The 2020 Inner Mongolia Language Protests: Wider Meanings for China and the Region

Speakers discuss the historical roots of the language issue, as well as the wider significance of the protests in China.

Research event
24 November 2020 — 3:00PM TO 4:00PM

In September thousands of people protested in Inner Mongolia in opposition to a government move to replace Mongolian language with Standard Mandarin in three school subjects – history, politics and Chinese language.

Announced less than a week before the start of the new school year, the policy also requires schools to use new national textbooks in Chinese, instead of regional textbooks. The mass protests and classroom walk-outs reflect ethnic Mongolian’s anxiety that their native language may be eliminated. What has the government’s response to the protests been?


Christopher P. Atwood, Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania

Eva Pils, Professor of Law, The Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London

Uradyn E. Bulag, Reader in Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge

Chair: Kerry Brown, Associate Fellow, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House

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