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How China distorts its minorities through propaganda

posted Dec 31, 2013, 10:16 AM by The Tibetan Political Review
By Clarissa Sebag Montefiore (BBC December 16, 2013)

(Photo: Tibetan dancers at the 2013 Ethnic Minorities Festival in Beijing [Corbis])

The People’s Republic wants Tibetans and Uyghurs to sing and dance on TV – but do little else. Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore reveals how the government exoticises, and marginalises, its non-Han Chinese ethnic groups.

“For [more than] half a century, Tibet has lost its voice,” says the Tibetan poet Tsering Woeser, referring to the years since China invaded Tibet in 1950. “Artists’ space in Tibet has been squeezed so that artists do not have the freedom to show their real minds. In Tibet, ideology is so strict that space for publishing works is very limited. For self protection, artists and intellectuals are forced to be dumb.”

Last month, the Communist government of the People’s Republic of China announced that it would use propaganda films to publicise its ethnic minority groups – shooting one movie for each of the country’s 55 ethnicities including the Hui, Manchu, Mongols, Uyghurs and Tibetans. Their aim is simple: to promote China as a multicultural, multiethnic country and by doing so increase soft power at home and abroad.

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