How China’s new language policy sparked rare backlash in Inner Mongolia

Ethnic Mongolian students and parents in northern China have staged mass school boycotts over a new curriculum that would scale back education in their mother tongue, in a rare and highly visible protest against the ruling Communist Party’s intensified push for ethnic assimilation.



a group of people standing in front of a building: Mongolian citizens protest at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, against China's plan to reduce teaching in Mongolian at schools in the neighboring Chinese region of Inner Mongolia on August 31, 2020.


© Byambasuren Byamba-Ochir/AFP/Getty Images
Mongolian citizens protest at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, against China’s plan to reduce teaching in Mongolian at schools in the neighboring Chinese region of Inner Mongolia on August 31, 2020.

Under the new policy, Mandarin Chinese will replace Mongolian as the medium of instruction for three subjects in elementary and middle schools for minority groups across the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, home to 4.2 million ethnic Mongolians.

Authorities have defended the adoption of a national standardized curriculum — which comes with Chinese textbooks compiled and approved by policymakers in Beijing — will improve minority students’ paths

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