Mongolians have worried about being swallowed by China at least since Genghis Khan's Mongol conquerors swept across much of Asia in the 13th century. Wanting a written language to unite Mongol tribes, he turned to a Turkic people, the Uighurs, to develop a script and not to China, whose character-based language was used in Korea, Japan and Vietnam.Chinese came to dominate commerce and comprised about 10 percent of Mongolia's 1 million population after it was absorbed into the last Chinese dynasty, the Qing, set up by another group of horseback warriors, the Manchus. Purges, first by a murderous White Russian general and his motley army and then in the 1960s and '70s by Mongolia's Soviet-backed government, killed or drove off the remaining Chinese.
For Mongolia, China's Too Close For Comfort
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