|Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
Nei Mongol Autonomous Region
|• Chinese||内蒙古自治区 (Nèi Měnggǔ Zìzhìqū)|
|• Abbreviation||内蒙 or 内蒙古 (pinyin: Nèi Měng or Nèi Měnggǔ)|
|• Mongolian transl.||Öbür mongγol-un öbertegen zasaqu orun|
Map showing the location of Inner Mongolia
|Named for||From the Mongolian öbür monggol, where öbür means the front, sunny side of natural barrier (a mountain, mountain range, lake or desert etc..).|
|Divisions||12 prefectures, 101 counties, 1425 townships|
|• Secretary||Wang Jun|
|• Total||1,183,000 km2 (457,000 sq mi)|
|• Density||20.2/km2 (52/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||28th|
|• Ethnic composition||Han - 79%
Mongol - 17%
Manchu - 2%
Hui - 0.9%
Daur - 0.3%
|• Languages and dialects||Jin, Northeastern Mandarin, Beijing Mandarin, Mongolian, Oirat, Buryat, Dagur, Evenki|
|ISO 3166 code||CN-15|
|GDP (2012)||CNY 1.598 trillion
US$ 252,046 billion (15th)
|- per capita||CNY 64,680
US$ 10,398 (5th)
|HDI (2010)||0.722 (high) (8th)|
Inner Mongolia (Mongolian: s ᠦᠪᠦᠷ
ᠮᠤᠩᠭᠤᠯ Öbür Monggol and c Өвөр Монгол, Övör Mongol; Chinese: 内蒙古; pinyin: Nèi Měnggǔ), officially Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region or Nei Mongol Autonomous Region, is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the north of the country, bordering Mongolia and Russia. Its capital is Hohhot, and other major cities include Baotou, Chifeng, and Ordos.
The Autonomous Region was established in 1947, incorporating the areas of the former Republic of China provinces of Suiyuan, Chahar, Rehe, Liaobei and Xing'an, along with the northern parts of Gansu and Ningxia. It is the third largest subdivision of China, spanning about 1,200,000 km2 (463,000 sq mi) or 12% of China's total land area. It had a population of 24,706,321 at the 2010 census, accounting for 1.84% of Mainland China's total population. Inner Mongolia is the country's 23rd most populous province-level division. The majority of the population in the region are Han Chinese, with a substantial Mongol minority. The official languages are Chinese and Mongolian, the latter written in the Mongolian script, as opposed to the Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet used in the state of Mongolia.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Administrative divisions
- 5 Economy
- 6 Government and politics
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Language and culture
- 9 Religion
- 10 Tourism
- 11 Chinese space program
- 12 Education
- 13 See also
- 14 Notes and references
- 15 External links
In Chinese, the region is known as "Inner Mongolia", where the terms of "Inner/Outer" are derived from Manchu dorgi/tulergi (cf. Mongolian dotugadu/gadagadu). Inner Mongolia is distinct from Outer Mongolia, which was a term used by the Republic of China and previous governments to refer to what is now the independent state of Mongolia plus the Republic of Tuva in Russia. In Mongolian, the region was called Dotugadu monggol during Qing rule and was renamed into Öbür Monggol in 1947, öbür meaning the southern side of a mountain, while the Chinese term nei menggu was retained. Some Mongolians use the name "Southern Mongolia" in English as well.
Much of what is known about the history of Greater Mongolia, including Inner Mongolia, is known through Chinese chronicles and historians. Before the rise of the Mongols in the 13th century, what is now central and western Inner Mongolia, especially the Hetao region, alternated in control between Chinese agriculturalists in the south and Xiongnu, Xianbei, Khitan, Jurchen, Tujue, and nomadic Mongol of the north. The historical narrative of what is now Eastern Inner Mongolia mostly consists of alternations between different Tungusic and Mongol tribes, rather than the struggle between nomads and Chinese agriculturalists.
Slab Grave cultural monuments are found in northern, central and eastern Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, north-western China, southern, central-eastern and southern Baikal territory. Mongolian scholars prove that this culture related to the Proto-Mongols.
