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The Hui ethnic minority (5)


11:05, August 08, 2011

Life in the 20th Century

After 1949, the Chinese government has carried out a policy of regional ethnic autonomy in Hui-populated areas. Because Huis differ from place to place, such self-autonomy has taken on various forms. Along with the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the Linxia and Changji Hui Autonomous prefectures in Gansu Province and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region came into existence. Also six Hui autonomous counties were established in Zhangjiachuan of Gansu Province, Menyuan and Hualong of Qinghai Province, Yanqi of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Dachang and Mengcun of Hebei Province. In addition, there are three other autonomous counties jointly set up by Huis with people of other ethnic groups. The right to ethnic equality and autonomy has thus been realized among the Hui people.

Officials from the Hui ethnic minority occupy an appropriate percentage in the organs of autonomy at all levels. Most leading positions in the power organs as well as leading positions in various executive departments and professional bodies are taken up by outstanding Huis. Emphasis has been laid on the training of Hui office executives, professionals and technical personnel who are competent in their work and politically progressive. All Hui officials, executives and professionals are expected to work for the advancement of industry, agriculture, animal husbandry, culture and education in accordance with local conditions. Considerable attention has been paid to the various Hui autonomous areas in terms of investment in capital construction and of manpower, material resources and technology.

Huis that live scattered across the country have the similar right to enjoy ethnic equality and to direct their own affairs. Their identity as members of an established ethnic group is respected. The political status of the Hui people has been greatly raised. An appropriate number of representatives have been elected from the Huis to take part in National People's Congresses. People's Congresses held at lower levels also have Hui representation. Hui officials work in government departments at central and local levels.

The majority of Huis believe in Islamism. Their religious freedom, customs and habits are respected and guaranteed. Since 1979, the policies on ethnic minorities and religion have continued in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and elsewhere in the country after disruptions caused by the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). By May 1984, 1,400 mosques had been restored in Ningxia. This has made it possible for Moslems throughout the autonomous region to normalize their religious activities. An institute for the study of Islamic scriptures was established in 1982. It takes in students from among the ahungs every year. An Islamism research society also was set up to conduct academic and research activities on Islamism. In recent years, many young Huis have made efforts to learn Islamic classics in Arabic. Patriotic figures from Islamic circles have attended Chinese People's Political Consultative Conferences and People's Congresses at various levels. Many of them have taken up leading positions in government organs.

The social and economic situation among the Hui people has undergone fundamental changes during the last three decades. The Democratic Reform in the early 1950s and the subsequent socialist transformation put an end to the system of class oppression within the ranks of the Huis. This made it possible for them to join hands with the other ethnic groups of China in embarking on the road of socialism.

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