Inner Mongolia

Template:Infobox PRC province Inner Mongolia (Mongolian: ᠥᠪᠦᠷ ᠮᠣᠨᠺᠤᠯᠤᠨ ᠥᠪᠡᠷᠲᠡᠺᠡᠨ ᠵᠠᠰᠠᠬᠤ ᠣᠷᠤᠨ br Mongghul-un bertegen Jasaqu Orun; Chinese: 内蒙古自治区; Hanyu Pinyin: Ni Měnggǔ Zzhqū) is an Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Inner Mongolia is distinct from Outer Mongolia, which was a term used by the Republic of China and previous governments to refer to what is covered today by the independent nation of Mongolia plus Russia's Republic of Tuva.

The government of Inner Mongolia uses the name br mongghul, or "South (sunny side of mountain) Mongolia", instead of dotood mongghul, which would be the Mongolian translation for "Inner Mongolia". The terms of "Inner/Outer" are derived from Manchu dorgi/tulergi, which are viewed as Sinocentric by some Mongols, who prefer to use North/South (aru/br) instead. Some Mongolians use the name Southern Mongolia in English as well. There are independence movements for Inner Mongolia active in the West; these view Han Chinese rule in Inner Mongolia as Chinese imperialism.

Inner Mongolia borders, from east to west, the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and Gansu, while to the north it borders Mongolia and Russia. It has an area of 1.18 million km² and a population of 23.76 million. The capital is Hohhot.



Throughout most of history, various parts of what is now Inner Mongolia alternated in control between Chinese agriculturalists in the south and Xiongnu, Xianbei, Khitan, Nurchen, and Mongol nomads of the north. Under the Manchu-dominated Qing dynasty, Outer Mongolia and Inner Mongolia were both organized into leagues and banners. Ordinary Mongols were not allowed to travel outside their own leagues. What is now eastern Inner Mongolia was part of Manchuria, and administered with the rest of Manchuria by Manchu officials.

While there had been Chinese farmers in what is now Inner Mongolia since the time of Altan Khan, mass settlement began in the late nineteenth century. Faced with the Russian threat, and because the Manchus were becoming increasingly sinicized, the Qing dynasty encourageed Chinese farmers to settle in both Mongolia and Manchuria. This policy has been followed by virtualy every subsequent government. The railroads that were being built in these regions were especially useful to the Chinese settlers. Land was either sold by Mongol Princes, or leased to Chinese farmers, or simply taken away from the nomads and given to Chinese farmers.

During the Republic of China era, Outer Mongolia, with Russian support, passed out of Chinese control. At the same time, Inner Mongolia was subdivided among various provinces, such as Rehe, Chahar, Suiyuan, and Ningxia. Some maps in Taiwan still show the pre-1949 structure. Present-day eastern Inner Mongolia, then part of Manchuria, came under the control of the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo in 1931, and was administered thus until the end of the war in 1945.

In 1937, open war broke out between China and Japan. On December 8 1937, Mongolian Prince De Wang declared the independence of Inner Mongolia (except the parts already in Manchukuo) as Mengkiang or Mengkukuo and signed close agreements with Manchukuo and Japan, thereby turning Inner Mongolia to a puppet of the Japanese Empire. The capital was established at Chan Pei, near Kalgan, with the puppet government's control extending around Hohhot. In August 1945, Mengkiang was taken by Soviet and Outer Mongolian troops during Operation August Storm.

Following the end of World War II, the Chinese Communists took over most of Manchuria with Soviet support, and established the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in 1947 following Soviet nationalities policy, out of the parts of Manchuria with Mongol populations (i.e. the part that was formerly in Manchukuo). This included just the eastern section of the present-day region; other areas were added later from other provinces as all of China gradually came under Communist control. Eventually, near all areas with sizeable Mongol populations were incorporated into the region, giving present-day Inner Mongolia its elongated shape.


A  of Inner Mongolia
A grassland of Inner Mongolia

Most of Inner Mongolia consists of high plateaus. The Daxing'an Mountains (Greater Khingan) cover much of the eastern parts, while the Yinshan Mountains and Langshan Mountains are found in the central regions. The Gobi Desert extends just north of the border with Mongolia. Other deserts include the Mu Us Desert and Hobq Desert, south of the bend in the Yellow River, and the Badain Jaran Desert in the west. The peak of Mount Helan, part of the Helan Mountains along the border with Ningxia, is the highest point in the region with an altitude of 3556 m.

Much of the eastern part of Inner Mongolia is part of the watersheds of the Amur and Liao Rivers; the central region is crossed by the Yellow River (Huang He), which turns north into Inner Mongolia, passes near major cities like Hohhot and Baotou, before flowing back south. The rest of the region is not part of any oceanic watershed.

