The Common Program of the People's Republic of China 1949-1954

Article 9 of the Common Program

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 (sic) 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" 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. "
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 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 (Mongolian), Liu Geping (Hui), and Saifuding (Uygur).

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

Mao (2017). Page 7 [↩] [Cite]
Mao (2017). Page 16 [↩] [Cite]
Kaup (2000). Pages 80-81 [↩] [Cite]

Chapter 1 of Common Program