China Demands French Museum Erase History of Mongols, Genghis Khan from Exhibit

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The Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne history museum in Nantes was planning the exhibition in partnership with the Inner Mongolia Museum in Hohhot, China, when conflicts arose over certain historical facts that the Chinese Bureau of Cultural Heritage demanded be altered.

The Communist country’s culture department demanded complete control of all the texts and catalogue of the exhibition, including maps, legends, and brochures, which had to be sent to China for approval, according to Le Parisien.

Even after the contract was signed to agree to the loaning of the pieces to the museum, China demanded that words like “Genghis Khan”, “empire”, and “Mongol” be removed from the title, insisting it instead be called: “Chinese Steppe Culture of the World.”

China did not just want the removal of words, but a complete rewrite of history, with Nantes museum noting the new text sent from the communist state contained “elements of biased rewriting of Mongol culture in favour of a new national narrative”.

“The word Mongol only appeared on the twelfth page, Genghis Khan had completely disappeared, and the point of view was centred on the Han dynasty,” said museum director Bertrand Guillet.

Branding it “censorship”, the museum postponed the event until 2024, saying China’s actions reflected the recent “hardening… of the position of the Chinese government against the Mongol minority”.

The plight of Inner Mongolians is probably less well known in the West than that of other minority groups being subjected to oppression by the CCP, such as the Falun Gong, Muslim Uyghurs of Xinjiang, Tibetans, and Hong Kongers. But the museum incident is the latest example of what human rights groups have called “cultural genocide” against the people.

After the Second World War, China annexed southern Mongolia, turning it into the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Over the past 70 years, the Communist Chinese Party has eroded Inner Mongolians’ rights and encouraged ethnic Han Chinese to move to the region, resulting in Mongolians now being outnumbered by nearly six to one in their own land.

The Diplomat reported in September how the culture war against ethnic Mongolians came to a head when Beijing order that the Mongolian language be sidelined in many school subjects in favour of Mandarin. The move sparked protests by parents across the region, with authorities issuing thousands of arrest warrants against protest organisers.