The effects on ethnic minorities of the opening-up of Southwest China to Southeast Asia
- completed -
Since the beginning of market reforms in 1978, Southwest China has experienced dramatic and wide-ranging changes. Once connected by a vast network of mountain roads and bridges channeling flows of trade, religion and culture between diverse ethnic groups, China is currently building a modern superhighway that traverses through Southeast Asia from Yunnan to major riparian cities to mirror the ancient caravan routes. As China endorses a ‘going-out strategy’, extending its influence into Southeast Asia, both the apparent persistence in levels of poverty that are accompanying the acceleration of rates of economic growth and the evident contradiction between local autonomy and national unity and integration that lies at the heart of China’s ethnic policy, raise numerous unanswered questions. The key question on which this study focuses is as follows: What are the effects on ethnic minorities of the opening-up of Southwest China to Southeast Asia? Indeed, why do ethnic minorities differ in the outcomes of China’s transnational regionalization strategy?