Chinese people

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Chinese people are the various individuals or ethnic groups associated with China, usually through ancestry, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, or other affiliation. [1]

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The Han Chinese are the largest ethnic group in China, comprising approximately 92% of its mainland population. [2] Han Chinese people also comprise approximately 95%, 92%, 89% and 74% of the population of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore respectively. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

They are also the world's largest ethnic group, comprising approximately 18% of the global human population. [9] [10]

Outside of China, the terms "Han Chinese" and "Chinese" are often conflated since those identifying or registered as Han Chinese are the most populous ethnic group in China. [11] [12] In fact, there are 55 officially-recognized ethnic minorities in China who may also identify as "Chinese".

Although Hong Kong and Macau are both under Chinese sovereignty, both regions are highly autonomous. Hong Kong and Macau are respectively governed by international treaties known as the "Sino-British Joint Declaration" and the "Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration". Residents of both regions can possess various nationalities.

People from Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), may also be referred to as "Chinese" in various contexts, though they are usually referred to as "Taiwanese". The territory of Taiwan is disputed and the ROC has limited recognition of its sovereignty.

There is also an extensive Chinese diaspora known as Overseas Chinese.

Ethnic groups in China and associated territories

Portion of a mural in Beijing depicting the 56 recognized ethnic groups of China Beijing-Niujie-Minzu-Tuanjie-Da-Jiating-3666.jpg
Portion of a mural in Beijing depicting the 56 recognized ethnic groups of China

A number of ethnic groups within China, as well as people elsewhere with ancestry in the region, may be referred to as Chinese people. [13]

Ethnic groups in China

Han Chinese people, the largest ethnic group in China, are often referred to as "Chinese" or "ethnic Chinese" in English. [11] [12] [14] The Han Chinese also form a majority or notable minority in other countries, and they comprise approximately 18% of the global human population. [9] [10]

Other ethnic groups in China include the Zhuang, Hui, Manchus, Uyghurs, and Miao, who make up the five largest ethnic minorities in mainland China, with populations of approximately 10 million or more. In addition, the Yi, Tujia, Tibetans and Mongols each have populations between five and ten million.

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), recognizes 56 native Chinese ethnic groups. There are also several unrecognized ethnic groups in China.

Ethnic groups in the Qing dynasty of China (1644–1911)

During the Qing dynasty the term "Chinese people" (Chinese:中國之人Zhōngguó zhī rén; Manchu: Dulimbai gurun i niyalma) was used by the Qing government to refer to all traditionally native subjects of the empire, including Han, Manchu, and Mongols. [15]

Zhonghua minzu (the "Chinese nation")

Zhonghua minzu (simplified Chinese :中华民族; traditional Chinese :中華民族; pinyin :Zhōnghuá Mínzú), the "Chinese nation", is a supra-ethnic concept which includes all 56 ethnic groups living in China that are officially recognized by the government of the People's Republic of China. It includes established ethnic groups who have lived within the borders of China since at least the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). [16] The term zhonghua minzu was used during the Republic of China from 1911–1949 to refer to a subset of five ethnic groups in China. [17] The term zhongguo renmin (Chinese :中国人民), "Chinese people", was the government's preferred term during the life of Mao Zedong; zhonghua minzu is more common in recent decades. [18]

Ethnic groups in Taiwan

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), recognizes 17 native Taiwanese ethnic groups as well as numerous other "New Immigrant" ethnic groups (mostly originating from China and Southeast Asia). Of the 17 native Taiwanese ethnic groups, 16 are considered to be indigenous (Taiwanese indigenous peoples), [19] whereas one is considered to be a colonizing population (Han Taiwanese). [20] There are also several unrecognized indigenous ethnic groups in Taiwan.

The Han Taiwanese, who are Han Chinese people living in Taiwan, are usually categorized by the Taiwanese government into three main ethnic groups; the Taiwanese Hoklos, Taiwanese Hakkas, and Mainlanders (Taiwanese) (i.e. "Mainland Chinese people in Taiwan"). The Kinmenese and Matsunese peoples are two other significant Han Taiwanese ethnic groups.

