Turbulent Rule Over Mongolia, Resistance Efforts Discussed

Article by Bahe (U.S.A.):
"Turbulent Fifty Years of Inner Mongolia"

"Turbulent Fifty Years of Inner Mongolia"

Fifty years have passed; the conquered Mongolia steppes are replete with violence, turmoil, poverty, and hatred; whose fault is all this? The CPC's migration and assimilation policy has resulted in a situation in which the scale and rate of immigration of Han people have been unprecedented in Chinese history. This has brought about serious consequences. The Mongolians are faced with the problem of forced assimilation in terms of culture, education, customs, and habits, and their resources are being extensively plundered; all this has been a main reason for the tense relations between the Mongolians and Han people.
Starting from spring this year, the propaganda machines of the CPC have on numerous occasions published reports and commentaries on the issue of Mongolia, boasting about the "great" achievements in Inner Mongolia; all that has been a public opinion campaign to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the CPC rule of Inner Mongolia.
The "marriage alliance" story of Wang Zhaojun has been repeatedly publicized to make the point that the Mongols and Han people were of one family a long time ago, so as to refute the "shameless slanders" issued by advocates of "Mongolian independence." However, it is well-known that contradictions and hatred between the Mongolians and Han people have been continually deepening over the past half century.
Forced Sinification Began in the Late 1950s Immediately after the founding of the state, the CPC actively worked to seek the support of the Mongolian nationality, encouraging the use of the local language. In order to secure cooperation from the upper strata of the Mongolian nationality, it trained many new bureaucrats and co-opted and trained a force loyal to the CPC; it also worked energetically to co-opt young Mongolian intellectuals.
Take the example of Ulanfu. He was a four-star general, alternate member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, vice premier of the State Council, and the person in charge of the party, government, and military in Inner Mongolia; he was extremely successful.
Toward the end of the 1950s, the CPC changed its policy, thus causing the Mongolians to raise questions. As far as the Mongolians were concerned, forced Sinification and forced acceptance of Marxism were the same thing. The 1962 "206" incident in Jining City, Ulanqab League, was a case in point. Then, five leaflets advocating opposition to the CPC and its nationality policy were discovered across Inner Mongolia; the contents had five aspects:
1. Discontent with the 1962 official delimitation of boundaries between China and Mongolia.
2. Advocation of merging Inner Mongolia with Outer Mongolia.
3. and 4. Opposition to the CPC rule and the People's Republic of China's nationality policy.
5. Proposal of general and specific policies and measures of merging Inner Mongolia with Outer Mongolia.
The final section talked about striving to unify Inner and Outer Mongolia by 1 July, 1966 and about striving to achieve a final victory on 1 July, or 26 November, 1966 if the first plan could not be accomplished.
In the Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia, Taoketao, deputy commander of the Military Sub-District of Xilin Gol League; Songdai, deputy administrator of Xilin Gol League; and Namujilapengsike, chief of the league procuratorate, criticized the CPC's national-oppression and forced-assimilation policy of ordering Mongolians to immediately learn spoken and written Chinese and accept "transition to communism," but ended up being purged by the CPC.
There were also the "Unification Party" and "Truth Party" in the Hulun Buir Steppes in eastern Inner Mongolia, parties which advocated opposition to great-Han chauvinist national oppression and the merger and unification of Inner and Outer Mongolia. The PRC's first constitution of 1954 explicitly provided in Article 71 that minority nationalities might continue to use their languages and writing systems. As the pluralist language policy was felt by the CPC to have contributed to the segregation of the nationalities, the CPC banned the use of the Mongolian language and writing system after the 1957 Qingdao Nationality Work Conference presided over by Zhou Enlai; primary school pupils of every minority nationality region must all learn Chinese. This decision caused strong opposition from the Mongolian elite, resulting in those people being expelled. It was not until 1973 that the CPC authorities allowed the use of the native spoken and written language. The Han people who have lived in Inner Mongolia for a long time and their offspring born in Inner Mongolia have not spoken the local language for their entire lives, and they do not want to learn the language. Their subconscious sense of superiority and disdain of the indigenous culture are impossible to hide and also serve as tools for oppressing Mongolians.

