Features | Environment | Ethnic Minorities | Livelihoods
It is a decade since mass tourism arrived in the picturesque northwest Yunnan towns of Dali, Lijiang and Zhongdian. But what of the villages and townships that some more adventurous tourists are beginning to visit? Julie Perng visits four communities that hope to embrace tourists without being overwhelmed by them.
In 2006, total receipts from tourism in Yunnan Province reached CNY 49.97 billion (USD 6.2 billion), almost 90% of which came from Chinese tourists. Receipts were up 16.7% on the previous year, and accounted for 12.5% of the provincial GDP. The tourism industry is clearly flourishing in one of China’s most ethnically, geographically, and biologically diverse provinces.
Ethnic Minorities | Law and Rights | Media | Social Welfare | Subscription-only Content | First Person
Musapir, a native of Kelamayi (克拉马依) in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, is a police cadet in the Peoples’ Public Security University of China. In July 2006 he posted the following story on a website devoted to Uighur affairs.
During this summer vacation the school arranged for us to go to Shenzhen on a two month internship. The people and events in this story are all real, but for their security and for other reasons some names have been changed.
The danwei where I did my internship was a local police station (派出所) in Shenzhen city’s Bao’an (宝安) district. Around midday the day before yesterday we received a call saying some of our people on the beat (巡防人员) had arrested a thief in front of a commercial plaza. After taking the call, a police officer and I went together to the scene and found that the thief was a boy from Xinjiang, the same place I come from. He had been stealing a cellphone from someone’s bag, but the victim noticed.
Civil Society | Ethnic Minorities
A grassroots NGO in Qinghai Province, the Sanchuan Development Association (三川发展促进会, SDA), has negotiated grant support from the US-based Eurasia Foundation to establish an NGO resource centre in the provincial capital, Xining, to provide information, networking and practical support for Qinghai’s growing NGO community.
Ethnic Minorities | Livelihoods | Subscription-only Content
Although in theory farmers in China can access credit through a national network of Rural Credit Cooperatives, in practice these are not always able or willing serve poor, remote communities. Numerous local and international NGOs have tried to plug the gap by offering microfinance as part of integrated rural development projects. Myriam Bartu explores the difficulties and the achievements of these schemes and, in a downloadable attachment, presents case studies of five NGO projects in Sichuan and Yunnan.
Features | Civil Society | Environment | Ethnic Minorities | Subscription-only Content
Chang Tianle (常天乐) reports on the growing role that religious leaders in Tibetan areas are playing, both in delivering social services and in protecting their environmental heritage.
Education | Ethnic Minorities | Gender | Livelihoods
International development NGO, Mercy Corps, is partnering with a local organisation established last year in Sichuan Province’s Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in a new initiative to improve life skills and livelihood opportunities for teenage, ethnic minority girls who have grown up in an area ravaged by poverty, drug use and AIDS.
Environment | Ethnic Minorities
Grassland protection in China should take a more integrated approach and synergise the resources of government, academic and NGO sectors, according to researchers and environmental NGOs.
In response to such needs, a Grassland Conservation Network was launched on September 3 in Beijing, with more than 30 people attending its first meeting. The Network, organised by Beijing Brooks Education Centre (天下溪教育咨询中心) and supported by the Ford Foundation, aims to enhance communication and information sharing among people involved in the area to improve their understanding and capacity.
Environment | Ethnic Minorities
A village-level association in the Tibet Autonomous Region is hoping to reach a wider audience for an annual journal of Tibetan language materials about environmental protection.
Six years ago, the 1,347 Tibetan residents of Tserangding, a cluster of 13 hamlets in Gonjo County, Chamdo prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Prefecture, established a community organisation called the Voluntary Environmental Protection Association of Kham Anchung Senggenamzong.
Editorial | Ethnic Minorities | Governance and Social Policy | Subscription-only Content
In 1853, Karl Marx argued in the New York Daily Tribune that the introduction of railways to India would speed the “annihilation of old Asiatic society and the laying the material foundations of Western society in Asia.” This is an apposite thought to consider in the month that sees the opening of the world’s highest railway, linking eastern China, for the first time, to Lhasa in Tibet.
Features | Ethnic Minorities | Gender | Subscription-only Content
For centuries the Yi people of Liangshan (凉山) in southern Sichuan observed strict marriage codes that prohibit inter-ethnic wedlock. Now, although many of the benefits of development have passed by this mountainous region, which remains home to 2 million Yi, the prospect of larger dowries from Han suitors is triggering an outflow of Yi women to other provinces. Matt Perrement reports from Liangshan on a form of migration that appears to fall somewhere between aranged marriage and, as some locals bluntly call it, trafficking (拐卖).