Ethnic Mongolians seething over the killings of two Mongolians by Han Chinese drivers took their anger to the streets of the capital of Inner Mongolia on Monday in a rare expression of anti-government sentiment here. The protests, which drew more than 100 people to the center of Hohhot and led to a series of arrests, followed a week of similar demonstrations across this vast borderland that have rattled the authorities.
The rally took place on the same day that Chinese officials announced they would file murder charges against a forklift driver accused of striking and killing Yan Wenlong, who was among 20 people protesting a coal mine near Xilinhot on May 15. The deaths of Mr. Yan and of another activist killed by a truck driver five days earlier have galvanized anger over the destruction of the Mongolian grasslands and stoked long-simmering resentment over Beijing’s governance of this resource-rich region.
On Sunday, the state-run news media reported that Inner Mongolia’s Communist Party secretary, Hu Chunhua, had met with students and teachers and promised justice in the killing of the other activist, named Mergen, a herder whose body was reported to have been dragged nearly 500 feet. Two Han Chinese have been arrested in connection with the death.