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Who Are The Chinese?

10 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 07 November 2012

In this third talk, he explores the nature of race in China. Over 90% of the Chinese population regard themselves as belonging to the same race, the Han. This is a stark contrast to the multi-racial composition of the world's other populous states. Chinese ethnic identity stems from a process of integration and of cultural identity. What defines the Chinese above all is a sense of cultural achievement. Martin Jacques argues that the Han identity has provided the glue which has held China together and has given the Chinese people an admirable confidence. But this strong sense of pride in who they are can also have a downside - a tendency to look down on others.

Martin Jacques is the author of When China Rules the World.

(Image: Chinese folk artists. Credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)



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