Anti-Chinese Attitudes in Post-Communist Mongolia

Anti-Chinese attitudes are luring our interest – so we are attempting to explain this unique phenomenon on Mongolian example. Here is my thesis abstract:

This thesis examines “anti” attitudes in general and anti-Chinese attitudes in Mongolia in particular, to answer the puzzle: Why do anti-Chinese attitudes in Mongolia still persist after both nations have enjoyed friendly, neighborly state-to-state relations for more than two decades? The argument is made that anti-Chinese attitudes in Mongolia are persistent because of lingering impacts of artificially-consolidated negative schemas about China, Chinese people, and their culture from the 1960s-1980s. Mongolian political elites at that time institutionalized anti-Chinese attitudes, introducing only negative schemas, while blocking all other sources for positive or neutral schemas about China. Nevertheless, Mongolian political elites’ attitudes toward China became noticeably positive since mid-2000 due to increased interactions, information, and the changing economic reality despite of the fact that unfavorable views of China and the anti-Chinese attitudes have still dominated the media, blogosphere, and public discourses. The main reason for the gap between attitudes of the political elites and the public can be explained by a reluctance of the political elites and intellectuals to de-construct the past schemas because of its diacritic purpose to differentiate Mongolian identity in addition to material realities. This thesis also contends that anti-Chinese attitudes in Mongolia are a variant of a global anti-Chinese phenomenon. The “anti” attitudes are explained by three main reasons: a power imbalance, a backlash against economic activities, and conflicting identities. In this regard, the Mongolian case study is an excellent entry point to understand the causes and consequences of anti-Chinese attitudes in the small, developing, democratic Chinese neighbors. This thesis uses analytical approaches for a similar phenomenon, anti-Americanism, and extensively uses the notion of schema, as developed by Katzenstein and Keohane (2007) in their conceptualization of anti-Americanisms.

About mendee

Jargalsaikhan Mendee is a Deputy Director of the Institute for Defense Studies of Mongolia. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, and MAs in International Relations from the US Naval Postgraduate School and in Asia-Pacific Policy Studies from the Institute of Asian Research of the University of British Columbia.
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2 Responses to Anti-Chinese Attitudes in Post-Communist Mongolia

  1. Pingback: Interesting Mining Project out of Vancouver aimed at Domestic Consumption not China | Mongolia Focus

  2. Shiné Dagva says:

    hi Mendee. Mongolians being prejudice against Chinese is a fascinating topic. I am always excited to talk about it.

    Unfortunately, I do not have your thesis, only read its abstract. I think prejudice against Chinese is due to the two nations’ different views of survival. Chinese people wear ‘shells’ when they are outside of their blood ties or bonds. They say what needs to be said or heard because of different power relationship in their society. That is how they survive. For many century, Mongolians know how Chinese mentality works which is for Mongolians a very untrustworthy character. Keeping themselves in a distance from Chinese people is a way of survival for Mongolians.

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