, in terms of the concept of citizenship, how China entertained multiculturalism in the Soviet model of multinational state building between 1949 and the 1990s and how China has accommodated multiculturalism in its new Chinese model of one nation with diversity since the late 1990s. According to Zhou, the Soviet model selectively practiced citizenship and created more particularism than universalism, resulting in uncompromising conflicts between ethnic identities and the unitary national identity. The Chinese model in association with the cultural pluralist approach to citizenship appears to be a viable alternative to the Soviet model in bridging minority cultures and the mainstream culture and in coordinating ethnic identities and the inclusive Chinese national identity if China improves its practice of citizenship. Multiculturalism is model-specific in China.

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