China: Current activities, organization, and membership of the Inner Mongolian People's Party; treatment of its members by government authorities in China; repercussions a member could face if he/she returned to China (1999 - present)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||4 December 2001|
|Citation / Document Symbol||CHN38089.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, China: Current activities, organization, and membership of the Inner Mongolian People's Party; treatment of its members by government authorities in China; repercussions a member could face if he/she returned to China (1999 - present), 4 December 2001, CHN38089.E, available at: https://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be1e14.html [accessed 23 January 2019]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The Constitution of the Inner Mongolian People's Party (IMPP), dated 21 March 1997, states the "ultimate goal" of the IMPP as being the achievement of the independence of Inner Mongolia from the Chinese Communist Party's "colonial rule" (IMPP). The Party's "intermediary goal" is the establishment of a confederated union with China (ibid.).
According to its constitution, IMPP's leadership includes a chairman, several vice- chairmen, a secretary general, an executive director, and a standing committee (ibid.). However, an IMPP press release issued 4 September 1999 stated that the Party had agreed on a new leadership structure, eliminating the positions of vice-chairman and secretary-general and approving the new position of executive director, who is elected to a one-year term, reports to the chairman and is solely responsible for the daily activities of the Party. Standing Committee members are elected by members of the congress, which meets once every four years (ibid. 21 Mar. 1997). The chairman is directly elected or replaced through a direct, two-third majority vote of the standing committee (ibid.).
Applicants are eligible for IMPP membership, regardless of region or "race," as long as they adhere to the IMPP constitution and are willing to participate in IMPP activities (ibid.). They may also withdraw their membership, but must protect the secrets of the Party, including the number and names of members and any other information deemed secret by the chairman or standing committee (ibid.).
Stating that the "Chinese government is still punishing and persecuting the family members and friends of political dissidents," only a few names of IMPP members have been disclosed on the IMPP Website (IMPP n.d.). These included the chairman, Temtsiltu Shobtsood; the executive director, Oyunbilig; and three other members whose positions have not been identified, Erkh Temtsel, Enhebatu, and Munkh Altanbat (ibid.). Mr. Hohnars Borjigin is named as the Party treasurer in a 4 September 1999 IMPP press release and an earlier document identifies Mr. Bache as the vice-chairman of IMPP (IMPP 13 Apr. 1999).
According to a senior lecturer in modern Chinese history at the University of Durham who has extensively researched ethnic or national minorities in China, IMMP was formed by emigrés in New York in the late 1990s (28 Nov. 2001). The senior lecturer stated that during the 1980s and 1990s there were reports of an organization of the same name in existence in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of the China and a number of people were arrested and imprisoned for membership in this party (ibid.). However, the lecturer was unfamiliar with any recent reports of IMPP activities in China (ibid.). Whether this was because the party had disbanded or whether it was because the party is keeping a low profile was not known (ibid.).
The IMPP is described in one source as operating largely over the Internet (Select Committee on Foreign Affairs 29 Nov. 2000b). Reports concerning IMPP's activities detail the Party's participation in protest rallies in the United States against the Chinese government (AFP 14 Apr. 1999; IMPP 13 Apr. 1999; ibid. 1 May 1999; ibid. 28 Aug. 1999; ibid. 30 Sept. 1999 FNS Daybook 30 Sept. 1999).
At a protest rally in New York city coinciding with the Chinese premier Zhu Rongji's visit to the United States, a representative of IMPP and one of an estimated 170 protesters was quoted as stating "we are not anti-Chinese, we are anti-Chinese-communist dictatorship" (AFP 14 Apr. 1999). Reportedly, he later elicited cheers from the crowd by calling out "Free Tibet, Free Taiwan, Free East Turkistan, Free Inner Mongolia and Free China!" The IMPP also released a declaration tabling a series of demands, including a cessation of human rights abuses in Inner Mongolia, to mark the occasion of Premier Rongji's visit (IMPP 13 Apr. 1999).
According to an IMPP report, the Party demonstrated on 1 May 1999 in Washington DC, marking the 52nd anniversary of the Chinese "occupation" of Inner Mongolia. Reportedly, IMPP members and supporters, mostly Uighurs from Eastern Turkestan, met in front of the Chinese Embassy and condemned the Chinese government's occupation of, and human rights violations in, Inner Mongolia, Eastern Turkestan, and Tibet and called for the release of all political prisoners (ibid.).
