China’s push to create a single national identity
- Inner Mongolia is the latest target
THE STREET signs in Inner Mongolia, a region in northern China, are written in two languages. There are the blocky characters of Mandarin, the mother tongue of most Chinese. Then there is the vertically-written script of Mongolian, which is spoken by many people in the region. The language is not just seen on signs; it is heard in cafés and used in classrooms (such as the one pictured). More Mongols live in Inner Mongolia than in Mongolia, the country next door.