China detains 23 Mongolians protesting against removal of traditional language in schools

WION Web Team
Taipei, Taiwan Published: Sep 08, 2020, 06:53 PM(IST)

Ethnic Mongolians in China protest removal of traditional language in schools Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The push to use the new textbooks, which started in other ethnic minority regions such as Xinjiang and Tibet in 2017, has prompted demonstrations and school boycotts by ethnic Mongolians in at least five cities and counties in Inner Mongolia.

Police in China's Inner Mongolia region have detained at least 23 people following protests last week against a new policy that replaces Mongolian-language textbooks with Chinese ones in classrooms.

New guidelines in the Chinese-administered Inner Mongolia region require elementary and secondary school subjects including history, politics and language to be taught in Mandarin beginning on September 1.

Also read: Protests erupt as China moves to end Mongolian-medium teaching in schools

The push to use the new textbooks, which started in other ethnic minority regions such as Xinjiang and Tibet in 2017, has prompted demonstrations and school boycotts by ethnic Mongolians in at least five cities and counties in Inner Mongolia.

The 23 detentions were across eight banners, the regional word for counties, according to nine local police reports over the past several days.

The reasons range from ''organizing and collecting signatures for a petition'' to ''picking quarrels and stirring up trouble."

Others were for ''flagrantly insulting a deceased former leader of the country'' and ''sharing videos in a WeChat group to obstruct the implementation of the national textbooks policy.'' WeChat is a popular messaging app in China.

The local government is also exerting pressure in other ways. Authorities in Zhenglan banner announced Saturday that they had suspended two members of the ruling Communist Party without pay for failing to carry out the policy.

Police in Chifeng city said Monday they handed over Communist Party members, including two elementary school teachers, to a local party disciplinary committee for investigation.

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