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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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Mongolia´s "rebalance" towards Russia and China

Traditional partners Russia and China

Share on Facebook September 4, 2014, Reporter : DW/BNN, Reader : 429

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In a bid to boost its ailing economy, Mongolia is refocusing its foreign policy on its traditional partners Russia and China. But experts warn Ulan Bator runs the risk of becoming increasingly dependent.

Seeking to transform bilateral ties into a comprehensive strategic partnership, Russia's President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to pay a state visit to Mongolia on September 3. Topping his agenda will be trade and infrastructure. Like neighboring China, Russia is seeking to benefit from Mongolia's globally significant mineral resources, and it is likely to back this by extending financial support for the development of Mongolia's infrastructure which, according to analysts, is Ulan Bator's overriding strategic domestic priority.

Other issues during the visit will revolve around boosting bilateral investment as well as the oft-mooted proposal to build an oil and gas pipeline from Russia to China through Mongolia, say experts.

"Simply by sending a top-level delegation, Russia is sending a signal that it will continue to take an interest in the Central Asian nation, Neil Ashdown, a Mongolia expert and senior Asia-Pacific analyst at IHS, a global information and analytics firm, told DW.

Key partners

The visit comes less than two weeks after his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping embarked on a two-day trip of the resource-rich nation, becoming the first Chinese head of state to visit the landlocked country in more than a decade. Among other things, China and Mongolia signed a host of trade deals and pledged to almost double their annual bilateral trade to 10 billion USD by 2020. China also agreed to give Mongolia access to ports in its north and northeast, according to state-run news agency Xinhua. more...

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