IRB – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Autor)
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.