Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Second-guessing China

An interesting conversation about Mongolian-Chinese relationship has started up below. The topic is an important one, and it deserves an entry of its own, so I'm bringing it here.

Yan, a frequent commentator at our blog, wonders whether China might be making friendly overtures toward Mongolia. He notes that the Chinese envoy who visited Enkhbayar, Uyunqimg, is not only the vice-chairwoman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress but is also head of the Inner Mongolian autonomous region (and deputy secretary of the Regional CPC comittee). Yan said: "I think her visit only underlines once more that the PRC regards Mongolia as a souvereign nation (and as a nation it would like to have friendly relations with). The fact that they sent an Inner Mongolian might mean they are interested in closer relations between Mongolia and Inner Mongolia as well, but that's just a wild guess."

My take: I think I'm with Yan by saying that it's hard to know exactly what China's real attitude toward Mongolia is. So it's not always easy to know what China does what it does. Is what we see what we get, or are there motives, ulterior or otherwise, that are driving events? So I guess I'm a bit more suspicious than Yan.

Sorry to be so cynical, but I'm a wee bit leery of China, especially with regard to its neighbors that were once a part of its empire. Mongolia is ripe for the picking. This would be to China's benefit in that it has the natural resources that China craves. And it's part of the old Middle Kingdom, which China's always tring to restore whether more or less aggressively. On Mongolia's side, the economy is somewhat weak, unemployment is high, its having trouble entering the global marketplace, etc. China could, I imagine, easily become "good friends" with Mongolia by offering Mongolia the benefits of a closer relationship such as economic advance, industrial development, etc. and in the process gain much influence there. China would be most pleased with such an arrangement.

I'm not really given to conspiracy theories, but I don't think that China's given up on the dream of a restored territorial empire. If no one were looking, I have no doubt that China would roll right over Taiwan. And I don't think that Mongolia would be too far down on China's to do list.

(I'd be very interested to hear what Mongolian and Chinese readers of this blog have to say about this topic.)


Blogger samraat said...

4/04/2010 10:19 PM  

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