Mongolia in Asia - Geopolitics and National Security
I first present the general geostrategic situation in the aforementioned region and the interests of the states that shape it. In the second part, I examine how Mongolia is to be located in this part of the world.
Asia is a large and diverse continent, but for Mongolia, the Indo-Pacific region is of primary interest. The term Indo-Pacific is defined in different ways. I use the definition of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany (Auswärtiges Amt): »The Federal Government understands the Indo-Pacific as the totality of the area shaped by the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.« The term Indo-Pacific emphasises »the maritime geography and thus also refers to the importance of the sea and trade routes in the region.« (1). In a narrower sense, the region important for my analysis comprises the northern part of the Western Pacific with China and its adjacent seas, the Korean Peninsula, Japan and the Russian Far East, a region essentially referred to as Northeast Asia (see map) (2).
I first present the general geostrategic situation in the aforementioned region and the interests of the states that shape it. In the second part, I examine how Mongolia is to be located in this part of the world (3).
1. What is the overall picture?
Like everywhere else in the world, it is about political influence, about interest politics. The big states want to dominate the smaller ones and get the other to behave in a way that serves their own interests. To do this, they use »sticks and carrots«. »Carrots« are incentives such as preferential economic relations, alliances and security treaties, and political support in international organizations. »Sticks« are votes in the UN directed against a state, sanctions or military interventions. Ultimately, there is military power behind the stick. This power does not necessarily have to be used, but is kept in the back of the hand as a threat potential.
The main objective of any country is its security, namely the supply of vital goods and protection against the use of military force, i.e. security policy.
The Indo-Pacific is not only an important part of Eurasia, but a crucial part of world geopolitics (»the world's centre of gravity«) (4). »With China, Japan and the USA, the world's three largest economies are countries bordering the Pacific. Nearly 60% of global GDP and two-thirds of global growth are generated in the Indo-Pacific. (...) Around 60 % of the world's population lives in the Indo-Pacific region, and 20 of the world's 33 mega-cities are located here.« (5). Already in the days of the British Empire, Eurasia was considered a key continent, and this is even more true today. Whoever dominates Eurasia dominates the world (6).
2. In the struggle for hegemony in the Indo-Pacific, three powers are at the forefront: the USA, Russia and China.
The USA is the only world power. Its overriding goal is to maintain its dominant position globally and in the Indo-Pacific. China is seen as the main competitor, which strives to establish a »Sinocentric World Order«.
The so-called »Sinocentric World Order« has been increasingly discussed since China combined its economic rise with a forced rearmament in the last ten years under Xi Jinping. According to this, China is not concerned with multipolarity, but in reality with global hegemony and thus unipolarity. This ultimately corresponds to China's millennia-old claim (and also experience) of being the centre in Asia's international system, a claim that could no longer be held up during the 100 year long semi-colonial era and through the rise of the USA after the Second World War, but is now a topic again. Historical Sinocentrism was based on economic dominance and the considerable charisma of Chinese culture (7).
This year, both the White House and the Department of Defence have adapted their Indo-Pacific strategy to the current circumstances. Both strategy papers unequivocally define the interests of the USA, and the harmony of military policy and diplomacy is noteworthy. The White House states in its »Indo-Pacific Strategy«: »The PRC (People's Republic of China, author's note) is combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological might as it pursues a sphere of influence in the Indo-Pacific and seeks to become the world's most influential power. The PRC's coercion and aggression spans the globe, but it is most acute in the Indo-Pacific.« (8). The overall US objective is defined as follows: »Our objective is not to change the PRC but to shape the strategic environment in which it operates, building a balance of influence in the world that is maximally favourable to the United States, our allies and partners, and the interests and values we share.« (9).
The US Department of Defence's new National Defence Strategy, dated 27.10.2022, identifies China as a strategic competitor to the US and the main threat to US interests in the Indo-Pacific (10).
