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8 Reasons Why Mongolia’s Capital Ulaanbaatar Might Be The Place for a Trump-Kim Summit
In his recent article “8 Questions the Trump Administration Must Answer Before the Summit With Kim Jong-un,” The Diplomat’s Ankit Panda included the location of the meeting. “Trump should not be willing to sweeten the already-sweet concession of a summit by traveling to North Korean soil to see Kim Jong-un.” The most likely solution to [...]
After Anti-China Campaign Rhetoric, Mongolia’s President Congratulates China on National Day
Mongolia’s newly-elected President Khaltmaa Battulga won office in July on the back of a campaign laced with anti-China rhetoric. Nonetheless, on September 28, Battulga sent a congratulatory message to Chinese President Xi Jinping, marking the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Will a Battulga Victory in Mongolia’s Election Mark a Shift Toward Russia?
On June 26, the Mongolian presidential elections ended without a clear winner, triggering a second round of voting to take place July 7. Battulga Khaltmaagiin, the candidate from the center-right Democratic Party, received 39 percent of the vote, leaving him as the favorite for the next round. His opponent will be second-place finisher Enkhbold Miyeegombo [...]
China Needs to Get Over the Dalai Lama’s Visit to Mongolia
It’s Mongolia’s right to invite a religious leader to visit. China is exaggerating the political significance.
China Freezes Bilateral Diplomacy With Mongolia Over Dalai Lama Visit
Diplomatic ties between Mongolia and China are set for a freeze.
Why Chinese Money Is not the Answer to Mongolia’s Economic Woes
Earlier this month, the Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor of Mongolia traveled to Washington. D.C. to hold initial discussions with the IMF regarding a loan to ease the country’s fiscal pressure. The details of Mongolia’s request to the IMF are not publicly available, but the discussion centered around an amount of up to $1.5 [...]
Mongolia’s Small Country Diplomacy and North Korea
Can Mongolia solve one of the most vexing security issues in the Asia-Pacific?
Russia, Mongolia Hold Joint Military Exercise
The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and Mongolia are holding a joint military exercise, dubbed Selenga 2016, at the Ulun Burduny training complex in the Republic of Buryatia, located in the south-central region of Siberia, Russia, according to local media reports.
Mongolia Celebrates Naadam, Prepares to Host ASEM Summit
Amid summer sports festival, the country readies for the largest international event in modern Mongolian history.
US Secretary of State Lauds Mongolia’s Democracy, Calls for Greater Transparency
In his brief visit on Sunday to the Land of the Eternal Blue Sky, United States Secretary of State John Kerry praised Mongolia as an “oasis of democracy” in a region with few examples. The trip by the top U.S. diplomat precedes parliamentary elections planned for June 29. Dozens of candidates are mounting campaigns for [...]
Mongolia’s Cybersecurity Cooperation
Mongolia has declared in its National Security Concept that it will develop friendly-neighbor relations and wide-ranging cooperation with the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. Yet individuals and other groups both in China and Russia have attempted cyber attacks on Mongolia numerous times, most of which have been reported to the Cybersecurity Department [...]
Why Did Russia Just Write Off 97% of Mongolian Debt?
Last week, the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s bicameral parliament, ratified a government-to-government agreement between Russia and Mongolia that would result in a settlement of the vast majority of Mongolia’s outstanding debt to Russia. On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ratified the legislation to put the debt forgiveness into effect.
US, Japan and Mongolia: Don’t Forget Asia’s Other Trilateral
As I have written previously, the past few years have witnessed the strengthening of several trilateral mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific, including U.S.-Japan-India and U.S.-Japan-Australia (See: “Why the ‘New’ US Trilateral Dialogue with Japan and India Matters”). One of the more neglected ones in the mix has been the U.S.-Japan-Mongolia trilateral.
Belarus: Mongolia’s Latest Partner?
At a bilateral meeting in Ufa, Russia—the site of summits for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, and Eurasian Economic Union this week—Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko expressed their interest in deepening their bilateral ties and expending cooperation. According to reports by Belarusian state media, Lukashenko and Elbegdorj acknowledged similarities between their [...]
