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Title: Legal reform and minority rights in China
Authors: Sautman, Barry
Keywords: Ethnic relations
Ethnic minorities
Law reform
Issue Date: 9-May-1997
Citation: Paper to be presented on the 17th World Congress of the International Political Science Association, Seoul Korea, August 18, 1997.
Series/Report no.: Working Papers in the Social Sciences ; No. 11
Abstract: Western commentators on PRC ethnic minority policy often assume that minority rights laws must be a sham because China has an authoritarian state. In the reform era of the 1980s and 1990s, however, China has articulated a law of ethnic relations that does provides some substantial rights and preferences which minorities value. PRC ethnic relations law is hampered by notable weaknesses, including its failure to provide strong autonomy for minority areas, sufficient economic opportunities for minority people, and protection against anti-minority bias. In the late 1990s, however, pressure from minority people and leaders seem likely to lead to a strengthening of minority rights in China through further legal reform.
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