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HomeCultureIn Inner Mongolia, China works to erase its ‘model minority’

In Inner Mongolia, China works to erase its ‘model minority’

The herder couldn’t speak for long. His phone was being monitored, he said, as were those of many other Mongols around him.

“We have no way out. There’s nothing we can do,” said Gangbater, a herder in Xilingol League, a central part of China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, where mass protests broke out three weeks ago when the government implemented a new “bilingual education” program to replace the Mongolian language with Chinese in half of Mongolian school classes.

Demonstrations against the program appear to have been largely suppressed. More than 90% of children who had boycotted school in Xilingol were back in class — including his own, said Gangbater, who asked that his full name not be used for fear of retribution from authorities.

“If you don’t send the kids [to school], they take away your jobs,” said Gangbater. “You can’t get subsidies or loans from the banks. They put you on a blacklist….

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