Daily News, 13 May 2010

B. Tsenddoo


One. Live Budda in the copper grasshopper

 (In this part, the author writes about the rulers of Mongolia after Chinggis Khan term. Mongolia was under Manchu control for over 200 years. At the end of XIX century, the Manchu rulers prevented Mongolia from western culture and impacts.  Manchu rulers were attaining it through religious believes such as do not wear red clothes or otherwise in critical times an iron snake will run around the world and a copper grasshopper will fly in the sky which can be decoded as “do not trust in the Red Army of Russia and beware of the western cultural impacts such the trains and planes”. However, nowadays Dalai Lama is travelling in the iron snake and copper grasshopper freely and with pleasure.

From XX century, the state policy of Mongolia used to be developed in Kremlin of Moscow. At that time, the conflict with the Russian expert or an activity upsetting the Russian advisor was considered as an activity undertaken against the state of Mongolia and was punished strictly.

At end of the XX century, the socialist regime collapsed and Mongolia gained a freedom. Recently, Mongolia celebrated 20 years of democracy. This anniversary is in reality an anniversary of the re-establishment of the Mongolian state and the 20th anniversary of self governance. Can Mongolia be tough enough the stand up by its policy on its own against Russia and China? Should we stick to the western investors and weaken the impacts of the two neighbors?)

Two. Replacement of the country

(In this part of the article, the author says that Mongolians’ favored to change their owners as soon as they dispute with them. Maybe this connected to the history of Chinggis upbringings. So instead of fighting with unfair owner and resolving the dispute within the legal framework, Mongolians prefer to find a better ruler. It is quite suitable for a nomadic lifestyle. A herder can move during night if he had a disagreement with its owner.

When Mongolia got rid of Manchu rulers in 1911, it has approached the Imperator of Russia for a assistance. The Bogd King sent his representatives to Russia via Trans-Siberian railway to ask the Russian Imperator to invade Mongolia. By the tripartite agreement, Mongolia was left under the authority of China, but under the influence of Russia.


Three. Where are you, the good owner?

Not long after, revolution occurred in Russia and a state without any religious believes came to the power and assassinated their Imperator. Then Mongolians decided to return to the ruler that had at least a religion and invited Sui Shujan. Once Sui Shujan’s arbitrary actions exceeded the limit, the Bogd Khan approached the Soviets for assistance. Before Soviet’s arrival, Baron Ungern ruled Mongolia for a short period.

There are documents certifying that Mongolians approached the Japanese Imperator and the President of the USA to be its “new good ruler”.

Four. Loss of a owner again

The revolution taken place in Mongolia in 1990 was in reality against the influence and pressure of Russia. In 1990, a time came to change its ruler. The appeal of the people participating in the demonstration were “to limit the power of the Russian experts”, “to kick out Russians from Mardai uranium deposit developed secretly from the people of Mongolia” and “to change the MPRP leaders”. The Government has resigned and in the beginning of XX century, Mongolians asked for assistance from America.

Five. Owner that would not invade

Mongolians waited for the new owner. However, Americans were different from Russians, Chinese and Baron Ungern and said that democracy and sovereignty was good, however Mongolia should be its own ruler and bear its responsibility. This was uncommon situation for Mongolia. Soviets constructed mines and schools, so was US the new ruler of Mongolia? Many questions aroused…Mongolians understood that democracy meant to find the correct resolutions to its own problems.

Six. “Bad” Chinese

In mid XX centuries, due to the unfavorable relations of the Soviet Union and China, Mongolians have started to hate Chinese. However, Mongolians treated Russians totally differently. The new danger of Mongolia became China and Soviets had an opportunity to do anything they wanted under the flag “protecting you from the Chinese danger’. The main result of it was the hateful feeling of Mongolians for the Chinese. The Chinese waited patiently, because they knew that this “infection” will be cured by the time. Although we now see China from the different angle, many of us tend to show their dislike for the Chinese.

The southern neighbor pursues their policy by giving incentives, bonus and support. But the northern neighbor pursues their policy through threat and punishment.

Seven. “Good” Russians

Mongolians treat Russians differently. Although we criticize the pressurizing and forceful behavior of the Russians, we never hate Russians for the person.

We still appreciate them for urbanizing Mongolian nomads and assisting us to gain our independency. Also, thousands of Mongolians students studied in Russia or obtained qualifications with the help of the Russian experts.

Although the number of such people working for the state is decreasing, the majority of civil servants are still the former students of Russian schools. The population of the Republic of Mongolia in the XX century was 1 million and approximately 50,000 were trained in Russia of which over 10,000 obtained degrees.

