Dr. Alicia J. Campi│廖淑馨 譯
混亂的政治局指定一個妥協的人選奧其爾巴特（P. Ochirbat）取代巴特蒙赫，成為一個過渡的蒙古人民革命黨的主席。雖然共產制度仍舊運作，新的政治氣候立即反映在和美國關係的加溫上。蒙古第一副總理邊巴蘇倫（D. Byambasüren）3為了第一輪成功的會談，而於4月30日至5月4日訪問華府。在其訪問後的幾天，國務院副助理國務卿安德生（Desaix Anderson）向眾院外交委員會作證，與蒙古建立外交關係是一個特殊的時機了。他說：「在蒙古歷史的轉捩點以及他們的領導們期待我們援助時，我們認為這是加強努力的好時機。」4他說明美國和蒙古關係的發展「. . . 大部分是因為蒙古新的開放外交及經濟政策的結果。」5取代蘇聯：美國穩定蒙古的政經政策美國政府早在共產主義瓦解前已決定派一位新大使駐烏蘭巴托。新大使雷克（JosephLake）在參院作證時證實在蒙古開館將增加167,000美元，幾乎是1990年會計年度大使館預算的3分之1。他說，「顯然時代變了。」6雷克於7月18日抵達烏蘭巴托，可能是國務院最偏遠的外館，是兩國嶄新多元關係的象徵。雷克到任後兩星期，國務卿貝克（James Baker）首次訪蒙，當時因為伊拉克入侵科威特，成此趟訪問不到12小時。1年後，貝克再度訪問蒙古，以補上次訪問之不足。雷克大使後來之所以說「若無貝克對於蒙古有興趣以及對蒙古之承諾，就不會有美蒙的關係。」7國務卿的訪蒙提高蒙古以及美國決策者的姿態，美國決策者擔心中國在天安門事件後的不穩定以及蘇聯的瓦解。過去20多年美國眾院以及政府也表現出對蒙古有份特別的喜愛。
1998年國務卿歐布萊（Madeleine Albright）及前總統克林頓夫人（Hillary RodhamClinton）的高層訪問蒙古可以說明。這樣的官方訪問如雪球般地增加，並且在2005年隨著國防部長onald Rumsfeld 及 國務卿Condoleezza Rice 甚至George W. Bush總統的訪問而達到高峰。
美國國會在National Endowment for Democracy（國家民主基金會）之下設立了 the International Republican Institute（簡稱：IRI）（共和黨國際事務協會），並於1992年在蒙古工作。IRI 連同美國援外總署以及國務院的經費集中在教導年輕的蒙古民主領袖現代政治競選及組織技術，以及教育蒙古政府官員增加效率、可信度、以及強化政治的進程。
很不幸地，1990年代中期之後亞洲金融危機粉碎了日本或韓國成為第三鄰國的所有希望。在歐洲，德國則有自己的重新統一的問題。因此，對於蒙古來說，美國是「第三鄰國」的唯一現實選擇。誠如蒙古前外交部長L. Erdenchuluun 22寫道：「對許多蒙古政治家及政府官員而言，美國是新蒙古的救星以及蒙古國家安全的「主要支柱」。23
但最初美國官員認為第三鄰國概念是一個無成功希望的構想，因為他們認為蒙古是一個友好但介於美國重要對手中國及蘇聯之間的小國。九一一事件發生以及國際恐怖主義昇高，美國提高警覺並重估其戰略利益，而在21世紀初接受和蒙古為第三鄰國的關係。美國政策及蒙古民主聯盟政府1990年代中期雙方互派大使。民主聯盟湊巧在1996年的蒙古國會選舉獲得大勝。在英國受過訓的Jalbuugiin Choinkhor派駐華盛頓7年。他強調要擴大與美國政府的政經協定。他的主要成就是，1997年美國支持蒙古加入世界貿易組織，並於1999年給予最惠國待遇地位。美大使Alphonse La Porta於1997─2000年駐烏蘭巴托期間，他顯然地改變了美國的發展援助計畫方向，而朝向於親美商業及投資計畫上。
然而在許多方面，1990年代是美蒙經濟關係的全盛時期。在那段期間，美國是蒙古最大的投資國，因為除了紐約市的Mongol Amicale投資羊絨及駝毛方面外，還有休士頓的SOCO Tamsag在石油方面的投資。26
但美國在礦業營運方面的大規模投資並未如預期，原因是幾年來就礦業法內容、蒙古投資法的修訂、以及和國際貨幣組織的課稅及關稅的紛爭不斷。在這樣一種易變的情況下，美國資金從蒙古流出。SOCO在2004年賣給中國。到了2006年，美國的投資落到第5位。過去幾年雙方在軍事合作領域的關係有顯著成長。起先，只限於英語教學、醫藥、民防、災害救濟以及軍法訓練。而與1996─2000年的親民主政府在防禦上的合作已進展到具體的計畫，美國提供蒙古軍隊現代化的援助，特別是為了加入全球和平行動(the Global Peace Operations Initiative) 的一部分之國際維和的設計。蒙古與美國的軍事關係令俄國及中國擔心，它們認為這樣的行動是美國企圖在此地區建立其勢力。27
而在2001年之後，當中亞各國都擔心激進的伊斯蘭恐怖份子流竄時，俄國及中國無法公開地抱怨，蒙古在伊拉克及阿富汗提供軍事活動以及和美軍一起參加區域的聯合演習的決定。截至目前，蒙古在波蘭指揮下的伊拉克Ad Diwaniyah 地區的Camp Echo已經提供了10梯次的軍隊28，而且在「可汗遠征」的計畫下主辦過幾次亞洲地區軍事演習。蒙古媒體報導，蒙古將在9月25日撤走其士兵，而且不再派新的替換士兵，即使美國要求這些軍隊留到年底。29
2007年10月23日，當蒙古政府和代理美國政府的 Millennium Challenge Corporation，經過多年的會談而簽下一個5年28,500萬美元的掃貧計畫後，美國援蒙計畫的性質有了重大的改變。蒙古成為亞洲第一個有這樣資格的國家。這份合同將集中在鐵路現代化、財產權、職業教育以及衛生方面。30
1 《The Mongolian Statistical Yearbook》，2000 指出2000年沒有來自美國的進口貨物，見頁180。
3 邊巴蘇倫（1942─）是蒙古人民革命黨改革派的一員。他於1989年12月成為部長會議副主席，1990年3月為第一副主席以及國家計畫及經濟委員會主席。終結共黨統治的示威期間，他是蒙古人民革命黨與蒙古民主聯盟的年青示威者的主要協調者。1990─1992年，他是蒙古總理並且在1992年被選為國會議員。1992年12月辭職後，由扎斯萊主政。1993年他創立世界蒙古人大會（World Mongolian Congress）及蒙古發展協會（Mongolian Development Society）。1994 年創立蒙古民主復興黨（Mongolian Democratic Renewal Party），並被選為黨主席。參見Uradyn E. Bulag,Nationalism and Hybridity in Mongolia (London: Oxford Press, 1998), 87─88; Sanders, Historical Dictionary, 33─35.
4 “Statement for Deputy Assistant Secretary Anderson House Foreign Affairs Committee”(May 14, 1990).
