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China’s New 21st-Century Realities

Social Equity in a Time of Change


Edited By Richard Greggory Johnson III

China’s New 21 st -Century Realities: Social Equity in a Time of Change examines the new social justice realities in China. Often when people think of China they think of a very rigid, patriarchal society where oppression is the order of the day. However, this book aims to debunk some of those preconceived notions by addressing issues such as single men living in rural China, professional women in politics, and the baggage that comes with being considered an outsider. The book looks at China through a critical social justice prism that has seldom been used before. Contributors also take on race and ethnicity as a means to understanding that China, like many nations in the world, is becoming increasingly diverse in many areas including religion and gender roles. This book is a must read for anyone that is truly interested in unlearning what they believe they know about human rights in China.


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Chapter Four: Rise of Uyghur Ethnic Tensions in China


c h a p t e r f o u r i n t r o d u c t i o n The People’s Republic of China (PRC) resembles many nations in that it is a state formed from the imposition of artificial political boundaries over centuries of military conflict and governmental change. Counted among its ethnic minorities today are the people of Mongolia, Tibet, and East Turkestan. Yet each of those societies has been an independent state for centuries with a distinct culture deeply rooted in a different religion and language. Therein lies the tension behind much ethnic violence, and particularly so with regard to the Uyghur culture of East Turkestan, known as Xinjiang, currently under the control of the Chinese government. Even the spelling of the ethnic group’s name has caused controversy—is it Uighur or Uyghur? According to Radio Free Asia (‘Uyghur’ or ‘Uighur?’ 2010), Anyone researching the Turkic people living in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, and scattered throughout Central Asia, must almost immediately make what seems to be a major editorial decision: Are they Uyghur or Uighur people? Do they inhabit the Xinjiang Uighur or Uyghur Autonomous Region? Uighur, with an “i,” has appeared for centuries in writings by western scholars, and many western media and experts on the region still prefer this spelling. Rise of Uyghur Ethnic Tensions in China jeanne powell 64 | jeanne powell Then Radio Free Asia goes on to say: “But members of this mostly Muslim ethnic group overwhelmingly prefer...

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