It was at this time that the last monarch to hold power in Outer Mongolia came to prominence. In the absence of their former monarch, the Qing Emperor, the Mongols turned for leadership to their highest religious official, the Bogd Gegeen or “Holy Shining One” and invested him with secular power as the Bogd Khan of Mongolia. Long-time readers will remember the fate that befell him. He was first removed from power and placed under house arrest by a warlord of the Republic of China only to be liberated and restored in 1921 by the multi-national White Russian-led army of Baron von Ungern-Sternberg. When he was defeated and captured the Bogd Khan spent the rest of his life under house arrest as Outer Mongolia became the first satellite state of the Soviet Union, ruled with the most extreme brutality by a succession of Soviet stooges, the most infamous being the Stalin-worshipping Choibalsan. All the while, the Republic of China still claimed jurisdiction over all of Mongolia just as they did over all lands formerly a part of the Great Qing Empire even though these had never been part of China. So, Outer Mongolia was effectively being ruled by Soviet Russia and Inner Mongolia was being ruled (somewhat intermittently) by the Republic of China which also claimed Outer Mongolia as their own as well but were still fighting among themselves for control of what territory they actually occupied.
|Prince De Wang|
As Mengjiang (as it was called -the territory of the Mongols) did not survive the Japanese defeat in 1945 and was conquered by communist forces along with Manchuria, we will never know how it would have developed. Prince De Wang was certainly no puppet, despite what his detractors may say. The first Japanese advances made toward him were rejected and his first official alliance was with the restored Emperor of Manchuria (who may have been his cousin but I am not sure about that) who also bestowed on him a special title. When the Prince did come to an agreement with the Japanese Kwantung Army he remained very alert to any hint of a move that would infringe on his authority. Officially, his regime was autonomous, which it was, but also was seen as something temporary. Even the name, Mengjiang, suggested to all who saw it that the intention was to recover all the lands inhabited by the Mongol people. He always dealt with the Emperor of Manchuria as he would have (and did) in the pre-revolutionary days of the Qing Empire. However, after 1940, Inner Mongolia was listed as an autonomous region of the Reorganized National Government of China led by President Wang Jingwei. However, it was truly autonomous and no activities by the Kuomintang party were permitted there nor were any Han Chinese allowed to settle in Mengjiang.
The unfortunate thing is that Inner Mongolia today is mostly a lost cause. Mongol traditions are slowly going away and the Mongols themselves are being drowned out in a flood of Han Chinese settlers (particularly after the coal boom and other related mineral exploitation in the region). Today Mongols make up only 20% of the population of the “Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region” of the People’s Bandit Republic of China. The Chinese Communist Party is not about to change its ways and no other country or countries will do anything about it because China has the bomb -and if you have the bomb, no one can touch you (which is why so many of the worst regimes want it so badly). Outer, independent, Mongolia, while not encouraging, at least has room for hope. In the absence of a secular monarch, they had the Bogd Khan who ruled until the country became a Soviet client state. In 1926 the communist regime ruled that there would be no further reincarnations but, apparently, the spirit world paid them no heed and after the Soviet collapse it was announced that there had been a reincarnation who was enthroned in 1999 in Mongolia as the spiritual leader of Mongolian Buddhists by the Dalai Lama. That incarnation has since past away and, I presume, the search is continuing for his successor.
|The (now) late Bogd Gegeen|