China marks 70th anniversary of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/8 23:33:40

Openness, ecological construction to upgrade region’s development

Horsemen compete in a ceremonial event on Tuesday in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the region's founding. Photo: CFP

China on Tuesday celebrated the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, as experts said the celebration demonstrates the success of China's regional ethnic autonomy policies.

Inner Mongolia was the first provincial-level ethnic autonomous region in the country.

China's top political adviser Yu Zhengsheng Tuesday lauded the achievements of Inner Mongolia and expressed his hope that improving ethnic autonomy would bring a better life for people in the region, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, presented a plaque with an inscription by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Monday. It reads, "Building a beautiful Inner Mongolia, achieving the great Chinese dream" in both Chinese and Mongolian.

Yu reiterated the importance of adherence to the leadership of the CPC, which he said was the core to unite and lead people from all ethnic groups, and of firmly sticking to socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Under the leadership of the CPC, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was established on May 1, 1947. The first session of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, included the system of regional autonomy for ethnic minorities in the constitution in 1954, Xinhua said.

Covering an area of 1.18 million square kilometers, Inner Mongolia accounts for about 12 percent of the country's land area. The ethnic Mongolian population is 4.6 million, nearly one-fifth of the region's total.

Over the past 70 years, the region's GDP has expanded from 537 million yuan ($78 million) to 1.86 trillion yuan.

"Inner Mongolia set the example for founding other autonomous regions after 1949," Xiong Kunxin, a professor of ethnic studies at Beijing's Minzu University of China, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Under the regional ethnic autonomy policy in China, where ethnic minorities live in compact communities, autonomous organs of self-government are established under the unified leadership of the State. Ethnic minorities exercise autonomous rights, are masters in their own areas and administer their own internal affairs, according to

After China's reform and opening-up in 1978, Inner Mongolia has also successfully gone through the transition and developed under the market economy, thanks to its advantages in geography and resources, Wu Chuke, a professor at the School of Ethnology and Sociology at the Minzu University of China, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"Also, as the Mongolian population only accounts for around 17 percent of the region, the policy has ensured the development of the minority ethnic group," Wu said.

"The success of Inner Mongolia's 70 years of development shows that regional ethnic autonomy suits the conditions of China and Inner Mongolia," Xiong said, adding that the policy is an exemplar of a management model with Chinese characteristics and Chinese experience.

Various events to celebrate the anniversary include gala evenings, exhibitions and the Naadam Festival, a traditional event with horse racing and Mongolian wrestling.

Trade route

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Beijing on July 21 that Inner Mongolia has two calling cards, that of openness and ecological construction, and this will revise the world's understanding of the region, Inner Mongolia's reported.

Wang was speaking at an event to promote the region held by the foreign ministry. He noted that Inner Mongolia was the main route for trade between Asia and Europe in history, and now it has been brightened with construction under the Belt and Road initiative.

A promotional film was also released, presenting the scenery, culture and development of Inner Mongolia.

Besides its representative animal husbandry, the region could also develop high-tech industries by using its advantages of large space and rich resources, Xiong said.

However, finding a solution to retaining its ethnic diversity as it develops is an issue, Wu said, and preserving the fragile ecology of Inner Mongolia is another problem.

"Moreover, the implementation of regional ethnic autonomy focuses more on the ethnic parts, so in the future, the regional elements, including the ecology, environment and resources, should be paid attention to, together with the cultural, historic and current situation," Xiong noted.

As Inner Mongolia is long and narrow in shape, regional development needs to be balanced. Even though the eastern part of Inner Mongolia will benefit from the massive border trade with Russia, it is far from the political center of the region, Wu said.

Newspaper headline: China marks 70 yrs of Inner Mongolia’s great success

Posted in: POLITICS

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