A Nationalist Han Chinese Identity

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Today, in the oil-rich Xinjiang Province of Northwestern China, millions of Turkic-speaking Uyghurs live in constant fear. Beards and headscarves banned. Mosques barred from broadcasting the azan, the Islamic invocation of prayer. Unjustified rape of Uyghur women. Protesting for basic human rights gets you written on a list of pan-Turkist counter-revolutionaries. Receiving phone calls from foreign relatives gets you a visit from the secret police. And still, to the apparent dismay of the CCP, the ethnic identity of Uyghurs still exists, after decades of state-sponsored repression. Why do the Uyghurs vehemently oppose Han Chinese integration? Why has the CCP taken unprecedented steps to forcibly assimilate ethnic Chinese Muslims? The creation of a nationalist Han Chinese identity grounded in an atheist communist state in 1949 engendered conflicts with Chinese ethnic Muslim minorities, due to failed coercive integration and assimilation efforts and socioeconomic policy. After the annihilation by the GMT in 1933, the CCP fled and walked through the unpleasant territory of Southwest China for two years in what later came to be known as the Long March. Along the way, the CCP expectedly came into direct contact with different ethnic minorities. These encounters professedly affected the perspectives of CCP pioneers; the acknowledgment of China’s immense diversity and the need to acquire legitimacy as well as support from these ethnic minorities for the Communist insurgency
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