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Han Chinese

Han Chinese (漢 or 汉 in pinyin: han4) is a term which refers to the majority ethnic group within China which constitutes over 92% of the population.

The term was first used in the 19th century to distinguish the majority from the Manchu minority which ruled China. The name comes from the Han Dynasty which ruled the parts of China where Han Chinese originate.

Many Uighurs, either disparagingly call the Han Chinese Anangga ski Hanzular or apply on them the historical ethnonym of Hitay (Khitan), originally belonging to a Confucian, but Mongolic state that once lorded over the Turkic Kara-Khanids[?]. It is interesting the note that the designations for the Chinese in the Russian and Mongol languages today, Kitaj and Khyatad, respectively, derives from the original Mongolic ethnonym, yielding these nations' perception of the Chinese State's northern nomad, Altaic origin.

Among Han Chinese, there is a wide diversity of distinct cultural and linguistic groups, such as the Hakka. Nevertheless these differences are not considered by Chinese to be ethnic differences.

The term "Han Chinese" is sometimes used synonomously with "Chinese", this usage tends to be frowned upon by Chinese.

Within Chinese nationalist theory, China is composed of a many ethnic groups, and promoting the interest and culture of Han Chinese at the expense of the other ethnic groups is known as Han chauvinism which has a pejorative meaning.

See also: List of Chinese ethnic groups



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