9    Language issues in Chinesehigher education

The case of Korean and Mongolminority groups

W. James Jacob and Heejin Park

Introduction

Blessed with the Earth's largest human resource base, the People's Republic of China is home to some 1.3 billion people. While a strong majority of this population is ethnic Han, the government officially recognizes 55 minority groups. Ethnic minority population nationwide exceeds 120 million with more than 100 distinct native languages (Clothey, 2005; de Varennes, 2006; Jacob, 2006; Zhou, 2000, 2001). Recent ethnic demonstrations and clashes with the government in the traditional minority regions of Tibet and Xinjiang highlight some of the tensions that exist in China today (Wong, 2009). The largest ethnic ...

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