The Appalling Campaign To Persecute the "Inner Mongolian Popular Party"

During the Cultural Revolution, through the campaign to persecute the "Inner Mongolian Popular Party," the CPC carried out devastating attacks against the Mongolian people, and furthermore, also attempted to eradicate the "national consciousness" of the Mongolian nationality.
The Mongolians got a lot of insights from the campaign and came to clearly understand the true nature of the CPC. The drive to ferret out the "Inner Mongolian Popular Party" was not confined to the Inner Mongolia region, but was extended to Mongolians living in Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu, and the Northeast; if one was Mongolian, then it would have been difficult for him to escape calamity. The prolonged "ferreting out and purging" campaign led to 700,000 to 800,000 people being arrested and detained on the basis of groundless accusations, resulting in extremely serious spiritual and physical devastation. However, the Mongolians did not yield, but intensified their hatred for the CPC and rejection of the Han people; this was also the root cause of the conflicts between the Mongolians and Han people.
The campaign to persecute the "Inner Mongolian Popular Party" originated from one sentence uttered by Mao Zedong and ended by Zhou Enlai's instruction given after reading his niece's letter; this shows that the heads of hundreds of thousands of Mongolians were dependent on one or two persons being conscience-stricken and on some individuals" "moods of happiness, anger, sadness, or being merry." So very tragic!
In 1974, when speaking at Inner Mongolia University, Mr. Yahanzhang, the Chinese mainland's authority on the nationality issue, severely criticized the CPC's great-Han chauvinist policy of national oppression as pursued in Inner Mongolia, receiving a warm reception from the Mongolians. Afterwards, Yahanzhang's speech was translated into Mongolian and distributed across the Inner Mongolia steppes; even herdsmen living in tents came to know the big name of Yahanzhang. Is he a "living Buddha" inside the CPC? people asked. Nevertheless, Ji Dengkui, carrying out a mission given by the CPC, organized and presided over meetings to criticize Yahanzhang, who was branded a "reactionary nationality theorist" and exiled to Henan to work at a factory.

Large-Scale Migrations of Han People Triggered a Large-Scale Student Movement

In the summer of 1981, a large-scale student movement broke out in Inner Mongolia. Under the leadership of the student leader Haiming and others, the movement lasted more than three months; about a hundred institutions of higher learning in places from Inner Mongolia to Beijing, the Northeast, Gansu, Qinghai, and Xinjiang saw class boycotts as well as demonstrations and marches. This movement was mainly based on the participation of students, with active support and involvement on the part of all strata of Mongolian society.
The movement was triggered by Document 28 of the CPC Central Committee, which provided for the large-scale migration of Han people into Inner Mongolia. In a way, the movement dealt a blow to the CPC's rule in Inner Mongolia. In July 1987, the CPC buried 4,000 metric tonnes of West German nuclear waste in the Gobi Desert, bringing strong protests from Mongolians. Mongolian students of Hohhot City conducted protest demonstrations, physically attacking the People's Government of the Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia. Cai Ying [5591 5391], commander of the Inner Mongolia Military District, hurriedly deployed a large number of troops; it was only in this way that the students were suppressed.
In 1990, Inner Mongolia saw the emergence of an independence movement that was openly against the CPC and sought to overthrow the CPC's autocratic rule. This was an organized and idealistic movement. Their strategic plan envisioned three stages: in the first stage, according to the plan, two to four years would be used to carry out propaganda; in the second stage, three to five years would be used to perfect organizational construction; and, in the third stage, national independence and unification would be achieved. In May, the CPC took iron-fisted repressive measures, arresting 26 people. In March 1994, there again occurred protest activities which demanded that "leading cadres at all levels in the autonomous region be elected democratically and openly"; that "there be information and publication freedoms, with the Mongolians being allowed to publish private newspapers"; and that "all laws and rules with elements of nationality discrimination be revised so as to achieve nationality equality."

