|Nov. 2, 2018 -- The Chinese nation is a community of 56 ethnic groups. For all the distinctiveness, the 56 ethnic groups are part and parcel of the Chinese nation.
As a multi-ethnic country, China respects diversity and unity. Unity is key to China’s development.
Common language is the basis for communication and communication is the premise for mutual understanding. The promotion of a common language among the 56 ethnic groups is both a need and a good thing.
Need for a common language increasing among ethnic groups
The communication and integration between different ethnic groups have been increasing since the reform and opening-up policy was adopted 40 years ago, and especially since the implementation of the western development strategy 20 years ago.
As a result, the demographic landscape of China has witnessed significant changes with different ethnic groups living together. A common language is needed for better communication and understanding.
China has set the goal of popularizing Putonghua nationwide by 2020. Meanwhile China has to deal with the relationship between the protection of ethnic languages and the promotion of Putonghua.
The promotion of Putonghua is not contrary to the protection of dialects
The diversity of languages in China is a great fortune for the Chinese nation. China initiated a language protection project in 2015 in order to conduct a survey on ethnic languages, language culture, dialects and local Putonghua.
Using a language is the best way to protect and develop it. In this way, China has taken a series of measures to guarantee the use of both Putonghua and ethnic languages, including in drafting legal documents.
In China, all ethnic groups have the freedom to use their own languages, local authorities may use their languages or dialects while performing duties, and education institutes where there is a majority of ethnic minority students may conduct teaching activities in both Putonghua and ethnic languages.
By: Jia Puyu