In this context, the analysis of a private think tank in Washington, the Atlantic Council, is revealing. According to its own account, the Council aims to promote »constructive US leadership« in the world. The study is interestingly titled »The Longer Telegram«, alluding to the brilliant analysis of the well-known US Ambassador George Kennan in Moscow in 1946. Known as the »Long Telegram« and addressed to the US State Department, this telex describes the internal situation and mindset of the Soviet Union's leadership after World War II and its international objectives and how the US and the free world can defend its interests (11). The comparative form »longer« suggests that the confrontation with China is also that with a communist power ruthlessly intent on its advantage, but that China poses a greater strategic problem than the USSR at the time.
»The Longer Telegram« is a kind of continuation of the reflections of former US National Security Advisor Z. Brzezinski in the late 1990s about the role of the USA as the sole world power, although Brzezinski probably did not foresee the rise of China with such rapidity (12).
Although these publications are not official, they undoubtedly represent the mainstream of US foreign policy thinking.
The South China Sea has been a focal point of geostrategic competition between the USA and China for years. The USA sees Chinese territorial claims to large parts of this sea, as well as the construction of artificial islands and military bases, as endangering freedom of navigation and thus maritime transport, which is vital for supplies to its two most important regional allies, South Korea and Japan.
American hegemony in the world is based mainly on the projection of military power, i.e. its ability to deter potential adversaries from using force and to intervene at any time anywhere with superior military forces and impose its will on the adversary. The National Defence Strategy, not surprisingly, identifies the armed forces as an essential part of American pre-eminence: »a strong, principled, and adaptive U.S. military is a central pillar for U.S. leadership«.(13). What follows after a military intervention is another matter, as seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example. The other important part is U.S. diplomacy, which refers to the connection of »sticks and carrots«.
A prominent element of this power projection are the US military bases spread all over the world. Here, too, the US Defence Strategy leaves no doubt: »In the Indo-Pacific, we will continue key infrastructure investments and coordinate with the Department of State to expand access in the region«. (14). In the Indo-Pacific, these are primarily the bases in Japan and South Korea, but also Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
Diego Garcia is the most important military base in the Indian Ocean. The aircraft stationed there were used to control the Soviets during the Cold War and then to provide air support for troops in the Gulf War and Afghanistan. Now the focus is on surveillance of China.
The use of weapons, however, finds its limit when the competitors are nuclear powers, as is the case with China and Russia.
US interests in the Indo-Pacific crystallize in four focal points:
- Korean Peninsula, i.e. defence of South Korea against North Korea;
- Protection of Taiwan against forced unification with China;
- Supporting Japan's strategic interests and, above all, maintaining the US military base on Okinawa Island, but at the same time, Japan's self-defence forces should not become a competitor to the US presence in Asia;
- Containment of China and defence against its territorial claims in the South China Sea, which is paraphrased with the formula »freedom of the seas«.
Freedom of the seas means not only freedom for the transport of goods, but above all freedom of movement for the American fleet, true to the principle: He who rules the seas rules the world (15). Of outstanding importance are aircraft carriers with their accompanying protection and support units, with the help of which superiority in the theatre of war is assured.
Military superiority is complemented by the dominant position of the USA in the world economy. To name but a few examples: US dominance in the international financial system and the dollar as the world's reserve currency; more than half of the world's 100 largest companies are US, important raw materials and foodstuffs are priced in US dollars.
Russia is a major Asian power simply because of its extensive territory, but it is not in a position to underpin this territorial expansion sufficiently economically and militarily.
Among the world's economic powers, Russia ranks 11th, with a huge gap to China and the USA. Its economy is based almost exclusively on mostly unprocessed raw materials and not on innovation and sophisticated technology, i.e. it lacks two capabilities essential for a modern economy and for military clout.
The greater orientation of raw material supplies towards China and the loss of the European market in the wake of the Ukraine war make Russia more dependent on its new customer (this includes India). China is already Russia's largest trading partner in the Indo-Pacific; with the exception of South Korea, Asian states are not among Russia's top 10 trading partners.
The projection of Russia's military power globally as well as in the Indo-Pacific is mainly constrained by the following factors:
- Inferior strength of the war fleet relative to the American one. For example, Russia has only one aircraft carrier, an indispensable element in the Indo-Pacific sea areas.
- Lack of military bases in the world. Russian military bases abroad, with the exception of Syria, are limited to the former Soviet Central Asian and Caucasian republics.
