|Province of China|
Suiyuan as claimed by the Republic of China
• Established as a province of the ROC
• Reorganised as a province of the PRC
• Incorporated into the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
Suiyuan (Chinese: 綏遠; pinyin: Suíyuǎn) is a de jure province of the Republic of China according to the ROC law, as the ROC government formally claims to be the legitimate government of China, with its capital located Guisui (now Hohhot). The abbreviation was 綏 (pinyin: suí). The area Suiyuan covered is approximated today by the prefecture-level cities of Hohhot, Baotou, Wuhai, Ordos, Bayan Nur, and parts of Ulanqab, all today part of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Suiyuan was named after a district in the capital established in the Qing Dynasty.
In the early 1930s Suiyuan was occupied by the Shanxi warlord Yan Xishan, who mined Suiyuan's iron, reorganized the province's finances, and brought over 4,000 acres (16 km2) of land under cultivation for the first time. Most of the work and settlement of Suiyuan at this time was done by Shanxi farmer-soldiers under the direction of retired officers from Yan's army. Yan's control of Suiyuan was sufficient to cause one visiting reporter to refer to Suiyuan as a "colony" of Shanxi.
During the Chinese Civil War in 1935, Communist leader Mao Zedong promised Mongol leaders a "unified autonomous" administration which would include all "historic" Mongol lands within China, in exchange for Mongol support against the Kuomintang. This promise included the declaration that, "Under no circumstances should other [non-Mongol ethnic groups] be allowed to occupy the land of the Inner Mongolian nation". However, following the communist victory in 1949, the administrators of the soon-to-be "Mongolian" territories with Han Chinese majorities, the biggest of which was Suiyuan with a population of over 2 million, resisted annexation by the new Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. In 1954, Mao reached a compromise with Suiyuan, which involved the Mongols' taking over the administration of Suiyuan, but stipulated that the Han natives not be expelled from the territory. Uradyn Bulag thus notes that "ironically", the Mongols' territorial ambitions against Suiyuan resulted in their becoming a "small minority within their own [enlarged] autonomous region". The ROC does not recognize the changes of administrative divisions made by PRC, official maps of the ROC government shows Suiyuan Province in its pre-1949 borders.
In popular culture
- W. Douglas Burden references Suiyuan in his book Look to the Wilderness, in the chapter "On the Sino-Mongolian Frontier".
- Gillin, Donald G. Warlord: Yen Hsi-shan in Shansi Province 1911-1949. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1967. Page 128
- Bulag, Uradyn (2010). "Alter/native Mongolian identity". In Perry, Elizabeth; Selden, Mark (eds.). Chinese Society: Change, Conflict, and Resistance. Taylor & Francis. pp. 266–268.
- Burden, W. Douglas (1956). Look to the Wilderness. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. pp. 87–109.
- Sarah Shair-Rosenfield (November 2020). "Taiwan combined" (PDF). The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 29 May 2021.