Chinese people are people or ethnic groups identified with China
, usually through ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, or other affiliation.
The Han Chinese
are the largest ethnic group
in China, comprising approximately 92% of its mainland population
"Han Chinese 91.6%" out of a reported population of 1,379 billion (July 2017 est.)
Han Chinese people also comprise approximately 95%, 92%, 89% and 74% of the population of Taiwan
, Hong Kong
They are also the world's largest ethnic group
, comprising approximately 18% of the global human population
Outside China, the terms "Han Chinese" and "Chinese" are often conflated since those identifying or registered as Han Chinese are the dominant ethnic group in China.
There are 55 officially-recognized ethnic minorities in China
who may also identify as "Chinese".
Although Hong Kong and Macau are both under Chinese sovereignty, both regions are highly autonomous. Hong Kong and Macau are respectively governed by international treaties known as the "Sino-British Joint Declaration
" and the "Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration
". Residents of both regions can possess various nationalities.
People from Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), may also be referred to as "Chinese" in various contexts, though they are usually referred to as "Taiwanese
". The territory of Taiwan is disputed
and the ROC has limited recognition of its sovereignty
There is also an extensive Chinese diaspora
known as Overseas Chinese
Ethnic groups in China and associated territories
A number of ethnic groups within China, as well as people elsewhere with ancestry in the region, may be referred to as Chinese people.
Ethnic groups in China
Han Chinese people, the largest ethnic group in China, are often referred to as "Chinese" or "ethnic Chinese" in English.
[Who are the Chinese people?](_blank)
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on 2013-04-26.
The Han Chinese also form a majority or notable minority in other countries, and they comprise approximately 18% of the global human population.
Other ethnic groups in China include the Zhuang
, and Miao
, who make up the five largest ethnic minorities in mainland China, with populations of approximately 10 million or more. In addition, the Yi
each have populations between five and ten million.
China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), recognizes 56 native Chinese ethnic groups. There are also several unrecognized ethnic groups in China
Ethnic groups in the Qing dynasty of China (1644–1911)
During the Qing dynasty
the term "Chinese people" ( ; Manchu: ''Dulimbai gurun i niyalma'') was used by the Qing government to refer to all traditionally native subjects of the empire, including Han, Manchu, and Mongols.
Zhonghua minzu (the "Chinese nation")
'' (), the "Chinese nation", is a supra-ethnic
concept which includes all 56 ethnic groups living in China that are officially recognized by the government of the People's Republic of China. It includes established ethnic groups who have lived within the borders of China since at least the Qing Dynasty
(1644–1911). The term ''zhonghua minzu'' was used during the Republic of China from 1911–1949 to refer to a subset of five ethnic groups
in China. The term ''zhongguo renmin'' (), "Chinese people", was the government's preferred term during the life of Mao Zedong
; ''zhonghua minzu'' is more common in recent decades.
Ethnic groups in Taiwan
Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), recognizes 17 native Taiwanese ethnic groups as well as numerous other "New Immigrant" ethnic groups (mostly originating from Mainland China and Southeast Asia
). Of the 17 native Taiwanese ethnic groups, 16 are considered to be indigenous
(Taiwanese indigenous peoples
), whereas one is considered to be a colonizing
population (Han Taiwanese
). There are also several unrecognized indigenous ethnic groups in Taiwan.
The Han Taiwanese, who are Han Chinese people living in Taiwan, are usually categorized by the Taiwanese government
into three main ethnic groups; the Taiwanese Hoklos
, Taiwanese Hakkas
, and ''waishengren
'' (i.e. "Mainland Chinese
people in Taiwan"). The Kinmen
ese and Matsunese
peoples are two other significant Han Taiwanese ethnic groups.
The Hoklos and Hakkas are both considered to be "native" populations of Taiwan since they first began migrating to Taiwan in significant numbers from mainland China
(mostly from Fujian
) over 400 years ago (they first began migrating to Taiwan in minor numbers several centuries earlier). They are often collectively referred to in Taiwanese Mandarin
as "Benshengren" (meaning "people from this province
"). The Hoklos comprise approximately 70% of Taiwan's total population and the Hakkas comprise approximately 14% of Taiwan's total population.
