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Southern Mongolia

Open Letter to the World Bank President

1999-06-02 IMPP

June 2, 1999

Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, President

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW

Washington, DC 20433

RE: China- Western Poverty Reduction Project

Dear Mr. Wolfensohn,

We, a group of Mongols from Inner Mongolia, are writing to you regarding the “China-Western Poverty Reduction Project”. As you should aware, the province of Qing Hai (Amdo in Tibetan or Khokh-Nuur in Mongol) has always been homeland to the Tibetans and Mongols and, the specific area to where the project intends to re-settle a large number of Han Chinese is an autonomous prefecture of the Mongols.

Since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese government has been re-settling millions of ethnic Chinese onto the lands traditionally belong to the non-Chinese people, namely, Tibetans, Mongols and Uighurs. We believe that the Chinese government’s population transmigration policy is to permanently occupy the lands of the minority people and legitimize the occupation. In fact, the policy already has resulted in severe consequences to the occupied people. In Inner Mongolia for example, ethnic Chinese settlers were less than 10% of the population in 1949 but through 50 years of mass re-settlement projects, the ethnic Chinese population now reaches 86% of the entire inhabitants. Many of those re-settlements projects were executed under the face names, such as the improvement of the living condition of the ethnic minorities. However, all those so-called development assistance to the minority regions had in fact, further deprived off the ethnic minority’s land and resources, and degraded minorities into the most impoverished living conditions.

We believe that the Poverty Reduction Project funded by the Chinese government and the World Bank will inevitably serve the Chinese government’s longstanding policy of occupying and colonizing the minority peoples’ lands one step further. We strongly urge the World Bank to cancel the project and refrain itself from any similar assistance to Chinese government that exploits and victimizes minority ethnic peoples.

Thank you for your attention,

Sincerely,

Oyunbilig,

Secretary General,

Inner Mongolian People’s Party

Note: The Western Poverty Reduction Project ventured by the Beijing government and the World Bank is to re-settle about 60,000 Han Chinese to Hai Xi Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture in Khokh-Nuur (Eastern Tibet or Qing Hai Province). The region is traditionally homeland to the Mongols and Tibetans. The World Bank will provide about $160 million to the project if it is passed on June 22 world bank meeting.

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