Also, the fear left from the socialist regime is still exists among Mongolians. There are groups of people who announce openly that they loathe Chinese. But there are no such groups that are formed against Russians.

Eight. Russians destroying “Russians”

The country that is destroying the positive factors of the Russian and Mongolian relations is Russia itself. Any Russians arriving to Mongolia on business or diplomatic affairs behave as they still “posses Mongolia”.

V.Putin, the Prime Minister of Russia paid an official visit to Mongolia in 2009 in order to support the candidate nominated from the MPRP. This action has displeased Mongolians whose eyes opened up during the last 10 years. So, the ratings of the MPRP candidate dropped substantially within several days and he lost the election.

Although we have not found our new owner, we understood that it would not be China and it would be good if it is not a Russia. So, Mongolia developed a policy of the “third neighbor”.

Nine. Profit between Russia and China

The key to the independency of Mongolia was the conflict of interest between Russia and China. Soviets did not wish to lose Mongolia in which it had its influence. Chinese did not wish to leave Mongolia which was on their zone from the times of Manchu rulings. So the resolution to this situation was the establishment of the Republic of Mongolia. This was obviously a good deal for Mongolia.

Historically, either Russia or China gained benefits from Mongolia, however nowadays a threat that none of these countries would gain benefit has been established.

The policy of the third neighbor or encouragement of the western investment in Mongolia is the similar situation when uncle Sam eats from the plate of the meal placed between a bear and a dragon. Will Russia and China tolerate it?

 Russians has a good name among Mongolians, however they do not have money and anyway, the modern Mongolians started to detest them for their abusive behavior.

Chinese have money, but the hateful feelings created with the help of the Russians still remain in the head of the Mongolians. So, why not in this situation the “Russian love” and the “Chinese money” unite?

Firstly, let’s look at the development of the actions occurred against the mining developments. During the last 5 years, Mongolians organized large protests against Oyu Tolgoi deposit owned by the American and Canadian investors 15-20 times, against Boroo Gold of the Canadian Centerra 8-10 times. Nowadays, actions are taken to transfer into the possession of the Mongolian State the shares of the Canadian Khan Resources.

The protesters “specialized” in the mining industry manly exploit the hateful feelings of people for the Chinese. They say that the western investors are intending to sell their shares to the Chinese. But, they do not protest for the Chinese investment which is quite interesting.

70percent of the foreign investment comes from China into Mongolia, but no discussion are conducted regarding them. No talks are conducted about Russia at all and no one talk about the damages caused to the environment by Altan Dornod.

This brings firstly to the suspicion that maybe someone is intentionally financing a public movement to expel western investors from Mongolia. Secondly, maybe systematic steps are made to receive “unreliable’ mark from the western investors and leave no other choice for them than to leave Mongolia.

Once the western investors loose their reputation and they lose their trust in the State of Mongolia, an opportunity to rule the vast country with rich mineral resource will be created for Russia and China.

Ten. Duet of the good Russians and rich Chinese

However, how Mongolians would tolerate the arrival of thousands of Chinese instead of the westerns. The historical lesson of the past century would lead to the search for the “better owner”.

At this very moment, an opportunity for the duet of the good Russians and rich Chinese is created which means Chinese investment in Mongolia under the name of Russia.  A project of constructing a railway in relation to the discovery of the new copper and coal deposits is discussed nowadays.

Would Russians or Chinese know whether to construct a wide or narrow railway gauge? Mongolians are interested in co-operating with Russia and continue its tradition of collaboration in the railway sector with Russia, but Russians have no money.  Once Russians have managed to prevent an American investment into the railway (Millennium Challenge Fund was planning to invest millions of US dollars into the railway, however Russian railway partner have oppressed it, noted by Sara).

So, why it can not be a Russian type railway with the Chinese investment? The rumors that the Russians approached the Chinese by saying: “We can obtain the right to make investment in Mongolia, but you should provide the finance”.

The suspension has been created that the Russians who have intention to own the main reserves of the Mongolian uranium may have started to co-operate with China recently. From unofficial information leaked from the official sources, Russians are now softening their requirement and have agreed to process uranium in Mongolia. It is very likely that the Chinese with Russian face is standing behind this scene.

Eleven. The Russian version

N. Enkhbayar, the former President of Mongolia, made a claim to the court on the Free Press Day against one of the main daily newspaper. He claimed approximately 200 million tugriks considering that he was accused and slandered. The claim is related to the debt between Mongolia and Russia. N. Enkhbayar announced during his term that he has resolved the debt issue fully by paying the debt with USusd 250 million borrowed from Ivanhoe Mines. There were talks that USusd 50 million out of the borrowed money was divided among the people involved in the debt resolution activity.