- The access of the Russian fleet from the four war ports of Murmansk, Kronstadt/St. Petersburg, Sevastopol and Vladivostok into the world's oceans is limited primarily by geographical factors.
Vladivostok, as the base of the Russian Pacific Fleet, is located on the western margin of the Pacific, i.e. the Sea of Japan, which is enclosed by the Korean peninsula and the Japanese islands. Access to the Pacific is only possible through straits between Japan and the Korean Peninsula and Sakhalin, which are comparatively easy to block.
A look at the world map shows that the Russian war ports in Europe are at an even greater geostrategic disadvantage with their peripheral location, mainly because they are controlled by Nato members: The route from Murmansk in the Barents Sea to the open Atlantic passes Norway as well as through the famous Greenland-Iceland-UK gap (GIUK-gap), i.e. sea areas between these three land masses controlled by NATO war fleets and air power; the Baltic fleet in Kronstadt/St. Petersburg has to pass through the NATO-controlled Baltic Sea and the Kattegat, and Sevastopol is in the Black Sea, an inland sea accessible only through narrow passages controlled by NATO member Turkey, such as the Dardanelles and the Bosporus. From the Mediterranean, the Atlantic or Indian Ocean is only accessible through the easily blocked Suez Canal or the British-controlled Straits of Gibraltar.
To reach the Pacific, Russian fleets have to sail halfway around the world from Europe. In the Russo-Japanese War of 1904/05, the Tsarist Baltic Squadron, which was supposed to establish naval supremacy in the Pacific, covered more than 18,000 nautical miles, which was not good for combat power, only to be destroyed by the Japanese in the naval battle of Tsushima. The way out of Sevastopol was blocked at the time by the Ottoman Empire.
The current Ukraine war also shows that the Russian armed forces, despite the reforms and rearmament carried out in recent years, suffer from considerable deficits, which lead to the conclusion that Russia, in relation to Nato, will not be able to hold its own in a warlike confrontation with conventional weapons in the foreseeable future and that doubts are all the more justified about its ability to intervene militarily worldwide.
Russia and China are allies in the effort to create a multipolar world and to counter US influence, but Russia is at the same time China's rival in East Asia, albeit one that is already economically and strategically inferior. In terms of military strength, the two states more or less balance each other out.
In their »Joint Declaration of the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China on International Relations Towards a New Era and Global Sustainable Development« on the occasion of the Olympic Summit in February 2022, Putin and Xi Jinping emphasize the common goal of a multipolar world (16). On the other hand, Russia sees itself increasingly marginalized by China in its Far East (Eastern Siberia) in the face of its own population decline and depopulation of rural areas due to migration to the few urban centres, ever-increasing Chinese trade activity including Chinese legal and illegal immigration, threats to its own security from neighbour-related smuggling and rising crime, and in general due to fears of an expansive Chinese policy.
In other words, Russian influence in East Asia is limited when one looks at the big picture. In this respect, the US defence strategy does not see Russia as a primary threat in the Indo-Pacific, but only as an acute threat in Europe. However, this does not apply to Mongolia: here the influence is enormous.
I do not need to explain the phenomenal rise of China in the last 40 years. Just two key figures: second largest economy and largest troop strength in the world; if you take firepower, China is currently in 3rd place.
China follows four principles in its foreign policy:
- The immediate environment, i.e. the states bordering China, must be kept calm and stable so as not to jeopardize its own domestic goals and the objective of regional hegemony through political-economic turbulence in the neighbourhood.
- The great Chinese trauma, the 100-year epoch of China's semi-colonial status from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century, must never be repeated.
- The age-old strategic principle applies that the best war is the one that does not occur in the first place. In other words, an indirect approach that puts the potential adversary in such a position that he avoids armed confrontation from the outset (17).
- In the case of the strategic competitor, the USA, it is not a question of defeating it in a war, so to speak, on a global scale, but rather China wants to block the passage of military sea and air vehicles in the areas of the Indo-Pacific that it classifies as sensitive (selective access denial). Trade links yes, military passage no.
Stronger Chinese military presence as well as expanded action capabilities through modern systems threaten sea lanes vital to allies Japan and South Korea as well as US military bases located on their territory. This is something the US cannot accept under any circumstances (18).
