Mongols in China
A Mongol musician playing an Inner Mongolian-style morin khuur
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Related ethnic groups
Mongols in China
Simplified Chinese中国蒙古族
Traditional Chinese中國蒙古族

Mongols in China,[3][4] also known as Mongolian Chinese,[5][6] are ethnic Mongols who live in China. They are one of the 56 ethnic groups recognized by the Chinese government.

As of 2020, there are 6,290,204 Mongols in China, a 0.45% increase from the 2010 national census.[1][2] Most of them live in Inner Mongolia, Northeast China, Xinjiang and Qinghai. The Mongol population in China is nearly twice as much as that of the sovereign state of Mongolia.


Mongol autonomous subdivisions of China

The Mongols in China are divided between autonomous regions and provinces as follows:

Besides the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, there are other Mongol autonomous administrative subdivisions in China.

Prefecture level:

County level:


Photo by Yvette Borup Andrews in 1920

China classifies different Mongolian groups like Buryats and Oirats into the same single category as Mongol along with Inner Mongols. A non-Mongolic ethnic group, the Tuvans are also classified as Mongols by China.[7] The official language used for all of these Mongols in China is a literary standard based on the Chahar dialect of Mongol.[8]

The ethnic classification might be inaccurate due to lack of information regarding the registering policy.[9][10]

Some populations officially classified as Mongols by the government of the People's Republic of China do not currently speak any form of Mongolic language. Such populations include the Sichuan Mongols (most of whom speak a form of Naic language), the Yunnan Mongols (most of whom speak a form of Loloish language), and the Mongols of Henan Mongol Autonomous County in Qinghai (most of whom speak Amdo Tibetan and/or Chinese).


Among the Mongols of China, mitochondrial haplogroup D was in first place (27.07%), followed by mitochondrial haplogroups B (11.60%), F (10.77%), Z (8.01%), G (7, 73%), C (6.91%), A (6.08%), N (5.25%) and M7 (5.25%). Other mitochondrial haplogroups (HV, H, I, M8, M9, M10, M11, R, T, U, W and Y) were sporadically distributed among the studied Mongols of China with frequencies of no more than 1.66%.

Guang-Lin He et al. (2022) examined a sample of current Mongols of China (n=175, including n=97 from Inner Mongolia, n=27 from Liaoning, n=10 from Heilongjiang, n=10 from Jilin, n=3 from Qinghai, n=3 from Xinjiang, and n=25 from elsewhere in China) and found different haplogroup O subclades (107/175 = 61.1% in total) to be the most frequently observed Y-DNA haplogroup:

The second most frequently observed Y-DNA haplogroup among the sampled Mongols from China was C2 (22.9%, including 16.6% "Northern" i.e. Mongolian/Siberian C2b1a, 1.7% typically Mongolic C2c1a1a1-M407, and 4.6% "Southern" i.e. East Asian C2c1(xC2c1a1a1)), followed by N1-CTS3750 (6.3%, including 2.9% N1a2a1a~, 1.1% N1a2b2a1c~, 1.1% N1b2a2~, 0.6% N1a1a1a1a3a, and 0.6% N1b1), Q (4.6%, including 4.0% Q1a1a1 and 0.6% Q2a1a1), R1a1a1b2a-Z94 (2.3%), and D-M533 (1.1%). Y-chromosomal haplogroup E1b1b1a1b2 (V22) was observed in one Mongol individual from Hohhot, G2a2b2a1a1a2a1a (L654.2) was observed in one Mongol individual from Alxa League, and I2a1b2a1a1a1 (BY128/Y5596) was observed in one Mongol individual from Hinggan League.[11]

Related groups

Not all groups of people related to the medieval Mongols are officially classified as Mongols under the current system. Other official ethnic groups in China which speak Mongolic languages include:

Discrimination against Mongols

This section is written like a personal reflection, personal essay, or argumentative essay that states a Wikipedia editor's personal feelings or presents an original argument about a topic. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. (May 2024) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

Mongols living in China face a multitude of Anti-Mongolian discriminations by the current Chinese government on the goal of assimilating the Mongolian population into the Han population.[12][13][14] Some instances of discrimination include: barring teaching the Mongolian language in schools, arresting Mongols on Mongolian soil, and forced evictions of Mongolians in China.[15]


Recently the NPC mandated that "minority language-medium education is unconstitutional (People's Daily)," enforcing this within Inner Mongolian schools, banning the teaching of the Mongolian language, along with riding of different kinds of Mongolian material that are deemed to de-emphasize Chinese nationality and common identity.[16][13] In 2023, a book on the history of the Mongols was banned for "historical nihilism."[17]


Most recently on May 3, 2023, the Chinese government arrested Mr. Lhamjab Borjigin, a Mongolian writer, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.[15] This isn't the first time China has made these kinds of arrests on foreign soil against Mongols either, as this is the fifth occurrence.[15]

Climate change and poverty relief

Temperature changes in Inner Mongolia, China.

