Inner Mongolia is rich in coal, and according to standards its people have a high level of self-rule and are supposed to be able to benefit from the coal mining but, in reality, the Han Chinese majority take advantage of the peaceful Mongolians, reaping the lion’s share of the coal mining profits. While the Mongolians have occupied the area for several centuries, the Han people, the majority ethnic group in China, only arrived in 1949, as the Peoples Republic of China was forming. The two Han Chinese truck operators have been arrested and charged with homicide, but those arrests haven’t yet quelled the discouraged Inner Mongolians.
Beyond the death of the herdsman, demonstrators claim that many of the pastoral herders are being forced out of the area by those involved in coal mining. These herders, compelled to move to urban areas, where herding is not possible, are thus forced from their livelihood.
Amnesty International is the first to make statements regarding the potential for Chinese overuse of force has been. Other agencies and nations are expected to follow suit.
(Photo from CNN News, Friday, May 27)