Background Information Historical relationship between China, Russia & Mongolia Feb 1921: White Russian (“Mad Baron” Ungern) forces Chinese out of Mongolia. July 1921: MPRP (communists) led by Sukhbaatar, defeat Baron Ungern, proclaim Mongolian independence from China & restore the monarchy. 1924: king dies, MPRP proclaims Mongolian People’s Republic. New leader: Choibalsan (“Little Stalin”) Mirrors Stalin’s rule, purges etc. 1952: Tsedenbal becomes new leader. Continues close relationship with Russia. 1961: Mongolia gains seat in UN. 1989: First elections. Communist party elected. 1991: Collapse of USSR.
Russian interest in Mongolia Mongolia as a buffer state between Moscow & Beijing. “The Soviets’ best friend in Asia.” Nuclear testing. Tsedenbel’s Russian connection. (This is the beautiful capital city again…) “… the Soviet position in Asia would have been rather precarious were it not for Moscow’s reliable ally, the Mongolian people’s republic (MPR), which in spite of tremendous political and economic pressure from China unequivocally sided with Moscow.”
Chinese interest in Mongolia They considered “Mongolia, like Taiwan, a part of their territory.” Chinese expansionism. Strategic & political importance. (Looks like you can find palm trees anywhere… even Mongolia! Unfortunately these ones are plastic.)
Mongolian perspective Soviet protection allowed Mongolia to remain “independent”, as opposed to being under Chinese rule. Puppet government followed orders from Moscow. Economic support from Russia. Choibalsan considered a “national hero.” Pressure Soviets to take a “hard-line” on China.
Some key events 1930’s: intensified Soviet-Mongolian relations; USSR wants to use Mongolia as “a buffer state to demilitarise and protect the USSR’s lengthy border with China.” 1945: Stalin turns down China’s request to return the Mongolians to Chinese sovereignty. 1949: Stalin again refuses China’s proposal to hand over Mongolia and re-unite inner & outer Mongolia under Chinese rule.
Sino-Soviet treaty signed, which includes guarantee of Mongolian independence. 1950’s: Chinese declare: we “deeply regret the fact of Mongolia’s secession from China” and “consider Mongolia, like Taiwan, a part of our territory.” China threatens to withdraw economic aid from Mongolia. 1960’s: Sino-Soviet rift grows. Mongolia maintains strong criticism of Beijing’s policies.
1961: Mongolia gains seat in the U.N. 1966: formal alliance between Mongolia and Russia marks: “A new stage of the fraternal relations of the people of the two countries.” Mongolia contributes supplies to North Vietnamese. 1970’s: numerous border clashes between Soviet/Mongolian & Chinese troops. 1980’s: Batmonh removes Tsedenbal from gov. and creates a more moderate government. 1989: Protest in Sukhbaatar square, led by Zorig, calling for democratic elections. 1990: First elections. Russia withdraws economic assistance. 1991: collapse of USSR. The cold war begins to melt…
Economic & social impact of the Cold War (very briefly) 70 years of political & economic isolation. Withdrawal of Russian funded welfare & social security. Large debt to Russia. (cancelled in 2003). Shift to market economy. Cultural impact: religion, language, traditional lifestyles, education etc. (also, it was the USSR that built the ugly capital city)
Bibliography 1.Beall, C.M. & Goldstein, M.C. 1994, The changing world of Mongolia’s Nomads, The Guidebook Company, Hong Kong. 2.Becker, J. 1992, The lost country: Mongolia revealed, Hodder & Stoughton, London. 3.Kohn, M. (Accessed June 10, 2004), Democracy reveals dark secrets, http://www.un-mongolia.mn/archives/ger- mag/issue3/secrets.htmhttp://www.un-mongolia.mn/archives/ger- mag/issue3/secrets.htm 4.Mongolia country brief, (Accessed June 1, 2004), http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/mongolia/mongolia_country_brief.ht ml 5.Radchenko, S.S. 2003, The Soviets’ best friend in Asia: the Mongolian dimension of the Sino-Soviet split, CWHP, Washington. 6.Sino-Soviet border clashes, (Accessed June 1, 2004), http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/prc-soviet.htm http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/prc-soviet.htm