I have a Chinese professor from Beijing University for my 20th Century Chinese history class who went through the differences between western ways and Chinese ways within the class introduction.
He says that Western scholars consider ethnic minorities within China as non-Chinese but Chinese scholars consider ethnic minorities (Tibetans, Mongols, Manchus) as Chinese.
Doesn’t this just have to do with how these two scholar groups are defining “Chinese”? When the western scholars state that the ethnic minorities are non-Chinese I’m sure they are referring to the ethnic aspect of the ethnic minorities not being Chinese in that sense. But when the Chinese scholars state this, I’m sure they must be referring to the political aspect of these ethnic minorities as being considered Chinese.
Perhaps those Chinese scholars just don’t want to disassociate these ethnic minorities as being “non-Chinese” for political purposes? Surely they don’t think that the ethnic minorities with China are ethnically Chinese? Doesn’t the fact that they label these peoples as “Ethnic minorities” testify to that view that they are “ethnically” not Chinese therefore “minorities” within China?