Article 9 of the Common Program
Article 9 of the Common Program

All nationalities in the People's Republic of China shall have equal rights and duties.

Mao (2017) labels the Chinese policy towards minorities before 1949 in the following words: "The state adopted two competing frontier policies when dealing with the barbarians, cultural and military. The main strategy the state adopted was to “cherish” (huai’rou) and “assimilate” (hanhua) frontier peoples through education and moral indoctrination. In the meanwhile, a “loose rein” (jimi) policy was applied to maintain the boundary between xia (the Chinese) and yi (barbarians). When the barbarians were two evil and too stubborn to be civilized, the state would employ military tactics to forcibly bring them into the Chinese political sphere, or to prevent them from crossing the Great War (sic) and raiding the central plains.14"
Mao Sheng (2017). "Frontier Politics And Sino-Soviet Relations: A Study Of Northwestern Xinjiang, 1949-1963." Page 7
This view has characterized politics towards minorities over the years. Mao (2017) continues "...for reasons of defense, economic and social well-being, and national pride, the current government attaches considerable importance to gaining the allegiances of minority peoples and putting them under Chinese jurisdiction. "
Mao (2017). "Frontier Politics" Page 16

The CCP implemented this policy in 1944 in Yan'an, with the founding of the United Front Work Department. One of the tasks of this party organ was implementing minority policy. This department developed strategies for minority work.
Li Weihan
Li Weihan (1896-1984)
became its director and he played an important role in realizing the aims of the CCP in the field of nationalities.
On October 19, 1949, the State Ethnic Affairs Commission was established. Its role is to supervise and inspect all operations of the minority policy. The commission reports directly to the Government Administration Council (GAC). Li Weihan is also the chairman of this commission. (Li was assisted by three deputy chairmen, all from different ethnic groups-
Ulanhu (1906-1988) also known as Ulanfu (1896-1984) Chairman of China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (1947-1966), highest-ranking minority official
Liu Geping
Liu Geping (1904-1992)
(Hui), and
Saifuding Azizi(1915-2003) also known as Seypidin Azizi, Saif al-Dīn ʿAzīz, Saifuding Aizezi, and Saifuding
Kaup (2000) describes the responsibilities of this state organ: To supervise the implementation of national regional autonomy; To publicize policies concerning minority nationalities and check up on their implementation; To make concerted efforts in conjunction with the relevant departments within the GAC to promote socialist economic and cultural construction; To take charge of work related to minority languages in general; To take charge of minority nationalities' institutes and the work of training minority cadres and scientific and technological personnel; To organize and facilitate minority people's visits; To conduct constant study and investigation of minority nationalities and their areas, and to sum up experience in ethnic work; and to carry out tasks assigned by the GAC concerning nationalities affairs.
Kaup Katherine Palmer (2000). Creating the Zhuang: Ethnic Politics in China. Pages 80-81

Details of the policy towards minorities are elaborated in Chapter 6 of the Common Program.

Mao Sheng (2017). "Frontier Politics And Sino-Soviet Relations: A Study Of Northwestern Xinjiang, 1949-1963." Page 7 Back
Mao (2017). "Frontier Politics" Page 16 Back
Kaup Katherine Palmer (2000). Creating the Zhuang: Ethnic Politics in China. Boulder, CO. Pages 80-81 Back