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Bildungswesen in Xinjiang
Jun 6th, 2017 by Gao

Die chinesische Regierung hat seit einigen Jahren Absolvent_innen der sogenannten „zweisprachigen“ Mittelschulen systematisch privilegiert. (Das sind Mittelschulen, deren Zweisprachigkeit darin besteht, dass die Muttersprache der Schüler_innen nicht Chinesisch, die Unterrichtssprache jedoch ausschließlich Chinesisch ist.)

Adrian Zenz: Problematic Privilege in Xinjiang (Diplomat)

On April 12, China’s Ministry of Education announced that the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), the restive Muslim province in China’s far west, would no longer provide added points to university entrance exam applicants from bilingual educational tracks. Bilingual education was established in 2004 with the aim to promote Chinese language education among the region’s ethnic minorities, especially the Uyghurs. In the bilingual system, the role of the minority language is typically restricted to that of a single language subject, creating a highly immersive Chinese language environment.

2016年新疆高考各批次录取分数线正式公布(新疆维吾尔自治区教育厅 / Xinjiang Uyƣur Aptonom Rayonluⱪ maarip nazariti)

6月26日,自治区招生办公布了2016年新疆普通高考各批次最低投档控制分数线。

第二代民族政策探讨(中国民族宗教网)

第二代民族政策是清华大学国情研究中心主任胡鞍钢与胡联合,以及北京大学社会学系教授马戎提出来的民族政策思路,倡导推行淡化族群意识和56个民族的观念,强化中华民族的身份意识和身份认同,推进中华民族一体化和国家认同的政策。第二代民族政策的指导思想是效仿美国的民族大熔炉模式,不容许任何一个族群生活在一块属于自己的历史疆域内。

James Leibold: Ethnic Policy in China: Is Reform Inevitable? Policy Studies 68 (2013) (PDF, East-West Centre)

There are … signs that interethnic conflict may be growing as free-market forces and increased interethnic communication and mobility intensifies ethnic-based competition… Amid this perception of crisis, Chinese academics, policymakers, and other thought-leaders are engaged in unprecedented debate over the future direction of their country’s ethnic policies… A “melting pot” model is increasingly being accepted as better for de-emphasizing ethnic consciousness, improving ethnic relations and solidifying national unity in the long run… Barry Sautman argues that [these] proposals to “curb minority rights” “emanate from a small number of Chinese academics” yet “reflect a prominent strand of thinking about ethnic policies”.

Ma Rong: The development of minority education and the practice of bilingual education in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. (PDF, Case Western Reserve University)

Sprachpolitik | Singapur
Feb 17th, 2015 by Gao

Don’t make yourself at home (Economist)

China is urbanising at a rapid pace. In 2000 nearly two-thirds of its residents lived in the countryside. Today fewer than half do. But two ethnic groups, whose members often chafe at Chinese rule, are bucking this trend. Uighurs and Tibetans are staying on the farm, often because discrimination against them makes it difficult to find work in cities. As ethnic discontent grows, so too does the discrimination, creating a vicious circle…
Part of the problem is linguistic. Uighurs and Tibetans brought up in the countryside often have a very poor grasp of Mandarin, the official language. The government has tried to promote Mandarin in schools, but has encountered resistance in some places where it is seen as an attempt to suppress native culture. In southern Xinjiang, where most Uighurs live, many schools do not teach it.
But discrimination is a big factor, too. Even some of the best-educated Uighur and Tibetan migrants struggle to find work. Reza Hasmath of Oxford University found that minority candidates in Beijing, for example, were better educated on average than their Han counterparts, but got worse-paying jobs. A separate study found that CVs of Uighurs and Tibetans, whose ethnicities are clearly identifiable from their names (most Uighurs also look physically very different from Han Chinese), generated far fewer calls for interviews.

