After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) imposed restrictions on nomadic grazing and the traditional lifestyle of the Mongolians, thousands of Inner Mongolians were arrested when they showed their opposition to the measures taken by Beijing.
According to Breitbart News, the arrests came as the CCP is further tightening its grip on nomadic herders, arguing that the practice of their traditions undermines Chinese culture and the authority of the communist dictator Xi Jinping.
Last July, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in Inner Mongolia passed a law establishing a ban on grazing practice. The authorities consider this measure as a “powerful” step in the imposition of the CCP ideology.
“This was just a policy, but now it will become an exact law. If we violate it, we will be held legally responsible. The situation is much more serious now.”
Nomadic herding is a custom that has been handed down for thousands of years among the native Mongolians. This type of animal husbandry practice involves herding sheep or horses to find fresh pasture, Apple Daily reported.
“Nomadic pastoralists live in societies in which the husbandry of grazing animals is viewed as an ideal way of making a living and the regular movement of all or part of the society is considered a normal and natural part of life,” according to the Oxford Handbooks website.
“Pastoral nomadism is commonly found where climatic conditions produce seasonal pastures but cannot support sustained agriculture,” it added.
According to Enghebatu Togochog, director of the South Mongolian Human Rights Information Center of the U.S.-based exile group, the mainland Chinese authorities carried out a “cultural genocide” by banning Mongolian people’s traditional lifestyle in 2001.
Some 6 million people occupy inner Mongolia, about two-thirds of whom belong to nomadic peoples.
Another issue causing nonconformity among Mongolian people concerns their language. The CCP has imposed a policy banning the teaching of the Mongolian language in schools.
Mass protests have taken place in northern China by ethnic Mongolian groups in opposition to the Beijing project.
According to The Guardian, the demonstrations have revealed an intense fear that Mongolian will be relegated to a foreign language due to the CCP’s plans to assimilate ethnic minorities into Han Chinese culture.
Togochog told The Guardian that for decades the region had been subjected to policies that represented cultural genocide. People had no faith that such changes in the language would benefit them.
“The main concern of the Mongolian people is that this language change is basically to end Mongolian language education in southern Mongolia once and for all,” he said.
The current situation in Mongolia reflects the worrying violation of the human rights of minorities within the country; another example is that of the Muslim Uighurs in north-west China who are subjected to forced labor camps.
According to research by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Uighur minority communities are subject to modern-day slavery, while women are subject to forced sterilization.
The CCP’s history of repression of religious freedom finds a particular focus on practitioners of the Buddha school of the spiritual discipline known as Falun Gong or Falun Dafa. They have been brutally persecuted since 1999.
The practice was introduced in China by Mr. Li Hongzhi in 1992 and quickly became popular with people because of its benefits to the body and mind. Very quickly, the practice grew to around 100 million practitioners throughout China, which the CCP viewed with suspicion because some CCP members even embraced it.