Date of Submission

Spring 2022

Academic Program

Political Studies; Asian Studies; Global and International Studies

Project Advisor 1

Walter Russell Mead

Project Advisor 2

Malia Du Mont

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Plagued by centuries of humiliation and foreign occupation, Chinese dignitaries, from as early as the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC), saw a relationship between national unity and a strong, impenetrable Chinese State. China has long struggled to balance the needs of national minorities with the goals of the Communist Party. As a result, swift attempts to strengthen national unity through infrastructure development and land cultivation projects in minority-dominated regions have yielded unfortunate hardships for the inhabitants. As long as national unity is the key to maintaining China’s status as a global superpower, meeting national production quotas and narrowing the poverty gap will take precedence over the needs of ethnic minorities. In the United States’ quest to understand and anticipate China’s actions, it has been incorrectly assumed that incorporating China into multilateral organizations and liberal trade treaties, would produce a change in China’s social attitudes. Rather, China has used its involvement in these organizations Melville 3 to take advantage of liberal world-order practices, so as to benefit from free trade while maintaining traditional Chinese attitudes with regard to human rights and democracy. The Communist Party’s treatment of ethnic and national minorities has become increasingly aggressive amid the economy’s rapid growth. It is imperative that we do not mistake modern CCP national minority policies as being a race-driven political statement. Rather, we must study the historical context in which Chinese fear of dissent is based and anticipate the future moves of the CCP by seeing autonomous region subjugation through a lens that considers the geopolitical importance of autonomous region lands.

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