Today “Mongolia” is divided into three countries: the nation of Mongolia, Inner Mongolia in China and the Republic of Buryatia in the Russian Federation. Why and how did this division come about? Why are researchers continually drawn to return to this question? The “Mongolia Question” was strongly influenced by the dynamic nature of international affairs at the time in the first half of the 20th century. In this presentation, I will focus on how Inner Mongolia became an international issue during the Second World War. In this I will revisit and analyze Japan’s policies towards Inner Mongolia and the nature of Inner Mongolian autonomy movement led by Prince Demchugdongrob in the 1930’s. As my investigations concern international relations, they are not restricted to merely Inner Mongolia. We must look at how the “Inner Mongolia Question” went from being a regional issue to an international one due to Japanese diplomacy. Key to this were the complexities of Japan-China, Japan-Soviet and Japan-US relations at the time.
Speaker: Prof. Gangbagana, Akita International University, Japan. Currently visiting fellow at the ANU. His research focuses on modern Inner Mongolian history and society and publishes widely in this field.