7 Lake Confirmation Hearings, “Resident Ambassador” (May 1990), 24
8 奧其爾巴特（1942─）於1987─1990年擔任外貿關係與供應部部長。1990年3月被推為人民大呼拉爾會議主席。同年9月3成為首度民主選出的蒙古總統。1993年6月連任直至1997年。Sanders, Historical Dictionary , 158─159; Jim Hoare and Susan Pares, “Ochirbat,” A Political and Economic Dictionary of East Asia (London: Routledge, 2005),253. http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761584258/ochirbat_punsalmaagiyn.html
9 George Bush, “Remarks following Discussion with President Punsalmaagyin Ochirbat of Mongolia,” http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=1924210 “Agreement Relating to Scientific and Technical Cooperation Between the Governments of the United States andMongolia”(January 23, 1991).
11 Lake, “U.S.-Mongolia Relations,”22.
12 美國人對1990年代初西方顧問在蒙古的逐漸增加，而蘇聯影響力下降的重要分析，參見： Morris Rossabi, Modern
Mongolia, From Khans to Commissars to Capitalists （Berkeley :University of California Press, 2005）, Chapter 2“From Russian to Western Influence,”30─42. 而蒙古對於相同現象的分析，參見Munkh-Ochir D. Khirghis, “Adriftor Advance？ Socio-economic Aspects of Mongolia-Russia Relations at the Onset of the 21st Century,” Neighbors Through the Centuries: History and Contemporary Aspects of Bilateral Relations between Mongolia and Russia,, Vol.
27 (Ulaanbaatar: The Institute for Strategic Studies, 2005), 95─111.
13 東北亞經濟研究院（ERINA）的Enkhbayar Shagdar在ERINA Discussion Paper No. 0703E (Niigata,Japan: April 2007)的一篇報告”Neo-Liberal :Shock Therapy” Policy During the Mongolian Economic Transition,”中稱蒙古的震盪治療為「新自由的」。對於此政策的主要評論者是Keith Griffin. 見Keith Griffin.主編Poverty Reduction in Mongolia(Australia: Asia Pacific Press, 2003). 另一較持平的觀點，參見Julia S. Bilskie and Hugh M. Arnold, “An Examinationof the Political and Economic Transition of Mongolia since the Collapse of the Soviet Union,” Journal of Third WorldStudies, Vol. 19 (Americus, Georgia: Fall 2002), 205─218.
14 Raytheon Engineers and Constructors, “Final Report for Energy Sector Project, Emergency Heat and Power ProjectNo. 1,” Project No. 438─0003, Vol. 1 (July 1993).100
15 Terry McKinley, ‘The National Development Strategy and Aid Coordination,” Poverty Reduction in Mongolia , KeithGriffin ed., (Australia: Asia Pacific Press, 2003), 179─180.
16 Ibid., 15.
17 有關貝克的發言，請見1990年7月與貝克國務卿會談的已故大使Olzvoy的回憶錄. Kh. Olzvoy, “J. Beikeriin Ailchlal xiigeed “guravdaxi tunsh”- uun assudald, “ Olon Ulsin Xariltsaa, (World Affairs), vol. 184(5), no. 1 (Ulaanbaatar),166─168. 蒙古對於「第三鄰國」的分析，請見 Tsedendamba Batbayar, “Geopolitics and Mongolia’s Search forPost-Soviet Identity,” Journal of Eurasian Geography and Economics, vol. 43,no.4 (June 2002), 323─335.18 全文請見the Embassy of Mongolia USA website, http://www.mongolianembassy.us/eng_foreign_policy/the_concept_of_national_security.php
20 Dr.Robert Scalapino 對 “The Political Process in Northeast Asia and Mongolia’s Challenge,”論文的評論。此未出版的論文發表於蒙美雙邊會議，Mongolia-U.S. Comprehensive Partnership in the Context of North East Asia: Challenges and Opportunities (Washington: February 28, 2005).
