Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs Batmunkh Battsetseg arrives in Beijing today for an official visit at the invitation of China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi.
Today’s visit will likely reinforce President Xi Jinping’s efforts to develop closer ties with its northern neighbor. Earlier this month, Xi emphasized the importance of cooperation and the two’s common interests in a phone call with the newly elected Mongolian President. To this end, China is reportedly willing to provide additional support through greater imports of mineral and agricultural products.
Beijing is also weary of closer ties between Ulaanbaatar and Washington. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visited the Mongolian capital last week as part of her diplomatic trip through East Asia. The two countries also finalized a strategic partnership in 2019, making the US Mongolia’s fifth such partner—a select group which also includes China. While Ulaanbaatar is keen to drive economic development and foreign investment, it wants to avoid being seen as choosing sides as tension continues to rise between the US and China. As such, expect Ulaanbaatar to maintain strategic ambivalence on contentious issues, such as the status of Taiwan, to continue engaging both countries on an economic basis in the medium-term.
Julian is a Research Analyst for The Daily Brief where he is a regular contributor. As a researcher and writer, Julian specializes in the political economy of East Asia and global macroeconomic developments.