CPC Policies on Ethnic Affairs and Religion

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China II Updated: 2021-12-24

CPC Policies on Ethnic Affairs and Religion*

September 28, 2014 and April 22, 2016


Multi-ethnicity is one of China's distinguishing features. It has played a key role in the country's development. Over China's 5,000- year history, many ethnic groups have come into being in the country. Through evolution, merging, and separation, 56 ethnic groups have emerged and now constitute the Chinese nation. They joined together in building our vast country, creating a long history and a brilliant culture. They created numerous prosperous eras in China's historical pantheon, such as the formidable Qin (221-206 BC) and Han (206 BC-AD 220) dynasties, the heyday of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and the flourishing reigns (1661-1796) of Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors of the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911). The unification of the 56 ethnic groups into one nation is an invaluable treasure bestowed by our ancestors, and one of the country's great strengths.

(from the speech at the Central Conference on Ethnic Affairs,
September 28, 2014)


The correct and Chinese way to solve ethnic issues must follow these principles: upholding the leadership of the CPC; persevering in the socialist path with Chinese characteristics; safeguarding the unity of the country; adhering to the principle of equality among all ethnic groups; maintaining and improving the regional ethnic autonomy system; insisting that all ethnic groups work together and achieve common prosperity; consolidating the ideal that the Chinese nation is a community formed by all ethnic groups; practicing the rule of law; enhancing communication and exchanges; promoting harmonious and peaceful coexistence; consolidating and developing socialist ethnic relations featuring equality, unity, mutual-assistance, and harmony; and achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation together.

(from the speech at the Central Conference on Ethnic Affairs,
September 28, 2014)


In order to uphold and improve the system of regional ethnic autonomy, we need to focus our efforts on two combinations.

The first is the combination of unification and autonomy. As the highest national interest and common interest of all ethnic groups, unification serves as the premise and foundation for regional ethnic autonomy. Without national unification, there is no way to practice regional ethnic autonomy. While making sure that state laws and administrative regulations are effectively followed, we need to guarantee the right of autonomous regions to exercise autonomy, provide them with specific support, and help solve their individual problems.

The second is the combination of ethnic factors and regional factors. Regional ethnic autonomy involves both ethnic factors and regional factors. We must make it clear that regional ethnic autonomy is not exclusive to one ethnic group, and that an ethnic autonomous area does not refer to an area that belongs to a single ethnic group. If we fail to understand this, we will take a wrong path.

(from the speech at the Central Conference on Ethnic Affairs,
September 28, 2014)


Religion is, as always, one of the priorities that our Party must handle properly in governing the country. Our initiatives in regard to religion play a particularly important role in the overall work of the Party and the country. They have an impact on the development of our cause, on the blood and flesh bond between the Party and the people, on social harmony and ethnic solidarity, and on national security and unification. In this area we are doing well on the whole. Our Party's basic guidelines on religion have been carried out, the relations between the Party and religious circles grow stronger, the rule of law has been improved in our work with religions, and religious activities are conducted in a smooth and orderly way. The facts prove that our Party's theories, guidelines and policies on religion are correct.

To do our work well, we must follow the Party's basic guidelines on religion, comprehensively implement the Party's policies on freedom of religious belief, manage religious affairs by law, adhere to the principle of religious groups managing their own affairs, and encourage religions to adapt to socialist society. The Party's basic guidelines on religion result from its adherence to Marxist views on religion, from a consideration of the prevailing conditions in China and the realities of religion in China, and from a reflection on successes and failures in how we have dealt with religion. The prime purpose and ultimate goal in implementing policies on freedom of religious belief is to unite believers and non-believers to the maximum extent. In order to encourage religions to adapt to our socialist society, we need to lead believers to love the country and the people, maintain the unification of the country and the solidarity of the Chinese nation, follow and serve the highest national interests and the common interests of the Chinese nation, embrace the leadership of the CPC and the socialist system, adhere to the Chinese socialist path, practice core socialist values, promote Chinese culture and endeavor to integrate religious tenets with Chinese culture, abide by state laws and regulations and voluntarily comply with the law-based management by the state, participate in reform and opening up and socialist modernization, and contribute to the realization of the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

To do our work well and better carry out the Party's basic guidelines on religion, we need to provide good guidance. This is of crucial importance. To do so, we should think carefully and understand problems thoroughly and accurately. In other words, we should give sound, vigorous, and effective guidance so that we will maintain the initiative in our work with religions.

(from the speech at the National Conference on Religion,
April 22, 2016)


* Excerpts from two speeches made on September 28, 2014 and April 22, 2016.

(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)

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