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Han chauvinism is a term coined by Mao Zedong on March 16, 1953, to criticize ethnocentrism among the majority Han people of China. In a party directive drafted for the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party titled "Criticize Han Chauvinism", Mao said, "In some places the relations between nationalities are far from normal. For Communists this is an intolerable situation. We must go to the root and criticize the Han chauvinist ideas which exist to a serious degree among many Party members and cadres ..."
It appeared again in a 1956 speech, titled Ten Major Relations, Mao stated that "on the relationship between the Han ethnicity and minority ethnicities ... we put the emphasis on opposing Han chauvinism". 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 ethnicities" and that "it is necessary to combat big [ethnic group] chauvinism, mainly Han chauvinism, and to combat local [ethnic] national[ist] chauvinism".
The PRC's notions of Han chauvinism and China as a multicultural state have been subject to criticism mainly from the western media. One critical view is that the Han Chinese "are less homogeneous than official policy recognizes". Zhonghua minzu has been criticized as an invention of the 20th century, and was adopted by the Communist Party only to criticize the failures of the rival Kuomintang, which officially promoted zhonghua minzu as part of its nationalist ideology. Many policies have been made to give privilege to minority ethnicities, leading to grudges from some of the Han Chinese.
- Great Russian chauvinism, a similar term coined in Soviet Russia in early 1920s
- Chinese nationalism
- Hua–Yi distinction
- Hui pan-nationalism
- Xungen movement
- Chinese imperialism
- Tse-tung, Mao. "Criticize Han Chauvinism". www.marxists.org. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
- Li, Gucheng (1995). A Glossary of Political Terms of The People's Republic of China. Chinese University Press. pp. 38–39. ISBN 9789622016156.
- Ghai, Yash (2000). Autonomy and Ethnicity: Negotiating Competing Claims in Multi-Ethnic States. Cambridge University Press. p. 77. ISBN 9780521786423.
- 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.
- "Criticize Han chauvinism" at Marxists.org