Chinese settler colonialism? Linzhu Wang, ‘The Definition of Indigenous Peoples and its Applicability in China’, International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, 22, 2, 2015, pp. 232 – 258
Abstract: This article considers the applicability of the concept of indigenous peoples in China, in accordance with the definitions developed in international law. It examines different approaches to define indigenous peoples in international law, and explores how those definitions may relate to Chinese ethnic groups. In particular, the article looks at possibilities for Chinese minorities to claim indigenous status, based on the standards of ‘the priority of settlement’ and ‘distinctiveness arising from historical continuity and attachment to a specific land’. It argues that the uncertainty of the definition, the complexity of the ethnic situation, and the reluctance of the Chinese Government make the application of indigenous rights in China unclear at the present. The Chinese minority/indigenous argument, to a certain extent, depends on the elaboration of international norms on indigenous rights, as well as the clarification of Chinese terms in relation to ethnic minorities.
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