Mongolia

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Overview

Mongolia is located in central Asia, between Russia and China. Nomadic tribes originally settled the country, until Genghis Kahn united it in 1206 AD. The Mongol dynasty spread to nearly all of Asia and some of Europe. It was overthrown in 1368, and Mongolia was subsumed into the Qing Dynasty of China. For almost three centuries, from 1691-1911, Outer Mongolia was a Chinese province before briefly becoming part of Russia before it was returned to Chinese rule. China and Russia continued to influence the country throughout the early part of the 20th century, when Mongolia moved toward Communism. Though Mongolia tried to remain neutral after World War II, it quickly allowed the Soviet Union to install troops along its border to protect against Chinese aggression.

 
Diplomatic relations with the US began in 1987, when Mongolia began to break away from the Soviets. The country held its first democratic elections in 1990, and power has seesawed back and forth between democratic coalition governments and the MPRP, Mongolia’s former Communist party. In July 2008, the MPRP claimed victory in parliamentary elections, but democratic opposition groups protested violently, causing the president to declare a state of emergency and impose a strict curfew. Several hundred were injured or imprisoned.
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Basic Information

Lay of the Land: Mongolia is a landlocked, bowl-shaped nation in central Asia sandwiched between Russian Siberia and the People’s Republic of China. The dry, barren Gobi Desert occupies the southeastern quarter of the country, while mountain ranges rise above 13,000 feet in the central and western sections. Mongolia is characterized by extreme variations in temperature and a relatively small amount of annual precipitation. A third of the country is covered by the Gobi Desert, but on the mountain slopes further north can be found large forests and powerful rivers.

 
Population: 2,632,387
 
Religions: Ethnoreligious 31.7%, Buddhist 22.5%, Muslim 4.8%, Christian 1.5%, Chinese Universalist 0.6%, non-religious 38.9%. Most ethnic Mongolians practice some form of Buddhism, usually of the Tibetan Lamaist school. 
 
Ethnic Groups: Mongol (mostly Khalkha) 94.9%, Turkic (mostly Kazakh) 5%, other (including Chinese and Russian) 0.1%.
 
Languages: Halh Mongolian (official) 84.7%, Kalmyk-Oirat 7.5%, Kazakh 6.6%, Mongolian Buriat 2.3%, Mandarin Chinese 1.3%, There are 13 living languages in Mongolia.
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History

Mongolia was originally settled by nomadic tribes. In 1206 AD, Genghis Khan united these tribes into a single Mongolian state. Genghis Khan went on to conquer nearly all of Asia and European Russia and sent armies as far as central Europe and Southeast Asia. Genghis Kahn’s son, Kublai Kahn, conquered China and established the Yuan dynasty from 1279-1368. Marco Polo subsequently made Kublai Kahn famous in his writings.

 
After the Mongol dynasty was overthrown in China in 1368, Mongolia’s influence declined. The Manchus, a tribal group that conquered China in 1644 and formed the Qing dynasty, conquered Mongolia in 1691. Under the Manchus, the rulers of Outer Mongolia enjoyed much autonomy. In 1727, Russia and Manchu China signed the Treaty of Khiakta, which defined the borders between China and Russia (much of this treaty is still in effect today).
 
From 1691-1911, Outer Mongolia existed as a Chinese province. From 1912-1919, it was under Russian rule and then, from 1919-1921, Outer Mongolia again became a Chinese province. Manchu authority waned in China as Russia and Japan clashed. Russia provided arms and diplomatic support to nationalist Mongols. The Mongols accepted the aid and used it to declare their independence from the Chinese.
 
In 1913, and again in 1915, the Russian government forced the Chinese government to accept Mongolian autonomy. Under the agreements, China would continue to control the country, mostly to discourage other nations from offering Mongolia their support. In 1919, the chaos of the Russian revolution allowed warlords in Outer Mongolia to re-establish their authority. The Chinese government dispatched troops that same year. 
 
In the early 1920s, the Soviets won important victories over the White Russians, and occupied the Mongolian capital of Urga in July 1921. Russia exerted its influence over the country again, leading Mongolia to declare itself the Mongolian People’s Republic on November 25, 1924.
 
