China says foreigners fuel unrest in Inner Mongolia


HOHHOT, China—China accused unspecified "foreign forces" of trying to exploit protests by ethnic Mongolian students in Inner Mongolia, even as the government pledged to address some of the underlying issues—the mining industry's rapid expansion and its impact on the environment.

Local authorities appear to have quelled the protests, which erupted last week after a Mongolian herder was killed by a coal truck driven by a member of China's dominant Han ethnic group as a group of herders sought to block a convoy from crossing pastureland.

There were no reports of further protests in the region Tuesday as hundreds of riot police continued to block traffic into the central square of Hohhot, the regional capital where some activists had called for further demonstrations.

China's government, which says the coal-truck driver has been arrested, is thought to be anxious to ensure that the unrest doesn't escalate in the same way that anti-Chinese protests did in Tibet in 2008, and in northwestern Xinjiang the following year, analysts said.

Inner Mongolia's population of 24 million is now about 80% Han following six decades of migration, which many Mongolians say has swamped their traditional nomadic culture and destroyed the once-pristine environment of the grasslands.

The protests in Inner Mongolia came amid a nationwide crackdown on lawyers, political bloggers and other dissidents, including the artist Ai Weiwei, that was triggered by anonymous online calls for a "Jasmine revolution" in China in mid-February.

Ensuring social stability is especially important for the party in the run-up to the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on Saturday, the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party's founding on July 1, and a once-a-decade leadership change next year.

China—which rarely admits to any tension among its ethnic groups—blamed the unrest in Tibet and Xinjiang on unspecified "hostile" foreign forces, and made similar allegations about the protests in Inner Mongolia.

"As to those foreign parties that are using the incident to stir up trouble, they have ulterior motives," said Jiang Yu, spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry. She added that this "cannot succeed."

Asked what she meant by "ulterior motives", she said: "You should ask those foreign parties that are stirring up trouble."

However, she said local authorities in Inner Mongolia would respond positively to the unrest, and would try to find a balance between promoting economic growth and protecting the environment.

The Global Times, an English-language tabloid newspaper with links to the ruling Communist Party, also said in a commentary that the government should respond to the grievances of ethnic Mongolians, although it stressed that the protests were economic rather than political.

"Some of their requests are reasonable, and should be responded to by the local government," the newspaper said, adding that protesters were anxious about the changes caused by the mining industry.

It said it was "improper" to link the unrest in Inner Mongolia and the problems in Tibet and Xinjiang over the past three years.

"Social conflicts are on the rise in China and ethnic minority areas are no exception. But the incidents there should not be exaggerated or over-interpreted," it said.

Other official newspapers carried front page reports emphasizing government support for herders and Mongolian culture. The People's Daily said 13 billion yuan ($2 billion) was paid to herders each year to compensate them for not raising livestock.
—Aaron Back in Beijing contributed to this article.

Source:Wall Street Journal



Post a Comment

Facebook page

Powered by Blogger.


Advertising in Mongolia An Culture Editorial of the Mongolianviews education Environmental protection Famous Mongolians Foreigners in Mongolia Inner Mongolia Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia agriculture Mongolia analysis Mongolia and Australia Mongolia and Belorussia Mongolia and Cambodia Mongolia and Canada Mongolia and central Asia Mongolia and China Mongolia and Cuba Mongolia and EU Mongolia and Germany Mongolia and Hongkong Mongolia and Hungary Mongolia and India Mongolia and Inner Mongolia Mongolia and Iran Mongolia and Israel Mongolia and Italy Mongolia and Japan Mongolia and Kazakhstan Mongolia and Korea Mongolia and Kuwait Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan Mongolia and Malaysia Mongolia and Nato Mongolia and North Korean Mongolia and Poland Mongolia and Russia Mongolia and Singapore Mongolia and South Korea Mongolia and Taiwan Mongolia and the world Mongolia and Tibet Mongolia and Turkey Mongolia and UK Mongolia and Ukraine Mongolia and UN Mongolia and US Mongolia and USA Mongolia and Vietnam Mongolia Banking Mongolia civic society Mongolia crime Mongolia diplomacy Mongolia Economy Mongolia Education Mongolia Energy Mongolia Finance Mongolia Health Mongolia History Mongolia holiday Mongolia in international media Mongolia Industries Mongolia Joke Mongolia law Mongolia LGBT Mongolia medical Mongolia military Mongolia Mining Mongolia Mining Developments Mongolia Mortgage Mongolia natural disaster Mongolia Petroleum Mongolia public announcements Mongolia railways Mongolia Religion Mongolia society Mongolia Sports Mongolia Stamp Mongolia telecommunication Mongolia tourism Mongolia Urbanization Mongolia Wild Life Mongolian Agriculture Mongolian Archeology Mongolian Food Mongolian Gay Mongolian Government news Mongolian History Mongolian Military Mongolian Mining Development Mongolian Movie Mongolian News Mongolian Parliament Mongolian Political news Mongolian Press Mongolian Songs Mongolian Women Mongolian Youth Mongolians abroad Moninfo Opinion Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement Photo news Press Release Rio Tinto Tavan Tolgoi coal mine Ulaanbaatar development Weird expatriates in Mongolia

Blog Archive