China bans Mongolian theatre production, disregards cultural diversity www.wionews.com
Chinese authorities have banned a Mongolian theatre production by shutting down the power to the Ulaan Theatre in Hohhot, in China's northern region of Inner Mongolia, where the production was due to be staged.
In addition to shutting down the power, Chinese authorities also blocked 130 production staff from entering the theatre and put the cast under constant surveillance.
Thousands of theatergoers who had purchased tickets to the performance were sent away without any valid reason for doing so. All this played out just 30 minutes before the first performance was set to begin.
The production, titled "The Mongol Khan," is scheduled to open at the London Coliseum next month. The latest ban is part of a growing trend of cultural suppression by the Chinese government.
In recent years, Beijing has cracked down on Mongolian language, culture, and history. This is being done by China in an effort to assimilate the dwindling Mongolian population into the Han Chinese majority.
Beijing's crackdown on Mongolian culture
The Chinese government carries out these acts under the garb of promoting "national unity". But in reality, all that it is trying to seek with the imposition of such bans is to simply trying to erase Mongolian culture and identity.
Ulaanbaatar has been careful to manage its relationship with its superpower neighbour and largest trading partner. The director of "The Mongol Khan," Hero Baatar, has said that he is determined to bring the production to London, despite the the pushback in China.
Mongolian artists and cultural workers have often voiced their concerns and are fighting to preserve their culture.
“The production team of 130 members, including six British nationals, were expelled from the theatre building where £2 million [$3.8 million] worth of set and technical equipment was set up,” the Mongol Khan spokeswoman said adding, “The production team was also banned from wearing traditional Mongolian dress in public.”
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region in northern China. It borders Mongolia to the north and west. Beijing claims to have improved the region's living and educational standards. Being one of the most populous regions in China, it has experienced double-digit economic growth for the majority of the last two decades.
Mongolia-China relations are marred due to their shared historical background. Genghis Khan, the Mongol leader, conquered Beijing in 1215.
Activists in May asserted Lhamjab Borjigin, a well-known Inner Mongolian author, was deported to China after being captured by Chinese authorities while residing in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Herders in the Zaruud area were struck by vehicles in June while attempting to stop a Chinese business from occupying their pastures.
Then, in September, it was mandated that all Inner Mongolian schools teaching in Mongolian switch to teaching in Chinese.