Kazakh Eagle Hunter in traditionally trained golden eagles riding horse in a desert mountain. Olgei,Western Mongolia

Geopolitics of Mongolia

17th September 2019 | Reading Time: 4 minutes   151 Views

Where two are fighting, the third wins. While Russia and China are competing and trying to get more political and economic influence in Mongolia, the landlocked Asian country is slowly but surely entering the United States geopolitical orbit.

Dominant Chinese Influence

As of current, Mongolia acts as a good buffer zone between China and Russia. It has, at least theoretically, attempted to cultivate balanced relations with both neighbors. In the past, however, the balance of power was greatly advantageous to Russia. Still, the collapse of the Soviet Union dramatically transformed Mongolian domestic and foreign politics. China has become Mongolia’s largest source of foreign direct investment, and Ulaanbaatar is now economically very much dependent on Beijing. China plays a crucial role in developing the infrastructure required by Mongolia’s mining industry. The mineral sector is the most essential part of the Mongolian economy. Mining accounts for approximately one-third of Mongolia’s GDP. Mineral commodities comprise a little over eighty-nine percent of the country’s total exports. The former Soviet satellite state has approximately ten percent world’s known coal reserves. The country is now looking to diversify its trade flows since China buys more than 85 percent of Mongolia’s exports. Ulaanbaatar has long cultivated friendly ties with Western governments as a counter-balance to China’s embrace. Although Western corporations maintain a strong level of influence over the country’s economy, Chinese dominance cannot be undone in the short term without disastrous economic consequences.

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