A Petition Signed Jointly by 4,000 Cadres Shocked the Leadership of the CPC

In April 1994, more than 4,000 cadres of Inner Mongolia protested against privileges and corruption, shocking the leadership of the CPC; Li Peng personally went there to handle the matter. The incident originated from a petition signed jointly by cadres at such bodies as the People's Government of the Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia, the CPC autonomous region committee, the department of culture, the department of civil affairs, and the department of transportation. The petition raised four demands:

  1. Immediately adopt measures to fight inflation;
  2. stop the purchasing of luxury sedans and distributing of luxury housing units;
  3. immediately increase allowances for cadres at the grassroots level and retired cadres to make it possible for them to maintain a certain living standard; and
  4. it is necessary to publicly investigate and punish corrupted officials and privilege-abusers in the high-level agencies of the party and government in Inner Mongolia, so as to accommodate public anger.
On this issue, the CPC Inner Mongolia Committee made the following decisions:
  1. that among petitioning cadres and worker representatives, there were bad elements who were instigating strife by using some issues as pretexts, targeting the CPC autonomous region committee and the autonomous region government;
  2. that people with ulterior motives were trying to create chaos so as to disrupt the party's central work and damage social stability and unity; and
  3. that the autonomous region government would adopt necessary measures and use legal means to resolve the incident when necessary.
The result was the intensification of the movement, which came to involve officials in Baotou City, Jining City, and Hailar City. More than 4,000 cadres from over 120 government agencies participated; 3,700 of those officials were CPC members, and quite a few of those officials were department-level cadres. Obviously, the incident was aimed at the top, a tendency which had been absent in the 50 years of CPC rule. The CPC Central Committee immediately sent Wei Jianxing and some others to Inner Mongolia to investigate the matter and take measures. Later, Chinese Premier Li Peng changed the itinerary of his return from a foreign visit and went to Hohhot City, staying in the city for four days specifically to deal with this incident.
In December 1995, Hada, chairman of the Southern Mongolian Democratic Alliance, and some other people were arrested over a period of time, triggering strong protests from Mongolian students and other people; demonstrators held large portraits of Genghis Khan and sang Mongolian folk songs, asserting opposition to the CPC's tyrannical rule and demanding the immediate release of Hada and others. Later, the demonstrators were dispersed by the CPC's armed police, with 27 more people arrested.

The Issue of "Mongolian Independence"

The issue of Mongolian independence has always been a big worry as far as the Chinese mainland's nationality problem is concerned. The CPC has never dared to face history squarely, lightly describing the past national oppression and economic plunder of the Mongolians as disruptive effects of the erroneous political line of the "Gang of Four," as if such a move could cancel out the past crimes. In fact, such a move has been a sham.
Because of the CPC's successful information blockade on the Chinese mainland, most people in China know little about the Mongolians. The CPC oppressed and exploited the Mongolians in a big way through such government measures as stationing troops, migration, human rights violations, nuclear test s, the plunder of natural resources, and destruction of religion and culture. Many political dissidents who are pursuing a democracy movement in China under the principle of freedom have a basic understanding of the Mongolian issue, but they often ignore unpleasant facts and even support or acquiesce to the CPC regime's brutal, tyrannical rule. Most of them believe that it is necessary to accommodate the Chinese people's "great Chinese unification" complex and that otherwise they would be called "traitors" by the Chinese people and thus have dim political futures. Such a belief is entirely contrary to the ideas of "freedom" and "democracy" that they are pursuing.
Mongolians on the Chinese mainland number approximately 6 million and are mainly distributed in the present Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu, and the three provinces of the Northeast. Inner Mongolia has an area of around 1.6 million square kilometers, accounting for approximately one-sixth of the total area of China and being equal to approximately 40 Taiwan Provinces in size.
Mongolians are distributed across eight provinces and autonomous regions of China, but are concentrated in most cases. They have their own language and writing system; their language is one of the languages of the Mongolian group of the Altaic family, and the writing system uses letters written from top to bottom. The religious belief is Tibetan Buddhism. Before the establishment of the People's Republic of China, in 1949 the Mongolia region had more than 1,400 temples and monasteries, with more than 20,000 lamas; but today there are very few left.
The region where the Mongolians are concentrated is extremely rich in natural resources, being number one in China in terms of the amount of coal reserves, the total size of forests, the area of grasslands, and steel output (an annual steel output of around 3.8 million metric tonnes). Four of the six large gold mines of China are located in Inner Mongolia. Inner Mongolia accounts for 80 percent of the selenium of the entire world; petroleum and nitrate are among the three pillar industries of Inner Mongolia. Inner Mongolia is number one in China in terms of large military industrial enterprises; the CPC's nuclear test base is in the Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Beyinguoleng.
Under the CPC rule, the autonomous regions and prefectures exist only in form; the so-called Nationality Region Autonomy Law is just a blank check.

