III. Guarantee of the Rights and Interests of Ethnic Minorities, Women, Children, Elderly People and the Disabled
In the period 2009-2010, China will take further measures to protect the rights and interests of ethnic minorities, women, children, elderly people and the disabled.
(1) The rights of ethnic minorities
China is a unified country composed of 56 ethnic groups identified and acknowledged by the central government. The 55 minority ethnic groups - Han Chinese not included - have a total population of 106.43 million, accounting for 8.41 percent of the total population of China(Based on statistics released after the fifth national census in 2000). In China, all ethnic groups are equal, and the state protects the lawful rights and interests of ethnic minorities.
- Promoting lawmaking related to the affairs of ethnic minorities. The state will expedite the formulating of ancillary regulations that promote the implementation of the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy. The Regulations on Ethnic Minority Work in Cities and Regulations on Administrative Work in Ethnic Townships will be revised.
- Guaranteeing that ethnic minorities exercise the right to manage the affairs of ethnic autonomous areas and participate in managing state affairs. The state will make sure that all the 55 minority ethnic groups have their representatives in the National People's Congress, with at least one representative for any ethnic group with a very small population. Any minority ethnic group with a population of more than 1 million is guaranteed to have a member on the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The state will continue to guarantee that among the chairman and vice-chairmen of the standing committee of the people's congress of an autonomous area there shall be one or more citizens of the ethnic group or groups exercising regional autonomy in the area concerned, and that the head of an autonomous region, autonomous prefecture or autonomous county shall be a citizen of the ethnic group exercising regional autonomy in the area concerned. The state will guarantee that people from minority ethnic groups are well represented in state power organs as well as administrative, judicial and procuratorate organs at the central and local levels to participate in the management of state and regional affairs.
- Promoting the development of education for ethnic minorities. The state will continue to establish and develop schools and organize preparatory classes for ethnic minorities, adopt bilingual teaching systems and give preferential treatment to students of minority ethnic groups in enrollment in schools and universities. It will promote boarding education in the vast rural and pastoral areas, and establish Tibetan junior high schools and Xinjiang senior high classes in the hinterland. By 2010, more than 95 percent of the population of ethnic autonomous areas should have access to nine-year compulsory education.
- Strengthening the training of personnel of ethnic minorities, and making efforts to let the proportion of people from ethnic minorities in employment approach the proportion of the ethnic minority population to that of China's total population. The state will train, by rotation, cadres of ethnic minorities at the district/county level, and have cadres working in the field of ethnic minority work receive training in modern management and general skills. It will pick candidates from among the middle-aged and young cadres of ethnic minorities at the county(city, banner, district) and township levels to receive college education, including sending outstanding middle-aged and young technicians of ethnic minorities to other countries for training programs.
- Guaranteeing ethnic minorities' right to learn, use and develop their own spoken and written languages. The state will train people to be specialists in the spoken and written languages of ethnic minorities, and guarantee the use of such languages in the judicial, administrative and educational fields. It will increase financial aid to publications using languages of ethnic minorities, and support the publishing of books and magazines in ethnic-minority languages. It will help enhance the capabilities to produce(as well as the capabilities to translate) films, and radio and television programs in languages of ethnic minorities. It will raise the rate of coverage of radio and television broadcasting in languages of ethnic minorities in border regions, and promote the standardization and informationization of the spoken and written languages of ethnic minorities.
- Promoting the development of the cultures of ethnic minorities. The government will continue to introduce to China and the rest of the world the famous cultural and artistic accomplishments of ethnic minorities in the fields of literature, opera, music, dance, fine arts, handicrafts, architecture, customs, costume and food. It will produce fine films, and radio and television programs with ethnic minorities as the subject matter, and support ethnic publishing projects that have a significant impact on the cultural development of ethnic minorities; donate books and magazines in languages of ethnic minorities as well as Chinese to libraries and elementary and middle schools in counties(cities, banners, districts) where ethnic minorities live in compact communities, and to farming and pastoral areas inhabited by ethnic minorities; and protect, develop and foster performing arts with characteristics of ethnic minorities.
- Promoting economic development in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities and raising the standard of living of the ethnic minorities. The state will increase investment in economic and social programs in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities. During the period 2009-2010, the state will appropriate more than 2 billion yuan as a development fund for ethnic minorities to accelerate their economic and social development. Of the sum, nearly 1 billion yuan will be used to help the construction of infrastructure, the renovation of dilapidated houses, the improvement of people's living and production conditions, industrial development, salaries and social programs in regions where ethnic minorities with relatively small populations live in compact communities. The state will continue to support the economic and social development of border areas, focusing on solving difficulties in people's livelihood in those areas. Poverty elimination in extremely impoverished ethnic villages will be a priority. The goal is to make these villages have access to roads, electricity, telephone service, and radio and TV programs, making sure that these villages have schools, clinics, safe drinking water for people and livestock, safe housing as well as farm fields or pastureland that can provide sufficient food and clothing for the villagers.