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China Accused of Erasing Mongolian Language Education in Southern Mongolia

(Source: Jung Yeon-je/AFP)

China Accused of Erasing Mongolian Language Education in Southern Mongolia

The Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) released new information which it says confirms China’s policy of erasing Mongolian language education in Southern Mongolia which China calls Inner Mongolia.

SMHRIC reports that Beijing is aggressively enforcing a new language policy called “Second Generation Bilingual Education” which was launched in September 2020. The organization says “the Government of China initially claimed that this new policy would shift the language of instruction from Mongolian to Chinese for only three subjects, including literature, history, and politics. Yet new details leaked from a covert recording confirm otherwise: a comprehensive ban of Mongolian language instruction across the “Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region” would be fully effective starting September 1, 2023.”

The 2020 policy sparked a mass protest in Southern Mongolia with reportedly more than 300,000 Mongolian students taking to the streets. Students, parents, and teachers staged a sweeping school boycott to counter Beijing’s effort to remove Mongolian language from the region’s educational system.

Enghebatu Togochog, Director of the SMHRIC, sees cultural genocide being perpetrated against Uyghur and Tibetan people as well. In a testimony before the United State Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC) he said “from what is happening to the Uyghurs and what is happening to the Mongolians and Tibetans, it is apparent that the Chinese authorities are engaging in different forms of genocide campaigns on multiple fronts. While in East Turkistan, millions of Uyghurs and other Muslim peoples are locked up in concentration camps, in Southern Mongolia, a full-scale cultural genocide campaign is taking place. In Tibet, a similar campaign has been launched to eradicate Tibet’s unique culture and religious beliefs.”

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Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center

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