The Hoklos and Hakkas are both considered to be "native" populations of Taiwan since they first began migrating to Taiwan in significant numbers from mainland China (mostly from Fujian and Guangdong) over 400 years ago (they first began migrating to Taiwan in minor numbers several centuries earlier). They are often collectively referred to in Taiwanese Mandarin as "Benshengren" (meaning "people from this province"). The Hoklos comprise approximately 70% of Taiwan's total population and the Hakkas comprise approximately 14% of Taiwan's total population.

Meanwhile, the so-called Mainlanders (Taiwanese) are mostly descended from people who migrated from mainland China to Taiwan during the 1940s and 1950s, usually in the context of the Second World War, Second Sino-Japanese War, and Chinese Civil War. They are often referred to in Taiwanese Mandarin as "Waishengren" (meaning "people from outside of this province"). The Mainlanders (Taiwanese) comprise approximately 14% of Taiwan's total population.

Collectively, the various Taiwanese indigenous peoples comprise approximately 2% of Taiwan's total population. The various Taiwanese indigenous peoples are believed to have been living in Taiwan for up to 6000 years prior to the colonization of Taiwan by China which began during the 17th century (CE).

Recognition by the Chinese government

The Han Taiwanese, Native Taiwanese (Benshengren), Hoklo Taiwanese, Hakka Taiwanese, Mainlander Taiwanese (Waishengren), Kinmenese, and Matsunese ethnic groups (all subtypes or branches of the Han Chinese ethnic group) are all unrecognized by the Chinese government. Furthermore, the sixteen Taiwanese indigenous peoples that are officially recognized by the Taiwanese government are also all unrecognized by the Chinese government. The Chinese government also doesn't recognize the ethnic designation "New Immigrant".

The Chinese government instead has its own ethnic designations for Taiwanese people. Han Taiwanese people are considered to be Han Chinese people (no distinction is made), whereas the various recognized and unrecognized (by Taiwan) Taiwanese indigenous peoples are collectively recognized (by China) to be "Gaoshanren" (i.e. "High Mountain People"). The Gaoshanren are one of the 56 officially-recognized ethnic groups of China.

Nationality, citizenship and residence

Tibetans in Qinghai People of Tibet46.jpg
Tibetans in Qinghai
Hui people in Xinjiang HuiChineseMuslim3.jpg
Hui people in Xinjiang

The Nationality law of the People's Republic of China regulates nationality within the PRC. A person obtains nationality either by birth when at least one parent is of Chinese nationality or by naturalization. All people holding nationality of the People's Republic of China are citizens of the Republic. [21] The Resident Identity Card is the official form of identification for residents of the People's Republic of China.

Within the People's Republic of China, a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport or Macao Special Administrative Region passport may be issued to permanent residents of Hong Kong or Macao, respectively.

The Nationality law of the Republic of China regulates nationality within the Republic of China (Taiwan). A person obtains nationality either by birth or by naturalization. A person with at least one parent who is a national of the Republic of China, or born in the ROC to stateless parents qualifies for nationality by birth. [22]

The National Identification Card is an identity document issued to people who have household registration in Taiwan. The Resident Certificate is an identification card issued to residents of the Republic of China who do not hold a National Identification Card.

The relationship between Taiwanese nationality and Chinese nationality is disputed. [23]

Overseas Chinese

Overseas Chinese refers to people of Chinese ethnicity or national heritage who live outside the People's Republic of China or Taiwan as the result of the continuing diaspora. [24] People with one or more Chinese ancestors may consider themselves overseas Chinese. [25] Such people vary widely in terms of cultural assimilation. In some areas throughout the world ethnic enclaves known as Chinatowns are home to populations of Chinese ancestry.