China has - apart from other factors - a conspicuous strategic disadvantage vis-à-vis the USA. It does not have military bases spread all over the world, but only one in Djibouti. This limits the global projection of its military power. In the Indo-Pacific, however, things are different: China has the advantage of shorter distances: the Chinese leadership does not have to bring in men and material over 10,000 km.
The recently announced security agreement between China and the Solomon Islands shows that China is in the process of putting its »feelers« into areas of the Indo-Pacific previously dominated by the USA and its allies (Australia, Japan). This indicates that China ultimately wants to strengthen its military presence there.
China has been forcefully rearming for years. However, it still does not have the strength of the US forces, especially the navy, and here it is the aircraft carriers in particular. While China has two of these ships, the US has eleven. This is the second major disadvantage, because in the Indo-Pacific sea areas, military clout is crucially based on aircraft carriers and the accompanying flotillas.
The third disadvantage is the lack of experience of the Chinese armed forces. China's last armed conflict was with Vietnam in 1979, a conflict that was short and had an unclear outcome.
In other words, China has to think carefully about risking an armed confrontation with the US and its highly armed and war-experienced armed forces.
In addition, there is the overarching problem of a direct confrontation between nuclear powers with the risk of escalation, which gives an armed conflict an entirely different dimension.
The economic component complements China's power potential. It is an essential part of its indirect approach. With its consistent, centrally directed foreign economic policy, China has concentrated on building economic dominance and dependencies, especially in the Third World, but also in the Western industrialized countries.
In the Third World, this is done through the acquisition of mining licences, key infrastructural projects such as ports, airports, railways and roads financed with Chinese loans, and accompanying »development gifts«.
In the industrialized countries, the dependencies are based primarily on China's importance as a sales market and production location and on the acquisition of foreign, technologically leading companies as well as infrastructure projects (such as the Greek port of Piraeus), participation in critical infrastructure, the supply of key raw materials such as rare earths, the forced study abroad of Chinese students, intensive economic espionage and the ban on foreign direct investment in certain economic sectors in China.
Xi Jinping's Silk Road Initiative and the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2015 are preliminary highlights of this policy.
In the Indo-Pacific, a special feature is the economic dominance of the Chinese abroad, especially in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, the majority of which identify with the regime in Beijing.
China is, of course, aware of US strategy and competition. At a speech in the USA in September 2022, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated: »Some in the U.S. try to take China down by repeating the containment tactic used on the former Soviet Union, and hope to encircle China through geopolitical manoeuvering like the Indo-Pacific strategy.« (19). The speech also contains detailed explanations on the Taiwan question, a particularly critical point in the relationship between the two powers and geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific: »The Taiwan question is at the heart of China's core interests.«
Similarly, the Chinese government sees the economic and political dangers of continued and intensified confrontation with the United States. The Chinese foreign minister's speech, quoted above, emphasizes that a win-win situation between the two states is not only possible but necessary. However, it is very questionable whether a win-win situation is possible at all in view of the overall orientation of Chinese domestic and foreign policy, as it became clear at the 20th Party Congress of the CCP held in October 2022, and the Indo-Pacific strategy of the USA, since the ideological and geostrategic concepts advocated by the two states are ultimately incompatible (20).
2.4 South Korea and Japan.
The influence of these two states on security policy in the Indo-Pacific is far behind that of America. Their policy in this region is an offshoot of US policy, as they are dependent on the US for national security.
South Korea's main problem is North Korea and a possible repeat of the 1950s Korean War. The security alliance with the US is vital for South Korea, and for the US, in view of North Korea - but also to contain China - South Korea is indispensable as an unsinkable aircraft carrier.
In addition to economic competition, the Second World War stands between Japan and China as an unresolved psychological problem on a national scale, i.e. mistrust and distance. Militarily, Japan's self-defence forces are far inferior to the Chinese armed forces. The cooperation and security pact with the USA is fundamental to Japan's security.
3. Mongolia’s position in the described geopolitical environment is determined by the interests of the USA, Russia and China.
As with all other states, Mongolia's overriding goal is to preserve its independence, its sovereignty or, in other words, its national security. As a weak state in all dimensions of power - military, economic, technological and cultural - it is in an inferior position.
