(汉化 or中国化). A word used at least since the 17th century to indicate the assimilation of minorities in the Chinese empire into Chinese culture and language, it was adopted by Nationalist China to signify the effort to replace the foreigners who managed business, religions and civil society organizations with Chinese. The CCP, however, gives to the word “sinicization” a different meaning. It is not enough that organizations operating in China, including religions and churches, have Chinese leaders. In order to be accepted as “sinicized,” they should have leaders selected by the CCP and operate within a framework of strategies and objectives indicated by the CCP. In Tibet and Xinjiang, however, the CCP pursues a politics of “sinicization” in the traditional sense of the word, trying to assimilate Uyghurs and Tibetan Buddhists into Chinese culture.
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