However, D.Medvedev, the Russian President said publically during his visit to Mongolia that: “The debt between Russia and Mongolia has not been resolved, but which can be finalized if Mongolia pays about USusd 200 million”. This dropped the reputation of N.Enkhbayar enormously and he had to answer where USusd250 million have gone. But D.Medveded did not say that the ex President paid USusd250 million or not paid to Russia. So, the ex President had to keep quiet for some time.

If Russians notified that there are no proves that Mongolia paid USusd200 million, then the future of the ex President would have been left unclear.

So, what encouraged the ex President to make a claim against a daily newspaper. Before taking to a trial, he publicly announced that Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement was not profitable for the Mongolians. Rumors were spread that he financed demonstration, protestors and hunger strikes occurred after his notification.

Would it be possible that the Russians promised to the ex President that they will forget how he settled the debt if he makes successful effort in expelling western investors from Mongolia?

In any case, a promise with high expectations and reliable security must have made the ex President to fight openly with the press regarding the debt issue.

Twelwe. The Chinese version

The Mongolian ancestors used to declare that all religions have the same right, however they knew that Mongolia should not have the same religion as its south neighbor which populated us over crowded. So, Mongolians chose Lamaism of Tibet.

Although Mongolians use Chinese calendar, the Lunar New Year dates vary in most cases. Sometimes Mongolians celebrate the Lunar New Year with a month variance from the Chinese. Some people tried to resolve this variance. From one angle their action can be taken as an attempt to comply the calendar with the rest of the Asian countries. From the other angle, it can be seen as attempt to bring Mongolia closer to the Chinese. However, the effort to change the calendar dates has failed.

Somehow Mongolians managed not to believe in Daoism and Kunz study. However, the Chinese noted that Mongolians are interested in shamanism and fortune telling.

So, one day a feng shui centre opened its doors on the main street of Ulaanbaatar. Mongolians accepted it and many households placed various feng shui items in their homes. Does not this show the change in the worship of the Mongolians?

Consequently, maybe the Daoism and Kunz study are next in the queue? Anyway, the guy who spread feng shui in Mongolia became the Chairman of the Trade Union very easily. He recently managed to have the salary of the civil servants be increased by 30percent by organizing a strike. From one point, this action supports the livings of the Mongolians. From the other point, it will impact negatively to the economy and the inflation may increase to 26percent according to the Finance Minister.

So, maybe China, the country of feng shui have developed a plan of taking care of Mongolia once the State of Mongolia asks for help when the economy weakens? Have I been suspicious without any reasons?

Mongolians have always feared of being mixed with the Chinese. During the socialist regime, the Mongolians who had Chinese blood were under the tight control of the State and could never make a good career. However, this pressure has ceased when the society become open and anyone were able to be nominated for a high official post. But people have started to seek the people with Chinese blood among celebrities that become a new trend in the society.  So, this became a tool exploited by the businessman against his competitor and by the politician against the opposition member. At the end it is now difficult to differentiate who has relation to China and who is not. Anyway, those people who were named as a Chinese blooded turned to be the victims and received sympathy from the public. But people started to look suspiciously at those who were not named as Chinese blooded at all.  The good example of this trend was shown during the last election of the President.

So, has the activity of neutralization of the people with Chinese blood activated and ceased itself or has “the fire” of hating the people with Chinese blood were put off? Has the process taken place itself or have someone helped to happen? In any case, nowadays Mongolians are not startled with the word “Chinese blooded’ any more…

 Epilogue. Version of the version

During the past times, the interests of China and Russia in Mongolia sometimes conflicted and sometimes fitted each other. This was related to the geographical location of Mongolia.

However, nowadays regardless of the geographical location, the world is globalizing. This new situation creates a conflict of interests of Russia and China with western interests and rights. In other words, the conflicts and fittings of interests of the “direct neighbors” and the “third neighbors” will decide the new millennium independence state of Mongolia. So, a development route of truly independent country or formal independent country is waiting ahead of us.

The foreigners say that in order to make analysis regarding the nomads, they like to see illusions first. Have I, the current publicist who used to be a nomad just yesterday sees an illusion? In any case, whether it is an illusion or a reality, I see phenomenon.

These phenomenon and processes undertaking place are determining the new image and destiny of the Mongolians looking for their new good “owner” who would care as its mother.