During the Zhou Dynasty, central and western Inner Mongolia (the Hetao region and surrounding areas) were inhabited by nomadic peoples such as the Loufan, Linhu, and Dí, while eastern Inner Mongolia was inhabited by the Donghu. During the Warring States period, King Wuling (340–295 BC) of the state of Zhao based in what is now Hebei and Shanxi provinces pursued an expansionist policy towards the region. After destroying the Dí state of Zhongshan in what is now Hebei province, he defeated the Linhu and Loufan and created the commandery of Yunzhong near modern Hohhot. King Wuling of Zhao also built a long wall stretching through the Hetao region. After Qin Shihuang created the first unified Chinese empire in 221 BC, he sent the general Meng Tian to drive the Xiongnu from the region, and incorporated the old Zhao wall into the Qin Dynasty Great Wall of China. He also maintained two commanderies in the region: Jiuyuan and Yunzhong, and moved 30,000 households there to solidify the region. After the Qin Dynasty collapsed in 206 BC, these efforts were abandoned.
During the Western Han Dynasty, Emperor Wu sent the general Wei Qing to reconquer the Hetao region from the Xiongnu in 127 BC. After the conquest, Emperor Wu continued the policy of building settlements in Hetao to defend against the Xiong-Nu. In that same year he established the commanderies of Shuofang and Wuyuan in Hetao. At the same time, what is now eastern Inner Mongolia was controlled by the Xianbei, who would later on eclipse the Xiongnu in power and influence.
During the Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 AD), Xiongnu who surrendered to the Han Dynasty began to be settled in Hetao, and intermingled with the Han immigrants in the area. Later on during the Western Jin Dynasty, it was a Xiongnu noble from Hetao, Liu Yuan, who established the Han Zhao kingdom in the region, thereby beginning the Sixteen Kingdoms period that saw the disintegration of northern China under a variety of Han and non-Han (including Xiongnu and Xianbei) regimes.
The Sui Dynasty (581–618) and Tang Dynasty (618–907) re-established a unified Chinese empire, and like their predecessors they conquered and settled people into Hetao, though once again these efforts were aborted when the Tang empire began to collapse. Hetao (along with the rest of what now consists Inner Mongolia) was then taken over by the Khitan Empire (Liao Dynasty), founded by the Khitans, a nomadic people originally from what is now the southern part of Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia. They were followed by the Western Xia of the Tanguts, who took control of what is now the western part of Inner Mongolia (including western Hetao) . The Khitans were later replaced by the Jurchens, precursors to the modern Manchus, who established the Jin Dynasty over Manchuria and northern China.
After Genghis Khan unified the Mongol tribes in 1206 and founded the Mongol Empire, the Tangut Western Xia empire was ultimately conquered in 1227, and the Jurchen Jin Dynasty fell in 1234. In 1271, Genghis Khan's grandson Khubilai established the Yuan Dynasty. Khubilai's summer capital Shangdu (aka Xanadu) was located near present-day Dolonnor. During that time Ongud and Khunggirad peoples dominated the area of what is now Inner Mongolia. After the Yuan Dynasty was defeated by the Han-led Ming Dynasty in 1368, the Ming rebuilt the Great Wall of China at its present location, which roughly follows the southern border of the modern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (though it deviates significantly at the Hebei-Inner Mongolia border). The Ming established the Three Guards composed of the Mongols there. Soon after the Tumu incident in 1449, when the Oirat ruler Esen taishi captured the Chinese emperor, Mongols flooded south from Northern Mongolia to Southern Mongolia. Thus from then on until 1635, Inner Mongolia was the political and cultural center of the Mongols during the Northern Yuan Dynasty.
Part of the Great Wall of China
|Nei Mongol Autonomous Region|
Öbür mongγol-un öbertegen zasaqu orun
Өвөр Монголын Өөртөө Засах Орон
Övör Mongolyn Öörtöö Zasakh Oron
The eastern Mongol tribes near and in Manchuria, particularly the Khorchin and Southern Khalkha in today's Inner Mongolia intermarried, formed alliances with, and fought against the Jurchen tribes until Nurhaci, the founder of the new Jin Dynasty, consolidated his control over all groups in the area in 1593. The Manchus gained far-reaching control of the Inner Mongolian tribes in 1635, when Ligden Khan's son surrendered the Chakhar Mongol tribes to the Manchus. The Manchus subsequently invaded Ming China in 1644, bringing it under the control of their newly established Qing Dynasty. Under the Qing Dynasty (1636–1912), Greater Mongolia was administered in a different way for each region:
- "Outer Mongolia": This region corresponds to the modern state of Mongolia, plus the Russian-administered region of Tannu Uriankhai, and a part of northern Xinjiang. It included the four leagues (aimag) of the Khalkha Mongols north of the Gobi, as well as the Tannu Uriankhai and Khovd regions in northwestern Mongolia, which were overseen by the General of Uliastai from the city of Uliastai.
