Protests have erupted in northern China and Mongolia over a new education policy that replaces Mongolian as a medium of instruction with Mandarin. The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region borders Mongolia and Russia. Ethnic Mongolians comprise about 17% of its 25 million residents. On Monday, before the start of the new academic year, the local government announced schools would have to use new textbooks in Mandarin. The changes extend to three subjects, literature, politics and morality and history that will gradually be taught in Mandarin instead of Mongolian. The changes are applicable in schools where Mongolian is the principal language of instruction. Parents and students say this puts the future of the Mongolian language at risk and is an attempt by Beijing to promote the majority Han culture over the ethnic Mongolian one.
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