Between 1925 and 1928, the Mongolian Peoples Revolutionary Party (MPRP) consolidated its power under the Communist regime. The MPRP seized control of the government, but faced several daunting obstacles. The country still remained mostly nomadic, with a high rate of illiteracy. Mongolia lacked a middle class, and most of the country’s wealth was shared among religious groups and the upper class. The government had little experience or organization.
 
To make up for these shortcomings, the new government took extreme steps to exert reform. The aristocracy and religious establishment came under attack. Between 1932 and 1945, anti-Communist groups gained power as they fought back against the religious purges of the late 1930s, including the imprisonment of more than 10,000 people. 
 
The Japanese threat during World War II caused a reversal in policy for the Mongolian government. Eschewing Communism, Mongolia began to build its economic base and national defense sectors. When Japanese forces invaded eastern Mongolia in the summer of 1939, the Soviet-Mongolian army defeated these forces. A truce was signed, which set up a commission to define the Mongolian-Manchurian border in the fall of that year.
 
When World War II ended, the Soviet Union again asserted its influence over Mongolia. The country turned toward greater development and expanded its ties with other countries, especially North Korea and the new communist governments of Eastern Europe. In 1961, Mongolia became a member of the United Nations.
 
In the early 1960s, Mongolia attempted to declare itself neutral amid the events of the Sino-Soviet conflict. This effort did not last long, as Mongolia and the Soviet Union signed an agreement in 1966 that introduced large-scale Soviet ground forces as part of Soviet’s general buildup along the Sino-Soviet frontier.
 
As Sino-Soviet tensions escalated, relations between Mongolia and China deteriorated. In 1983, Mongolia began to expel many of the 7,000 ethnic Chinese living in Mongolia, even though many of them had lived in Mongolia since the 1950s, when they were sent to work on construction projects.
 
In January 1987, Mongolia established diplomatic relations with the United States, and in 1989, the country enjoyed some of its first popular reforms, including the establishment of the Mongolian Democratic Association.
 
For much of the late 1980s, a popular democratic movement gained in strength, and by January 1990, large-scale demonstrations demanding democracy were held. In March 1990, Soviets and Mongolians announced that all Soviet troops would be removed from Mongolia by 1992. That same year, the country’s constitution was amended to provide for new elections, as well as a multi-party system.
 
Mongolia held its first democratic elections in July 1990. In September the first democratically elected legislature (People’s Great Hural) took office. By February 1992, a new constitution went into effect, and in June 1993, the first direct presidential election was held.
 
By June 1996, Mongolia had a peaceful transition of power, from Communism to a coalition of democratic parties. The next several years saw four prime ministers and many cabinet changes, and in early 2000, the Democratic coalition was dissolved.
 
In July 2000, the former communist Mongolian Peoples Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won the election, and 95% of the parliamentary seats under Prime Minister N. Enkhbayar. The Motherland-Democracy Coalition formed in 2004 to contest the parliamentary election. The election resulted in a roughly 50/50 split of parliamentary seats between the former Communist party and the democratic opposition. A new government was formed under Prime Minister T. Elbegdorj of the Democratic Party.
 
The Mongolian government was again dissolved in January 2006, and the MPRP ministers resigned. A new coalition government was formed led by the MPRP and with the participation of four smaller parties. In October 2007, the MPRP ousted its leader, Prime Minister Enkhbold, who resigned his post. Sanjaa Bayar, the new leader of the MPRP, became prime minister and formed a new cabinet.
 
In July 2008, the MPRP claimed a landslide victory in parliamentary elections. But large-scale protests turned violent outside MPRP headquarters. Five people died, and 13 went missing as hundreds were injured. Hundreds more were detained by the police. President Enkhbayar declared a four-day state of emergency, imposing a curfew, a ban on public gatherings, and a broadcast-news blackout.
 
A month later newly elected members of parliament from the opposition Democratic Party refused to take the oath of office and demanded that the nine-member General Election Commission resign in the wake of perceived electoral shortcomings.
 