Matt Adler: Interview with Dr. Robert Barnett: “Tibetan Language: Policy and Practice” (Culturally Curious)

Within the entire Tibetan area, Lhasa Tibetan is spoken or understood by roughly half the population and is the dialect used on Tibet TV, so it’s the most prevalent form of Tibetan.
Amdo Tibetan is now competing with Lhasa Tibetan as a major form of the language, simply because so much cultural and intellectual creativity – music, film, television dramas, poetry, fiction, essays, commentaries and debate – is produced by Tibetans from the Amdo area, including among exiles, and circulated on dvds or other media. This is partly because language policy is much more progressive there than in the Lhasa area. Kham Tibetan, also spoken by about a fifth of all Tibetans, is easily intelligible in its standard form to both Amdowans and Lhasa Tibetans, and recently has been given a television station of its own, so it is significant too…
Chinese policy-makers and thinkers seem to have no concept of true bilingualism: their policies are termed bilingual but are always Chinese-dominant. It’s as if they’ve never been to India, Hong Kong, or Scandinavia, where equal fluency in two languages or more is common.

Wenfang Tang: Language policy and ethnic conflict in China (University of Nottingham)

In summary, China’s overly lenient language policy has resulted in minority students being less likely to go to college and to find good jobs. Their income is lower than the Han majority. Consequently, they become angry and blame the problem as discrimination. To solve this problem, promoting Mandarin education should be the first step. Admittedly, such a solution will face more fury from those who are already critical of China’s ethnic policies. Ultimately, it is a tradeoff between keeping ethnic languagse and cultural identity and improving the economic opportunities and conditions for minorities.

Tash Aw: Being Chinese in Singapore (New York Times, auch via Google News)

[T]o be in Singapore today means to challenge conventional ideas of Chineseness. As China rises on the world stage, it is exporting its notions of Chinese culture and ethnicity, creating new tensions within Chinese communities abroad. In Singapore, Chinese people used to be called zhongguo ren or hua ren interchangeably: The small distinction between the two terms — the former relating to people with Chinese nationality or born in China; the latter to anyone ethnically and culturally Chinese — was considered artificial. But subtle divisions of this kind have now become the crux of what it means to be Chinese here.
Three-quarters of Singapore’s people are ethnically Chinese, most descendants of Hokkien-speaking immigrants from Fujian Province in southern China who came to the island in the first half of the 19th century, when it was a British settlement. Malays and Indians, both indigenous and immigrants who also arrived in the 19th century, have long formed important communities in the territory. But it is the predominance of the ethnic Chinese that was crucial to Singapore’s formation in the first place.
In 1965, Singapore broke off from freshly independent Malaysia as a direct result of bitter disputes over the preservation of rights for ethnic Chinese and other minorities in the new Malay-dominated nation…
Singapore’s multilingual educational system treats Mandarin as a de facto second language after English…
Yet a chasm remains between the Chinese of Singapore and their mainland counterparts, divided by contemporary social values and the very language that is supposed to bind them all.
Singapore’s lively Internet media and online forums reveal a pattern of prejudice toward immigrants from China…
If the Chinese of Singapore once defined their Chineseness in opposition to Malaysia, today they are distancing themselves from China.

Adeline Koh: To My Dear Fellow Singapore Chinese: Shut Up When a Minority is Talking about Race (Medium)

People of Chinese descent make up 70% of the population of Singapore. Singapore Chinese, as they are termed, enjoy systemic, racialized and institutional privilege in the country as opposed to the countries’ minorities (primarily racialized as Indian and Malay).
“Chinese privilege”, as Sangeetha Thanapal has named it, functions very similarly to white privilege in the United States and Europe. To use Peggy McClintock’s notion of white privilege and the invisible knapsack, Chinese privilege functions like an “invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious. [Chinese] privilege is like an invisible weightless backpack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.” As a Singapore Chinese person, when I am in Singapore, I never need to think twice about whether my race/ethnicity is represented on mainstream media, whether my languages are spoken, whether my religions are allowed to exist, whether I can catch a taxi. All these things are little aspects of Chinese privilege which is very similar to how white privilege functions.

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