Wow, China, that’s quite some social engineering

Remember the Uighur minority in China’s troubled Xinjiang province? We talked to a brother and sister who told us a sad story of how tough it is for them to get by in the face of the overwhelming economic and political power of Han Chinese.

Now, in a move claimed to be promoting inter-ethnic harmony, some parts of Xinjiang are offering substantial bribes incentives to Han-Uighur (or other minority) couples who get married. There’s about $10,000NZD in cash, which goes a helluva long way in Xinjiang, plus assistance with housing and healthcare.

This is an astounding piece of social engineering. I might find a way to support it if it were genuinely breaking down inter-ethnic barriers and supporting couples in the face of intolerant attitudes that might scorn mixed race marriage. But my strong sense is the real agenda here is essentially to breed away the Uighur sense of difference, and the conflict that comes with it.

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