- With around 10,000 soldiers and about five times the number of reservists, the military is hardly in a position to defend the country effectively and poses no threat to its neighbours.
- Economically, Mongolia is far down on the global statistics with a GDP of around 15 billion euros (2021) and is almost entirely dependent on exports to China.
- Technologically, Mongolia has no significance.
- A cultural radiation is almost only present in the direction of the Mongolian minorities in China and Russia. However, it cannot be effective because both states, as authoritarian systems, place control over everything and, moreover, no Mongolian government has promoted or promotes pan-Mongolism and this would also be politically unwise.
Mongolia generally does not have the potential to act effectively in any of the geopolitical hotspots outlined above.
Its unique geostrategic position - a landlocked country sandwiched between two overwhelmingly powerful neighbours - is a threat to its security and significantly narrows its foreign policy space. Russia and China can directly or indirectly restrict or completely stop the vital flow of goods into and out of Mongolia (as well as the movement of people), figuratively speaking, they can strangle the country, if Mongolia behaves in a politically disagreeable manner.
Mongolia does not play a role in the geostrategic, i.e. security-related interests of the USA in the Indo-Pacific. It is far away from the aforementioned focal points of US policy and cannot play a role there. It is not an element in the US Indo-Pacific security system like South Korea and Japan, and as an economic partner it is of no importance.
For the USA, Mongolia is primarily an example that Western-style democracy and Asian societies are not contradictory. From this perspective, it is an important domino in its region in the worldwide ideological conflict between democracies and authoritarian regimes.
The then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put this in the following words at the 2012 meeting of the International Women's Leadership Forum in Ulan Bator: »Mongolia is an inspiration and a model (...) We have all come to Mongolia to reaffirm our support for democracy in the region and the world (...) Now I know there are some who will say that while democracy can work well elsewhere in the world, it isn't perfectly at home in Asia. They suggest that it is unsuited to this region's history, maybe even antithetical to Asian values. Well, I think all we have to do is look at what is happening across Asia today, in countries large and small, to rebut these notions.« (21).
However, this does not mean that the USA would defend Mongolia's independence by force of arms in an emergency, and that is the key question. There is no conceivable scenario in which this could happen, mainly because it would only be possible over Russian and Chinese territory and would involve a direct confrontation with these nuclear powers. The Mongolian-American strategic partnership established in 2019 does not change this. Conversely, this means: The world's only superpower has few security policy options in relation to Mongolia. This, of course, affects the other, weaker Third Neighbours all the more.
Russia has a special relationship with Mongolia due to its common socialist history and has been a kind of guarantor of its state independence since 1912. Relations have changed, but remain important for economic reasons, because of continuing links between civil societies, as a balance to relations with China, and because of the long common border.
Consequently, the RF's 2016 foreign policy concept states that, from Russia's perspective, it wants to strengthen traditionally friendly relations with Mongolia (22).
While economic relations are particularly important for Mongolia, especially the import of fuel and electrical energy, and of course the Ulan Bator railway - the Trans-Mongolian section of the Transsib from Moscow to Beijing, a joint venture with 51% Russian share - they play by no means the same role for Russia. Russia does not need the raw materials, Mongolia's main export.
For Russia, security considerations are paramount, namely Mongolia as a buffer between China and Russia, as a cordon sanitaire that provides an effective barricade against a possible attack by China due to its territorial expanse, climatic conditions and poor infrastructure.
The planned construction of a Russian gas pipeline through Mongolia to China increases Mongolia's strategic importance for both states and provides much-needed revenue in the form of transit fees, but ties Mongolia more closely to Russia and China.
In the Chinese self-image, Mongolia belongs to the Chinese sphere of influence, and in terms of security policy it forms a cordon sanitaire against Russia. China is the dominant economic power and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Mongolia is completely dependent on China economically and thus also for its internal stability.
China's economic power and its ability to intervene in border traffic considerably limit Mongolia's sovereignty.