A Country Study: Mongolia (Library of Congress)                                    
History of Mongolia (History of Nations)
Mongolia (Peace Corps Wiki)
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Mongolia's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Mongolia

The United States officially recognized Mongolia in January 1987. In September 1988, the US established its first embassy in Ulaanbaatar. Richard L. Williams was the first US ambassador to Mongolia.

 
Joseph E. Lake, the first resident ambassador, arrived in July 1990. Secretary of State James A. Baker III visited Mongolia in August of that year, and again in July 1991. In March 1989, Mongolia accredited its first ambassador to the United States.
 
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited Mongolia in May 1998, and Prime Minister Enkhbayar visited Washington in November 2001.
 
The US has sought to assist in Mongolia’s movement toward democracy, as well as to expand its relations with Mongolia in the cultural and economic areas. In 1989 and 1990, a cultural accord, Peace Corps accord, consular convention, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) agreement were signed. A trade agreement was signed in January 1991 and a bilateral investment treaty in 1994. Mongolia was granted permanent normal trade relations (NTR) status and generalized system of preferences (GSP) eligibility in June 1999.
 
The US Department of Agriculture has provided food aid to Mongolia in most years since 1993, under the Food for Progress and other programs. The proceeds of the food aid, approximately $4.2 million in 2006, are used to support programs in entrepreneurialism, livestock diversification and better veterinary services.
 
Although the 2000 census did not have a distinct “Mongolian” category, the 1990 census counted 3,500 Mongolians living in the US. They have settled widely, living in New Jersey, New York, Washington, DC, West Virginia, Florida, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and California.
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Current U.S. Relations with Mongolia

In January 2004, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage visited Mongolia, and President Bagabandi came to Washington for a meeting with President Bush in July 2004. President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Mongolia in November 2005. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld visited in October 2005, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert visited Mongolia in August 2005.

 
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns led a presidential delegation in July 2006 in conjunction with Mongolia’s celebration of its 800th anniversary. President Enkhbayar visited the White House in October 2007 and the two presidents signed the Millennium Challenge Compact for Mongolia.
 
In July 2004, the US signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Mongolia to promote economic reform and more foreign investment. In July 2007, six members of the US House of Representatives visited Mongolia to inaugurate an exchange program between lawmakers of the two countries.The return visit came in August 2007, with five members of the Mongolian parliament traveling to the US.
 
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) provides bilateral development assistance to Mongolia. USAID is assisting Mongolia in developing its mining sector. Mongolia has a wealth of mineral resources that remain underdeveloped and USAID plans on supporting mining development and promoting investment.   
 
The United States also supports defense reform and is assisting Mongolia in training a 2,500-troop brigade of international peacekeepers. A specific focus will also be placed on peacekeeping doctrine development and reform so troops can more effectively integrate with international security efforts.. Mongolia has contributed small numbers of troops to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, gaining experience that enabled it to deploy armed peacekeepers to both UN and NATO peacekeeping missions in 2005. With US Department of Defense assistance and cooperation, Mongolia and the US jointly hosted “Khan Quest 06,” a peacekeeping exercise in the summer of 2006, and “Khan Quest 07” a year later.
 
The Peace Corps has approximately 100 volunteers in Mongolia, engaged primarily in English teaching and teacher training activities. At the request of the government of Mongolia, the Peace Corps has developed programs in the areas of public health, small business development, and youth development. In 2005 and 2006 Mongolian officials, including President Enkhbayar and Prime Minister Elbegdorj, requested significant increases in the number of volunteers serving in country. The Peace Corps has responded with a commitment to make modest annual increases until 2010.
 
Mongolia was one of the first countries eligible for the new Millennium Challenge Account initiative that began in 2004. The program focuses on three main policy categories: ruling justly, investing in people, and encouraging economic freedom through development.
 
