Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also invited Mongolia’s new president Khaltmaa Battulga to visit India, a diplomatic move that may have the significant effect on international relations in South Asia. This India-Mongolia bonhomie has now found hope for even better ties with Battulga’s victory.
To understand Battulga’s anti-China views, which in fact helped him win the presidential election, it is important to note that China purchases 80 percent of Mongolian exports, according to AFP.
Mongolia’s economy grew by a measly one percent last year, a stark contrast from an impressive 17 percent in 2011. It has been hit hard by a more than 50 percent fall in the price of copper, its main export, over the past five years, while slowing growth in its biggest customer China has hobbled the economy.
Given the slow growth, anti-China sentiment has been growing in Mongolia and people want to reduce the country’s dependence on China, something which was advocated by Battulga, said the report in The Economic Times.
In fact, Battulga will inherit a $5.5 billion International Monetary Fund-led bailout designed to stabilise its economy and lessen its dependency on China. An incident which also worsened the ties between China and Mongolia was when the Buddhist-majority Mongolia had invited Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to visit the country in November 2016.