Mongolia’s political history is dominated by its relationships with its only two neighbors: China and Russia. Although in the 13th century, Genghis Khan conquered lands as far away as eastern Europe and established one of the largest empires in history, Mongolia fell under Chinese dominion by the 17th century. The fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1919 paved the way for Bolshevik Russia to turn Mongolia into a satellite state. With the dissolution of the USSR, Mongolia entered the multiparty era and now boasts relative political stability and a fledgling democracy. It strives to maintain good relations with China and Russia, but the country also hopes to develop relationships with the US, Japan and other nations through its “third neighbour” policy.
This chapter features interviews with President Ts. Elbegdorj; Sukhbaatar Batbold, Prime Minister of Mongolia; and Gombojav Zandanshatar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, and Joe Biden, Vice-President of the US, provide viewpoints.