On October 22, 2007, at a White House signing ceremony, President Bush and President Enkhbayar signed a Millennium Challenge Compact for Mongolia that called for $285 million to be spent on four projects over a five-year period beginning in September 2008. The Millennium Compact will seek to assist Mongolia to modernize its rail system, overhaul its property rights, and develop its vocational education and health industries.
 
In 2006, 11,377 Americans visited Mongolia. The number of Americans traveling to the central Asian country has been increasing steadily since 2003, when 5,533 tourists embarked on a Mongolian odyssey.
 
 
Mongolia Matters (Brookings Institute)
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Where Does the Money Flow

The election of a pro-business Democratic Party in 2009 has paved the way for the development of Mongolia’s mineral industry. Mongolia has virtually every desirable mineral resource: gold, copper, uranium, iron ore and oil. Previously, resource industries were deterred from investing in Mongolia because of political instability and punitive taxes on copper and gold profits. These taxes were repealed by President Elbegdorj Tsakhia on the eve of a deal with Canadian company Ivanhoe Mines to develop the $5 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold reserve, which is believed to be the size of Manhattan. The success of the deal has sparked international interest, and Mongolia is hoping to attract $25 billion in investments over the next five years to build the infrastructure needed to exploit its mineral wealth.

 
The total amount of US imports from Mongolia has been in decline since 2005, dropping from $143.6 million to $14.8 million in 2009. The United States’ largest import—apparel and household goods (cotton)—fell from $101.6 million to $235,000. Apparel and household goods (other textiles) also fell drastically, from $27.2 million to 1.1 million. 
 
From 2008 to 2009, US imports from Mongolia on the rise included sulfur and nonmetallic minerals, moving up from $1.7 million to $7.8 million and was the largest the US' largest import. Soft beverages and processed coffee were also on the rise, increasing from $587,000 to $1.0 million; artwork, antiques, stamps and other collectibles increased from $175,000 to $482,000, and toys, shooting and sporting goods, and bicycles grew from $16,000 to $52,000. Other US imports on the decline include industrial inorganic materials, dropping from $6.2 million to $1.8 million, steelmaking and ferroalloying materials (unmanufactured) decreasing from $829,000 to $476,000, and sporting and camping apparel, footwear and gear, falling from $304,000 to $46,000. .
 
From 2008 to 2009, US exports to Mongolia totaled $40.5 million, a drop from the previous year's total of $57.2 million, which was more than double the 2007 total. The US' largest exports to Mongolia were wheat at $5.0 million, and passenger cars, new and used at $4.5 million.
 
Exports on the rise included wheat, up from $7,000 to $5.0 million; agricultural machinery, equipment, increasing from $980,000 to $2.2 million, civilian aircraft, engines, equipment and parts, rising from $924 million to $2.9 million, and specialized mining rising from $17,000 to $2.1 million.
 
US exports on the decline included excavating machinery, falling from $4.1 million to $2.4 million, telecommunication equipment, dropping from $4.8 million to $588,000, passenger cars, new and used, decreasing from $9.9 million to $4.5 million, railway transportation equipment down from $5.5 million to $1.1 million, and medical equipment, decreasing from $4.8 million to $588,000.
 
The 2010 Congressional Budget requested $15.2 million in aid for Mongolia. The budget allotted the greatest share of funds to Stabilization Operations and Security Sector Reform ($8.1 million), Private Sector Competitiveness ($4.8 million), and Infrastructure ($1.0 million). 
 
In October 2007, Mongolia signed a $285 million, five-year compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The compact will fund a Rail Project ($188.4 million), a Property Rights Project ($23.1 million), a Vocational Education Project ($25.5 million), and a Health Project ($17 million).
 