However, China's economic importance and its sanction possibilities are not only a disadvantage: in a market with almost 1.5 billion inhabitants, Mongolian raw materials are always needed, as well as semi-finished and finished goods, should Mongolia produce them on a larger scale at some point. China, which is interested in a calm environment, will not let Mongolia down economically. However, a precondition for an adequate relationship is that Mongolia does not cross certain »red lines« in its relationship with China. These lines are, for example, its dealings with the Dalai Lama, its support for the One China policy and its voting behaviour, especially within the UN framework.
»Red lines« also exist in the relationship with Russia, here especially in international bodies. For example, it was fully in line with state interests for Mongolia to abstain from the two votes in the UN General Assembly in March and October 2022 that condemned Russia's actions in Ukraine.
Mongolia needs to accept its dependencies and adapt to the realities. Being sandwiched between two big neighbours has disadvantages, but it also has a big advantage: both powers are satisfied with the status quo, and Mongolia does not need to fear military intervention by one of the neighbours because this would immediately set the other off and would also make no sense politically because the real strategic problems and interests of both states lie elsewhere. Mongolia is also not threatened by third states because of being located between two nuclear powers.
Mongolia must recognize that its two neighbours are the only really relevant benchmarks of its foreign policy. It must flexibly seek its way between these two. The alliance between Moscow and Beijing is not so close that there are no differences that cannot be exploited.
However, this also means that the concept of the Third Neighbour in the expansion it has undergone in the last 30 years, namely the inclusion of all highly developed democracies in the world and close military and political cooperation with certain states as well as international organizations and associations, should be abandoned as unsuitable for a Mongolian realpolitik. As a principle, Mongolia can continue to maintain good cooperation with all states and organizations in the world. But it makes no sense to chase the illusion that one of the Third Neighbours can effectively balance out or even replace the dominant influence of the real, »eternal« neighbours.
Udo B. Barkmann quotes a Mongolian diplomat who brings this insight to a pithy denominator by stating that 80-90 per cent of Mongolia's necessary foreign policy would be taken care of if Mongolia managed to get along with its two neighbours (23).
Despite all the historical peculiarities, the term »Finlandization« should be applied, i.e. a neutral stance that avoids antagonizing both neighbours and also to be exploited by the Third Neighbours, especially the USA, for their interests. In this context, one has to get away from the negative implications of this term, which in Germany in the 1970s and 1980s served as a slogan of the conservative Christian Democrats and Christian Social Democrats (CDU/CSU) to discredit the Ostpolitik (policy towards the USSR and the states of Eastern Europe) of former German chancellor Willy Brandt, a slogan which was discussed controversially in Finland during Urho Kekkonen's thirty years of leadership as prime minister and then president, and also in Japan in the 1980s (24). The reproach associated with Finlandization, that a state would thereby hand itself over to the larger one, can best be countered with the words of the Finnish journalist and writer Jukka Tarkka: »The small countries must adapt to the prevailing circumstances. But adapting is different from submitting.« (25).
- Auswärtiges Amt (2022): Indo-Pazifik. https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/aussenpolitik/regionaleschwerpunkte/asien/indo-pazifik/2492704 (30.10.2022). US policy uses the same definition.
- Map: World map wallpaper (detail). https://www.pinterest.de/pin/12666442672768049/?mt=login (30.10.2022).
- This article is an extended version of a lecture I gave at the annual conference of the Deutsch-Mongolische Gesellschaft (German-Mongolian Society) on 29 October 2022. I limit references to key sources. In the case of well-known facts or facts that are easy to look up, such as economic data, military figures, etc., I have omitted references unless they are quotations.
- The White House (2022): The Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States, p. 4. https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/U.S.-Indo-Pacific-Strategy.pdf (31.10.2022).
- Auswärtiges Amt (2022).
- The term geopolitics and its various manifestations are controversial: Werber, Niels (2014): Geopolitics. Ultimately, the question is to what extent global politics is determined by geography: Marshall, Tim (2016): Prisoners of Geography. Ten Maps that tell you everything you need to know about global politics.
- New World Encyclopedia: Sinocentrism. https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Sinocentrism (31.10.2022)
- The White House (2022), p. 5.
- The White House (2022), p.5.
- U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) 2022: National Defense Strategy of The United States of America, p.1. https://media.defense.gov/2022/Oct/27/2003103845/-1/-1/1/2022-NATIONAL-DEFENSE-STRATEGY-NPR-MDR.PDF. (30.10.2022).
