Buddhism in the Mongol Regions of China 1994

The Mongol regions currently part of the People’s Republic of China have a diverse history, although all have followed primarily the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The Monguor and Kokonor Mongols have lived in present-day Qinghai since before the 14th century. The Manchus divided Central Mongolia into Outer and Inner Mongolia in the mid-17th century, with the Inner part, extending into Manchuria, now incorporated into the PRC. The group of Kalmyk Western Mongols in northern Xinjiang returned there in the mid-18th century from the Volga region of Russia, where the Kalmyks had migrated in the early 17th century. In 1994, in all these regions, the situation of Buddhism and its monasteries was much worse than in Tibet at that time, with only a handful of old monks and no teachers.