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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Chinese authorities pressure Inner Mongolians in Japan not to join protest

  • July 10, 2021
  • , Sankei , p. 1
  • JMH Translation

By Okuhara Shinpei


The Chinese Communist Party exerted strong pressure on Inner Mongolians living in Japan not to participate in a demonstration in Tokyo on July 1, the 100-year anniversary of the CCP, by having their family and friends urge them not to join the protest, the Sankei Shimbun learned on July 9. The demonstration was organized by Uyghurs, Tibetans, and people from Hong Kong who currently reside in Japan. In some cases, the CCP threatened that their family members would be incarcerated if they joined the demonstration. Currently, inside the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, the Chinese government is attempting to eliminate Mongolian culture and deprive Inner Mongolians of their own language. Those living in Japan are not exempt from the Chinese campaign.


The Tokyo demonstration was organized in remembrance of the victims of the oppression of the CCP with the participation of approximately 200 from Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regions, who held candles as they marched through the city. About 30 to 40 Inner Mongolians had planned to join, but only ten came. The Chinese authorities knew who planned to go to the event and contacted them via their relatives and friends in the autonomous region to urge them to cancel their plans.


Oh Urgen, vice-chairman of Southern Mongolia Congress, an ethnic organization that opposes Chinese oppression, received a number of calls from family members and friends, urging him not to participate in the protest. He said that it was the most calls received in his long history of protests. “The Chinese authorities must have told every one of my acquaintances to press me not to participate,” Urgen told Sankei.


Urgen’s land and savings in Inner Mongolia are frozen by the Chinese government. A person who claimed to be a Chinese police officer sent a message to him, saying: “We will return your assets if you refrain from participating in the scheduled demonstration.” Urgen joined the demonstration as planned, however.


A brother of another Inner Mongolian man was visited by Chinese intelligence agents, who reportedly told him: “If you help us stop your brother from going to the demonstration, we will help you build a house for your family. If your brother goes to the demonstration, your relatives (who live in Inner Mongolia) will be imprisoned.”


A woman from Inner Mongolia was contacted by about 20 people, including family members and former classmates. She later learned from them that they had been forced to make a call in the presence of a police officer. “The Chinese government will do anything, unless those outside of the region continue to protest and pressure (the Chinese authorities),” she said.


Meanwhile, there were no reports of the Chinese authorities pressuring those from Hong Kong and Uyghurs not to join the recent protest. “The Inner Mongolian protest organization is not as well established as the organizations run by the Uyghurs and Hong Kong citizens,” says the secretary-general of the Southern Mongolia Congress, Olhunud Daichin, speculating that “the authorities may be trying to quash the movement before it becomes a real threat to the CCP.”


“The Chinese authorities are focused on movements in this region [Inner Mongolia] at the moment,” says Yang Haiying, a Shizuoka University professor who is originally from Inner Mongolia. “Beyond the region is the independent nation of Mongolia. China is wary of any movement that may lead to unification of Inner Mongolia with its neighbor.”

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