- "Inner Mongolia": This region corresponded to most of modern Inner Mongolia and some neighbouring areas in Liaoning and Jilin provinces. The banners and tribes in this region came under six leagues (chuulghan): Jirim, Juuuda, Josutu, Xilingol, Ulanqab, and Yekejuu.
- "Taoxi Mongolia": The Alashan Öölüd and Ejine Torghuud banners were separate from the aimags of Outer Mongolia and the chuulghans of Inner Mongolia. This territory is equivalent to modern-day Alxa League, the westernmost part of what is now Inner Mongolia.
- The Chahar Eight Banners were controlled by the military commander of Chahar (now Zhangjiakou). Their extent corresponded to southern Ulanqab and Bayannur in modern Inner Mongolia, plus the region around Zhangjiakou in Hebei province. At the same time, the jurisdiction of some border departments of Zhili and Shanxi provinces also belonged to this region.
- The Guihua Tümed banner was controlled by the military commander of Suiyuan (now Hohhot). This corresponds to the vicinities of the modern city of Hohhot. At the same time, the jurisdiction of some border departments of modern Shanxi province also belonged to this region.
- The Hulunbuir region in what is now northeastern Inner Mongolia was part of the jurisdiction of the General of Heilongjiang, one of the three generals of Manchuria.
Ordinary Mongols were not allowed to travel outside their own leagues. During the eighteenth century, growing numbers of Han Chinese settlers had illegally begun to move into the Inner Mongolian steppe. By 1791 there had been so many Han Chinese settlers in the Front Gorlos Banner that the jasak had petitioned the Qing government to legalize the status of the peasants who had already settled there.
During the nineteenth century, the Manchus were becoming increasingly sinicized, and faced with the Russian threat, they began to encourage Han Chinese farmers to settle in both Mongolia and Manchuria. This policy was followed by subsequent governments. The railroads that were being built in these regions were especially useful to the Han Chinese settlers. Land was either sold by Mongol Princes, or leased to Han Chinese farmers, or simply taken away from the nomads and given to Han Chinese farmers.
Republic of China period
Outer Mongolia regained independence from the Qing Dynasty in 1911, when the Jebtsundamba Khutugtu of the Khalkha was declared the Bogd Khan of Mongolia. Although almost all banners of Inner Mongolia recognized the Bogd Khan as the supreme ruler of Mongols, the internal strife within the region prevented a full reunification. The Mongol rebellions in Inner Mongolia were counterbalanced by princes who hoped to see a restored Qing dynasty in Manchuria and Mongolia, as they considered the theocratic rule of the Bogd Khan would be against their modernizing objectives for Mongolia. Eventually, the newly formed Republic of China promised a new nation of five races (Han, Manchu, Mongol, Tibetan and Uyghur), and suppressed the Mongol rebellions in the area, forcing the Inner Mongolian princes to recognize the Republic of China.
The Republic of China reorganized Inner Mongolia into provinces:
- Rehe province was created to include the Juuuda and Josutu leagues, plus the Chengde area in what is now northern Hebei.
- Chahar province was created to include Xilingol league as well as much of the former territory of the Eight Banners.
- Suiyuan province was created to include Ulanqab league, Yekejuu league, and the Hetao region (former Guihua Tümed territory).
- Hulunbuir stayed within Heilongjiang in Manchuria, which had become a province.
- Most of Jirim league came under the new province of Fengtian in southern Manchuria.
- Taoxi Mongolia, i.e. Alashan and Ejine leagues, was incorporated into neighbouring Gansu province. Later on Ningxia province was split out of northern Gansu, and Taoxi Mongolia became part of Ningxia.
