On the 50th Anniversary of the "Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region"
by M. Altanbat
Of the Inner Mongolian People's Party
Since time immemorial, the southern areas inhabited by Mongols, commonly referred to as Inner Mongolia, was an integral part of an independent nation.
In 1915, Russia and China opposed the Mongols' sincere desire for freedom.
Consequently, the Mongols were forced to sign the so-called "Kiakhta agreement of three countries", which effectively divided the nation of Mongolia into two parts, giving the southern part to China. The northern part fell under the Russian sphere of influence. Thus the Mongols' efforts to achieve complete national emancipation from the two great powers, Russia and China, was unsuccessful.
Notwithstanding, the Mongols of both southern and northern Mongolia struggled on for an independent Mongolia, which eventually found expression in the current independent country of Mongolia. Four of six national heroes of Mongolia were from Inner Mongolia : Bavuujav, Utai, Damdinsuren and Sumyabeis.
Many Inner Mongols were at the forefront of the national revolution of 1921, such as Khasbaatar , who was a close associate of Sukhbaatar, the founder of modern Mongolia.
In 1947, the Communist Party of China (CPC) invaded Inner Mongolia. This period of Inner Mongolian history, under the merciless rule of the CPC is characterized by widespread human suffering and tremendous ecological destruction of the Mongolian grasslands. The CPC has carried out a policy of ethnic genocide against the Inner Mongols. It has been estimated that over 300,000 Mongols have been killed during the half century of Chinese communist occupation of Inner Mongolia. Another half million Mongols have been maimed by torture, a punishment meted out even to those who would merely respect and practice Mongol customs, or speak the Mongol language.
Today, the CPC and the Chinese government continue to use torture and inhumane intimidation to continue their policies of ethnic annihilation in Inner Mongolia. The CPC has used unheard of methods of torture against the Mongols : setting dogs or hogs on naked young girls and even forcing young women to be violated by their own fathers or brothers. Another form of torture was death by the so called "iron horse", forcing the victim to sit down on a coal burning iron oven, until the victim was scorched to death. The barbarity of the Chinese torturers is hideous even by the standards of the Fascists of Nazi Germany.
In addition to the policy of ethnic intimidation carried out by the CPC, a policy of assimilation was also initiated, with the aim of total sinicization of the Mongols. This policy prohibits Mongols from practicing their own national customs, discouraging the use of the Mongol language or to respect their own cultural values. Another aspect of this policy has been the massive population transfer of millions of Chinese peasants from other regions of China into Inner Mongolia. This has caused a major shift in the demography of Inner Mongolia. In 1947, the population of Inner Mongolia was only 14% Chinese. In 1990, the statistics had reversed, and it was only 14% Mongol. The Mongols are now outnumbered nearly 7:1 in their own traditional homeland.
Under these conditions, the Mongol youth are forgetting their own language, customs and history. Put briefly, the assimilation of the Mongols of China is very nearly complete. This experience can be viewed as a model for what we can expect to see from the CPC and the Chinese government for the future in Tibet and Eastern Turkistan.
The ecological consequences of the massive population transfer has been devastating to the lifestyle of the Mongol herdsman. The formerly lush pasture lands have been farmed to the point of desertification, and the Mongols have in many regions been forced to give up their traditional pastoral lifestyle, and adopt the farming lifestyle of the Chinese settlers. More frighteningly, the Chinese government has been regularly carrying out nuclear testing near the region of Inner Mongolia and Eastern Turkistan, further poisoning the environment of Inner Mongolia. Undeniably, the Inner Mongols are living under the most difficult of conditions under the rule of the CPC.
Nevertheless, the Inner Mongols will not cease their struggle for freedom.
Demonstrations opposing the communist Chinese rule have continued since 1981, when the first student protests broke out in the capital of Inner Mongolia, Khokekhota. These students were expressing their condemnation of those responsible for the thousands of Mongols who had been killed and tortured during the cultural revolution of the 1960's and 70s. Today, throughout Inner Mongolia, small groups continue to express their opposition to the occupation of Inner Mongolia. Groups such as "The Democratic Alliance of Southern Mongolia", organized by Hada and Tegexi, "The Association of Mongols" in Bayannuur province. "The Association of Mongolian National Culture" organized by Huchintegus and Wang Manglai in Yikhe Zuu province and others similar to these bear witness to our continuing struggle today, against the forces of oppression.
Now, as an Inner Mongol and as an international free journalist, I call upon the United Nations, the good governments of the world, international organizations concerned with human rights, and all good-hearted citizens of the world, to join with us in our demands for freedom and justice for our people on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We call for :
- economic sanctions against the government of China until such time as they recognize the freedom of Inner Mongolia, Tibet and Eastern Turkestan,
- stop the policy of genocide and assimilation against our people,
- stop all nuclear testing,
- stop the policy of mass population transfer of Chinese into our lands,
- immediately release all prisoners of conscience, including Hada and Tegexi,
- establish a day of mourning marking the fateful day, May 1, 1947, that the CPC created the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia.