China: Minority Exclusion, Marginalization and Rising Tensions

Minority Rights Group, 1 January 2007 

Minority Rights Group — China’s increasing engagement with the international community in recent years has been accompanied by rapid domestic social and economic changes. Although the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is now an active participant in multilateral forums and processes of international human rights law, its policies continue to undermine human rights, especially that of vulnerable populations.

This report documents the serious impediments to the fulfillment of China’s human rights obligations, in the areas of ethnic minority political participation, development, and preservation of cultural identity. Given the destabilizing levels of social unrest and protests, generated by inequality and human rights violations, the PRC government has real incentives to find sustainable, lasting solutions to the discontent of petitioners, human rights defenders, activists, and ethnic minorities. Its responses, however, have been violent and repressive, not only in ethnic minority areas but also against its Han Chinese majority. This is evidence that the current wave of repression against minorities has wider implications on the human rights situation for all. Minority individuals face particular attacks as a result of their ethnic identity, but are not the only targets of PRC control and suppression. Consequently, the protection of rights for these ethnic minority groups is a piece of the larger framework of institutional human rights protection, which is essential in building a peaceful society.

The report can be read here.