 
Mongolia (USAID)
Mongolia on Verge of Mineral Boom (by Linda Pressly, BBC)
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Controversies

Supreme Court Ruling May Mean Millions in New Property Taxes

In June 2007, the United States Supreme Court ruled that American taxpayers could be liable for millions of dollars in taxes on US diplomatic properties overseas. Soon, foreign governments may be allowed to sue for more than $100 million in back property taxes. The State Department has said that it is preparing for possible retaliation overseas. The US maintains more than 3,500 buildings overseas, and many of them may be subject to taxation to recover money owed. The ruling may jeopardize rights and privileges covered under international treaties, such as the Vienna Convention. The ruling also gives the city of New York the right to sue the government of Mongolia for nearly $20 million in property taxes for its UN diplomatic mission in Manhattan. Another possible upshot of this ruling is that cash-strapped locations like Kabul and Baghdad could argue that the US should be paying taxes on US embassies there, and have the right to sue to recover these funds.
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Human Rights

According to the State Department, Mongolia’s human rights problems consist of police abuse of prisoners and detainees; impunity; poor conditions in detention centers; arbitrary arrest, lengthy detention, and corruption within the judicial system; continued refusal by some provinces to register Christian churches; sweeping secrecy laws and a lack of transparency; domestic violence against women; international trafficking of persons; and some domestic cases of child prostitution.

 
 
 
Police, especially in rural areas, occasionally beat prisoners and detainees, and the use of unnecessary force—particularly to obtain confessions—in the arrest process was common and cruel punishment was used. NGOs claimed that some inmates were burned with cigarettes, beaten with batons, or kicked in the shins with steel-toed boots.
 
Conditions in pretrial detention and prison facilities were generally poor, but improved significantly during the year. However, the low quality of medical care available to inmates and overcrowding threatened the health of detainees. NGOs reported that the construction of 12 new prison facilities since 2006 greatly reduced overcrowding. Prisoners were offered a variety of religious, vocational, educational and outdoor activiites.  
Many inmates entered prison infected with tuberculosis (TB) or contracted it in prison.
 
Arbitrary arrest and detention remained problems. General public awareness of basic rights and judicial procedures, including rights with regard to arrest and detention, was limited, especially in rural areas.
 
There was general agreement that corruption in law enforcement agencies was endemic. There were no major changes to prevent or punish police who abused detainees. The government, however, took efforts to improve training and professionalism of the security forces.
 
Mechanisms to investigate police abuses remained inadequate as investigatory units lacked the resources to pursue all allegations. According to the SIU, police frequently blocked or impeded the work of its investigators, particularly when the targets of investigation were high-ranking police officials.
 
Government interference with licensing and indirect intimidation of the press, particularly broadcast media, was a problem despite the ban on state censorship. Perceived self-censorship remained a problem as well. Indirect censorship in the form of harassment, libel complaints and tax audits was also evident. The government monitored all media for compliance with anti-violence, anti-pornography, anti-alcohol, and tax laws.
 
“Observers stated that many newspapers were affiliated with political parties, or owned (fully or partly) by individuals affiliated with political parties, and that this affiliation strongly influenced the published reports. The observers also noted that underpaid reporters frequently demanded payment to cover or fabricate a story.”
 
The law provides for the freedom of religion and generally respected those rights in practice but all religious groups were required to register and the registration process was burdensome and could take years. Some provincial authorities sometimes used the lengthy process to limit the number of places for religious worship. The law does not prohibit proselytizing, but it forbids the use of incentives, pressure, or “deceptive methods” to introduce religion.
 
Chinese citizens were widely treated with suspicion and sometimes with contempt.
 
“The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, but it did not always implement the law effectively, and officials sometimes engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Corruption was perceived to be a serious and continuing problem at all levels of government, particularly within the police, judiciary, and customs service. Varying degrees of corruption at most levels of government resulted in a blurring of the lines between the public and private sectors. Conflicts of interest were rife. The problem was compounded by weak governmental oversight bodies and media that frequently failed to expose corruption.”
 
Government and parliamentary decision making was not transparent, and public legislative hearings were rare.
 
There is no law specifically prohibiting spousal rape, and rape remained a problem. During 2009, 223 people were convicted of rape. However, NGOs claimed that many rapes were not reported because police and judicial proceedings were stressful and discouraged the reporting of crimes. Police referred only a minority of rape cases for prosecution, generally citing lack of evidence.
 
