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The Chinese people or simply Chinese, are people or ethnic groups identified with
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different countries, the in the world after . Covering an area of ap ...

China
, usually through ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, or other affiliation. The
Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four ...
are the largest
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
in China, comprising approximately 92% of its
Mainland population
Mainland population
.CIA Factbook
"Han Chinese 91.6%" out of a reported population of 1,379 billion (July 2017 est.)
They comprise approximately 95%, 92% and 89% of the population of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a and of the in the western by the . With a population of about 680,000 and an area of , it is the most in the ...

Macau
respectively. They are also the world's largest ethnic group, comprising approximately 18% of the
global human population
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 Ethnic minorities in China are the non-Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved ...
who may also identify as "Chinese". 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 Taiwanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Taiwan (Formosa) * Taiwanese aborigines, the indigenous people of Taiwan * Han Taiwanese, the Han people of Taiwan * Taiwanese people, residents of Taiwan or people of Taiwanese descent * Taiwan ...

Taiwanese
". The territory of Taiwan is
disputed Controversy is a state of prolonged public dispute or debate, usually concerning a matter of conflicting opinion or point of view. The word was coined from the Latin ''controversia'', as a composite of ''controversus'' – "turned in an opposite di ...
and the ROC has limited recognition of its sovereignty. The term "
Overseas Chinese Overseas Chinese () refers to people of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by populat ...

Overseas Chinese
" is used to refer to the extensive Chinese
diaspora A diaspora () is a scattered population whose origin lies in a separate geographic locale. Historically, the word diaspora was used to refer to the mass dispersion of a population from its indigenous territories, specifically the dispersion ...

diaspora
and/or its descendants.


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?
. Huayuqiao.org. Retrieved on 26 April 2013.
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
ZhuangZhuang may refer to: *Zhuang people (or Bouxcuengh people), ethnic group in China *Zhuang languages *Zhuang logogram *Zhuang Zhou, ancient Chinese philosopher *Zhuang (surname) (庄/莊), a Chinese surname {{disambiguation Language and nationality ...
,
Hui The Hui people ( zh, c=, p=Huízú, w=Hui2-tsu2, Xiao'erjing Xiao'erjing or Xiao'erjin or Xiaor jin or in its shortened form, Xiaojing, literally meaning "children's script" or "minor script" (cf. "original script" referring to the original ...
,
Manchus The Manchu (; ) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym and endonym, exonym for a historical and geographic region of Russia and China in Northeast Asia (mostly in N ...
,
Uyghurs The Uyghurs ( or ; ug, ئۇيغۇرلار, , ; zh, s=, t=, p=Wéiwú'ěr, ), alternatively spelled Uighurs, Uygurs or Uigurs, are a Turkic ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central and East Asia ...
, and
MiaoMiao may refer to: * Miao people, linguistically and culturally related group of people, recognized as such by the government of the People's Republic of China * Miao script or Pollard script, writing system used for Miao languages * Miao (Unicode b ...
, who make up the five largest ethnic minorities in mainland China, with populations of approximately 10 million or more. In addition, the Yi, Tujia, Tibetans and
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the di ...
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 A number of ethnic groups An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of traditions, ancestry, language, histo ...
.


Ethnic groups in the Qing dynasty of China (1644–1911)

During the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty in the History of China#Imperial China, imperial history of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912, w ...
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")

''
Zhonghua minzu ''Zhonghua minzu'' (; "Chinese nation") is a key political term in modern Chinese nationalism The current Flag of China, national flag of the China, People's Republic of China (1949–present), representing a variety of Chinese national ...
'' (), 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 The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty in the History of China#Imperial China, imperial history of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912, w ...
(1644–1911). The term ''zhonghua minzu'' was used during the Republic of China from 1911 to 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 Mao Zedong pronounced ; also romanised Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for stu ...

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 Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The term ' ...
(
Taiwanese indigenous peoples Taiwanese indigenous peoples (formerly Taiwanese aborigines), Formosan people, Austronesian Taiwanese, Yuanzhumin or Gaoshan people, are the of , who number about 569,000 or 2.38% of the 's population. This total is increased to more than 800, ...
), whereas one is considered to be non-native (
Han Taiwanese Han Taiwanese or Taiwanese Han () are a ethnic group, most of whom are of full or partial descent. According to the of , they comprise 95 to 97 percent of the Taiwanese population, which also includes and other non-Han people. Major waves of ...
). 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, , and ''
waishengren ''Waishengren'' (), sometimes called mainlanders, are a group of migrants who arrived in Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Republic of Chin ...
'' (i.e. "
Mainland Chinese Mainland Chinese or Mainlanders are Chinese people Chinese people are people or ethnic groups identified with China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and depen ...
people in Taiwan"). The
Kinmen Kinmen, English exonyms#Taiwan, alternatively known as Quemoy, is a group of islands governed as a County (Taiwan), county by the Republic of China (ROC) based in Taiwan, off the southeastern coast of mainland China. It lies roughly east of 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 Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitics, geopolitical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC) since Proclamation of ...

mainland China
(mostly from
Fujian Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnat ...

