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China Must First Learn to Act Like an Adult

Executive Editor
The New York Times
New York
04, 24, 2005


One of the major events that are taking place recently is the Chinese demonstrations, or should I say riot, against the Japanese textbooks and vandalism to the Japanese diplomatic facilities in China. The textbook issue is definitely not a new topic for those who know of something about China.

Here I would like to mention a few things that the world community may not be very well aware of.


China first of all needs to learn to examine herself, learn to acknowledge the atrocities and crimes that she has committed to other peoples as well as her own, learn to apologize to others sincerely, learn to respect Life in its very essence, learn to act as an adult and be honest and learn to pray for her own sins.

I am an ethnic Mongolian native to Southern/Inner Mongolia, one of the largest alien territories that are still placed under the colonial rule of People's Republic of China. The other two are Tibet, and so called Sinkiang (Xinjiang) which is consisted of the western part of traditional Mongolia and the lands of Uyghur Turk people.

The traditional Southern Mongolia, popularly known as Inner Mongolia as result of mistranslations, is home to an estimated 4.5 million strong native Mongols. The region has been occupied by Communist China since 1947. During the half century, series of massacres, state-sponsored and organized ethnic cleansing, forced cultural assimilation and population transfer of the Chinese into Mongol land as part of state strategy, made the people of Southern Mongolia to go through the darkest era ever in the history of our nation: at least 700,000 ethnic Mongols were killed, maimed, tortured in unimaginable forms, sent to jail, arrested or detained; 3,000 Buddhist temples were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution; a series of peaceful demonstrations by ethnic Mongolian students since the 1980s (first such actions among “ethnic minorities” under PRC) have been harshly cracked down and thousands of Mongol dissidents either have been arrested and sent to jail or detained without proper trials. The horrific tragedy of the 1960s was more than a product of the Cultural Revolution or the so-called “ten years of turmoil”, it was also a planned campaign to eliminate any thoughts of Southern/Inner Mongolian self-determination. Using the fabricated “Inner Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party” as a pretext, hundreds of thousands of totally innocent Mongols both in the “Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region” (IMAR) as well as in other regions were tortured, maimed or killed. The Mongols are still waiting for an official inquiry into the crimes that were committed against an entire nation of people.

The Mongol case is only one example of the crimes committed by China, whether because it has been a communist regime or not, to the peoples of her colonial regions as well as her own country. A minimum of 30 million Chinese were starved to death due to the series of political campaigns and abuse of power by the state. Hundreds of thousands if not over a million Tibetans were massacred merely because they wished not to be subject to China. Hundreds of thousands of Turkic and Mongolian people were killed because of rebelling against Chinese occupation of Eastern Turkestan plus Western Mongolia. China never had the moral courage to face these atrocities of her own nor did she offer any apology to any of these peoples.


As someone who spent his entire childhood and most of youth period in Chinese school system, I deeply understand how the history textbooks that are used in Chinese schools treat historical facts. I do not know about the much attacked Japanese history textbook. But if that textbook has tried to gloss over one historical fact, or the involvement of Japan in WWII, the Chinese history textbooks have numerous more retorting of historical facts in order to brainwash the younger generation. Not only the textbooks distort a great deal of facts in Chinese history to meet the government’s current political needs, they also simply deny the history of each and every “ethnic minority” group to propagate the state’s “Great Chinese Nation” ideology. The Mongol Empire from 13th century, for instance, is given as one of China’s “dynasties” in the history textbooks of high schools and Chinggis Khan is described as a Chinese hero who unified the whole of China and putting together the largest territory of the “Chinese state” ever in the history, despite the simple fact that Chinggis is not a Chinese but a Mongol as the whole world knows him.

Among many other examples, one particularly is how the Chinese deal with the independent state of Mongolia today in diplomatic practices as well as in her history textbooks. China officially recognizes the independence and sovereignty of the state of Mongolia. However, in schools, the Chinese teach kids that the way Mongolia became an independent nation was because of others’ (Russia’s) instigation and also because that “a small clique” of Mongolian monarchy and lamas misled the people of Mongolia, as if the people of Mongolia never really wanted independence for their own country (the fact is that the independence movement of Mongolia following the collapse of the Empire of Manchuria who as foreign rulers occupied China along with Mongolia, Tibet and others for two-and-half centuries, was intended not only for the part of Mongolia that is independent today but it was for the whole of Mongolia including Southern and Western Mongolia which to date remain Chinese colonies). The goal of this Chinese historical education is very clear. It is to plant the seed of questions such as “then, why don’t we fight it (Mongolia) back (to its ‘Chinese motherland’)?” into the minds of the younger generations. Indeed, while the recognition of Mongolia by China and the diplomatic relations between China and Mongolia are established facts, vast majority of Chinese today believe that Mongolia was unfairly “stolen” from its Chinese “motherland” in the first place. Further, while freedom of speech is strictly forbidden in China today, Chinese Chauvinist publications and websites do freely exist to propagate for “reunification” of Mongolia into China when the chance comes. The government of China, whose Internet censorship technique is the most complicated in the world according to recent studies, turns blind eyes to such websites as This is same as their turning blind eyes to the demonstrations recently, while the Chinese people normally are denied the rights to assembly and demonstration on any other even more pressing issues. This is at least an action of disrespect of the independence and sovereignty of the state of Mongolia and is a disregard and dishonesty on the Chinese part, toward the existing diplomatic relationship between her own and the state of Mongolia.

Huge attention worldwide is being given recently to the events taking place between Japan and China, particularly to the outcry of the Chinese in both peaceful and mischievous manners. While a lot of kind people may be leaning toward to regard China as an innocent victim, I wanted to use a little space in New York Times, one of world’s best newspapers to remind people not to forget the above facts. Lastly, I could not help but to mention that to me the fact that China remains a permanent member in the United Nations Security Council for decades given the fact that she shows outright dishonesty and irresponsibility in domestic, regional and global affairs, is one of the biggest jokes in our world political life.



Dugarjab L. Hotala

Denver, Colorado, United States





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