The sentence I don't understand
This is the excerpt of the text book I've been using in History class.
People on the fringes of Chinese culture who learned to read Chinese for pragmatic reasons of advancing or defending their interests were more effectively drawn into Chinese culture than they would have been if China had had a phonetic script. Reading and writing for them could not be easily detached from the body of Chinese texts imbued with Chinese values, making it difficult for them to use their literacy to articulate the vision of local population defined in opposition to China.
Could anyone rephrase the last part (from "making it difficult")? I don't quite get the meaning.