Fujian
and
Guangdong Guangdong (, ), alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung, is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admin ...

Guangdong
) 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 Taiwanese Mandarin or ''Guoyu'' ( zh, s=国语, t=國語, p=Guóyǔ, l=National Language, first=t) refers to any of the varieties of Mandarin Chinese spoken in Taiwan. This comprises two main forms: Standard ''Guoyu'' and Taiwan ''Guoyu''. Sta ...

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 World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
,
Second Sino-Japanese War The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) was a military conflict that was primarily waged between the Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asi ...
, and
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Nationalist government, government of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lastin ...
. 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 by China which began during the 17th century ( CE).


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 The government of the People's Republic of China () is collectively the state authority in the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries a ...
. 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 Chinese nationality law details the conditions in which a person holds China, People's Republic of China (PRC) nationality. Foreign nationals may naturalize if they are permanent residents in any part of China or they have immediate family mem ...
regulates nationality within the PRC. A person obtains nationality either by birth when at least one parent is of Chinese nationality or by
naturalization Naturalization (or naturalisation) is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen of a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. It may be done automatically by a statute, i.e., without any effort on the part of the ind ...
. All people holding nationality of the People's Republic of China are citizens of the Republic. The
Resident Identity Card The Resident Identity Card () is an official identity document for personal identification in the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries a ...
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 The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport is a passport issued only to permanent residents of Hong Kong who also hold Chinese nationality law, Chinese citizenship. Note that: The passport is referred to both as the HKSAR Passport an ...
or
Macao Special Administrative Region passport The Macao Special Administrative Region passport (; pt, Passaporte da Região Administrativa Especial de Macau) is a passport A passport is a travel document, usually issued by a country A country is a distinct territory, territoria ...
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 Civil registration is the system by which a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government n ...
in Taiwan. 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.


Overseas Chinese

Overseas Chinese Overseas Chinese () refers to people of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by populat ...

Overseas Chinese
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 A diaspora () is a scattered population whose origin lies in a separate geographic locale. Historically, the word diaspora was used to refer to the mass dispersion of a population from its indigenous territories, specifically the dispersion ...
. People with one or more Chinese ancestors may consider themselves overseas Chinese. Such people vary widely in terms of
cultural assimilation Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group A minority group, by its original definition, refers to a group of people whose practices, race, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics are fewer in numbers than the main gro ...
. In some areas throughout the world
ethnic enclave File:India Square JC jeh.JPG, India Square in Jersey City, New Jersey#Demographics, Jersey City, New Jersey, one of 24 Indian American, Indian ethnic enclaves in the New York City Metropolitan Area. In sociology, an ethnic enclave is a geograph ...
s known as
Chinatown A Chinatown () is an ethnic enclave of Chinese people located outside mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitics, geopolitical area ...

Chinatown
s are home to populations of overseas Chinese. 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''.


See also

For countries with significant populations *
Chinese Malaysian The Malaysian Chinese people, also known as Chinese Malaysians, ( zh, 馬來西亞華人; ms, Orang Cina Malaysia) are Malaysian citizens of Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
*
Chinese Singaporean Chinese Singaporeans () are Singaporeans of Chinese people, Chinese ancestry. Chinese Singaporeans constitute 76.2% of the Singaporean population, making them the largest ethnic group in Singapore. As early as the 10th century, there was evid ...
( Chinese Nationals) *
Han Taiwanese Han Taiwanese or Taiwanese Han () are a ethnic group, most of whom are of full or partial descent. According to the of , they comprise 95 to 97 percent of the Taiwanese population, which also includes and other non-Han people. Major waves of ...
For countries with noteworthy populations * Chinese Thai *
Chinese Filipino Chinese Filipinos; tl, Tsinoy, / Pilipinong Tsino, ; Philippine Hokkien Philippine Hokkien or Lannang-Oe (), is a particular dialect of Southern Min language spoken by part of the Chinese Filipino, ethnic Chinese population of the Philippi ...

