Han chauvinism

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Han chauvinism
Traditional Chinese 大漢族主義
Simplified Chinese 大汉族主义
Literal meaning Great-Han-ism

Han chauvinism is a term coined by Mao Zedong in 1956 to criticize ethnocentrism among the majority Han people of China. In his speech, titled Ten Major Relations, Mao stated that "on the relationship between the Han nationality and the minority nationalities.... we put the emphasis on opposing Han chauvinism".[1] This anti-chauvinistic idea is part of the People's Republic of China's zhonghua minzu conception of China as a multi-ethnic nation, both historically and in the present, which includes not only the Han but also 55 ethnic minorities. This is expressed in the constitution of the People's Republic of China, which states that China is a "unitary [multiethnic] state created jointly by the people of all its nationalities" and that "it is necessary to combat big [ethnic group] chauvinism, mainly Han chauvinism, and to combat local [ethnic] national[ist] chauvinism".[2]

The PRC's notions of Han chauvinism and China as a multicultural state have been subject to criticism. One critical view is that the Han Chinese "are less homogeneous than official policy recognizes".[2] Zhonghua minzu has been criticized as an invention of the 20th century, and was only adopted by the Communist Party to criticize the failures of the rival Kuomintang, which officially promoted zhonghua minzu as part of its nationalist ideology, but was unable to implement successful reforms that benefited minorities.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Li, Gucheng (1995). A Glossary of Political Terms of The People's Republic of China. Chinese University Press. pp. 38–39. ISBN 9789622016156. 
  2. ^ a b Ghai, Yash (2000). Autonomy and Ethnicity: Negotiating Competing Claims in Multi-Ethnic States. Cambridge University Press. p. 77. ISBN 9780521786423. 
  3. ^ Liu, Xiaoyuan (2010). Recast All Under Heaven: Revolution, War, Diplomacy, and Frontier China in the 20th Century. Recast All Under Heaven: Revolution, War, Diplomacy, and Frontier China in the 20th Century. pp. 115–116. ISBN 9781441134899.