3. Furthering Protection of the Rights of Ethnic Minorities
Guaranteeing the right of ethnic minority groups to participate in the administration of state affairs. The provisions in the Constitution and laws regarding the representation of ethnic minority groups in the leadership of organs exercising regional autonomy and the election of ethnic minority deputies to the people's congresses are strictly implemented.
The Electoral Law stipulates that ethnic groups with a small population shall have at least one deputy to the NPC. All 55 ethnic minority groups have deputies to the NPC and members in the CPPCC National Committee. The 13th NPC has 438 ethnic minority deputies, accounting for 14.7 percent of the total.
Raising the living standards of ethnic minority groups and areas. Special programs have been launched, and policies and measures have been implemented to boost the economy of ethnic minority areas, such as the development of the western region, the action plan to bring prosperity to border areas and their residents, paired assistance between developed areas and less developed ethnic autonomous areas, special support for ethnic groups with small populations, and preservation and development of ethnic minority villages and towns.
Between 2018 and 2020, the five autonomous regions of Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Tibet, Ningxia and Xinjiang, and the three provinces of Guizhou, Yunnan and Qinghai with large ethnic minority populations recorded faster economic growth than the national average. The per capita disposable income of their residents increased from RMB150 in 1978 to RMB24,534 in 2020.
Developing education in ethnic minority areas. China has adopted a series of measures to promote educational equality and ensure ethnic minorities' right to education. These measures include opening more schools in ethnic minority areas, offering preparatory courses or special classes at secondary schools and universities to ethnic minority students, running boarding schools in farming and pastoral areas, and developing higher education in ethnic minority areas.
All ethnic minority areas have enforced nine-year compulsory education from primary school to junior high school. In the Tibet Autonomous Region and in Hotan, Kashgar, and Aksu prefectures and Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture in southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, students enjoy 15 years of free education from preschool to senior high school.
Boosting cultural undertakings of ethnic minority groups. While promoting standard spoken and written Chinese, the state protects the right of ethnic minority groups to use and develop their own spoken and written languages to consolidate ethnic unity and social harmony. As of 2020, there were 729 radio and television stations in ethnic autonomous areas. The broadcasting stations across the country run 279 television channels and 188 radio programs in ethnic minority languages.
The Site of Xanadu, the Tusi Sites, the Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, the Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace of Lhasa, and Silk Roads: The Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor are all included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Of the 42 items from China included in the UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage, 15 are from ethnic minority areas.
China has established 11 national (pilot) cultural reserves in ethnic minority areas. A total of 25 provinces and equivalent administrative units have institutions that catalogue and study ancient classics and records of ethnic minorities. By 2020, about 1 million privately-held ethnic minority ancient classics and records (excluding books collected in museums and temples), including many rare editions and single extant copies, had been rescued and catalogued. China has launched the compilation of Collection of Ancient Classics and Records of Chinese Ethnic Minorities, which will include about 300,000 books upon completion.
Safeguarding peace and stability in ethnic minority areas. In this unified multiethnic country, the sense of identity of the Chinese nation is heightened to unite all the people in pressing forward for common prosperity and a bright future. With strong support from all ethnic groups, the government takes lawful actions to combat terrorists, separatists and religious extremists, to safeguard ethnic unity and social stability. People's rights to a peaceful existence, to life and health, and to property are effectively protected, and their sense of gain, happiness and security continues to grow.