During a Chinese Foreign Ministry press conference held on November 23, Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang reiterated the Chinese government’s displeasure and disappointment with the recent visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to Mongolia.

Geng was asked if the Chinese side indefinitely postponed an inter-governmental meeting and a meeting on mines and energy because Mongolia permitted the Dalai Lama’s visit.

He responded, “We have expressed our solemn position on the Dalai’s visit to Mongolia. The erroneous action taken by the Mongolian side on the Dalai’s visit hurt the political foundation of China-Mongolia relations and exerted a negative impact on the development of bilateral relations. The Chinese side requires the Mongolian side to genuinely respect China’s core interests and major concerns, take effective means to remove the negative impact caused by its erroneous action, and bring China-Mongolia relations back to the track of sound and steady growth.”

Since the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama, the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not released any official statement regarding the visit. According to many analysts, this could potentially harm Mongolia’s request for a loan with a maturity rate of 20 years and an interest rate of up to two percent.

According to several media reports, the visit has already had repercussions, as the Chinese side postponed Deputy Minister U.Khurelsukh’s planned visit to China on November 28. The meeting was scheduled for discussion of the possible long-term loan. According to the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese side did not officially send a diplomatic message calling for the meeting’s postponement.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is classic bully behavior, and IMO also displays the high level of insecurity within China’s leadership. Given the Dalai Lama’s visit had NOTHING to do with China, China’s leaders would have been better off just playing it cool and ignoring the visit like it never happened. Instead, trying to interfere with Mongolia’s sovereign right to religious freedom and retaliating when they don’t get their way is just going to increase anti-Chinese sentiment here… not to mention driving Mongolia to diversify further away from China. It may cost more to send its exports to Germany, Japan, or the US, but China raising the cost of doing business out of misplaced spite is only going to make selling to those countries more cost-effective. Perhaps this is for the best in the long term, as it displays for all that China, under its current government at least, cannot be trusted to be a reliable trading partner. I sincerely hope Mongolia’s leadership doesn’t eventually buckle under to this pressure; the short-term gain would come at the expense of long-term sovereignty and autonomy, and just encourage more tantrums and bullying in the future.

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