Some Republic of China maps still show this structure.
In 1931 Manchuria came under the control of the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo, taking the Mongol areas in the Manchurian provinces (i.e. Hulunbuir and Jirim leagues) along. Rehe was also incorporated into Manchukuo in 1933, taking Juu Uda and Josutu leagues along with it. These areas were administered by Manchukuo until the end of World War II in 1945.
In 1937, open war broke out between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. On December 8, 1937, Mongolian Prince De Wang declared the independence of the remaining parts of Inner Mongolia (i.e. the Suiyuan and Chahar provinces) as Mengkiang or Mengkukuo, and signed close agreements with Manchukuo and Japan. The capital was established at Zhangbei (now in Hebei province), with the puppet government's control extending as far west as the Hohhot region. In August 1945, Mengkiang was taken by Soviet and Outer Mongolian troops during Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation. Despite a considerable movement among Inner Mongolia's Mongols(who comprised then around 15% of Inner Mongolia's population, while Han Chinese around 83%) for unification with Outer Mongolia, Inner Mongolia remained part of China.
The Communist movement gradually gained momentum as part of the Third Communist International in Inner Mongolia during the Japanese period. By the end of WWII, the Inner Mongolian faction of the ComIntern had a functional militia, and actively opposed the attempts at independence by De Wang's Chinggisid princes on the grounds of fighting feudalism. Following the end of World War II, the Chinese Communists gained control of Manchuria as well as the Inner Mongolian Communists with decisive Soviet support, and established the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in 1947. The Comintern army was absorbed into the People's Liberation Army. Initially the autonomous region included just the Hulunbuir region. Over the next decade, as the communists established the People's Republic of China and consolidated control over mainland China, Inner Mongolia was expanded westwards to include five of the six original leagues (except Josutu League, which remains in Liaoning province), the northern part of the Chahar region, by then a league as well (southern Chahar remains in Hebei province), the Hetao region, and the Alashan and Ejine banners. Eventually, near all areas with sizeable Mongol populations were incorporated into the region, giving present-day Inner Mongolia its elongated shape. The leader of Inner Mongolia during that time, as both regional CPC secretary and head of regional government, was Ulanhu.
During the Cultural Revolution, the administration of Ulanhu was purged, and a wave of repressions was initiated against the Mongol population of the autonomous region. In 1969 much of Inner Mongolia was distributed among surrounding provinces, with Hulunbuir divided between Heilongjiang and Jilin, Jirim going to Jilin, Juu Uda to Liaoning, and the Alashan and Ejine region divided among Gansu and Ningxia. This was reversed in 1979.
Inner Mongolia has seen considerable development since Deng Xiaoping instituted Chinese economic reform in 1978. For about ten years since 2000, Inner Mongolia's GDP growth has been among the highest in the country, largely owing to the success of natural resource industries in the region.
Officially Inner Mongolia is classified as one of the provincial-level divisions of North China, but its great stretch means that parts of it belong to Northeast China and Northwest China as well. It borders eight provincial-level divisions in all three of the aforementioned regions (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia, and Gansu), tying with Shaanxi for the greatest number of bordering provincial-level divisions. Most of its international border is with Mongolia, which, in Chinese, is sometimes called “Outer Mongolia” (外蒙古), while a small portion is with Russia.
Inner Mongolia largely consists of the northern side of the North China Craton, a tilted and sedimented Precambrian block. In the extreme southwest is the edge of the Tibetan Plateau where the autonomous region’s highest peak, Main Peak in the Helan Mountains reaches 3,556 metres (11,670 ft), and is still being pushed up today in short bursts. Most of Inner Mongolia is a plateau averaging around 1,200 metres (3,940 ft) in altitude and covered by extensive loess and sand deposits. The northern part consists of the Mesozoic era Khingan Mountains, and is owing to the cooler climate more forested, chiefly with Manchurian elm, ash, birch, Mongolian oak and a number of pine and spruce species. Where discontinuous permafrost is present north of Hailar District, forests are almost exclusively coniferous. In the south the natural vegetation is grassland in the east and very sparse in the arid west, and grazing is the dominant economic activity.