In Southeast Asia, Chinese people call themselves 華人 (Huárén), which is distinguished from (中國人Zhōngguórén) or the citizens of the People's Republic of China or the Republic of China. [26] This is especially so in the Chinese communities of Southeast Asia. The term Zhongguoren has a more political or ideological aspect in its use; while many in China may use Zhongguoren to mean the Chinese ethnicity, some in Taiwan would refuse to be called Zhongguoren. [27]

See also

For countries with significant populations

For countries with noteworthy populations

Other countries with Chinese populations

Related topics of interest

Related Research Articles

Chinese can refer to:

Ethnic minorities in China are the non-Han Chinese population in China. China officially recognizes 55 ethnic minority groups within China in addition to the Han majority. As of 2010, the combined population of officially recognized minority groups comprised 8.49% of the population of mainland China. In addition to these officially recognized ethnic minority groups, there are Chinese nationals who privately classify themselves as members of unrecognized ethnic groups.

Names of China

The names of China include the many contemporary and historical appellations given in various languages for the East Asian country known as Zhōngguó in its official language. China, the name in English for the country, was derived from Portuguese in the 16th century, and became popular in the mid 19th century. It is believed to be a borrowing from Middle Persian, and some have traced it further back to Sanskrit. It is also thought that the ultimate source of the name China is the Chinese word "Qin", the name of the dynasty that unified China but also existed as a state for many centuries prior. There are, however, other alternative suggestions for the origin of the word.

Chinese Taipei Name used by Taiwan in international organizations and events

"Chinese Taipei" is the name used in some international organizations and competitions for Taiwan. This name was first proposed in the Nagoya Resolution whereby the ROC/Taiwan and the People's Republic of China (PRC) recognize each other when it comes to the activities of the International Olympic Committee and its correlates. The ROC participates under this name in various international organizations and events, including the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, the Metre Convention, and international pageants.

Chinese nationality may refer to:

Huaxia Historical concept of China

Huaxia is a historical concept representing the Chinese nation and civilization, and came from the self-awareness of a common cultural ancestry by the various confederacy (pre-Qin) era Han Chinese people.

The subgroups of the Han Chinese people, also known as Sinitic peoples, Chinese dialect groups or just dialect groups, are defined based on linguistic, cultural, ethnic, genetic and regional features. The terminology used in Mandarin to describe the groups is: "minxi", used in Mainland China or "zuqun", used in Taiwan. Other than Hui people, which is a classification for Muslims of all backgrounds, no Han subgroup is recognized as one of People's Republic of China's 55 official minority ethnic groups.

Several ethnic groups of the People's Republic of China are not officially recognized. Taken together, these groups number more than 730,000 people; if considered as a single group, they would constitute the twentieth most populous ethnic group of China. Some scholars have estimated that there are over 200 distinct ethnic groups that inhabit China. There are in addition small distinct ethnic groups that have been classified as part of larger ethnic groups that are officially recognized. Some groups like the Hui of Xinjiang with the Hui of Fujian are geographically and culturally separate except for the shared belief of Islam. Han Chinese being the world's largest ethnic group has a large diversity within it, such as in Gansu, the Han here may have genetic traits from the assimilated Tangut civilization. Although they are indigenous to Hainan island and do not speak a Chinese language, the Limgao (Ong-Be) people near the capital are counted as Han Chinese.

Taiwanese people are people from Taiwan who share a common Taiwanese culture and speak Mandarin Chinese, Hokkien, Hakka, or indigenous Taiwanese languages as a mother tongue. Taiwanese people may also refer to individuals who either claim or are imputed cultural identity focused on Taiwan or areas under the control of the Government of the Republic of China since 1945, including Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu islands. At least three competing paradigms are used to identify someone as a Taiwanese person: nationalist criteria, self-identification criteria, and socio-cultural criteria. These standards are fluid, and result from evolving social and political issues. The complexity resulting from competing and evolving standards is compounded by a larger dispute regarding Taiwan's identity, the political status of Taiwan, and its potential de jure Taiwan independence or Cross-Strait Unification.

