III. Consolidating and Developing the Great Unity of All Ethnic Groups
Ethnic unity is China's fundamental principle in handling any ethnic issues as well as the core of the country's ethnic policies.
Maintaining the unity of all ethnic groups is particularly significant for China as a multi-ethnic country: First, the unity of all ethnic groups is an important guarantee for the unification of the country. The realization of the unity of all ethnic groups is the prerequisite for safe-guarding the unification of the country, and preventing contradictions and conflicts among ethnic groups which could split the country and bring disorder to it. Second, the unity of all ethnic groups is an important prerequisite for social stability. Only such unity can stabilize and harmonize society, bring ease to the people's lives and work, and guarantee the country's long-lasting peace and safety. Third, the unity of all ethnic groups is an important guarantee for the development of all social endeavors. Only unity can concentrate the strength of all the ethnic groups for the construction and development of the country, promote economic and social progress and improve the Chinese people's lives.
The Chinese government and people attach great importance to the unity of all ethnic groups, and regard it as the supreme interest of all the Chinese people, and the fundamental guarantee for the realization of the prosperity and development of all China's ethnic groups. For many years, all China's ethnic groups have steadfastly adhered to the concept that "the Han Chinese cannot live without the minority groups, that the minority groups cannot live without the Han Chinese, and no one minority group can live without other minority groups." In China, each citizen's fate is linked with that of the country, and each citizen is obliged to resolutely work for the unification of the country and the unity of all ethnic groups, determinedly oppose national separatism and voluntarily devote themselves to the construction of the country. The Chinese government and people firmly believe that the unity and friendship of all ethnic groups are utmost significant for the Chinese nation's vitality, strength and hope.
In China, ethnic unity includes the unity of the Han ethnic group with the minority ethnic groups, the unity among the minority ethnic groups and the unity of members of the same ethnic group. For maintaining ethnic unity, all China's ethnic groups, in the big family of the unified motherland and on the basis of equality, are required to respect each other, trust each other, learn from each other and cooperate with each other. People of all ethnic groups breathe under the same sky and share the same destiny; they should care for each other, promote peaceful coexistence and harmonious development, continuously strengthen and develop socialist ethnic relations based on equality, solidarity, mutual assistance and harmony, devote all to the construction of socialist modernization, and make our country strong, our nation thrive and our people happy.
For many years, the state has adopted various methods to eliminate all factors adverse to the unity of all ethnic groups, and resolutely maintained this unity, striving to realize common prosperity and development through the concerted efforts of all China's ethnic groups.
— The state guarantees the legitimate rights and interests of all ethnic minorities. The state has employed legal, economic and administrative means to eliminate ethnic discrimination and estrangement left over from past, and promote unity and development. The state prohibits ethnic discrimination and oppression in any form, and bans any behavior aimed at undermining ethnic unity and causing ethnic antagonism. In the practice of maintaining ethnic unity, the state opposes both chauvinism of big ethnic groups, especially Han chauvinism, and local nationalism. The Chinese government has carried out many inspections on the implementation of ethnic policies across the country for guaranteeing their all-round implementation. With the development of the economy and society, the population flow of minority communities is becoming more frequent, increasingly characterized by urbanization and scattered settlement. To guarantee the legitimate rights and interests of minority peoples living in both urban areas and scattered minority communities, the state has promulgated the Regulations on Ethnic Work in Urban Areas, and Regulations on Administrative Work in Ethnic Townships to strengthen services and management in order to help minority communities develop production, improve their lives and meet their cultural and dietary needs.
— The state adheres to and improves the system of regional autonomy for ethnic minorities. In line with its actual conditions, China practices the system of regional ethnic autonomy. This system has organically integrated centralization at the state level and regional autonomy in areas where ethnic minorities live in compact communities. It is a great creation in handling China's ethnic issues. The system of regional ethnic autonomy has played an important role in guaranteeing that ethnic minorities fully perform their roles as the masters of the country and that the ethnic relations are consolidated and developed on the basis of equality, solidarity, mutual assistance and harmony. For many years the state has guaranteed the full exercise of the self-government rights by the ethnic minorities, and respected and guaranteed their legitimate rights and interests.