Chinese Filipino
*
Chinese Australian Chinese Australians () are Australian citizens of Chinese ancestry. Chinese Australians are one of the largest groups of Overseas Chinese Overseas Chinese () are people of ethnic Han Chinese, Chinese birth who reside outside the territories ...
*
Chinese Canadian Chinese Canadians are Canadians of full or partial Chinese people, Chinese ancestry, which includes both naturalized Chinese immigrants and Canadian-born Chinese. They comprise a subgroup of East Asian Canadians which is a further subgroup of Asi ...
*
Chinese New Zealander Chinese New Zealanders are New Zealanders of Chinese people, Chinese ancestry. Many of the Chinese immigrants came from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other countries that have large populations of Chinese emigration, Chinese diaspora; tod ...
Other countries with Chinese populations * Chinese Burmese *
Chinese Indonesian , image = , caption = Slogan proclaiming that Chinese Indonesians stand together with Native Indonesians Native Indonesians, also known as ''Pribumi'' (literally " first on the soil"), are Indonesians whose ancestral roo ...
* Chinese Vietnamese * Chinese Bruneian *
Chinese American Chinese Americans are Americans Americans are the and of the .; ; ''Ricketts v. Attorney General''897 F.3d 491, 494 n.3 (3d Cir. 2018) (" and are not ous. While all citizens are nationals, not all nationals are citizens."); ''United ...
*
Chinese Cambodian Chinese Cambodians or Sino-Khmers, are Cambodian citizens of Chinese or partial Chinese descent. The Khmer term ''Khmae Kat Chin'' () is used for people of mixed Cambodian and Chinese descent while ''Khmae Chin'' () can mean Cambodian-born citiz ...
* Chinese Laotian * Chinese Russian * Chinese Italian *
British Chinese British Chinese (also known as Chinese British or Chinese Britons) are people of China, Chineseparticularly Han Chineseancestry who reside in the United Kingdom, constituting the second-largest group of overseas Chinese in Western Europe after Chin ...
*
Chinese Caribbean Chinese Caribbeans (sometimes Sino-Caribbeans) are people of Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. Huay ...
*
Chinese Cuban Chinese Cubans ( es, Sino-cubano) are Cubans of full or mixed Han Chinese, Chinese ancestry who were born in or have immigrated to Cuba. They are part of the ethnic Chinese diaspora (or Overseas Chinese). History Chinese immigration to Cuba star ...
* Chinese Dominican *
Chinese Guyanese The first numbers of Chinese arrived in British Guiana in 1853, forming an important minority of the indentured workforce. After their indenture, many who stayed on in Guyana came to be known as successful retailers, with considerable integration wi ...
*
Chinese Jamaican Chinese Jamaicans are Jamaicans of Chinese people, Chinese ancestry, which include descendants of migrants from China to Jamaica. Early migrants came in the 19th century; there was another wave of migration in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of the desc ...
*
Chinese Trinidadian and Tobagonian Chinese Trinidadians and Tobagonians (sometimes Sino-Trinidadians and Tobagonians or Chinese Trinbagonians) are Trinidadians and Tobagonians of Han Chinese, Chinese ancestry. The group includes people from China, Hong Kong and Overseas Chinese who ...
*
Chinese Surinamese Chinese Surinamese people are Suriname Suriname (, sometimes spelled Surinam), officially known as the Republic of Suriname ( nl, Republiek Suriname ), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. Borders of Suriname, It ...
* Chinese Puerto Rican *
Chinese Brazilian Chinese Brazilians ( pt, Sino-brasileiro, italic=yes or ''Chinês-brasileiro''; zh, c=巴西华人 or 巴西华裔) are people of Chinese ancestry who were born in or have immigrated to Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federa ...
* Chinese Argentine * Chinese Mexican * Chinese Peruvian * Chinese Venezuelan Related topics of interest *
Chinese ancestral veneration Chinese ancestor worship or Chinese ancestor veneration, also called the Chinese patriarchal religion, is an aspect of the Chinese folk religion, Chinese traditional religion which revolves around the ritual celebration of the deification, deif ...
*
Chinese folk religion Chinese folk religion, also known as Chinese popular religion, is a general term covering a range of traditional religious practices of Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the ...
* Chinese nationality *
Ethnic minorities in China Ethnic minorities in China are the non-Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points ...
*
Unrecognized ethnic groups in China A number of ethnic groups An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of traditions, ancestry, language, histo ...
*
Chinese Americans in New York City Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China * Chinese people, people of Chinese nationality, citizenship, and/or ethnicity **''Zhonghua minzu'', the supra-ethnic concept of the Chinese nation ** List of ethnic groups in China, people of va ...


References


External links


Chinese Ethnic Minorities
* {{Authority control Broad-concept articles