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History and its Televising: Events and Narratives of the Hoshuud Mongols in Modern China

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image of Inner Asia

In the seventeenth century Güüshi Khan, leader of the Hoshuud Mongols, conquered the Kökhnuur area and Tibet. Since he was at the same time an ally of the Qing, this episode has been emphasised in contemporary Chinese historical discourse as a key event in the process of constructing the Chinese nation in such a way as to include Tibetans and Mongols. This paper describes the vicissitudes of a group of Hoshuud Mongols that migrated and settled in the Alasha area in Inner Mongolia where they became subjects of the Qing dynasty. During the Republican Period they transformed their status to become members of the modern Chinese nation and later they were included in the People's Republic of China. The paper explores the way in which these processes are represented in various forms of contemporary official discourse – from television films to publications – in order to detect the underlying logic on which current historical narratives are based and which serve as the ‘historical truth’.


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