- Wilson Center. Digital Archive: February 22, 1946 - George Kennan's 'Long Telegram’. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116178.pdf (31.10.2022).
- Brzezinski, Zbigniew (1997): The Grand Chessboard.
- DoD (2022), p. 1.
- DoD (2022), p. 13.
- Werber Niels (2014), S. 63-73; Freedman, Lawrence (2013): Strategy. A History, p.115-122.
- Kreml (2022): Joint Statement by the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China on International Relations Towards a New Era and Global Sustainable Development (Совместное заявление Российской Федерации иКитайской Народной Республики омеждународных отношениях, вступающих вновую эпоху, иглобальном устойчивом развитии). http://www.kremlin.ru/supplement/5770 (30.10.2022).
- Sun Tzu (1982): The Art of War (Translated and with an Introduction by Samuel B. Griffith, Foreword by Liddell Hart). Sun Tzu (Sunzi) (Hrsg. Thomas Cleary) (2005): Wahrhaft siegt, wer nicht kämpft.
- The German government also emphasizes the freedom of trade routes: »As a globally active trading nation, Germany has a great interest in maintaining and promoting stability, prosperity and freedom in the Indo-Pacific states. More than 20 % of Germany's trade takes place in the Indo-Pacific region. EU member states are among the most important investors in the Indo-Pacific.« Auswärtiges Amt (2022). Unlike the US, however, Germany does not have the capabilities (like all other EU states) to effectively back up this claim militarily on its own in an emergency. When, for example, the German frigate »Bayern« sails through the South China Sea, this is merely a symbolic act. See Auswärtiges Amt (2021): Deutsches Engagement im Indo-Pazifik: Fregatte Bayern fährt durch das Südchinesische Meer. https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/aussenpolitik/regionaleschwerpunkte/asien/fregatte-bayern-scm/2502036 (01.11.2022).
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (2022): The Right Way for China and the United States to Get Along in the New Era. Speech by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at Asia Society, New York, September 22, 2022. https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjdt_665385/zyjh_665391/202209/t20220923_10770469.html (30.10.2022).
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China (2022): Xi Jinping: Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive in Unity to Build a Modern Socialist Country in All Respects - Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, October 16, 2022. https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/zxxx_662805/202210/t20221025_10791908.html (31.10.2022). Although the Party Congress is mainly devoted to the orientation of the Party and ideological questions and the building of the socialist system, it contains clear statements on foreign policy in Chapters XI and the following (30.10.2022).
- U.S. Department of State (2012): Remarks to the International Women's Leadership Forum. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, Government House Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, https://2009-2017.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2012/07/194696.htm(01.11.2022). Not only from today's point of view, but already in 2012, one can question whether the examples of democratic developments mentioned by Clinton in her speech (Thailand, Burma, Philippines) correspond with reality.
- The Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation. Approved by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on November 30, 2016. https://www.rusemb.org.uk/rp_insight/ (30.10.2022).
- Barkmann, Udo: Mongolisch-russische Beziehungen. Vortrag zur Jahrestagung der Deutsch-Mongolischen Gesellschaft - Schönefeld am 29. Oktober 2022 (unpublished).
- I commented on the »Finlandization« of Mongolia in an essay in August 2022, starting from the war between Russia and Ukraine and its »lessons« for Mongolian foreign policy. Финляндизация Монголии - модель для будущего? http://baabar.mn/article/finlandisation-of-mongolia-a-model-for-the-future?year=2022&month=08&day=08 (08.08.2022). English version: Finlandization and Mongolia - A model for the future? http://baabar.mn/article/https-en-wikipedia-org-wiki-finlandization (20.09.2022).
- Tarkka, Jukka (1991): Weder Stalin noch Hitler. Finnland während des Zweiten Weltkrieges, p. 112. On geopolitics and Mongolian foreign policy, see also my article МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ГЕОСТРАТГИЙН НӨХЦӨЛ БАЙДАЛ (Mongolia's Geostrategic Situation). http://baabar.mn/article/peter-shaller-mongol-ulsiin-geostratgiin-nukhtsul-baidal. (03.02.2021).