Third Neighbors and Its Enemies
Mongolia, just after it finally gained political independence in 1990, inserted a “third neighbor” concept in its foreign policy for definite reasons. Meaning of the concept exceeds even beyond “free and liberal relations with world community”. It aims at bringing economic-political interests of US, Canada, UK and other powerful western European countries in Mongolia
War Against the Third Neighbor (III)
Third Neighbors and Its Enemies
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Mongolia, just after it finally gained political independence in 1990, inserted a “third neighbor” concept in its foreign policy for definite reasons. Meaning of the concept exceeds even beyond “free and liberal relations with world community”. It aims at bringing economic-political interests of US, Canada, UK and other powerful western European countries in Mongolia.
Two powerful neighbors may overrun Mongolia possibly by conspiration or by using loss of power balance. The idea behind is that Mongolia needs a companion that would suffer and incur losses at this time. Further, an idea without dilemma that we need the third companion to intercede defending Mongolia in order not to suffer implicitly.
This policy is derived from two major lessons. First, right after warding off the investment of second and third neighbors from Mongolia in 1928, Komintern, the Communist International, seized all and full control and dominion over Mongolia. No nation but Mongols left to feel the severe consequences from whatever they did in Mongolia. Our intellectual elites clearly understood it.
Second reason was the Iraqi’s invasion of a tiny Kuwait, attack and quick overrun in 1990. The invasion seriously violated interests of US and other jurisdictions associated with their money and economics. Therefore, Western Allied forces, led by US, mobilized troops and liberated Kuwait.If you remember, Kuwait Foreign Minister was on mission abroad, and he was not able to return home. Confident that Western allies will free Kuwait, he kept inviting foreign heads of state for “Courtesy Visit to Free Kuwait”.
With shrewd observation of what was happening and its future outcomes, Mongolian state and its policy makers (Ts.Gombosuren was then Foreign Minister) issued a statement supporting Kuwait; a decision with at least two significant importance. First, it was the first decision that Mongolia made itself without asking for consent from Moscow since 1921. In addition, this step made by Mongolia created an atmosphere in the western world to support Mongolia, which was a country gained its political sovereignty- perhaps with sympathy, compassion and credibility.
Taking into account of this, policy-makers of newly emerging democratic Mongolia proclaimed its “Third neighbor policy” for  avoiding from repeating a previous mistake that is stranded in solitude after kicking off foreigners in 1928, and  for having a companion to suffer a loss like it did in Kuwait in 1990 if either of the neighbors aggressively overrun Mongolia.
Let me give you a simple example. We are all descendants of nomadic herders. What would it mean if someone else safeguards your sheep herd with you and wards off attacking wolves side-by-side with you? He has his portion in your herd and his animals could be prey for wolves.
Likewise, Mongolia has property in which the powerful other countries that injected investment in prospering Mongolia, are obliged to be side-by-side with Mongolia “tending sheep and fighting wolves”.
This is the reason behind the paradox that government promotes mining sector and foreign investment; conversely “non-governmentalist”, for whatever reason too significantly influencing the government, kicks investors out.
Sometimes, we discriminate investors in mining sector for they causing harms to ancient graveyard. Canadian are ceasing their work exactly for this reason. If I write it is not the case and mining area and ancient graveyards have nothing to do with each, article will likely prolong in spatial extent. Frankly, it is a question if the area is dedicated for ensuring good living for people at present or for letting only the dead to rest in peace. No pain, no gain, so we must talk about a version “less pain and more gain” in terms of business and investment; otherwise “no pain, full gain” or “profit with zero cost” versions would lead to crime. If I understood correctly, Singapore-based Chinese businesses have acquired Boroo Gold from Canadian Centerra Gold. Wish they were the Chinese that loves ancient tombs, right huh!
People from all past generations devoted whatever they had for the sake of Mongolia exemplified by mid-20th century leader Yu.Tsedenbal. I look at the main fact that blames/accuses him with different angles. For instance, some accuse him for giving large territory along northern border of Mongolia to “his father-in-law” in early 1960. In reality and in my eyes, he maintained the territory and sovereignty of Mongolia by giving part of the land, including his native land where he was born, to Soviet Union... let’s stop now.
Just a few days ago, Canadian Centerra Gold abandoned Mongolia pushed by “people” of Mongolia. Actually, Canadians are kicked out of Mongolia regardless they “come closer to ancient burial sites” or not. Canadian Khan Resources was pushed out and the operation targeting a Canadian company, the last of the Mohican, operating in Dornod aimag, has commenced successfully. As usual, a Chinese business, registered in Singapore, will likely take over the licenses.
Following this, “Canadian Wall”, which was supposed to protect Mongolia in whatever cases, has collapsed. From now on, powerful Canada has no bearing with Mongolia whatever happens in Mongolia. Not only having nothing no pertinence, Canada could have moral right to say “You deserve it” regardless how Mongolians suffer further, for they (Canadians) were just kicked out through mortification and insult. French interest curbed from uranium exploration with Areva serving as another example.
Next and the last target for a plan “Mongolia in Solitude”, secluding plan, is Oyu Tolgoi, company with investment from British Rio Tinto.
Last spring, two former Prime Ministers and a former Finance Minister were jailed. Influential “people of Mongolia” suspected and have them arrested for they “likely” possess houses in US and money offshore. Too insignificant reason as opposed to scandalous embezzlement from SME Fund and other similar funds, but it does not not matter for the “people”.
Unfortunately, observers, particularly investors from the third neighbors, look at the current process from completely different angle. Because, S.Bayar, Ch.Saikhanbileg and S.Bayartsogt commenced Oyu Tolgoi project and handled all processes to remove any bottlenecked disputes in the project. Therefore, investors are drawing a conclusion that Mongolian government detained people that facilitated third neighbor investment into Oyu Tolgoi. Investors would completely ignore very Mongolish explanation “likely to save money abroad, possibly stolen money”.
It might be just a coincidence that a veteran miner Ch.Khurts was awarded with prestigious “Labor Hero” title, but it added nourishment and incitement to investors’ suspect and interpretation. Mr Khurts could be hard working hero; at the same time he is the one that opponents of Oyu Tolgoi project emblematize. Decree awarding the title does not specify a word or letter associated with firm fights against Oyu Tolgoi, third neighbor and western investors, instead the lines highlighting his glorious labor achievements, but westerners would look it from their own angle.
At last, third neighbors would draw a conclusion that any actions against Oyu Tolgoi project and western investors are highly appreciated by Mongolian government; they would not believe in any ‘democratic’ excuse or justification from our parties, state and people.
Very soon, Oyu Tolgoi will likely be kicked out of the country for the reasons “depleting underground water in Mongolia”, “paying bribe” and “exploiting Mongolia” assisted by push from “the people” with influence and power.
From that time on, no other country will care about Mongolia, whatever bitter consequences Mongolia experiences and whatever pressure Mongolia bears. Exactly what happened in 1928. We keep losing our companions to suffer a loss with us in the event that two huge neighbors conspire or their power balance is lost. People feeling this circumstance and opposing implicitly and explicitly encounter “something” clandestinely…
That is the plan currently implemented. Operation stronger than Mongolian government, smarter than Mongolian intelligentsia, but performed by Mongolians.