Modi in Mongolia: Cultural Crossroads in the Far East
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s week-long tour of the East has been grabbing headlines, particularly because of his much-hyped first stop in China, which concludes today. On May 18, Modi will head to South Korea, another East Asian country with which New Delhi would like to improve its political standing. But sandwiched in between these [...]
Mongolia’s Dubious Merchant Navy
With more than 250 days of sun a year, Mongolia’s moniker – Land of the Blue Sky – is well deserved; its association with the deep blue sea, though, is less obvious. The nation’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, is located more than 1,300 kilometres from the ocean, and Mongolia is the largest landlocked country in the world. [...]
ASEM 2016: Mongolia in the Spotlight
At the end of October it was announced that Mongolia will host the 2016 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). While this was reported in a number of local and international outlets, there has been little discussion of what it might mean for Mongolia – a reflection perhaps of the relatively unknown status and remit of ASEM. Nevertheless, [...]
Russia, China & Mongolia Begin Trilateral Talks
Following up on Vladimir Putin’s September invitation for trilateral talks, Russian, Chinese and Mongolia deputy foreign ministers met in Ulaanbataar for the first-ever Russia-Mongolia-China trilateral consultation. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov kicked off the talks by remarking that the three countries share “vast borders, rich historic traditions, firm friendship of peoples, huge potential and [...]
Mongolia: Nomads in Transition
Mongolia’s vast steppe is home to one of the world’s last surviving nomadic cultures. Situated between China and Russia, the Mongolian steppe remains mostly intact, and its nomadic way of life has been largely unchanged for generations. Some herding customs alive today pre-date the era of Genghis Khan. Slowly, however, the steppe’s landscape is changing, [...]
Mongolia Hosts Exercise Khaan Quest 2014
Last week, roughly 1,000 troops from 23 countries began a peacekeeping drill, Exercise Khaan Quest 2014, designed to boost military-to-military interoperability in Mongolia, southwest of Ulanbataar. The exercise is partly focused on peacekeeping operations and also includes a combined training component between U.S. Army Pacific, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific and the Mongolian Armed Forces. [...]
Mongolia Courts Foreign Investors
Northeast Asia is a tough neighborhood for a country to stand out in these days. With China, Japan and South Korea as its major economic powerhouses and North Korea as its perennial basket case, Mongolia often manages to fly under the radar despite its huge ambitions on the world stage and activist foreign policy under [...]
Is Ulaanbataar Running Out of Water?
Once known for its abundant and immaculate waters, the Tuul River flowing through Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbataar is rapidly shrinking. The Tuul has historically swung from high-flow cycles to low-flow cycles, but it had never dropped to the levels touched between 1996 and 2012, when its average water flow fell to around 10 cubic meters per [...]
The Ninja Miners of Mongolia
The rugged landscape in Zaamarr, 350 kilometers west of Ulan Bator in Mongolia, is sown with so many holes that it may cave in at any moment. Here, in the shadows of the big mining companies, thousands of “ninjas” labor relentlessly. The workers are named after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because of the green [...]
Mongolia: Activist and Ambitious
Mongolia is fast becoming an ambitious country worth watching in the Asia-Pacific. Given its neighborhood, it is perhaps unsurprising that most attention is focused on its two (much) larger neighbors, but under the leadership of President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj the country’s foreign ambitions have grown considerably.
Mongolia Puts Ger Shantytowns on the Map
Daynsaikhan’s ger sits at the very edge of Ulan Bator. Completely surrounded by snow, it appears cold and isolated, just a few meters from an illegal trash site. Inside, however, it is warm and cozy. The afternoon sun sneaks in through the roof window, lighting the basic, neat furniture: a few wardrobes, a television set, [...]
East Asia’s New Peacemaker: Mongolia?
The past year has heightened some important security landmines in East Asia. There is the usual cycle of “provocation followed by negotiation” by a not-so reformed regime in North Korea. More concerning however is the intractable, diplomatic tussle between Tokyo and Beijing over islands in the East China Sea. Add to this the fractured bilateral [...]
Mongolia Joins Shale Revolution, But at What Cost?
This spring, Genie Energy signed an agreement with the government of Mongolia, under which its subsidiary will explore oil shale over a five year period. Statements to the press have spun the agreement as a way for the country to achieve energy independence from Russia, as Mongolia currently imports 90 percent of its petroleum needs [...]