Mongolia

This aerial picture taken on 16 October 2021 shows trucks loaded with coal waiting near Gants Mod port at the Chinese border with Gashuun Sukhait, in Umnugovi province, in Mongolia. (Uugansukh Byamba/AFP)

Between a rock and a hard place: Mongolia’s ambivalent relations with China

Sandwiched between Russia to the north and China to the south, landlocked Mongolia has always had tough choices to make in its foreign policy strategies. Towards China, which it used to be a part of and continues to share kinship ties with the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, it harbours historical suspicion. But with China being its top export destination and key investment partner, the head may rule the heart.
This photo taken on 11 July 2020 shows competitors during an archery competition at the annual Naadam sports festival near Ulaanbaatar, in Mongolia. (Byambasuren Byamba-ochir/AFP)

Wary of Sino-Russian influence, Mongolia seeks better ties with the US

The ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) won a strong mandate in recent elections where it secured 62 seats out of 76. While it has done well to manage the Covid-19 crisis in Mongolia, its foreign policy room for manoeuvre remains limited due to the need to juggle demands from its closest neighbours, China and Russia. How will it keep the balls in the air with the US thrown into the mix?