The Menlo Roundtable

Being Chinese in Modern China: The Uyghur Cultural Genocide

The Chinese government, paradoxically, both embraces and suppresses ethnic nationalism to consolidate power; as it continues its evolution from a state to a nation-state that shares a common Han culture and is hyper nationalistic, the government requires citizens to believe in the superiority of Han as an ethnicity and pledge full allegiance to the state first and foremost.

The Chinese government’s promotion of ethnic nationalism via a unified Han Chinese identity has resulted in the mistreatment of ethnic minorities, such as the Uyghurs, exhibiting an extremely narrow definition of what it means to be Chinese; ironically, this hypernationalism is contributing to an undermining of China’s soft power in the global context and has the potential to subvert stability at home.

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