posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 10:19 PM
Chinese is considered an ethnic group by convention, but in fact we Chinese know it's not true.
Because overwhelminly majority of Chinese belong to "Han" ethnic group, and the written language of Chinese is called "Han language" in China, the
world usually thinks a person from China is usually considered to belong to the "Chinese" ethnicity, although in China, people thinks "Chinese"
does not define ethnicity, it's merely a term for nationality.
There are 56 ethnic groups in China, 91% are Hans, even including Russians living in the northwest and Koreans living near the border of China and
Well, if a Tibetan who possesses Chinese passport comes to US, then by looking at the passport, people think that guy is a Chinese. Only by furthur
inquiry can one know he's Tibetan. Everyone know the west wants Tibet to be independent, so they consider Tibetan as non-Chinese. But in which ways
do the apperances of Tibetans differ from average Chinese? hardly. But people in China knows he is not Han, because every Chinese citizen, on his/her
profile, says the ethnic group that person belongs to and the province of origin (usually on the farther's side). Well, it's similar to racial
profiling in US to say if a person is white, black, or latino.
But most westerners do not know that Han means, they know Chinese, they know Tibetans, and Mongols (the great mongol Genghis Khan leader who conquered
all Asia), they know Koreans. It would be ironic for an ethnic Korean who lived in China to come to North America, then people ask him about the
ethnicity, he would say he's Korean, he would also say he's Chinese because he's CHinese citizen. Then many people would be surprised to see a
Korean Chinese who came from China who could not even speak Korean well, but still, he's treated as a Chinese by the agencies because of the
passport. But in China, most people know Korean belong to one of the 56 ethnicities and how can you say a Korean Chinese isn't CHinese?
Same thing would apply to Mongol Chinese, most Mongol Chinese would consider themselves as Chinese instead of Mongol because China is a better country
than Mongol. Would a Korean Chinese consider himself a Korean because Korea is richer than China?
There are also Turkish groups living in the western China, who look similar to Afghans, or even southern Europeans, but they are Chinese, aren't
they? (they are not Han)
There are Muslims living all over China, their history can trace back to almost a century ago when somne Arabs came to western part of China to spread
Islam, then they were mixed with Hans, and they formed Muslim ethnic group. Most of them still believe in Islam. Aren't they Chinese? Yes they
So Chinese should not be considered as a term for ethnicity, but a nationality like "American", which does not tell whether a person is white, black
Although 1% of Japanese aren't ethnicly Nippon, we often think Japanese is a word for ethnic group because 99% people living in Japan are Nippon.
But 9% of Chinese aren't Hans, which is over 100 million people! So we can't ignore them. Yes, they are Chinese because they have chinese
citizenship, but they aren't Hans., and some have thier own history and language. But most non-Chinese refer Chinese as Hans, which is a mistake.