Domestic violence against women was a serious problem, particularly among low-income rural families. There were no reliable statistics regarding the extent of domestic violence, but the National Center Against Violence estimated in 2007 that one in three women was subject to domestic violence. Police lacked sufficient funding and, according to women’s NGOs, often were reluctant to intervene in what has long been viewed as an internal family matter.
 
In Ulaanbaatar alone, there were hundreds of brothels posing as saunas, massage parlors, and hotels even though prostitution and soliciting prostitution are illegal. Some women worked abroad in the sex trade; an unknown number of them were trafficked. Sex tourism from South Korea and Japan remained a problem.
 
There are no laws against sexual harassment. According to NGOs, there was a lack of awareness within the society on what constituted inappropriate behavior, making it difficult to gauge the actual extent of the problem.
 
The law provides men and women with equal rights in all areas, including equal pay for equal work and equal access to education. In most cases these rights were enjoyed in practice.
 
Child abuse took two main forms: violence and sexual abuse. According to the governmental National Center for Children (NCC), both problems were most likely to occur within families. Although it is against the law, the commercial and sexual exploitation of children was a problem. Mongolian society has a long tradition of raising children in a communal manner, but societal changes have orphaned many children.
 
The country remained a source of internal and transnational trafficking of men, women and children for labor exploitation and sexual exploitation Some men were also trafficked to Kazakhstan for labor. Women between the ages of 18 and 25 were most at risk for trafficking. Most were trafficked abroad to China where Mongolians can visit without a visa, but destinations such as Kazakhstan, South Korea, Japan, Macau, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Turkey and Switzerland were alleged or confirmed. The government took limited steps to curb trafficking and relied heavily on NGOs for victim services and prevention activities.
 
A handful of nationalist and xenophobic groups threatened the personal safety of Chinese residents as well as the safety of Mongolian women who associated with Chinese men. There were more than 12,000 reports of violence against Chinese residents. The government, as an institution, took steps to protect the rights of Chinese residents; but privately, many government officials also harbored suspicions against Chinese residents.
 
“Homosexuality is not specifically proscribed by law. However, Amnesty International and the International Lesbian and Gay Association criticized a section of the penal code that refers to “immoral gratification of sexual desires,” arguing that it could be used against homosexuals. Homosexuals reported harassment by police, but remained divided over the overall level of societal discrimination.”
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

Note: The United States established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of Mongolia on Jan 27, 1987. The Embassy in Ulaanbaatar was opened Apr 17, 1988, with Steven Mann as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim. Ambassador Williams resided in the District of Columbia.

 
Richard Llewellen Williams
Appointment: Jul 11, 1988
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 13, 1988
Termination of Mission: Made farewell call, Apr 2, 1990
 
Joseph Edward Lake
Appointment: Jun 27, 1990
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 18, 1990
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 30, 1993
 
Donald C. Johnson
Appointment: Aug 2, 1993
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 14, 1993
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 16, 1996
 
Note: Llewellyn Hedgbeth served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Aug 1996–Dec 1997.
 
Alphonse F. La Porta
Appointment: Oct 24, 1997
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 15, 1997
Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 3, 2000
 
John R. Dinger
Appointment: Jun 14, 2000
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 17, 2000
Termination of Mission: Left post Jan 20, 2003
 
Pamela J. H. Slutz
Appointment: Apr 16, 2003
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 4, 2003
Termination of Mission: Left post, Sep 8, 2006
 
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Mongolia's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Altangerel, Bulgaa

The remote central Asian nation of Mongolia—sandwiched between big powers Russia and China—appointed a new ambassador to the U.S. in December 2012. Dr. Bulgaa Altangerel presented his credentials to President Obama on January 14, 2013, succeeding Bekhbat Khasbazar, who had served since April 2008.

 

Born October 25, 1955, in Khovd Province, Mongolia, Altangerel was handpicked at an early age by the Mongolian Foreign Ministry to receive a university education and eventually work for it. He earned a Master's degree in International Law at the Moscow Institute of International Relations in 1979, a Master's degree in Political Science at the Moscow Institute of Political Science in 1990, and a PhD in International Law at Ukraine's Kiev National Taras Shevchenko University in 2003.

