Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Asian Studies

Second Department

Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Mark Dallas




language, religion, assimilation, power, culture


Today there is an increasing unrest among the minority populations of China and the government enforces different policies both to encourage assimilation and enforce order within minority regions. My research compares two different minority regions in China, Xinjiang and Tibet, and examines Beijing’s education, language and religious policies within these two minority regions. Beijing uses special mechanisms to implement these policies. I categorize these different policy realms according to their relative power. I find that in order to achieve desired objectives, Beijing will either enforce strict laws or fairly lenient laws depending on the policy realm. I argue that Beijing uses a method of ‘soft power’ and ‘hard power’ policies within the different realms. ‘Soft power’ policies are typically more covert in terms of their objectives and implementation. Beijing uses the subtle powers of persuasion and positive incentives to shift people’s mindsets. I use the term ‘hard power’ policy to describe more straightforward policies. These policies tend to use force or scare tactics to enforce the policy, such as bans and restrictions. Although there is no direct proof to explain why Beijing uses these distinct policy approaches, I speculate as to why Beijing utilizes these policies in different circumstances.

Included in

Asian Studies Commons