Update to Response to Information Request CHN14374 of 3 June 1993 on the treatment of the Mongols, and information on current situation regarding any and all groups active on behalf of the Mongolian minority, in particular those active in Huhhot [CHN20107.E]

The following information was provided in a telephone interview with a professor of history at Columbia University in New York, who has collaborated on two Asia Watch reports on the situation in Inner Mongolia (21 Mar. 1995). According to the professor, there is no overt discrimination against Mongols in Inner Mongolia, nor a particular effort to "wipe out" the Mongolian minority. However, the professor stated that the Chinese, who outnumber the Mongols by a ratio of nine to one in Inner Mongolia, remain "eager for the assimilation of the Mongolian people." According to the professor, the Chinese authorities are concerned about any emergence of Mongolian nationalism, and are keeping a close watch on the region as a result of political changes occurring in neighbouring Mongolia. Nationalist groups are considered subversive, and groups having a political or nationalist orientation are not permitted. The professor said that Buddhist monasteries have been permitted to receive younger monks in recent years, but that Chinese authorities remain watchful of organized religion. Political freedom and freedom of expression are tightly controlled in Inner Mongolia, although this control does not differ from that in the rest of China. According to the professor, Mongolian nationalist sentiment is not exclusively an urban phenomenon, but is found outside the capital city, Huhhot, as well. Chinese authorities maintain their control over political or nationalist expressions through jailing of activists and through censorship. Cultural organizations are permitted, however.

For additional information, please consult three reports produced by Asia Watch that are available at Regional Documentation Centres. These include Detained in China and Tibet: A Directory of Political and Religious Prisoners of February 1994, Continuing Crackdown in Inner Mongolia of March 1992 and Crackdown in Inner Mongolia of July 1991. The latter two reports contain information on the treatment of Mongolian groups, while the first report contains the most recent listing of people known to have been arrested and/or detained.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Professor of History, Columbia University, New York. 21 March 1995. Telephone interview.