In general, the climate of Inner Mongolia is continental, with long winters and sharp temperature changes in spring and fall. In recent years, Desertification has become a major environmental problem in Inner Mongolia.

Major cities:

Administrative divisions

Inner Mongolia is divided into 12 prefecture-level divisions, including 9 prefecture-level cities and 3 leagues.

The nine prefecture-level cities are:

The three leagues are:

  • Xilin Gol (锡林郭勒盟 Xīlnguōl mng)
  • Alxa (阿拉善盟 Ālāshn mng)
  • Xing'an (兴安盟 Xīng'ān mng)

Many of the prefecture-level cities were converted very recently from leagues. See League (Inner Mongolia) for more information.

The 12 prefecture-level divisions of Inner Mongolia are subdivided into 101 county-level divisions, including 21 districts, 11 county-level cities, 17 counties, 49 banners, and 3 autonomous banners. Those are in turn divided into 1425 township-level divisions, including 532 towns, 407 townships, 277 sumu, 18 ethnic townships, 1 ethnic sumu, and 190 subdistricts.

See List of administrative divisions of Inner Mongolia for a complete list of county-level divisions.


Farming of crops such as wheat takes precedence along the river valleys. In the more arid grasslands, herding of goats, sheep and so on is a traditional method of subsistence. Forestry and hunting are somewhat important in the Da-Xingan (Greater Khingan) ranges in the east. Reindeer herding is carried out by Evenks in the Evenk Autonomous Banner.

Inner Mongolia has more deposits of naturally-occurring niobium, zirconium and beryllium than any other province-level region in China. There are also coal deposits.

Industry in Inner Mongolia has grown up mainly around coal, power generation, forestry-related industries, and so forth.

The nominal GDP of Inner Mongolia in 2003 was 215 billion RMB (25.9 billion USD), with a per capita income of 9037 RMB (1091 USD).


Han Chinese are the largest ethnic group, followed by the Mongols, with the Mongols concentrated mainly on the grasslands and the Han along the river valleys. Other ethnic groups include the Daur, the Evenks, the Oroqin, the Hui, the Manchus, and the Koreans.

See List of Chinese ethnic groups.


The Mongols of Inner Mongolia speak Mongolian. The Daur, Evenks, and Oroqin speak their own respective languages.

Han Chinese of the eastern parts speak dialects of Mandarin, while those in the central parts, such as the Huang He valley, speak varieties of Jinyu, another subdivision of Chinese.
(Jinyu is sometimes classified as a subdivision of Mandarin. For more information, see Chinese spoken language.)

The Mongols of Inner Mongolia practice many traditional forms of art. See also: Culture of Mongolia, Music of Mongolia.

Among the Han Chinese of Inner Mongolia, Jinju or Shanxi Opera is a popular traditional form of entertainment. See also: Shanxi.

Siqin Gaowa, a famous actress of China, is an ethnic Mongol native to Inner Mongolia.


In the capital city Hohhot:

Dazhao Temple is a Lamaist temple built in 1580. Dazhao Temple is known for three sites: a statue of Buddha made from silver, elaborate carvings of dragons, and murals.

Xiaozhao Temple, also known as Chongfu temple, is a Lamaist temple built in 1697 and favoured by the Qing Dynasty emperor Kangxi.

Xilituzhao Temple is the largest Lamaist temple in the Hohhot area, and once the center of power of Lamaism in the region.

Zhaojun Tomb is the tomb of Wang Zhaojun, a Han Dynasty palace woman and wife of a Hun ruler.

Elsewhere in Inner Mongolia:

The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan, the cenotaph of Genghis Khan, is located in Ordos City.

Bashang Grasslands, on the border close to Beijing, is a popular retreat for urban residents wanting to get a taste of grasslands life.

Miscellaneous topics

Colleges and universities

All of the above are under the authority of the autonomous region government. Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

External links

Province-level divisions administered by the People's Republic of China Missing image
Flag of the People's Republic of China

Provinces¹: Anhui | Fujian | Gansu | Guangdong | Guizhou | Hainan | Hebei | Heilongjiang | Henan | Hubei | Hunan | Jiangsu | Jiangxi | Jilin | Liaoning | Qinghai | Shaanxi | Shandong | Shanxi | Sichuan | Yunnan | Zhejiang
Autonomous Regions: Guangxi | Inner Mongolia | Ningxia | Tibet | Xinjiang
Municipalities: Beijing | Chongqing | Shanghai | Tianjin
Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong | Macau
¹ See also: Political status of Taiwan
de:Innere Mongolei

es:Mongolia Interior eo:Interna Mongolio mn:Өвөр-Монголчууд nl:Binnen-Mongoli ja:内モンゴル自治区 pt:Monglia Interior fi:Sis-Mongolia zh:内蒙古


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