The fight over Inner Mongolia’s “bilingual education” policy

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Image credit: Byambasuren Byamba-Ochir/AFP/Getty Images

This week on Sinica, we discuss the controversy surrounding the decision by Beijing to selectively replace Mongolian-language instruction in schools in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region with Mandarin — and how people both in Inner Mongolia and in Mongolia are pushing back. We’re joined by Christopher Atwood, one of the nation’s leading specialists in Mongolian history and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and by Christian Sorace, an assistant professor of political science at Colorado College.

7:28: A historical overview of Mongolian history through independence

19:03: The demography of Inner Mongolia

23:09: What the bilingual education policy would actually do

35:07: The impetus for pushing language policy

Recommendations:

Jeremy: Buying books from your local bookstore. He also recommends the website bookshop.org, which allows you to support local bookstores.

Christopher: Ravelstein, by Saul Bellow, and the album At Fillmore East, by the Allman Brothers Band. 

Christian: As a new father, he’s recommending a children’s book: Telephone Tales, by Gianni Rodari. 

Kaiser: The Vow, a true crime documentary series available on HBO Max.