chapter  4
9 Pages

A brief report on bilingual education for the Dongxiangs: a new initiative

Dongxiang Autonomous Country (DAC) is the area for the Dongxiang ethnic

minority group in northwestern China. According the 2000 census, there are

513,805 Dongxiang people nationwide, 451,622 (or 87.89 percent) of whom live

in the Gansu Province. Most (215,144) reside in Gansu’s Linxia Hui Autonomous

Prefecture,1 DAC (National Bureau of Statistics, 2003). Others live in the nearby

counties of Hezheng, Guanghe, and Linxia, and a small number reside in

Xinjiang Province (National Bureau of Statistics, 2003). Not many Dongxiang

people speak Mandarin. For example, according to Qin and Ma (2004), 85 per-

cent of Dongxiang people speak only Dongxiang in their daily lives.