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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Invites New Mongolian President Who Is Vocal Critic of China

In a 2014 interview, Khaltmaa Battulga had said that a depletion of resources would mean “there will definitely be conflict between the Mongolians and the Chinese".

News18.com

Updated:July 26, 2017, 11:16 AM IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Invites New Mongolian President Who Is Vocal Critic of China
After Battulga’s electoral victory, former President Pranab Mukherjee had extended his wishes to him even as the Indian Ambassador to Mongolia was one of the first to meet him. (Photo: Reuters)
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited newly-elected Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga to visit India. The move is seen as a subtle message to China since Battulga is a vocal critic of China who advocated greater economic independence from Beijing during his election campaign.

This comes amidst India’s outreach to Mongolia and a border standoff with China at the Bhutan trijunction.

Nearly 70% of Mongolia’s foreign trade is with China alone. Moreover, 90% of its exports are to China. During the 2017 Mongolian Presidential elections, Battulga had said, “rail and transportation for any country is both a national security and an economic issue”. In a 2014 interview, he had said that a depletion of resources would mean “there will definitely be conflict between the Mongolians and the Chinese”.

Ties between China and its northern neighbor hit a low last year when the Buddhist-majority Mongolia had invited Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to visit. China had reportedly closed off a crucial border crossing after this visit, which had left several Mongolian truck drivers stranded at the border. This had led to Mongolia cracking under pressure and it promised never to invite the Dalai Lama again.

After Battulga’s electoral victory, former President Pranab Mukherjee had extended his wishes to him even as the Indian Ambassador to Mongolia was one of the first to meet him.

In 2015, Modi had visited Ulaanbaataras part of his outreach and promised to extend a $1 billion credit line to the country, which is nestled between Russia and China. This is expected to find favour with President Battulga, who advocates lesser economic ties with China.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Swati Sharma
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