21 L. Erdenchuluun, “Mongolia’s strategic option,” in Northeast Asia towards 2000: Interdependence and Conflict？, K. Lho and K. Moller, ed. (Baden-Baden, Germany: 1999), 95 cited in Ts. Batbayar, “Mongolia’s New Identity,”Mongolian Journal of International Affairs, No. 3, (Ulaanbaatar, 1996), 65─66; M. Dugersuren, “Changing Mongoliain a New Environment,” Mongolian Journal , No. 1 (Ulaanbaatar: 1994), 21.
22 Luvsangiin Erdenchuluun 曾是職業外交官，他在1991─1995年為蒙古駐聯合國大使，2000─2004年為蒙古外交部長。2006年他擔任人類安全政策研究中心(Human Security Policy Studies Center)主任。2007年成為聯合國教科文組織行政委員會(the Executive Board of UNESCO)的會員。
23 Erdenchuluun, “Mongolia’s Strategic Options,”95.
24 World Bank, “Mongolia: Poverty Assessment in a Transition Economy,” Report No. 15723─MOG (Washington,D.C.: The World Bank, June 27,1996); NSO/UNDP, “Living Standards Measurement Survey 1998) (Ulaanbaatar: NSO/UNDP, 1998); FIDE, “Review of the 1998 Mongolia Living Standards Measurement Survey,” report prepared for theNSO and the CUNDP (Washington, DC: FIDE, 1999).
25 UNIFEM and UNDP, “A Gender Lens on the Rural Map of Mongolia: Data for Policy”(Ulaanbaatar, 2002), 18.26 FIFTA, “Steppes in the Right Direction ”(Ulaanbaatar, 2006), 2. 2004年SOCO被蒙古政府列為外國投資中最「成功的公司」，而Mongol Ameicale名列第八。其他主要美國投資公司在列者為，GL-Monpolimet （位第十二） U.S.-Sino Company Rock Oil（位第十八）。
27 Tsedendamba Batbayar,” Mongolia’s Foreign Policy in the 1990s: New Identity and New Challenges,” Regional Security Issues and Mongolia, Vol. 17 (Ulaanbaatar: The Institute for Strategic Studies, 2002), 229.
28 “Mongolia May Pull Troops from Iraq As Early As September”(Mongolia Web News: August 18, 2008) , http://www.mongolia-web.com/content/view/1954/2/
29 “It's Asked Not to Withdraw Mongolian Troops from Iraq”((Daily Business News Mongolia: August 20,2008) http://www.business-mongolia.com/mongolia-government/it%E2%80%99s-asked-not-to-withdraw-mongolian-troops-fromiraq/
30 Mongolia and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, “Building a Dynamic Partnership for Poverty Reduction ThroughEconomic Growth”(Fact Sheet: October 22, 2007) http://www.mcc.gov/documents/factsheet-102207-mongolia.pdf
U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICIES TOWARDS MONGOLIA IN THE LAST 20 YEARS—A EVIEW
Dr. Alicia J. Campi (US-Mongolia Advisory Group, Burke, VA)
Although the bilateral relationship between the United States and Mongolia has grown considerably in the last 20 years, the dynamics of the relationship, particularly in the decade of the 1990s, were mainly reactive—reacting to developments in a modernizing China and a collapsing Soviet Union. In 1987, the year of U.S. recognition of Mongolia, the United States valued Mongolia only as a window on the Sino-Soviet relationship and on the new glastnost and perostroika policies spreading from Moscow to a loyal Soviet satellite.
The American government had no real economic development strategy for Mongolia. In 1990 total bilateral trade turnover between the two countries was a mere $900,000, which were exports of animal hair (cashmere goat and wool) and animal byproducts such as casings. There were almost no American imports reaching Mongolia.1 The embassy in early 1990 consisted of only two full-time officers, myself on temporary assignment, and a non-resident ambassador.
But, in 1991 the American focus towards Mongolia changed completely when Mongolia’s peaceful democratic revolution abandoned communism during the concurrent collapse of the Soviet Union. The U.S. throughout the next 17 years sought to assist Mongolia in creating both a stable free market and a democratic society, which would be a model for other former socialist nations making the same difficult transition.1 9
The diplomats in the U.S. Embassy in early 1990—all products of the generation that had seen large-scale, often violent, anti-government demonstrations during the Vietnam War, at first did not see the several thousands of nearly silent, well-behaved Mongol demonstrators in Ulaanbaatar as serious challengers to the power of the communist Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party or MPRP. No one in the Embassy predicted the psychological impact of a simple hunger strike in Sukhbaatar Square, the capital’s central plaza, that began on the morning of March 7 with ten people and grew by the end of the day to thirty. The American embassy officials and the entire foreign diplomatic community (including the Soviets and Chinese) were shocked to hear MPRP Party leader and Prime Minister Batmönkh announce on television two days later that the only way to find a peaceful solution and to stop the hunger strike was for the Politburo to resign en masse. Batmönkh later explained: “Some people criticized us, saying that we capitulated. Yes, it was a compromise. But we have to understand who has capitulated to whom. We did not capitulate to a foreign enemy. We did capitulate to the arriving new era and to our younger generation. There was nothing better than that.”2
The confused Politburo appointed a compromise candidate, G. Ochirbat, as the new interim MPRP chairman replacing Batmönkh. Although the communist system was still in place, the new political climate immediately was reflected by a warmer relationship with the United States. Mongolian First Deputy Prime Minister D. Byambasüren3, visited Washington from April 30 to May 4 for a successful first round of talks. Just days after his visit, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Desaix Anderson testified to the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee that the establishing of diplomatic relations with Mongolia came at a specially opportune time: “We are presented with unique opportunities to be supportive of positive developments at a turning point in Mongolia’s history and at a time when their leaders are looking to us for assistance.