Owing to the ancient, weathered rocks lying under its deep sedimentary cover, Inner Mongolia is a major mining district, possessing large reserves of coal, iron ore and rare earth minerals, which have made it a major industrial region today.
Due to its elongated shape, Inner Mongolia has a wide variety of regional climates. Throughout the province, the climate is based off a four-season, monsoon climate. The winters in Inner Mongolia are very long, cold, and dry with frequent blizzards, though snowfall is so light that Inner Mongolia has no modern glaciers even on the highest Helan peaks. The spring is short, mild and arid, with large, dangerous sandstorms, whilst the summer is very warm to hot and relatively humid except in the west where it remains dry. Autumn is brief and sees a steady cooling, with temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) reached in October in the north and November in the south.
Officially, most of Inner Mongolia is classified as either a cold arid or steppe regime (Köppen BWk, BSk, respectively). The small portion besides these are classified as humid continental (Köppen Dwb) in the northeast, or subarctic (Köppen Dwc) in the far north near Hulunbuir.
Inner Mongolia is divided into 12 prefecture-level divisions. Until the late 1990s, most of Inner Mongolia's prefectural regions were known as Leagues (Chinese: 盟), a usage retained from Mongol divisions of the Qing Dynasty. Similarly, county-level divisions are often known as Banners (Chinese: 旗). Since the 1990s, numerous Leagues have converted into prefecture-level cities, although Banners remain. The restructuring led to the conversion of primate cities in most leagues to convert to districts administratively (Hailar, Jining, and Dongsheng). Some newly founded prefecture-level cities have chosen to retain the original name of League (Hulunbuir, Bayannur, and Ulanqab), some have adopted the Chinese name of their primate city (Chifeng, Tongliao), and one League, Yekejuu, simply renamed itself Ordos. Despite these recent administrative changes, there is no indication that the Alxa, Hinggan, and Xilingol Leagues will convert to prefecture-level cities in the near future.
(Transcription from Mongolian)
|— Prefecture-level city —|
|ᠬᠥᠯᠥᠨ ᠪᠤᠶᠢᠷ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ
Kölön Buyir qota
|— League —|
|1||Alxa||Alxa Left Banner||阿拉善盟
|ᠰᠢᠯᠢ ᠶᠢᠨ ᠭᠣᠣᠯ ᠠᠶᠢᠮᠠᠭ
Sili-yin Ɣool ayimaɣ
The twelve prefecture-level divisions of Inner Mongolia are subdivided into 101 county-level divisions, including twenty-one districts, eleven county-level cities, seventeen counties, forty-nine banners, and three autonomous banners. Those are in turn divided into 1425 township-level divisions, including 532 towns, 407 townships, 277 sumu, eighteen ethnic townships, one ethnic sumu, and 190 subdistricts.
Farming of crops such as wheat takes precedence along the river valleys. In the more arid grasslands, herding of goats, sheep and so on is a traditional method of subsistence. Forestry and hunting are somewhat important in the Greater Khingan ranges in the east. Reindeer herding is carried out by Evenks in the Evenk Autonomous Banner. More recently, growing grapes and winemaking have become an economic factor in the Wuhai area.
Inner Mongolia has abundance of resources especially coal, cashmere, natural gas, rare earth elements, and has more deposits of naturally occurring niobium, zirconium and beryllium than any other province-level region in China. However in the past, the exploitation and utilisation of resources were rather inefficient, which resulted in poor returns from rich resources. Inner Mongolia is also an important coal production base, with more than a quarter of the world's coal reserves located in the province. It plans to double annual coal output by 2010 (from the 2005 volume of 260 million tons) to 500 million tons of coal a year.
Industry in Inner Mongolia has grown up mainly around coal, power generation, forestry-related industries, and related industries. Inner Mongolia now encourages six competitive industries: energy, chemicals, metallurgy, equipment manufacturing, processing of farm (including dairy) produce, and high technology. Well-known Inner Mongolian enterprises include companies such as ERDOS, Yili, and Mengniu.