The IMPP, along with Citizens Against Communist Chinese Propaganda (CACCP), International Taklamakan Human Rights Association (ITHRA), Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), World United Formosans for Independence (WUFI), Tibet Online and Students for a Free Tibet, reportedly participated in a 28 August 1999 rally protesting the Florida Splendid China theme park which they claimed misrepresented the history and cultures of Inner Mongolia, Eastern Turkestan and Tibet (IMPP 28 Aug. 1999).
Reportedly, IMPP, along with Uyghur American Association, the Capitol Area Tibetan Association, Formosan Association for Public Affairs, the Taiwanese Association of Greater Washington, and the Eastern Turkestan National Freedom Center, marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China with a protest in Washington DC against "political repression, cultural genocide, the PRC's military threats against Taiwan, and other human rights violations" (FNS Daybook 30 Sept. 1999; IMPP 30 Sept. 1999).
As well, a 13 July 2001 article reported that IMPP was one of several organizations which contacted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to protest China's bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics (The Miami Herald).
According to the senior lecturer, IMPP members in the US are campaigning on behalf the Southern Mongolia Democratic Alliance (SMDA), an organization founded in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia in 1992 and which has similar aims to the IMPP, including independence from China (28 Nov. 2001).
Both the IMPP and the SMDA are illegal in China, and two members of the SMDA have been sentenced to 10 to 15 years imprisonment for campaigning for an end to Chinese rule in Inner Mongolia (ibid.). The lecturer further stated that any form of separatist activity, whether in Inner Mongolia, Tibet or Xinjiang, is treated as the "most serious crime against the state and is punishable by long terms of imprisonment" and that "a member of the IMPP who returned to China would certainly be in danger of being imprisoned if his or her activities were known to the police" (ibid.).
According to a memorandum submitted to the United Kingdom's House of Commons, Select Committee on Foreign Affairs by an undisclosed source who is stated to have "considerable knowledge of Mongolia" (Select Committee on Foreign Affairs 29 Nov. 2000a), in July 2000 an Inner Mongolian scholar who was living in the United States had his passport confiscated upon a return visit to Huhhot (ibid. 29 Nov. 2000b). Following his "interrogation" he was arrested for his alleged involvement in the "emigré nationalist organisation" the Inner Mongolian People's Party (ibid.). The scholar was reportedly released after being held for six days in a remand prison (ibid.).
No further reference to the treatment a member of the IMPP would receive if they were to return to China could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
No reference to IMPP activities inside China or to the treatment of its members by the Chinese government authorities could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
For further information on IMPP, please consult MNG32672.E of 15 September 1999.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Agence France Press (AFP). 14 April 1999. "Clinton Upbeat on China's WTO bid, talks to Continue in Beijing." (NEXIS)
Federal News Service (FNS) Daybook. 30 September 1999. "Event: Protest - Uyghur American Association, Capitol Area Tibetan Association, Inner Mongolian People's Party, Formosan Association for Public Affairs, Taiwaneese Association of Greater Washington, and the Eastern Turkestan National Freedom Center." (NEXIS)
Inner Mongolian People's Party (IMPP). 30 September 1999. "Fifty Years is Long Enough."
_____. 4 September 1999. "Inner Mongolian People's Party Holds its 3rd Central Committee Meeting."
_____. 28 August 1999. "August 28th, 1999 Demonstration Account."
_____. 1 May 1999. "52 Years is Too Long!: A Report on the IMPP's May 1, 1999 Demonstration."
_____. 13 April 1999. "Protest China's Oppression of Mongols."
_____. 21 March 1997. "Constitution of the Inner Mongolian People's Party."
_____. n.d. "Who are the IMPP People?"
The Miami Herald. 13 July 2001. Linda Robertson. "Large Lobby Against China Olympics." (NEXIS)
Select Committee on Foreign Affairs. House of Commons. United Kingdom. 29 November 2000a. Tenth Report and Proceedings of the Committee.
_____. 29 November 2000b. Tenth Report and Proceedings of the Committee. "Memorandum Submitted on Inner Mongolia."
Senior lecturer. University of Durham. 28 November 2001. Correspondence. The lecturer is also the Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Durham and submitted a memorandum to the United Kingdom Select Committee on Foreign Affairs for the Tenth Report and Proceedings of the Committee.
Additional Sources Consulted
Unsuccessful attempts to contact Inner Mongolia People's Party
Internet sites including:
China Internet and Information Center
Human Rights in China
Human Rights Watch
World News Connection