We think the conditions are right for special effort.”4 He explained that the development of the American relationship with Mongolia “…is in large part an outgrowth of Mongolia’s new open foreign and economic policies.”5 Replacing the Soviets: U.S. Political and Economic Policies to Stabilize Mongolia The U.S. Government, even before the collapse of communism, had made the decision to appoint a new Ambassador who would be resident in Ulaanbaatar. The new Ambassador-designate, Joseph Lake, in Senate testimony justified the additional cost of $167,000, or almost one-third of the FY-1990 embassy budget to locate the ambassador in Mongolia, by saying, “Clearly, the times have changed.”6 Lake arrived on July 18 in Ulaanbaatar, possibly the Department of State’s most isolated foreign service post to be symbol of a new, more dynamic relationship between the two countries. Two weeks after Lake’s arrival, Secretary of State James Baker made his first visit to Mongolia—a visit that was dramatically cut short to less than twelve hours because of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Baker visited Mongolia again a year later to make up for the aborted original trip. Ambassador Lake would later declare that “Without [Baker’s] interest in and commitment to Mongolia, there would be no U.S.-Mongolia relationship.”7 These visits by the U.S. Secretary of State raised Mongolia’s profile significantly with American policymakers, who were concerned with instability in China after the Tiananmen incident and the collapse of the Soviet Union. They also initiated a peculiar but potent infatuation with Mongolia by the U.S. Congress and successive American administrations over the past twenty years that explains the highranking visits of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and then First Lady Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1998. Such official courtesy calls snowballed in number in the new millennium, peaking with the 2005 visits of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld,
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and even President George W. Bush. Lake’s tenure as ambassador in the early 1990s occurred during the most arduous period for Mongolia economically. Large-scale Soviet assistance disappeared and Mongolia plunged into a deep recession. The disintegrating urban economy suffered widespread meat, milk, and power shortages. As bankrupt state enterprises collapsed,
people fled Mongolia’s industrial cities of Darkhan and Choibalsan, as well as all the aimag capitals, to pour into Ulaanbaatar. The capital city of 300,000 soon doubled its population. Unemployment and inflation soared, bringing in their wake social problems such as hooliganism, homeless street children, and crime.
Policymakers from both the U.S. and Mongolia saw strategic advantages in strengthening the bilateral relationship, especially political ties. During the early 1990s many Mongols, including the first democratically elected President, P. Ochirbat,8 believed it was very important to quickly establish a strong working relationship with the United States. He visited the U.S. in January 1991 to meet with President George Bush.9 Bush announced that the U.S. and Mongolia had signed a science and technology
agreement,10 and he granted eight million dollars worth of food credits and issued the waiver to open the door to granting Mongolia most-favored-nation status. Washington developed a USAID program to assist Mongolia with its free market reforms. A Peace Corps program began in the summer of 1991 with twenty-one volunteers teaching English and computer skills in Ulaanbaatar and slowly expanded to the countryside. In the educational sphere U.S. Government fellowships, originally
destined for China, were diverted for a few years to Mongolia. This enabled young Mongolian democratic, political activists to go to elite U.S. institutions such as Harvard.
In 1987 there were five Soviet army divisions in Mongolia, but by 1992 they had withdrawn, although there remained several hundred Russian advisers. In the first half of the decade these Soviet specialists were soon replaced by hundreds of new economic experts from the U.S. and other western nations, Japan, and South Korea.
To a great extent, American policies developed for Mongolia were spontaneous and not necessarily well constructed. Lake later admitted, In the end, [in] Mongolia, as was said earlier, no one expected what happened. The Soviet Union collapsed. The whole world changed. And so the assumptions we started with in trying to help Mongolia build its future simply did not exist anymore….it was a very difficult time for Mongolia.11
The first priority of the United States, as well as other foreign donors was to find mechanisms to sustain the urban populace pouring into Ulaanbaatar. The United States provided the capital with emergency energy assistance in 1991 and emergency butter and wheat in the mid-1990s. Meanwhile, the Mongols increasingly saw the western donors, particularly the United States, as the logical sources to replace Soviet aid which had amounted to around one-third of the nation’s annual budget.12 It was the United States in its role as winner of the Cold War that took the lead in devising and implementing programs both to accelerate Mongolia’s political reforms and its transition to a free market economy, following a controversial strategy called “shock therapy.”13 This strategy involved removing as fast as possible the command economy controls and regulations on prices and trade to shift to a private market economy by introducing a floating currency exchange rate and strict wage and credit controls with abolition of state subsidies. Concurrently, structural changes such as privatization of government assets, financial and banking reforms, encouragement of foreign investment, and educational and healthcare restructuring were implemented. The results were uneven, and in the first half of the 1990s economic dislocation and contraction increased poverty and unemployment.
