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Old 01-27-2013, 06:13 AM
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,384,878 times
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It seems with popular growth and the Communist Party's questionable policies of 'assimilation' regarding these provinces, the cultural and built fabric of these two regions and the ethnic minorities that inhabit them could be under threat. I think it will be a shame if it becomes like anywhere else in China. In Xinjiang province there are tensions between the Han and Uyghur ethnic groups, partly as a result of Chinese settlement in much of the region. There's been a lot of violence between police-troops, as well as Han and Uyghur civilians, with many of the victims on both sides being innocent civilians. In some places the government is tearing down traditional dwellings, forcing people to re-locate into generic high-rise apartment blocks.

In Tibet the process is similar. Although I wouldn't say i'm an unbridled supporter of Tibetan independence (for instance life under the Llamas was no better, if even worse at times) I do wonder if China respects the Tibetans enough to well, not try to turn Tibet into an extension of Han China. I know they can't totally leave the region alone, of course, but it will be interesting to see how well they will co-exist in the future.

One can see this as part of a extended process whereby the Chinese Empire spread across what is now China proper by the Han dynasty. I think resources will ultimately drive this expansion, especially the search for oil and minerals to drive their economic engine.

Has anyone had personal experience visiting these autonomous regions/or heard much about it? I find it a fascinating region and well, like much of anywhere in China, want to visit before it's too late and the tradition way of life is changed forever. I'm curious as to how assimilated most Uyghurs, Tibetans and other ethnic groups are.

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