Korean minority nationality in China: A case study of China's minority nationalities policy

Date of Completion

January 1989


Anthropology, Cultural|Political Science, General




This study covers China's minority policies with special emphasis on the Korean Autonomous Prefecture as a specific case and will serve the following purposes: first, the case study is to make a contribution to historical and anthropological knowledge of the Korean ethnic minority area in China. Second, the project is to improve theoretical understanding of national minority policies in communist countries and will clarify narrower issues, such as relations between central government policy changes in general and their effect on minority policy change in parochial areas. Finally, the study is to improve understanding of the continuity and change of Chinese policies toward minorities (swaying from pluralism to assimilationism) in order to integrate the minority people under the banner of communism.^ With these purposes in mind, the following questions will be posed: How have the Chinese minority policies been implemented in the Korean Autonomous Prefecture from 1949 to present? What have been the responses to those policies? And in what ways have the policies changed as a result of the responses? In order to achieve the answer to these questions, this study is to be comparative and will use the tools of historical analysis based on a mixture of documentary research and personal interviews.^ Consequently, with a review of China's minority nationality policy changes and Korean minority's responses, this study suggests that the more a majority hastens to assimilate a minority, the higher the minority's consciousness of difference from that of a majority becomes. It then has a greater tendency to demand pluralistic status and more rights. Even though in general most of minority nationalities have experienced a similar pattern of China's attitude toward minority nationalities policies since 1949, its concrete policy implementation has varied according to each nationality. ^