In the mid-1980s, foreign students traveling in China were much less fettered than journalists were. They often left their badly-taught Chinese language classes armed with a determination to see the minority areas (which were usually closed to foreigners) and their university ID cards (which along with a bit of arguing would often get them into Chinese-only hotels). They encountered a lot of prejudice against the “national minorities” in China. I talked with one young Australian who described the well-educated, official Uighur interpreter and the shocking way the Hans on their trip treated her.
My friend Nicole describes the autonomous regions … Read More