The nominal GDP of Inner Mongolia in 2010 was 1.16 trillion yuan (US$172.1 billion), a growth of 16.9% from 2008, with an average annual increase of 20% from the period 2003-2007. Its per capita GDP reached 37,287 yuan (US$5,460) in 2009. In 2008, Inner Mongolia's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 90.7 billion yuan, 427.1 billion yuan, and 258.4 billion yuan respectively. The urban per capita disposable income and rural per capita net income were 14,431 yuan and 4,656 yuan, up 16.6% and 17.8% respectively.
As with much of China, economic growth has led to a boom in construction, including new commercial development and large apartment complexes.
In addition to its large reserves of natural resources, Inner Mongolia also has the largest usable wind power capacity in China thanks to strong winds which develop in the province's grasslands. Some private companies have set up wind parks in parts of Inner Mongolia such as Bailingmiao, Hutengliang and Zhouzi.
Economic and Technological Development Zones
- Baotou National Rare Earth Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
- Erenhot Border Economic Cooperation Area
- Hohhot Export Processing Zone
Hohhot Export Processing Zone was established on June 21, 2002, by the State Council, which is located in the west of the Hohhot, with a planning area of 2.2 sqkm. Industries encouraged in the export processing zone include Electronics Assembly & Manufacturing, Telecommunications Equipment, Garment and Textiles Production, Trading and Distribution, Biotechnology/Pharmaceuticals, Food/Beverage Processing, Instruments & Industrial Equipment Production, Medical Equipment and Supplies, Shipping/Warehousing/Logistics, Heavy Industry.
- Hohhot Economic and Technological Development Zone
- Hohhot Export Processing Zone
- Manzhouli Border Economic Cooperation Area
Government and politics
Under the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, articles 112-122, autonomous regions have limited autonomy in both the political and economic arena. Autonomous regions have more discretion in administering economic policy in the region in accordance with national guidelines. Structurally, the Chairman—who legally must be an ethnic minority and is usually ethnic Mongolian—is always kept in check by the Communist Party Regional Committee Secretary, who is usually from a different part of China (to reduce corruption) and Han Chinese. The current party secretary is Hu Chunhua. The Inner Mongolian government and its subsidiaries follow roughly the same structure as that of a Chinese province. With regards to economic policy, as a part of increased federalism characteristics in China, Inner Mongolia has become more independent in implementing its own economic roadmap.
When the autonomous region was established in 1947, Han Chinese comprised 83.6% of the population, while the Mongols comprised 14.8% of the population. By 2000, the percentage of Han Chinese had fallen to 79.2%. While the Hetao region along the Yellow River has always alternated between farmers from the south and nomads from the north, the most recent episode of Han Chinese migration began in the early 18th century with encouragement from the Qing Dynasty, and continued into the 20th century. Han Chinese live mostly in the Hetao region as well as various population centres in central and eastern Inner Mongolia. Over 70% of Mongols are concentrated in less than 18% of Inner Mongolia's territory (Hinggan League, and prefectures Tongliao and Chifeng).
|Territories with Mongol majorities and near-majorities|
|Name of Banner||Mongol Population||Percentage|
|Horqin Right Middle Banner, Hinggan (2009)||222,410||84.1%|
|New Barag Right Banner, Hulunbuir (2009)||28,369||82.2%|
|Horqin Left Back Banner, Tongliao||284,000||75%|
|New Barag Left Banner, Hulunbuir (2009)||31,531||74.9%|
|Horqin Left Middle Banner, Tongliao||395,000||73.5%|
|East Ujimqin Banner, Xilingol (2009)||43,394||72.5%|
|West Ujimqin Banner, Xilingol||57,000||65%|
|Sonid Left Banner, Xilingol (2006)||20,987||62.6%|
|Bordered Yellow Banner, Xilingol||19,000||62%|
|Hure Banner, Tongliao||93,000||56%|
|Jarud Banner, Tongliao||144,000||48%|
|Horqin Right Front Banner, Hinggan||162,000||45%|
|Old Barag Banner, Hulunbuir (2006)||25,903||43.6%|
|Jalaid Banner, Hinggan||158,000||39%|
|Ar Khorchin Banner, Chifeng (2002)||108,000||36.6%|
Mongols are the second largest ethnic group, comprising 17.1% of the population. They include many diverse Mongolian-speaking groups; groups such as the Buryats and the Oirats are also officially considered to be Mongols in China. Many of the traditionally nomadic Mongols have settled in permanent homes as their pastoral economy was collectivized during the Maoist Era.
|Ethnic groups in Inner Mongolia, 2000 census|
Excludes members of the People's Liberation Army in active service.