The U.S. assistance program totaled some $12-17 million a year in the 1990s, making it the third largest provider of foreign donor assistance to Mongolia, after Japan and Germany. At this time Mongolia was receiving nearly $200 million a year in aid. In these early years, American assistance through the USAID program was granted only to a few large-scale projects, such as procuring $5 million worth of Russian spare parts for its old-style Russian-built power stations in Ulaanbaatar,14 as well for legal and banking training.
The U.S. Congress, which had created the International Republican Institute (IRI) under the National Endowment for Democracy, assigned it to work in Mongolia in 1992. The IRI, with USAID and Department of State funding, focused on teaching modern political campaigning and organization techniques to the young Mongolian democratic leaders and educating Mongolian government officials to increase effectiveness, accountability, and strengthen the political process. IRI officials promoted rapid privatization policies and political action ideas paralleling those developed by American conservative politician Newt Gingrich in his “Contract with America.” In fact, Mongolian young democratic reformers were inspired in 1995 to publish their own “Contract with the Mongolian Voters,” which they claimed helped them win the parliamentary elections of 1996.
In the early transition years, American private investment consisted of three joint ventures in the camel hair and cashmere sectors, which was severely affected by the collapse of the communist era animal hair procurement system. In 1999 Mongolia was granted free trade status, which permitted its textiles to enter the U.S. market. Mongolian exports to the U.S., whose value totaled only $900,000 at the beginning of the decade, skyrocketed to $92.9 million in 2000, second only to $274.3 million in exports to China.15 Almost none of the U.S. aid went to the countryside herders, which contributed to the widening economic and cultural gap between urban and rural Mongols. However, this urban bias was viewed as absolutely correct policy, because consultants wrongly feared that, following the collapse of communism, all economic development in Mongolia would be diverted to the countryside to startup new, craft-based industries manufacturing animal by-products and to providing food exports to Mongolia’s neighbors.
The American economic planners advised that, if Mongolia wanted to find a way out of urban unemployment, it would have to stimulate small enterprises and concentrate on developing “basic property rights, trade facilitating aspects of business law and dispute settlement mechanisms.”16 American consultants and USAID administrators proclaimed that Mongolia should adopt the accumulated wisdom of Western countries regarding land use and land ownership. Such flawed policy recommendations did not include any recognition of Mongolia’s defining nomadic herding economy or the especially harsh climatic environment, which necessitated the transhumant livestock-raising lifestyle that is key to understanding traditional Mongolian views of property rights.
Mongolia’s Search for a “Third Neighbor” Early in the decade Mongolian and American political scientists and policymakers became nervous about China’s potential to monopolize Mongolia’s economy as its northern neighbor, Russia, had done in the communist period. In those years Russia was unstable and not able to compete with Chinese economic dynamism. In this uncertain regional strategic environment a new foreign policy concept, called the “Third Neighbor Policy,” was first proposed for Mongolia in 1990 by Secretary of State James Baker.17 This strategic concept, which had political, military, cultural, an economic components, meant that another large power, such as the U.S., Germany, or Japan, would act as a “Third Neighbor” for Mongolia to counterbalance the traditional roles played by Mongolia’s border neighbors, China and Russia. Mongolian policymakers quickly became enamored by the concept and in the 1990s embarked on the task of “searching for the Third Neighbor.”
Mongolia’s main international foreign policy goals for the post-Cold War period were outlined in two documents adopted by the Mongolian Parliament on June 30, 1994—the Concept of National Security18 and the Concept of Foreign Policy.19 The Concept of National Security emphasized that Mongolia sought a multi-partner or multipillar approach to securing its vital interests. Top priority would be given to balanced relations with its two neighbors, China and Russia, but it would “pursue an open foreign policy.”
One result of this new strategic thinking was that Mongolian political scientists and economists supported Mongolian integration with the Northeast Asian region as the best chance for the country to develop and prosper, as well as to balance China’s economic and political influence. Northeast Asia was called Mongolia’s natural economic territory,20 a kind of “regional Third Neighbor.” Many Mongolian government leaders embraced this concept, because it seemed a way to quickly benefit from the success of the Asia-Pacific economies.21 Unfortunately, in the second half of the 1990s the Asian economic crisis dashed all hopes of the special Third Neighbor role for Japan or South Korea. In Europe Germany was self-absorbed in its own reunification problems. Thus, for Mongolia, the only realistic choice was the United States as “third neighbor.” As former Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs, L. Erdenechuluun22 wrote: “To many Mongolian politicians and government officials, the U.S. would appear as the savior of new Mongolia and “major pillar” of its national security.”23 However, at first, American officials dismissed the Third Neighbor concept as a non-starter, because they viewed Mongolia as a friendly,
but minor nation wedged between significant American rivals, Russia and the PRC. It would take the events of September 11, 2001 and the increased attention attached to the rise of international terrorism for the U.S. to recalculate its strategic interests and at the beginning of the twenty-first century to embrace the Third Neighbor relationship with Mongolia.