The Chinese government has even gone as far as accusing Mongolian herders/nomads of causing climate change in order to justify the forced relocation of Mongolians out of their ancestral land.[14] Under the "ecological migration" policy, the Chinese government has moved thousands of Mongolians into city/urban areas away from their home grasslands on the basis that the Mongolian nomadic lifestyle is destroying the grasslands and causing climate change symptoms like desertification and sandstorms.[14] The Chinese government also justifies the movement of Mongols, calling it poverty relief, as hundreds of thousands of Mongols live in extreme poverty, however many of the displaced Mongols actually fall deeper into poverty, while also feeling out of their element and feeling like outcasts in their new homes.[14] The basis of moving the Mongols by the claim of climate/environment protection is one that lacks support, as it has been found that nomadic lifestyles, like that of the grassland Mongols, actually harm the environment far less than permanent settlement lifestyles.[18]

Notable people

See also



  1. ^ a b "Main Data of the Seventh National Population Census". Archived from the original on 11 May 2021. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b "China Statistical Yearbook 2021". Archived from the original on 2021-11-12. Retrieved 2022-05-31.
  3. ^ Jirimutu, Jerry (1998). "A socio-demographic profile of the Mongols in China, 1990". Central Asian Survey. 17 (1): 93–108. doi:10.1080/02634939808401025.
  4. ^ Bulag, Uradyn E. (2003). "Mongolian Ethnicity and Linguistic Anxiety in China". American Anthropologist. 105 (4): 753–763. doi:10.1525/aa.2003.105.4.753. Archived from the original on 2004-06-03. The quest for the standardization of Mongolian [language] in Inner Mongolia was a product as much of a domestication of the Mongols in China as a protest against the imposition of Chinese [Standard Beijing Mandarin] as the national standard language to which all minority languages were forced to conform.
  5. ^ Wang, Jian; Teng, Xing (2016). "Teachers' beliefs of behaviors, learning, and teaching related to minority students: a comparison of Han and Mongolian Chinese teachers". Teaching Education. 27 (4): 371–395. doi:10.1080/10476210.2016.1153623. S2CID 147587249.
  6. ^ Deng, Xinmei; Ding; Cheng; Chou (2016). "Feeling Happy and Sad at the Same Time? Subcultural Differences in Experiencing Mixed Emotions between Han Chinese and Mongolian Chinese". Frontiers in Psychology. 7 (1692): 1692. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01692. PMC 5081370. PMID 27833582.
  7. ^ Mongush, M. V. "Tuvans of Mongolia and China." International Journal of Central Asian Studies, 1 (1996), 225–243. Talat Tekin, ed. Seoul: Inst. of Asian Culture & Development.
  8. ^ "Öbür mongγul ayalγu bol dumdadu ulus-un mongγul kelen-ü saγuri ayalγu bolqu büged dumdadu ulus-un mongγul kelen-ü barimǰiy-a abiy-a ni čaqar aman ayalγun-du saγurilaγsan bayidaγ." (Sečenbaγatur et al. 2005: 85).
  9. ^ [ Archived 2018-12-01 at the Wayback Machine y (Mongolian): Millions of Han Chinese of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region registered as "Mongol" and "Manchu" according to Chinese policy since the 1980s. There is not enough information about Chinese ethnic minorities due to the government policy.
  10. ^ Өвөр Монголын хүн ам Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine (Mongolian)
  11. ^ Guang-Lin He, Meng-Ge Wang, Xing Zou, Hui-Yuan Yeh, Chang-Hui Liu, Chao Liu, Gang Chen, and Chuan-Chao Wang, "Extensive ethnolinguistic diversity at the crossroads of North China and South Siberia reflects multiple sources of genetic diversity." Journal of Systematics and Evolution 00 (0): 1–21, 2022. doi: 10.1111/jse.12827
  12. ^ "China's push to create a single national identity". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Archived from the original on 2023-09-15. Retrieved 2023-09-15. The decline of Mongolian is part of a years-long push by the central government to assimilate ethnic minorities across China.
  13. ^ a b Bagshaw, Eryk (2023-07-21). "'I might die or be murdered': The province fearing it will be wiped out by Beijing". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2023-07-21. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
  14. ^ a b c d Togochog, Enghebatu (2006). "Ecological Migration and Human Rights" (PDF). China Rights Forum (4): 26–30. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-06-03. Retrieved 2023-05-31 – via hrichina.
  15. ^ a b c "Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center". Archived from the original on 2022-06-12. Retrieved 2023-05-31.
  16. ^ "Mongolians in China Face 'Cultural Genocide' as Language, Culture Swept Aside: Group". Radio Free Asia. Archived from the original on 2023-05-30. Retrieved 2023-05-31.
  17. ^ "China bans book about the early history of the Mongolian people". Radio Free Asia. 3 September 2023. Archived from the original on 2023-09-05. Retrieved 2023-09-05.
  18. ^ "A Nomadic Lifestyle Protects the Rainforest — But Western Culture is Ruining It". Green Matters. 2022-12-05. Archived from the original on 2023-05-31. Retrieved 2023-05-31.


  • Mongush, M.V. (1996). "Tuvans of Mongolia and China". International Journal of Central Asian Studies. 1: 225–243.
  • (in Mongolian) Sečenbaγatur, Qasgerel, Tuyaγ-a [Туяa], Bu. Jirannige, Wu Yingzhe, Činggeltei. 2005. Mongγul kelen-ü nutuγ-un ayalγun-u sinǰilel-ün uduridqal [A guide to the regional dialects of Mongolian]. Kökeqota: ÖMAKQ. ISBN 7-204-07621-4.

Further reading