Meanwhile, the so-called Mainlanders (Taiwanese) are mostly descended from people who migrated from mainland China to Taiwan during the 1940s and 1950s, usually in the context of the Second World War
, Second Sino-Japanese War
, and Chinese Civil War
. They are often referred to in Taiwanese Mandarin as "Waishengren" (meaning "people from outside of this province"). The Mainlanders (Taiwanese) comprise approximately 14% of Taiwan's total population.
Collectively, the various Taiwanese indigenous peoples comprise approximately 2% of Taiwan's total population. The various Taiwanese indigenous peoples are believed to have been living in Taiwan for up to 6000 years prior to the colonization of Taiwan
by China which began during the 17th century
Recognition by the Chinese government
The Han Taiwanese, Native Taiwanese (Benshengren), Hoklo Taiwanese, Hakka Taiwanese, Mainlander Taiwanese (Waishengren), Kinmenese, and Matsunese ethnic groups (all subtypes or branches of the Han Chinese ethnic group) are all unrecognized by the Chinese government
. Furthermore, the sixteen Taiwanese indigenous peoples that are officially recognized by the Taiwanese government are also all unrecognized by the Chinese government. The Chinese government also doesn't recognize the ethnic designation "New Immigrant".
The Chinese government instead has its own ethnic designations for Taiwanese people. Han Taiwanese people are considered to be Han Chinese people (no distinction is made), whereas the various recognized and unrecognized (by Taiwan) Taiwanese indigenous peoples are collectively recognized (by China) to be "Gaoshanren" (i.e. "High Mountain People"). The Gaoshanren are one of the 56 officially-recognized ethnic groups of China.
Nationality, citizenship and residence
The Nationality law of the People's Republic of China
within the PRC. A person obtains nationality either by birth when at least one parent is of Chinese nationality or by naturalization
. All people holding nationality of the People's Republic of China are citizen
s of the Republic. The Resident Identity Card
is the official form of identification for residents of the People's Republic of China.
Within the People's Republic of China, a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport
or Macao Special Administrative Region passport
may be issued to permanent residents of Hong Kong or Macao, respectively.
The Nationality law of the Republic of China
regulates nationality within the Republic of China (Taiwan). A person obtains nationality either by birth or by naturalization. A person with at least one parent who is a national of the Republic of China, or born in the ROC to stateless parents qualifies for nationality by birth.
The National Identification Card
is an identity document issued to people who have household registration
. The Resident Certificate
is an identification card issued to residents of the Republic of China who do not hold a National Identification Card.
The relationship between ROC nationality and PRC nationality is disputed.
refers to people of Chinese ethnicity or national heritage who live outside the People's Republic of China or Taiwan as the result of the continuing diaspora
. People with one or more Chinese ancestors may consider themselves overseas Chinese. Such people vary widely in terms of cultural assimilation
. In some areas throughout the world ethnic enclave
s known as Chinatown
s are home to populations of Chinese ancestry.
In Southeast Asia
, Chinese people call themselves () instead of ( ) which commonly refers to the citizens of the People's Republic of China
or the Republic of China
This is especially so in the Chinese communities of Southeast Asia. The term ''Zhongguoren'' has a more political or ideological aspect in its use; while many in China may use ''Zhongguoren'' to mean the Chinese ethnicity, some in Taiwan would refuse to be called ''Zhongguoren''.
For countries with significant populations
* Chinese Malaysian
* Chinese American
* Chinese Burmese
* Chinese Indonesian
* Chinese Singaporean
* Chinese Thai
* Chinese Vietnamese
Other countries with Chinese populations
* Chinese Filipino
* Chinese Australian
* Chinese New Zealander
* Chinese Cambodian
* Chinese Russian
* Chinese Canadian
* Chinese Italian
* British Chinese
* Chinese Caribbean
* Chinese Cuban
* Chinese Jamaican
* Chinese Trinidadian and Tobagonian
*Chinese Puerto Rican
* Chinese Brazilian
* Chinese Argentine
* Chinese Mexican
* Chinese Peruvian
* Chinese Venezuelan
Related topics of interest
* Chinese nationality
* Ethnic minorities in China
* Unrecognized ethnic groups in China
* Chinese Americans in New York City
Chinese Ethnic Minorities