 

In 1992, he was a visiting fellow for International Law and International Public Affairs at Columbia University, and from 1993 to 1997 he served as chair of the International Law Department at the Mongolian National University.

 

Upon joining the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1979, Altangerel had two years of desk work before taking a four-year stint at the Mongolian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, from 1981 to 1985, which were some of the worst years of fighting between the Soviet-backed government of Babrak Karmal and the U.S.-backed rebels who eventually won and established the Taliban regime.

 

Altangerel served the next twelve years based in Ulan Bator, first at the Foreign Ministry as a member of the Inter-Governmental Commission on the inspection of state boundaries between Mongolia and the USSR from 1985 to 1988, then as foreign policy advisor to the Parliament of Mongolia, known as the State Great Hural, from 1990 to 1991, and finally as director of the Foreign Relations Division (later Department) of the Great Hural from 1991 to 1997, when he was also the responsible Secretary of the Mongolian Inter-Parliamentary Group. During Mongolia's transition from Soviet-style rule, Altangerel was involved in re-establishing the country's foreign policy apparatus for the new regime.

 

In 1997, Altangerel was assigned to his first ambassadorship, to serve as the first-ever Mongolian ambassador to Turkey, resident in Ankara and concurrently accredited to Bulgaria, Lebanon, Romania and Uzbekistan, from 1997 to 2003. He then served as director general for Legal and Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry from 2003 to 2008, and as director of the Law and Treaty Department from 2004 to 2008. He also spent five years (2007-2012) as a member of the board of directors of the Trust Fund for Victims of the International Criminal Court. From May 2008 to late 2012, Altangerel was ambassador to the United Kingdom, resident in London and concurrently accredited to South Africa, Ireland and Iceland.

 

Altangerel speaks Russian, English and Spanish. An enthusiastic equestrian, Altangerel owns a dozen horses and even attended Royal Ascot while posted to London.

 

He and his wife, Erdenee Chuluuntsetseg, have three daughters.

 

Official Biography (pdf)

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Mongolia's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia

Campbell, Piper
ambassador-image

The landlocked nation of Mongolia, sandwiched between Russia and China, has long been one of the most remote and least developed places in the world. Its progress toward democracy and economic development since the end of the Cold War will likely be familiar to the career diplomat nominated by President Obama on March 5, 2012, to be the next ambassador to Mongolia.

 

Piper Anne Wind Campbell, daughter of Gay Campbell and David N. Campbell, a longtime director of Gibraltar Industries, which manufactures and distributes building materials. She was born circa 1966 in Buffalo, New York, and graduated Nichols School, a Buffalo prep school, in 1984. She later said her participation in a summer exchange program to Japan “definitely set me onto this career path in diplomacy.” Campbell earned a B.S. in Foreign Service with a certificate in Asian Studies at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1988, and a Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in 1999.

 

She worked briefly for an organization promoting trade between Western New York and Canada prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1989. She began her career with service as a consular and administrative officer at the embassy in Manila, Philippines, followed by a stint as a general services officer providing support to the three U.S. missions in Brussels, Belgium (to the EU, to NATO and to Belgium). Campbell served in the State Department Operations Center from 1994 to 1995, and in the International Organizations Bureau from 1995 to 1996. Detailed to the civil affairs section of a UN peacekeeping mission in the Balkans from 1996 to 1998, Campbell helped the US Agency for International Development (USAID) establish an office in Eastern Slavonia, Croatia, in 1998.

 

After taking a one-year leave to earn her M.P.A. in 1999, Campbell covered Asian issues and Security Council reform at the U.S. Mission to the UN in New York from 1999 to 2002, and served as counselor for Humanitarian Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2002 to 2006. Campbell then served at the Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, first as deputy chief of mission, starting September 20, 2006, and then as chargé d’affaires ad interim from August 25, 2008, to January 19, 2009.

 

Back in Washington, Campbell served as chief of staff to Jack Lew, the deputy secretary of state for Management and Resources, until being named consul general at the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah, Iraq, on July 12, 2011. 

