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Contestation and Adaptation: The Politics of National Identity in China

Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for a discussion with Professor Enze Han of the University of London on the way five major ethnic minority groups - Uyghurs, Chinese Koreans, Dai, Mongols, and Tibetans - in China negotiate their national identities with the Chinese nation-state.

September 18, 2014 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Click here to watch a video of the presentation

Simmering grievances among China’s ethnic minorities and occasional violent outbursts in minority areas or involving minorities challenge not only the ruling party's legitimacy and governance, but also contemporary Chinese national identity and the territorial integrity of the Chinese state. However, of the fifty-five ethnic minority groups in China, only the Tibetans and Uyghurs have forcefully contested the idea of a Chinese national identity. Tackling this question, Enze Han compares the way five major ethnic minority groups in China negotiate their national identities with the Chinese nation-state: Uyghurs, Chinese Koreans, Dai, Mongols, and Tibetans. Han wants to shed light on the nation-building processes in China over the past six decades and the ways that different groups have resisted or acquiesced in their dealings with the Chinese state and majority Han Chinese society. 

Enze Han is a Lecturer at the Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS, University of London. He studied at Beijing Foreign Studies University, the University of British Columbia, and George Washington University. His research interests include ethnic politics in China and China's relations with Southeast Asia. The book upon which this talk is based was published in 2013 and is available from Oxford University Press. He’s published articles in The Journal of Contemporary China, The China Quarterly, Nationalities Papers, and Security Studies.

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