Friday, September 6, 2013

China: 400 Million Cannot Speak Mandarin

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: barry levine 
Date: Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 7:57 AM
Subject: re: China: 400 Million Cannot Speak Mandarin
To: ""

To the Editor:
  In a world with real problems, Beijing is bizarrely focused on one that is wholly artificial.  Just ending the occupation of Tibet and Xinjiang would instantly improve the ratio of "Chinese" who speak Mandarin. And 25 million people would finally enjoy the "self determination" promised in the UN charter.
Barry Haskell Levine


China: 400 Million Cannot Speak Mandarin

Published: September 5, 2013
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More than 400 million Chinese are unable to speak the national language, Mandarin, and large numbers in the rest of the country speak it badly, state news media said Thursday as the government began another push for linguistic unity.China’s governing Communist Party has promoted Mandarin for decades to unite a nation with thousands of dialects and numerous minority languages, but that campaign has been hampered by resistance that has sometimes led to violent unrest as well as by the country’s size and lack of investment in education, especially in poor rural areas. A Ministry of Education spokeswoman, Xu Mei, said that only 70 percent of the nation could speak Mandarin. Yet many who do speak it do so poorly, and the remaining 30 percent, or 400 million people, cannot not speak it at all, the Xinhua news agency reported.
A version of this brief appears in print on September 6, 2013, on page A10 of the New York edition with the headline: China: 400 Million Cannot Speak Mandarin.

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