In some media reports, the incident has been depicted as a Mongolian protest against Han’s dominance, similar to the Xinjiang riots in 2009 and Tibet unrest in 2008.
However, it is improper to make this link. The Mongolian protests, over a herd being run over by a Han truck driver, are not a politically driven demonstration. Some of their requests are reasonable, and should be responded to by the local government.
Inner Mongolia has been a model area where different ethnic group co-habit in harmony, but like many other ethnic areas, it faces the difficulties of balancing a growing economy and preserving minority culture and lifestyle. The best way can only be found by coming to a consensus.
Anger of local Mongolians toward the Han driver is understandable. The anger is also partly a result of their anxiety over a wave of industrialization, and how the mining industry might affect their lives. We believe the majority of Chinese sympathize with their reasonable requests.
See also: “China response to Inner Mongolia unrest follows pattern mixing firmness and efforts to placate” from the Washington Post.