BEIJING, May 26 -- China's ethnic minorities have fully enjoyed and effectively exercised their basic rights, according to a white paper published on Monday.
The political rights of ethnic minorities are fully guaranteed, including legislative power and the right to use their own spoken and written languages, says the white paper titled "Progress in China's Human Rights in 2013" issued by the Information Office of the State Council.
The socioeconomic rights of ethnic minorities are fully protected with the state continuously increasing funds to promote socioeconomic development in those areas, says the white paper.
In 2013 the GDP of the Tibet Autonomous Region reached 80.767 billion yuan, growing by 12.5 percent over the previous year; the per capita net income of farmers and herdsmen was 6,578 yuan, increasing by 15 percent over the previous year and well into the 11th year of double-digit growth; and the per capita disposable income of urban residents reached 20,023 yuan, up by 11.1 percent compared with 2012, it adds.
Ethnic minority cultures and cultural undertakings in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities prospered, according to the white paper.
The state established an experimental area for the protection of the culture and ecology of ethnic minorities living in southwestern Guizhou Province, effectively promoting the overall conservation of the intangible cultural heritage in ethnic minority areas.
People of ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang enjoy freedom of religious belief and their customs and social mores are fully respected, it says adding religious believers from ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang are entitled to conducting normal religious activities.
Currently there are ten minority groups in Xinjiang that mostly believe in Islam, with a total population of around 13.7 million. In Xinjiang there are also 120,000 Buddhist believers, with 53 venues for activities and 326 staff members; about 60,000 Protestant followers and 374 clergymen; 6,000 Catholic followers, with 20 venues for activities and 25 priests; 1,000 Orthodox believers with three venues and two priests; and 300 Daoist believers with one venue for activities.
The cultural legacies of Tibet are effectively protected, and the local religion and traditional customs and social mores are respected, says the white paper.
Currently Tibet has 4,277 sites of cultural relics. The Potala Palace, Norbulingka Summer Palace and Jokhang Temple have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List; Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyantse have been entered on the national list of historical and cultural cities.