The Policy of National Assimilation Is Still Being Implemented in an Intensified Manner

Very few of the officials above the department and bureau level in the Inner Mongolia government are Mongolians. However, immediately after the establishment of the Autonomous Government of Inner Mongolia, Han cadres constituted a very small proportion; but the situation has been reversed now. Currently, in Inner Mongolia, judges and police officers are mainly Han people. Han people account for almost 95 percent of the personnel of the steel, petroleum, and nonferrous-metal industries. Mongolians are excluded from the military industrial enterprises. Han people account for more than 90 percent of the urban residents who live in modernized housing equipped with running water, electricity for lighting, and gas for cooking; Mongolians are mostly living in mountain valleys and on the steppes, being accompanied by cattle, sheep, and horses. Over the past 50 years, there has been only oppression carried out by the CPC's corrupt officials and basically no improvement in their lives; and they have remained in poverty. Such a situation has been the main cause of the disturbances.
The CPC's migration and assimilation policy has resulted in the inflow of large numbers of Han people. In 1949, there were five Mongolians for each Han person, but today there are four Han people for each Mongolian; the magnitude and rate of change have been unprecedented in the history of China. This development has had serious consequences; without policy and legal protection, the Mongolians are faced with the issue of forced assimilation in terms of culture, education, and customs. As a result, the Mongolians are very discontented. This situation is also one of the causes of the tense relations between the Mongolians and Han people.
To facilitate assimilation and control, the CPC has carried out the extensive construction of transport and communication facilities such as highways, railroads, bridges, and telegraph and telephone facilities. It has also stationed large numbers of troops to guard those facilities.
Under the CPC's national oppression policy, Inner Mongolia has seen a situation of two one-way flows in Inner Mongolia: first, mineral resources, petroleum, coal, steel, timber, grain, gold, and cattle have been taken away by the CPC without compensation; second, there has been the inflow of large numbers of Han people into Inner Mongolia.
Under the CPC's great-Han chauvinistic rule, the Mongolians and Han people have not developed in an even manner politically, economically, or socially; as a result, the Mongolians have raised new political demands, such as opposition to national oppression, national salvation, and unity of Mongolians in all places, getting Mongolians" national enthusiasm and confidence awakened through the idea of Mongolian independence.
Careful observation will show that there are acute conflicts between the Mongolians and Han people in society and life and that language and religious friction is growing. Such phenomena have already aroused attention. A Chinese scholar has said in a somewhat worried tone that the Mongolian people are one of the few tough peoples that have been able to be equal to the Han people politically and militarily. It is also because of this reason that a rebellion of that people is sure to bring about disastrous consequences to China.