U.S. Policies and the Mongolian Democratic Coalition Government In the mid-1990s, there was a change of ambassadors on both sides. This coin cided with the victory of the democratic coalition parties in the 1996 Mongolian parliamentary elections. In Washington, Jalbuugiin Choinkhor, who had been trained in Great Britain, began a seven-year posting. Choinkhor emphasized expanding U.S. governmental political and economic agreements. His main accomplishments were garnering strong American support for Mongolia’s 1997 entrance into the World Trade Organization and gaining U.S. Congressional favorable trade status for Mongolia in 1999. During Alphonse La Porta’s ambassadorship in Ulaanbaatar from 1997 to 2000, he markedly changed U.S. developmental assistance policies in the direction of pro-American business and investment projects. U.S. influence in the new democratic coalition government was great, even at times mimicking structures employed by Soviet advisers in the communist era. Three American project economists were physically located in the Mongolian Prime Minister’s Office in the Government House, which gave them unparalleled access to the Mongolian policymaking apparatus. The U.S. advisers worked with young Mongolian counterparts to assess needs for policy reforms, assign priorities, develop an agenda, explore alternative solutions, build consensus around the chosen alternative, and implement new policy structures. Together they privatized the banking structure and revised protectionist and anti-investment legislation from the previous MPRP-controlled period.
t the same time, there was some modification of USAID’s development philosophy of supporting Mongolia’s ongoing economic and political transition through promoting economic prosperity and broad-based growth, as well as democracy and the rule of law. The major American aid focal points during the second half of the decade were (1) providing technical assistance to design and implement reform in the financial and energy sectors, (2) completing privatization of Mongolia’s state enterprises, and (3) carrying out agriculture and trade policy modernization.
The effectiveness of the American economic planning for Mongolia was called into question when in the 1990s several major UNDP and World Bank-funded studies concluded that the American-supported plan to promote free market and privatize government institutions was causing poverty, not relieving it.24 USAID disagreed with the methodology used in the Living Standard Measurement Surveys (LSMS) conducted by the World Bank in 1995 and the UNDP in 1998, which claimed that poverty levels in Mongolia’s rural areas remained at one-third of the population. An American researcher cited economic indicators showing that it was the fifty percent of the Mongol population engaged in the agricultural sector that had increased national GDP growth more than fifty percent from 1995 to 1998, and that herd size for poor and very poor herder families in 1998 was three times larger than that for such families in 1995. Furthermore, food consumption among the poorest population also significantly increased during these same years.
Relations in the New Century This debate about poverty and its definition in the countryside was silenced somewhat at the end of the century when Mongolian herders endured several years of severe dzuds (winter disasters of all types) which forced the United States, other foreign assistance donors, and the Mongolian central government to pay more attention to the nation’s specialized nomadic economy. Rural population that had stood at 46.6% in 1995 and peaked at 50.4% in 1998, rapidly fell during the dzud years to 42.8% in 2000.25 Most of the rural poor moved to Ulaanbaatar, further aggravating the capital’s problems.
It was expected that Mongolia’s acquiring free trade status in the U.S. market in 1999 especially would help herders to get better prices for their animal hair products. Mongolia’s apparel and textile related exports, mostly destined for the United States, did increase significantly after 1999, so that by 2002 they accounted for forty-five percent of Mongolia’s total exports. Yet, Mongolian wool and animal hair products actually lost eight percent of the world market share from 1999 to 2002, as these unprocessed materials moved illegally more and more to China for processing. Furthermore,
American companies that had invested in cashmere and camel hair procurement, after years of insufficient support from the American government, finally dropped out of the Mongolian market altogether to retreat to China. So, in the end, U.S.-Mongolian trade in products originating in the herding economy did not increase as predicted, and overall trade between the two countries did not develop to a significant degree in the decade.
Nevertheless, in many ways the 1990s were the heyday for American-Mongolian economic ties. The United States at one point during those years was Mongolia’s largest foreign investor, owing to the presence of SOCO Tamsag of Houston in petroleum and Mongol Amicale out of New York City in the cashmere and camel wool sector.26 But sizable American investment in mining operations did not proceed as expected due to years of contention about the contents of a mining law, revisions in Mongolia’s investment legal regime, and taxation and customs disputes with the IMF. In such a fluid situation, American capital flowed away from Mongolia. SOCO was sold in 2004 to the Chinese. By 2006, United States investment had slipped to fifth place.
It is in the area of military cooperation that the bilateral relationship has grown noticeably in the past few years. At first it was confined to English language teaching, medicine, civil defense, disaster relief, and military legal training. However, with the pro-democracy government of 1996 to 2000, defense cooperation grew into concrete programs in which the U.S. provided assistance to modernize the Mongolian armed forces, especially designed for participating in international peacekeeping as part of the Global Peace Operations Initiative. Mongolia’s military ties to the United States were observed warily by both Russia and China, which viewed such activities as an attempt to establish American power in the region.27 However, after 2001, when all of Inner Asia was concerned about the spread of militant Islamic terrorists, Russia and China could not publicly complain about Mongolia’s decision to provide troops for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and to participate in regional joint exercises with American troops.
