Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Sinicization, or less commonly Sinification, is to make things Chinese. While used as transliteration, it refers in general to the process of becoming Chinese or not Chinese (desinicization). The term has seen used in social science primarily to describe the assimilation of non-Chinese peoples (such as the Manchus) into the Chinese identity. Some social scientists object the use of the term because they claim that this term obscures the fact that sinicization is merely one form of assimilation and using a special term implies a special process. Presumably this argument could also be applied to Americanisation.

In the politics of Taiwan, both terms are used to refer to an increase or decrease in cultural and economic ties with Mainland China. Both terms have been used more commonly after 2001. Since the 1990s, there has been general consensus in Taiwan in favor of the political status of Taiwan, though there is some debate about what that is. There is also general consensus that Taiwanese localization movement is favourable. That is, emphasizing local culture and language.

Also, the argument in the Republic of China on Taiwan between supporters of Chinese reunification and supporters of Taiwan independence is considered a matter of sinicization. Supporters of independence are generally wary of increasing cultural and economic links (such as the three links) with Mainland China. They feel it is part of a strategy by the People's Republic of China to sinicize Taiwan, thus making reunification inevitable.

Another meaning is the process by which other peoples like the Koreans and the Japanese are influenced by Chinese culture and working practices. An example of this is the kanji writing system of the Japanese language.