Language and culture
The Han Chinese of Inner Mongolia speak a variety of dialects, depending on the region. The eastern parts tend to speak Northeastern Mandarin, which belongs to the Mandarin group of dialects; those in the central parts, such as the Huang He valley, speak varieties of Jin, another subdivision of Chinese, due to its proximity to other Jin-speaking areas in China such as the Shanxi province. Cities such as Hohhot and Baotou both have their unique brand of Jin Chinese such as the Zhangjiakou–Hohhot dialect which are sometimes incomprehensible with dialects spoken in northeastern regions such as Hailar.
Mongols in Inner Mongolia speak Mongolian dialects such as Chakhar, Xilingol, Baarin, Khorchin and Kharchin Mongolian and, depending on definition and analysis, further dialects or closely related independent Central Mongolic languages such as Ordos, Khamnigan, Barghu Buryat and the arguably Oirat dialect Alasha. The standard pronunciation of Mongolian in China is based on the Chakhar dialect of the Plain Blue Banner, located in central Inner Mongolia, while the grammar is based on all Southern Mongolian dialects. This is different from the Mongolian state, where the standard pronunciation is based on the closely related Khalkha dialect. There are a number of independent languages spoken in Hulunbuir such as the somewhat more distant Mongolic language Dagur and the Tungusic language Evenki. Officially, even the Evenki dialect Oroqin is considered a language.
By law, all street signs, commercial outlets, and government documents must be bilingual, written in Mongolian and Chinese. There are three Mongolian TV channels in the Inner Mongolia Satellite TV network. In public transportation, all announcements are to be bilingual. Many ethnic Mongols, especially the young, speak fluent Chinese; Mongolian use is receding in urban areas. But rural ethnic Mongols have kept more of their traditions. In terms of written language, Inner Mongolia has retained the classic Mongol written script as opposed to Mongolia's adoption of Cyrillic.
The vast grasslands have long symbolised Inner Mongolia. Mongolian art often depicts the grassland in an uplifting fashion and emphasizes Mongolian nomadic traditions. The Mongols of Inner Mongolia still practice their traditional arts. Inner Mongolian cuisine has Mongol roots and consists of dairy-related products and hand-held lamb (手扒肉). In recent years, franchises based on Hot pot have appeared Inner Mongolia, the best known of which is Xiaofeiyang (小肥羊). Notable Inner Mongolian commercial brand names include Mengniu and Yili, both of which began as dairy product and ice cream producers.
The well-known actress Siqin Gaowa (Setsengua) is an ethnic Mongol from Inner Mongolia.
A popular career in Inner Mongolia is circus acrobatics. The internationally known Inner Mongolia Acrobatic Troupe travels and performs with the renowned Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
Tibetan Buddhism (Mongolian Buddhism) is the dominant religion in Inner Mongolia, also practiced by many Han Chinese. Other religions practiced in the region include Chinese Buddhism, Chinese folk religion and Taoism, Christianity, Islam, and Mongolian shamanism. Genghis Khan worship, present in the form of various Genghis Khan Temples, is unique to the region and larger northern China.
In the capital city Hohhot:
- Dazhao Temple is a Lamaist temple built in 1580. Dazhao Temple is known for three sites: a statue of Buddha made from silver, elaborate carvings of dragons, and murals.
- Xiaozhao Temple, also known as Chongfu temple, is a Lamaist temple built in 1697 and favoured by the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty.
- Xilituzhao Temple is the largest Lamaist temple in the Höhhot area, and once the center of power of Lamaism in the region.
- Zhaojun Tomb is the tomb of Wang Zhaojun, a Han Dynasty palace lady-in-waiting who became the consort of the Xiongnu ruler Huhanye Shanyu in 33BC.
- Five-pagoda Temple is located in the capital of Inner Mongolia Hohhot. It is also called Jingangzuo Dagoba, used to be one building of the Cideng Temple (Temple of Merciful Light) built in 1727.