To date Mongolia has provided 10 rotations of troops in Iraq under Polish command at Camp Echo in Ad Diwaniyah, Iraq28 and hosted several Asian regional military exercises under the program “Khaan Quest.” It is reported in the Mongolian press that Mongolia will withdraw its soldiers on September 25th and not send a new rotation, although the U.S. side has requested these troops remain until the end of the year.29 The nature of the U.S. foreign aid program in Mongolia was changed fundamentally on October 23, 2007 when the Mongolian Government and the U.S. government agency Millennium Challenge Corporation, after several years of protracted negotiations,
signed a 5-year, $285 million, compact to reduce poverty. Mongolia became the first Asian country to so qualify. The Compact will focus on railroad modernization, property rights, vocational education, and health.30 Conclusion The United States repeatedly advised Mongolia, as it developed more democratic,
free market institutions, to carefully co-exist with its two giant neighbors in as balanced a relationship as possible. Yet, U.S. donor policies were not and still are not structured to achieve that result. In fact, one could say that the opposite pattern was perpetuated. For example, American aid in the 1990s propped up Mongolia’s dependency on Soviet energy power by both pouring tens of millions of dollars into the failing Soviet-built power stations in Ulaanbaatar and by doing nothing to help Mongolia develop its own sizable energy resources rather than remain heavily dependent on its northern neighbor.
Although many political and strategic researchers from both nations expressed concerns about the growing penetration of the Mongolian economy by the Chinese and cautioned that this trend potentially had negative military and political implications, many American aid programs were designed to promote the PRC as Mongolia’s optimal consumer and trade partner. There was no effort to help Mongolia counterbalance this trend with incentives to increase imports from the U.S. and spur greater U.S. investment.
It only encouraged an environment whereby Chinese enterprises could more easily infiltrate and monopolize Mongolia’s weak private sector. Thirteen years after the establishment of U.S.-Mongolian bilateral ties, the PRC had become Mongolia’s leading foreign investor and second largest trade partner after Russia. In the new millennium this trend has only accelerated, so that by 2007 China was Mongolia’s number one trade partner and received over sixty percent of Mongolia’s total exports.
In the past twenty years it can be said that the United States was highly supportive of Mongolia’s simultaneous efforts to develop democratic institutions and a free market economy in order to integrate into the global marketplace. Proof of the relative success of these policies is that in January 1997 Mongolia, strongly backed by the U.S., became the first newly acceding country in transition to join the WTO. Mongolia has become the favorite poster child of the U.S. Congress and Government. To them Mongolia proved it was possible to implement simultaneously political and economic reform in a former socialist country—even though Mongolia’s actual record of accomplishment could be judged as more mixed. Although the U.S. Government’s donor policies and the activities of the early American investors have not always had a positive outcome, they have provided a sound legacy for close cooperation between the two countries—a closeness that was never envisioned at the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1987.
Entering the third decade of the bilateral relationship, American businessmen are excited by Mongolia’s mineral potential, and several very large companies are poised to enter the market. Although such plans have been slowed to a crawl by Mongolian changing investment and tax regulations, hopes remain high that Mongolian policymakers will stabilize the investment environment so that major mineral exploration and exploitation can proceed. If this does happen, it should have a very positive impact on U.S.-Mongolian political as well as economic relations.
1 The Mongolian Statistical Yearbook, 2000 lists no imports from the U.S. in the year 2000, see 180.
2 Ibid ., 53.
3 Dashiyn Byambasüren (1942─) was a member of the MPRP’s reformist wing. He became deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers in December 1989, the first deputy chairman and concurrently chairman of the State Planning and Economic Committee in March 1990. He was the MPRP’s chief negotiator with the Mongolian Democratic Association’s young demonstrators during the protests that brought about the end of communism. He was Mongolian Prime Minister from 1990 to 1992 and elected to the Mongolian Great Khural in 1992. In December of 1992 he resigned from his seat and the MPRP in opposition to the Jasrai government. In 1993 he founded the World Mongolian Congress and the Mongolian Development Society. In 1994 he founded and was elected leader of the Mongolian Democratic Renewal Party. See Uradyn E. Bulag, Nationalism and Hybridity in Mongolia (London: Oxford Press, 1998), 87─88; Sanders, Historical Dictionary , 33─35.
4 “Statement for Deputy Assistant Secretary Anderson House Foreign Affairs Committee” (May 4, 1990).
5 Ibid .
6 Ibid .
7 Lake Confirmation Hearings, “Resident Ambassador” (May 1990), 24.
8 Punsalmaalgiin Ochirbat (1942─) was Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and Supply from 1987 to 1990 when in March 1990 he was made Chairman of the Council of the People’s Great Khural. On September 3, 1990 became the first democratically elected president of Mongolia. He was re-elected in June 1993, serving until 1997. Sanders, Historical Dictionary,158─159; Jim Hoare and Susan Pares, “Ochirbat,” A Political and Economic Dictionary of East Asia (London: Routledge, 2005), 253. http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761584258/ochirbat_punsalmaagiyn.html 9 George Bush, “Remarks following Discussions with President Punsalmaagyin Ochirbat of Mongolia,” http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php？pid=19242
10“Agreement Relating to Scientific and Technical Cooperation Between the Governments of the United States of America and Mongolia” (January 23, 1991).
11 Lake, “U.S.-Mongolia Relations,” 22.
12 For a critical American analysis of the decline of Soviet influence and the rise of western advisers in Mongolia in the early 1990s, see Morris Rossabi, Modern Mongolia, From Khans to Commissars to Capitalists (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), Chapter 2 “From Russian to Western Influence,” 30─42. For Mongolian analysis of the same phenomenon, see Munkh-Ochir D. Khirghis, “Adrift or Advance？ Socio-economic Aspects of Mongolia-Russia Relations at the Onset of the 21st Century,” Neighbors Through the Centuries: History and Contemporary Aspects of Bilateral Relations between Mongolia and Russia , Vol. 27 (Ulaanbaatar: The Institute for Strategic Studies, 2005), 95─111.
