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China's Minorities
China Pays Muslim Uighurs to Intermarry

First Tibet, now Xinjiang: local Chinese authorities in Western China are encouraging marriages between ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Han Chinese. But this time, the government is going so far as to offer financial incentives to the area’s Muslim Uighurs to intermarry. The FT reports

The policy, celebrated by local Communist party officials as advancing the “great cause of assimilation” and “ethnic unity”, offers couples entering into mixed marriages an annual bonus of Rmb10,000 ($1,600), equivalent to 135 per cent of average annual rural incomes.

Uighurs, Mongolians and other ethnic minorities who marry people from the dominant Han race, which makes up more than 90 per cent of China’s 1.36bn population, will also be eligible for a broad range of medical, schooling and housing benefits.

Just as when officials encouraged intermarriage in Tibet, this new gambit in Xinjiang is a response to unrest among the populations in the area. They hope to manage their minority populations by assimilating them into dominant Chinese life and culture. China has employed the stick against them—jailing, execution—and now it appears to be also trying the carrot.

All of this is related to a point Peter Berger raised in an article earlier this summer. As the economic growth which has propped up the current regime slows down, Chinese authorities are anxious to legitimate itself by solidifying a coherent and distinct national identity shared by all its citizens. Rewarding people for marrying into “true Chinese stock” is just the latest manifestation of that overall program. 

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  • Fat_Man

    This the history of China, eventually all minorities are assimilated into the Han Borg.

    Here is a scenario for your contemplation. The Sunni Shia war gets out of hand resulting in closure of the Straits of Hormuz. China, badly damaged economically by the cut off of oil supplies decides to take control of the situation. They invade Arabia and Iran, In the ensuing war they destroy the flower of Arab and Persian manhood, and take the oil and the surviving women.

    You understand the bloodshed and the oil, but why the women? Easy, because of the one child policy, China has raised a generation in which the number of men far exceeds the number of women. Obama will be shocked and horified because things like that can’t happen in the 21st century. But you heard it here first.

    BTW, India has the same issues and similar incentives.

    • Andrew Allison

      You overlook the fact that the Chinese are racist: the ethnic groups being assimilated are viewed by the government as Chinese. An influx of Muslim semites seems rather unlikely.

      • Fat_Man

        If they will marry Uighers, they will marry Arabs. They may be racists, but a lot of them are undoubtedly even hornier than they are racists. It always works that way.

    • rheddles

      How are they going to get there?

      • Fat_Man

        Camels, no doubt.

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