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Zhu Ruiyi is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge.

The Double-Tongued Dilemma: Translating Chinese Workers’ Relations in Mongolia

Despite the ostensible complementarity of the structural shortage of industrial labour in Mongolia and the excess thereof in China, Chinese workers have constituted a source of anxiety in post-socialist Mongolia. Drawing on fieldwork at a Chinese-owned fluorspar mine in Mongolia between 2018 and 2019, this essay sheds light on the tension between bilingual and monolingual Chinese workers in the Sino-Mongolian industrial sphere. While the monolinguals rely on the bilinguals to facilitate industrial production, they also regard the latter in a suspicious light.

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