13 Mongolia's shock therapy was dubbed “neo-liberal” by Enkhbayar Shagdar of the Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia (ERINA) in his report “Neo-Liberal “Shock Therapy” Policy During the Mongolian Economic Transition,” ERINA Discussion Paper No. 0703E (Niigata, Japan: April 2007). One of the leading critics of this policy is Keith Griffin. See Poverty Reduction in Mongolia, Keith Griffin , editor (Australia: Asia Pacific Press, 2003). A somewhat more balanced view is found in Julia S. Bilskie and Hugh M. Arnold, “An Examination of the Political and Economic Transition of Mongolia since the Collapse of the Soviet Union,” Journal of Third World Studies , Vol. 19 (Americus, Georgia: Fall 2002), 205─218.
14 Raytheon Engineers and Constructors, “Final Report for Energy Sector Project, Emergency Heat and Power Project No. l, “Project No. 438─0003, Vol. 1 (July 1993).
15 Terry McKinley, “The National Development Strategy and Aid Coordination,” Poverty Reduction in Mongolia, Keith Griffin ed . (Australia: Asia Pacific Press, 2003), 179─180.
16 Ibid ., 15.
17 For further discussion on the Baker statement, see the memoirs of the late ambassador Olzvoy, who participated in negotiations with Secretary Baker in July 1990, Kh. Olzvoi, “J. Beikeriin Ailchlal xiigeed “guravdaxi tunsh”—uun asuudald,” Olon Ulsin Xariltsaa, World Affairs , Vol. 184 (5), No. 1 (Ulaanbaatar, 2002), 166─168. For Mongolian analysis of the “Third Neighbor Concept,” see Tsedendamba Batbayar, “Geopolitics and Mongolia’s Search for Post- Soviet Identity,” Journal of Eurasian Geography and Economics , Vol. 43, No. 4 (June 2002), 323─335.
18 For text see the Embassy of Mongolia USA website, http://www.mongolianembassy.us/eng_foreign_policy/the_concept_of_national_security.php
19 For text see http://www.indiana.edu/~mongsoc/mong/foreign.htm
20 Comment by Dr. Robert Scalapino when presenting “The Political Process in Northeast Asia and Mongolia’s Challenge,” unpublished paper presented at Mongolia-U.S. Bilateral Conference, Mongolia-U.S. Comprehensive Partnership in the Context of North East Asia: Challenges and Opportunities (Washington: February 28, 2005).
21 L. Erdenchuluun, “Mongolia’s strategic options,” in Northeast Asia towards 2000: Interdependence and Conflict？ ,
K. Lho and K. Moller, ed . (Baden-Baden, Germany: 1999), 95 cited in Ts. Batbayar, “Mongolia’s New Identity,” 5; Kh. Olzvoy, “A Mongol’s View of Economic Development and Cooperation in Northeast Asia,” Mongolian Journal of International Affairs , No. 3, (Ulaanbaatar: 1996), 65─66; M. Dugersuren, “Changing Mongolia in a New Environment,” Mongolian Journal, No. 1 (Ulaanbaatar: 1994), 21.
22 Luvsangiin Erdenchuluun was a career diplomat who became Mongolian Ambassador to the United Nations (1991─1995) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2000─2004). He became president of the Human Security Policy Studies Center in 2006 and a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO in 2007.
23 Erdenchuluun, “Mongolia’s strategic options,” 95.
24 World Bank, “Mongolia: Poverty Assessment in a Transition Economy,” Report No. 15723-MOG (Washington, DC: The World Bank, June 27, 1996); NSO/UNDP, “Living Standards Measurement Survey 1998) (Ulaanbaatar: NSO/UNDP, 1998); FIDE, “Review of the 1998 Mongolia Living Standards Measurement Survey,” report prepared for the NSO and the CUNDP (Washington: DC: FIDE, 1999).
25 UNIFEM and UNDP, “A Gender Lens on the Rural Map of Mongolia: Data for Policy” (Ulaanbaatar, 2002), 18.
26 FIFTA, “Steppes in the Right Direction” (Ulaanbaatar, 2006), 2. As of 2004, SOCO is listed by the Mongolian Government as the Number 1 most “successful company” among foreign investments and Mongol-Amicale is number eight. Other major American investments listed are GL-Monpolimet (ranked twelfth) and the U.S.-Sino Company Rock Oil (ranked eighteenth).
27 Tsedendamba Batbayar, Mongolia’s Foreign Policy in the 1990s : New Identity and New Challenges , Regional Security Issues and Mongolia, Vol. 17 (Ulaanbaatar: The Institute for Strategic Studies, 2002), 229.
28 “Mongolia May Pull Troops from Iraq as Early as September” (Mongolia Web News: August 18, 2008), http://www. mongolia-web.com/content/view/1954/2/
29 “It’s Asked Not to Withdraw Mongolian Troops from Iraq” (Daily Business News Mongolia: August 20, 2008) http:// www.business-mongolia.com/mongolia-government/it%E2%80%99s-asked-not-to-withdraw-mongolian-troops-from-iraq/
30 Mongolia and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, “Building a Dynamic Partnership for poverty Reducation Through Economic Growth” (Fact Sheet: October 22, 2007) http://www.mcc.gov/documents/factsheet-102207-mongolia.pdf