— The state is convinced that quickening the economic and social development of minority communities and minority areas is the fundamental solution to China's ethnic issues. Overcoming the difficulties and solving the problems in the minority areas hinges on development. For many years, the state has attached strategic importance to the development of ethnic minorities and the regions where they inhabit, and worked out guidelines and strategic arrangements in line with the realities of ethnic minorities in their different development stages to support the development of the ethnic minorities and the areas where they inhabit in policies, capital, human resources and technology. The state always takes raising the living standard of all ethnic groups as starting point and the ultimate goal of all the works, does its utmost to accelerate the development and carries it out in a down-to-earth manner, and strives to realize the common prosperity of all ethnic groups. Through persistent efforts, the working conditions and living standards of ethnic minorities and the minority areas have been greatly improved, and their standards of ethics, science, culture and health have been raised to a great extent.
— The state constantly strengthens publicity and education in ethnic unity. It has included ethnic unity education in the whole process of ethical education for citizens and the whole process of socialist cultural and ideological construction. The government constantly conducts education among officials and masses of all ethnic groups about ethnic theory, policy, laws and regulations, and knowledge with focuses on the targeted audience and effect. Such publicity and education are not only targeted at ordinary people, but more so at officials; not only at officials of ethnic minorities, but more so at Han officials; not only at low-level officials, but more so at the leading officials. The state attaches special importance to carrying out education in ethnic unity among young people, and makes it a requirement to introduce ethnic unity education into schools and teaching materials in order to pass on this fine tradition from generation to generation. In 2008 the state promulgated the Outline on Education of Ethnic Unity in Schools (Trial). In 2009 the state decided to include the content of ethnic unity into the scope of examinations for primary school students, into the graduation examinations for junior high-school students entering senior high-school students, senior high-school students entering institutions of higher learning, as well as for those entering secondary vocational schools. The state also pays great attention to relevant training for those working in press and publishing, gives guidance and encouragement to them to correctly comprehend and actively publicize ethnic policies, laws and regulations and basic knowledge in this regard, and produce more and better works promoting unity of all ethnic groups and the unification of the country. Meanwhile, the state pays attention to strengthen management over publications, radio and TV programs and video-film products and the use of the Internet to bar any contents hurting ethnic feelings and damaging ethnic unity.
— The state actively carries out activities to commend role models in promoting ethnic unity and progress of ethnic minorities. Since 1988 the state has held four national commendation conferences for promoting ethnic unity and progress, commended 4,993 role models from the 56 ethnic groups, including 2,474 exemplary entities and 2,519 exemplary individuals. Local governments at all levels also carry out such activities in various forms, including the "Ethnic Unity Month," formulate relevant commendation methods, set up role models, foster uprightness in the whole society; and create an environment of "honor to those safeguarding the ethnic unity and shame to those damaging the ethnic unity." The "Ethnic Unity Month" is carried out every May in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, September in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the Jilin Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, and July in the Guizhou Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture.
— The state appropriately handles disputes and conflicts jeopardizing ethnic unity. The state adheres to the guidelines of unity, education, guidance and settlement of disputes or conflicts, analyzes and resolves such issues in a realistic way so as not to step up the disputes or conflicts. The state safeguards the dignity of law and protects the people's interests, and punishment will be meted out for any criminal offences regardless of the convict's ethnicity, religious belief in accordance with the law. In recent years, the central government and local governments at all levels have established permanent mechanisms and emergency response plans for handling issues jeopardizing ethnic unity, and appropriately and promptly resolve conflicts and incidents jeopardizing ethnic unity for the maintenance of the unity of all ethnic groups and social stability.
China's ethnic issues are strictly internal affairs of the country itself. The Chinese government resolutely opposes all foreign interference in the country's internal ethnic affairs under the excuses of "ethnicity," "religion" and "human rights." The country is determined, in accordance with the law, to guard against and crack down on any infiltration into China, sabotage and subversive activities against China conducted by forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism. History and reality have proved that if all ethnic groups in a country are united and treat one another with love, such a nation is bound to enjoy good administration, harmonious life and prosperity; if a country is full of ethnic conflicts and confrontations, such a nation is sure to suffer social unrest and bring calamity to its people.