- Wanbu-Huayanjing Pagoda (万部华严经塔) in Hohhot. It was built during the reign of Emperor Shengzong (983-1031) of the Khitan Liao Dynasty (907-1125) and is still well preserved.
Elsewhere in Inner Mongolia:
- The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan, the cenotaph of Genghis Khan, is located in Ordos City.
- Bashang Grasslands, on the border close to Beijing, is a popular retreat for urban residents wanting to get a taste of grasslands life.
- The Arshihaty Stone Forest in Hexigten Global Geopark has magnificent granite rock formations formed from natural erosion.
- Xiangshawan, or "singing sands gorge," is located in the Gobi Desert and contains numerous tourist attractions including sand sledding and camel rides.
- Remains of Zhongjing (Central Capital) built in 1003 by Emperor Shengzong of the Khitan Liao Dynasty (907-1125) in Ningcheng County.
- Remains of Shangjing (Upper Capital) built in 918 by Yelu Abaoji the 1st emperor of the Khitan Liao Dynasty (907-1125). Also called Huangdu it was one of the five capitals of the Liao Dynasty.
- Zuling Mausoleum of Abaoji Khan. It was built in 926 for Abaoji the 1st Emperor of the Liao Dynasty. Located north-west of Shifangzi village.
- Tablets of Juyan. Han Dynasty (206BC - 220 AD) inscriptions on wood and bamboo. In 1930 Folke Bergman of the Sino-Swedish expedition first discovered 10,000 tablets at Ejin Khoshuu in the Gobi Desert.
- Ruins of Shangdu (Xanadu) the Summer Capital of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty built in 1256 by Kublai Khan.
- White pagoda of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) in Kailu (開魯), Tongliao. It is still well preserved.
- Ruins of Chagan Khoto (查干浩特) capital of the last Mongol Great Khan Ligden (1588-1634). Located in Ar Horqin Banner.
Chinese space program
One of China's space vehicle launch facilities, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC) (Chinese: 酒泉卫星发射中心), is located in the extreme west of Inner Mongolia, in the Alxa League's Ejin Banner. It was founded in 1958, making it the PRC's first launch facility. More Chinese launches have occurred at Jiuquan than anywhere else. As with all Chinese launch facilities, it is remote and generally closed to the public. It is named as such since Jiuquan is the nearest urban center, although Jiuquan is in the nearby province of Gansu. Many space vehicles have also made their touchdowns in Inner Mongolia. For example, the crew of Shenzhou 6 landed in Siziwang Banner, near Hohhot.
Colleges and universities
- Chifeng University (ulaγanqada degedü surγaγuli / 赤峰学院)
- Inner Mongolia Agricultural University (öbür mongγol-un tariyalang-un yeke surγaγuli / 内蒙古农业大学)
- Inner Mongolia Finance and Economics College (öbür mongγol-un ed-ün jasaγ aju aqui-yin degedü surγaγuli / 内蒙古财经学院)
- Inner Mongolia Medical College (öbür mongγol-un emnelge-yin degedü surγaγuli / 内蒙古医学院)
- Inner Mongolia Normal University (öbür mongγol-un baγsi-yin yeke surγaγuli / 内蒙古师范大学)
- Inner Mongolia University (öbür mongγol-un yeke surγaγuli / 内蒙古大学)
- Inner Mongolia University for Nationalities (öbür mongγol-un ündüsüten-ü yeke surγaγuli / 内蒙古民族大学)
- Inner Mongolia University of Science and Technology (内蒙古科技大学)
- Inner Mongolia University of Technology (öbür mongγol-un aju üiledbüri-yin yeke surγaγuli / 内蒙古工业大学)
All of the above are under the authority of the autonomous region government. Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.
- Leagues of Inner Mongolia
- List of administrative divisions of Inner Mongolia
- Major national historical and cultural sites in Inner Mongolia
- East Asian snowstorms of 2009-2010
Notes and references
- The Cyrillic spelling, as used in Mongolia, would be Өвөр Монголын Өөртөө Засах Орон (Övör Mongolyn Öörtöö Zasakh Oron).
In Unicode: ᠦᠪᠦᠷ
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Inner Mongolia.|
- Inner Mongolia Government website
- Inner Mongolia travel guide from Wikivoyage
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