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Although Mandarin is the national language of China, it remains incomprehensible to 20 percent of the population. Beijing is now pushing the use of Mandarin hard among ethnic minorities, but while fluency in the common tongue brings economic benefits, what is the cost to the native languages and identities of those affected? Dr Lewis Mayo and Dr Gerald Roche discuss the state of play for languages in China. Presented by Peter Clarke.

An Asia Institute podcast. Produced and edited by profactual.com. Music by audionautix.com. Transcript here.

Main image: (L-R) Dr Lewis Mayo and Dr Gerald Roche. Thumbnail image: Dong people in San Jiang. Credit: gil_penney/Flickr.