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Letter Writing on Rights of Ethnic Minorities

There remain serious obstacles to the full protection of human rights and minority rights in China today. The Chinese system of "autonomous rule," which should empower self-governance, is in fact a mechanism for exclusion and control. Inequitable development policies, consistently guided by political aims and economic benefit to the central government, have neglected the basic needs of ethnic minorities and have exploited land and resources without consultation from ethnic minority regions. Within this system, political exclusion and economic exploitation threaten to erase ethnic identity by attacking cultural practices and religious preference.

Send appeals to the Secretaries of the Communist Party of China for the autonomous regions urging reforms to the autonomy system in the PRC, implementation of laws already in place, and guarantees of greater protections for the rights of ethnic minorities:
  • Increased political participation of minority voices to ensure local control of resources and development policies

  • Protection for freedom of religion and preservation of cultural identity

Send letters to:
GUO Shengkun Shuji
Secretary of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regional Party Committee

Zhonggong Guangxi Zhuang Zizhiqu Weiyuanhui
1 Minyue Road, Nanning
Guangxi Zhuang Zizhiqu
People's Republic of China
CHU Bo Shuji
Secretary of the Nei Menggu Autonomous Regional Party Committee

Zhonggong Nei Menggu Zizhiqu Weiyuanhui
1 Chilechuandajie
Huhehaoteshi 010096
Nei Menggu Zizhiqu
People's Republic of China
CHEN Jianguo Shuji
Secretary of the Ningxia Huizu Autonomous Regional Party Committee

Zhonggong Ningxia Huizu Zizhiqu Weiyuanhui
5 Shuofanglu
Yinchuanshi 750021
Ningxia Huizu Zizhiqu
People's Republic of China
ZHANG Qingli Shuji
Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Party Committee

Zhonggong Xizang Zizhiqu Weiyuanhui
Xizang Zizhiqu
People's Republic of China

WANG Lequan Shuji
Secretary of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regional Party Committee

Zhonggong Xinjiang Weiwuer Zizhiqu Weiyuanhui
2 Jiankanglu, Wulumuqishi 830041
Xinjiang Weiwuer Zizhiqu
People's Republic of China

Below is a sample letter:

Printer-friendly version [PDF]

Dear Secretary:

I am writing to express my concern about the lack of protection of the rights of ethnic minorities in the PRC. While the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy (LREA) sets forth the policies and structure of regional autonomy, these policies have often resulted in further restrictions on participation in governance by ethnic minorities. I urge you to implement the LREA in such a manner as to encourage the institutional protection and preservation of unique ethnic minority cultures.

As outlined in international legal standards which the PRC has agreed to observe, ethnic minorities must have greater and genuine input into policy-making regarding development in autonomous regions. Recent unrest in Tibetan areas is an example of dissatisfaction with current policies, including inequitable distribution of economic benefits. Sustainable development can only be achieved through community participation in planning and decision-making. You should take the lead in encouraging an institutionalized, transparent, open, and continuous interaction between all stakeholders affected by development projects.

I am likewise concerned that local policies and regulations have infringed on the rights of minorities to practice their religion and preserve their culture. Independent religious and cultural expression is often equated with separatism and is used as a pretext to crackdown on such expression, most notably in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the Tibetan Autonomous Region, and other Tibetan autonomous areas. I urge you to repeal any local laws, regulations, and other provisions that violate the right to freedom of religion as guaranteed in international and PRC law.

[your name]

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