China Travels

I just read this nice travel account of a trip through western China in Slate. The article is a 5 part series focusing on the Hanization (a word I just came up with meaning the spread of Han Chinese culture, language and people. This is just like russianization, a tactic the Soviet Union used to keep control of their many ethnic minorities. China is currently 90% ethnic Han.) of Xianjiang province. The native ethnic group of Xianjiang is Uighur (pronounced WEE-gur), a muslim population with roots close to central Asian groups. What is troubling about this article is its demonstration of how Han Chinese are being drawn into this region to “tame” it and keep Chinese hold of the area. Han are also given preferential treatment in education, government jobs, and work in the booming oil fields. Very similar to what is happening in Tibet. I find it interesting that Tibet gets so much more attention than this region. This blog is written by a New Jersey native who lives in the region. Picture is taken by him.


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