Taiwan passport passport

The Republic of China passport is the passport issued to nationals of the Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan. The passport is also commonly referred to as a Taiwan Passport or a Taiwanese passport.

Chinese nationality law Nationality law of the Peoples Republic of China

Chinese nationality law details the conditions in which a person holds People's Republic of China (PRC) nationality. Civil and political rights usually associated with citizenship itself are tied to the jurisdiction in which a Chinese citizen is domiciled, determined by hukou in mainland China or right of abode in Hong Kong and Macau. Residents of Taiwan are also considered Chinese citizens, due to the PRC's continuing claims over areas controlled by the Republic of China (ROC).

The definition of 'Taiwanese' identity has been an ongoing issue for several decades arising from the political rivalry between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China (PRC). People from Taiwan are frustrated by the political rivalry which is the cause of confusion in people's national identity, both inside and outside Taiwan. According to government figures, over 95% of Taiwan's population of 23.4 million consists of Taiwanese people of Han Chinese descent, while 2.3% are Austronesian Taiwanese aborigines. The category of Han Taiwanese consists of the three main groups: Hoklo, Hakka, and mainland Chinese. The identity of whether a person from Taiwan is 'Taiwanese', or Chinese, is more of a political question.

Demographics of Taiwan

The population of Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, is approximately 23.57 million, spread across a total land area of about 36,000 km2; it is the seventeenth most densely populated country in the world, with a population density of about 651 inhabitants per square kilometer.

Taiwanese Australians are Australian citizens or permanent residents who carry full or partial ancestry from the East Asian island country of Taiwan or from preceding Taiwanese regimes.

<i>Zhonghua minzu</i> key political term that is entwined with modern Chinese history of nation-building and race

Zhonghua minzu is a key political term in modern Chinese nationalism related to the concepts of nation-building, ethnicity, and race in the Chinese nationality.

Plains indigenous peoples indigenous people of Taiwan

Plains indigenous peoples, previously called plain aborigines, are Taiwanese indigenous peoples originally residing in lowland regions, as opposed to Highland indigenous peoples. Plains indigenous peoples consist of anywhere from eight to twelve individual peoples, rather than being a single ethnic group. They are part of the Austronesian family. Beginning in the 17th century, plains indigenous peoples have been heavily influenced by external forces from Dutch, Spanish, and Han Chinese immigration to Taiwan. This ethnic group has since been extensively assimilated with Han Chinese language and culture; they have lost their cultural identity and it is almost impossible without careful inspection to distinguish plains indigenous peoples from Taiwanese Han people.

Han Taiwanese or Taiwanese Hans are a Taiwanese ethnic group, most of whom are of full or partial Han Chinese descent. According to the Executive Yuan of the Republic of China, they comprise 95 to 97 percent of the Taiwanese population, which also includes Austronesians and other non-Han people. Major waves of Han Chinese immigration occurred since the 17th century to the end of Chinese Civil War in 1949, with the exception of the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945). Han Taiwanese mainly speak three languages of Chinese: Mandarin, Hokkien and Hakka.

Secession in China

Secession in China refers to several secessionist movements in Greater China, which includes the following states and territories:

Fujian–Taiwan relationship Relations between Taiwan and the mainland Chinese province of Fujian

The Fujian-Taiwan relationship, also known as the Minnan-Taiwan relationship, refers to the relationship between Fujian, which is located in mainland China, and Taiwan, which is across the Taiwan Strait. Since the average width of the Taiwan Strait is 180 kilometers, Fujian and Taiwan are adjacent, similar in both climate and environment. Although the relationship between Taiwan and Fujian has changed with the development of history, the two places have maintained close relations in terms of personnel, economy, military, culture and other aspects. At present, Taiwan residents are mostly descendants of immigrants from mainland China, of which the southern Fujian ethnic group is the main group, accounting for 73.5% of Taiwan's total population. In terms of culture, language, religion, and customs, Fujian and Taiwan also share similarities.

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