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China’s anti-terrorism ads say a lot about why ethnic minorities have gripes with Beijing

China’s central government regularly boasts that it rules over a diverse country. Beijing recognizes 56 different ethnicities, regions with a high population of minorities such as Xinjiang, Tibet, and Guangxi are supposedly given special autonomy to govern themselves, and some ethnic minorities receive affirmative action to ensure they have the best possible chances in life. What more could a Chinese ethnic minority ever desire?

Unfortunately and all too often though, xenophobia by the majority Han ethnic group is readily apparent.

A blogger in Liuzhou, a small city in the autonomous province of Guangxi, pointed out one fine example. The local government’s latest anti-terrorism advertising campaign suggests that all sword-wielding terrorists are from Xinjiang, China’s far-west and once predominantly-Muslim region, while innocent bystanders are Han Chinese:

“Terrorism is the enemy of all mankind.”

 

“It is a crime to help terrorists escape the country.”

 

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