Beijing, Nov. 10, 2015: Chinese President Xi Jinping (centre R) with First Lady Peng Liyuan holds a welcoming ceremony for Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (centre L) with First Lady Bolormaa Khajidsuren in the Great Hall of the People (source: dpa)

Focus on Mongolia: walking the foreign policy tightrope (Part 1)

Mongolia is a large, sparsely populated, landlocked country sandwiched between two much stronger neighbours: Russia and China. For much of the past 300 years, the country has been dominated by one or the other of these two powers. Since its transition to democracy and a market economy in the early 1990s, it has pursued a ‘multi-pillar’ foreign policy that looks to balance Russian and Chinese interests, as well as those of other major global players such as the United States. So far, Mongolia has been successful, avoiding domination by foreign powers while attracting investment from around the world. But as the geopolitical environment becomes more complex, Mongolia’s ability to juggle these relationships is coming into question...

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 Zorigt Dashdorj
The multi-pillar policy now faces considerable challenges. Foremost are the tensions between Russia and Nato, China’s territorial disputes with its neighbours and a growing list of irritants in China’s relations with the US
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