Ethnic peoples in China enjoy the
freedom to use and develop their own languages.
Chinese is the universal language in the country;
It is also one of the five working languages of
the United Nations. Due to historical and geographical
reasons, the Chinese language consists of quite
a few local dialects, such as Suzhou, Cantones,
and Fukienese dialects. Mandarin is the standard
spoken language for the Han people. The Chinese
characters, which are the written form of the
Chinese language, had their origin in oracle inscriptions
more than 6,000 years ago. Most of the 55 ethnic
minorities, however, speak their own languages
and some 20 of them have their own written languages.