Sparks in Inner Mongolia

Like autocratic regimes of the past, the CPC has been able to be marginally successful in suppressing the separatist efforts of the minority nationalities of the border regions only through applying a dual policy of repression on the one hand and mollification and division-sowing on the other.
The people of Inner Mongolia have many relatives living in Outer Mongolia; the exchanges between those people have brought sparks of Mongolian democratic reform back to Inner Mongolia. Inner Mongolia and Outer Mongolia use the same language, are the same ethnically, and thus have very close relations with each other; it is unavoidable that they will influence each other. Presently, the development of a democratic movement and the rising of nationalism in Outer Mongolia will inevitably create stirs in Inner Mongolia; consequently, the Chinese Government is faced with the problem of "Mongolian independence." Geographically, Inner Mongolia borders on central China and the nine provinces outside the Great Wall; it is separated from the capital of Beijing just by the Great Wall.

If Inner Mongolia should become independent, there will be tremendous impacts on China.

The democratic movement and political reform of Mongolia will have greater effects on China than the tremendous changes in Eastern Europe. The CPC has never taken the potential for crisis in Inner Mongolia lightly and has worked to strengthen its control over the Inner Mongolia region since 1990. The official NEIMENGGU RIBAO has warned local Mongolians: "A small number of class enemies may be still maintaining contacts with international reactionary forces and working to create disharmony among people of different nationalities in our country . . ." The CPC has frankly stated that they are planning to apply a new policy to Inner Mongolia so as to prevent disturbances.
People who have been oppressed for decades would tend to overdo the rectification of a wrong situation once they have shaken off the chains. In a process of seeking psychological balance and spiritual pillars, it will go the road of nationalism. There have been many such cases in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The democratic revolution of Mongolia has achieved substantive successes in a process of benign interaction and led to the establishment of a democratic system of multi-party checks and balances. In 1996, through a general election, democratic parties became the ruling parties. As any other revolution, it has awakened a nation's self-consciousness.
Thus, just as the democratic movement of Mongolia was getting started, Mongolian nationalism with Genghis Khan as its spiritual leader also came into being.
The name of Genghis Khan is in the most popular Mongolian folk songs and on the banner of the democratic movement; it appears in the official newspapers. Portraits of Marx and Lenin have been replaced by portraits of Genghis Khan in museums. Genghis Khan's brave sayings;"As long as the country lives, my personal life or death is nothing" and "Mongolian brothers, get on your horses!" have been used as slogans by marchers on many occasions.

The Goal Is To Achieve Democracy and Independence

The Mongolians are rising up to demand democracy and independence because of, firstly, their long-suppressed national sentiments and their indignation at the vilification of the Mongolian national hero, Genghis Khan, in the hands of Marxist dogmas as well as their pursuit of national dignity and, secondly, the Mongolians" unwillingness to see their land become a "colony." It can be imagined that, constantly stimulated by outside information, the Mongolians will want to rebel from time to time.
In the past few years, several resistance organizations in Inner Mongolia have been subjected to the CPC's repressive measures; this is clear evidence in this regard. It has now become much more likely that there will be protests and rebellions of various kinds, but they will be far from enough to overthrow the CPC rule. On the contrary, they will trigger the CPC's even more brutal repression. When there are changes in China; that is, when the rulers are forced to weaken their control over the people; an independence movement similar to those in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union will blossom in Inner Mongolia and could trigger the separation of the minority nationality regions; for the CPC's armed repression of the independence movements will lead to even stronger resistance consciousness on the part of the minority nationalities.
The demands now are not limited to "full autonomy," and they will no longer believe the CPC's promises of "autonomy"; they have, to an increasing extent, embarked on the road of "separation" and "independence" from China.
In a nutshell, 50 years have passed since the establishment of the Autonomous Government of Inner Mongolia, and the conquered Mongolia steppes are replete with violence, turmoil, poverty, and hatred; whose fault is all this?