There are 56 ethnic Chinese minorities with about 100 million people among them. These minorities have their own languages and cultures. The majority, the Han Chinese, have seven languages. There is one written language in China.
Learning Mandarin and English are mandatory in the public schools. It is expected and mandatory that “all” students will spend 11 years in school.
Until the 11th, Five-Year Plan, urban schools were much better than China’s rural schools. It’s too early to see the results yet. After all, it took more than three decades to achieve what China has already accomplished.
The two minorities best known outside China are the Tibetans (4.6 million) and the 8 million Uighurs in China’s northwest Xinjiang province. Few of the province’s Uighurs speak the national language of Mandarin. They are educated in their own tongue in Uighur schools, and they are treated in Uighur hospitals that they claim are sub-par.
The Uighurs have a history of insurrection with the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). There were several rebellions during the 19th century that were put down ruthlessly by the Manchu.
Go to Four Equals One China: Part 6
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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