ISLAMABAD, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- The ethnic policies adopted by the Chinese central government has helped the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in north China to achieve economic prosperity and unity, a Paskistani expert has commented.
China's "Inner Mongolia has been achieving great and speedy economic achievements," Wiqar Ali Shah, a professor of social sciences at the Islambad-based Quaid-i-Azam University, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"In my view, Inner Mongolia and other autonomous regions have witnessed faster economic growth than the country as a whole," said the Pakistani expert.
He cited Inner Mongolia's regional per capita gross domestic product (GDP), which amounted to over 11,000 U.S. dollars, ranking the sixth in China, as an achievement "due to the constructive and long-term economic and development policies by the Chinese government."
The policies have enabled development in various sectors to create more jobs to help lift a big portion of the local population including minorities out of poverty, according to him.
Thanks to China's ethnic policies, "Inner Mongolia has become more independent in implementing its own economic roadmap," he noted.
"The pillar of China's ethnic policies is regional autonomy for ethnic minorities, and every leadership has been pushing it," he said.
Shah described as "ideal" the policies made and adopted by the central government under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which has also helped promote unity "not only at the local level but also at the national level."
"Because of the ideal policies by the Chinese leadership, minorities have started feeling comfortable and proudly consider themselves as part of the Chinese nation," he said.
"The leadership of the Communist Party of China, along with the passage of time, has been developing and improving its ethnic policy since the 1950s in accordance with the needs at the ground level," he added.
Shah also noticed an increase in the population of local ethnic Mongolians thanks to different and favorable population policies the Chinese central government has adopted, which allows ethnic minorities to give birth to more children than Han Chinese.
The total population currently exceeds 250 million in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region that was set up in 1947, with an life expectancy up to 75.8 years from less than 35 years over the past seven decades.
Shah thinks the Chinese government and leadership have attached great importance to ethnic issues, inter-ethnic relations and national unity. "Chinese ethnic policies and systems have already become exemplary in the world," he said.