March 28, 2011

ALONG THE ANGLOSPHERE:

Mongolia seeks help sharing wealth of its mining boom (John Garnaut, February 21, 2011, Sydney Morning Herald)

THE Mongolian Prime Minister wants Australia to be a ''third neighbour'' that can help develop his country's massive resource deposits and balance its strategic and economic vulnerability to China.

The China-driven resources boom is hoisting Mongolia's traditionally nomadic people from subsistence living towards what some say could be a material standard of living equivalent to oil-rich Arab states.

While many nations have revealed anxieties about China's political and economic power, few are as close and economically dependent as Mongolia and none has taken such drastic steps to hedge their interests. [...]

Mongolia's Prime Minister, Sukhbaataryn Batbold, formerly a successful businessman, will make new overtures to the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and Australian corporate leaders today. ''We have a concept of a 'third neighbour' and we'd like to see a balance,'' he told the Herald in an interview in Ulan Bator.

''We regard China as an important partner but equally importantly we'd like to have other countries represented in Mongolia in a more expansive way.''

Several senior Mongolian officials told the Herald of the public pressure they face to resist Chinese influence. ''When you are a small country and they are a giant, even when they try to stroke you it can hurt,'' said one.

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Posted by at March 28, 2011 5:01 PM
  

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