(TibetanReview.net, Nov26, 2016) – Apart from indefinitely postponing an inter-governmental meeting and another one on mines and energy, China may impose “further” sanctions on Mongolia for allowing a visit by Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, from Nov 18 to 23, reported China’s official Global Times newspaper Nov 25, citing a Chinese expert. The report cited pro-government Chinese experts as claiming “anti-China” forces in Mongolia had been on the rise as Ulaanbaatar recently approved the Dalai Lama’s visit despite an elevation in Sino-Mongolian ties.
Referring to the indefinite postponement of bilateral contacts, the report cited Yang Mian, a professor of international relations at the Communication University of China, as saying it was China’s warning to Mongolia. He has added that China would wait for Mongolia’s response to decide whether further sanctions would be imposed. This in turn referred to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang’s demand that Mongolia take concrete actions to remove the negative impact of the Dalai Lama’s visit.
He has maintained that allowing the visit had “hurt the political foundation of China-Mongolia relations and exerted negative impact on the development of bilateral relations”.
The report cited Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences, as expressing fears that opposition parties and religious forces in Mongolia where Tibetan Buddhism is the main religion may make use of China’s opposition to the Dalai Lama’s visit to hype anti-China sentiment.
Yang has maintained that those parties reject the opening up of Mongolia’s economy, since it primarily relies on mineral resources.
The report referred to the fact that during President Xi Jinping’s State visit to Mongolia in 2014, China agreed to offer sea ports and railway transport access to its landlocked neighbor and help Mongolia finance a number of projects in medical care, education, railroads and residential community construction, thereby suggesting that these could be withdrawn.
It also referred to the fact that in 2008 Mongolia canceled a visit by the Dalai Lama when it coincided with Xi’s visit to the country in August.