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The Manchu people are a Tungusic people who originated in Manchuria (today's northeastern China).

Royal Family

During their rise in the seventeenth century, with the help of the Ming Dynasty rebels (such as general Wu Sangui) in China, they founded the Qing Dynasty, commonly referred to as the Manchu's, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911/12, which established a republican government. However on March 1, 1934 the last Emperor of China ascended the throne of the new sovereign State of Manchukuo.

Chinese dominance

The Manchu ethnicity has today largely been assimilated with the Han Chinese due to Chinese hegemony. The Manchu language is now almost extinct, spoken only among a small number of elderly people in remote rural areas of northeastern China and a few scholars; there are around ten thousand speakers of Sibe (Xibo), a Manchu dialect spoken in the Ili region of Xinjiang. In recent years, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in Manchu culture among both ethnic Manchus and Han. The number of Chinese today with some Manchu ancestry is quite large. With 10.68 million members, Manchu is the 3rd largest ethnic group in China after the Han and the Zhuang[1], and the recent adoption of favorable policies towards ethnic minorities (such as preferential university admission, government employment opportunities and exemption from the one child policy) has encouraged some people with mixed Han and Manchu ancestry to re-identify themselves as Manchu.

  1. See: Wang & Wang 2005, p. 9, 109