 

Piper Campbell has donated $3,200 to Democratic candidates and organizations over the years, with $1,500 going to the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry and $700 to the Democratic National Committee in 2004; she also donated $1,000 to Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, according to OpenSecrets.org. An avid runner, Campbell has competed in marathons and half marathons on three continents.

-Matt Bewig

 

Buffalo Native Nominated as Ambassador to Mongolia (Buffalo News)

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Overview

Mongolia is located in central Asia, between Russia and China. Nomadic tribes originally settled the country, until Genghis Kahn united it in 1206 AD. The Mongol dynasty spread to nearly all of Asia and some of Europe. It was overthrown in 1368, and Mongolia was subsumed into the Qing Dynasty of China. For almost three centuries, from 1691-1911, Outer Mongolia was a Chinese province before briefly becoming part of Russia before it was returned to Chinese rule. China and Russia continued to influence the country throughout the early part of the 20th century, when Mongolia moved toward Communism. Though Mongolia tried to remain neutral after World War II, it quickly allowed the Soviet Union to install troops along its border to protect against Chinese aggression.

 
Diplomatic relations with the US began in 1987, when Mongolia began to break away from the Soviets. The country held its first democratic elections in 1990, and power has seesawed back and forth between democratic coalition governments and the MPRP, Mongolia’s former Communist party. In July 2008, the MPRP claimed victory in parliamentary elections, but democratic opposition groups protested violently, causing the president to declare a state of emergency and impose a strict curfew. Several hundred were injured or imprisoned.
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Basic Information

Lay of the Land: Mongolia is a landlocked, bowl-shaped nation in central Asia sandwiched between Russian Siberia and the People’s Republic of China. The dry, barren Gobi Desert occupies the southeastern quarter of the country, while mountain ranges rise above 13,000 feet in the central and western sections. Mongolia is characterized by extreme variations in temperature and a relatively small amount of annual precipitation. A third of the country is covered by the Gobi Desert, but on the mountain slopes further north can be found large forests and powerful rivers.

 
Population: 2,632,387
 
Religions: Ethnoreligious 31.7%, Buddhist 22.5%, Muslim 4.8%, Christian 1.5%, Chinese Universalist 0.6%, non-religious 38.9%. Most ethnic Mongolians practice some form of Buddhism, usually of the Tibetan Lamaist school. 
 
Ethnic Groups: Mongol (mostly Khalkha) 94.9%, Turkic (mostly Kazakh) 5%, other (including Chinese and Russian) 0.1%.
 
Languages: Halh Mongolian (official) 84.7%, Kalmyk-Oirat 7.5%, Kazakh 6.6%, Mongolian Buriat 2.3%, Mandarin Chinese 1.3%, There are 13 living languages in Mongolia.
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History

Mongolia was originally settled by nomadic tribes. In 1206 AD, Genghis Khan united these tribes into a single Mongolian state. Genghis Khan went on to conquer nearly all of Asia and European Russia and sent armies as far as central Europe and Southeast Asia. Genghis Kahn’s son, Kublai Kahn, conquered China and established the Yuan dynasty from 1279-1368. Marco Polo subsequently made Kublai Kahn famous in his writings.

 
After the Mongol dynasty was overthrown in China in 1368, Mongolia’s influence declined. The Manchus, a tribal group that conquered China in 1644 and formed the Qing dynasty, conquered Mongolia in 1691. Under the Manchus, the rulers of Outer Mongolia enjoyed much autonomy. In 1727, Russia and Manchu China signed the Treaty of Khiakta, which defined the borders between China and Russia (much of this treaty is still in effect today).
 
From 1691-1911, Outer Mongolia existed as a Chinese province. From 1912-1919, it was under Russian rule and then, from 1919-1921, Outer Mongolia again became a Chinese province. Manchu authority waned in China as Russia and Japan clashed. Russia provided arms and diplomatic support to nationalist Mongols. The Mongols accepted the aid and used it to declare their independence from the Chinese.
 
In 1913, and again in 1915, the Russian government forced the Chinese government to accept Mongolian autonomy. Under the agreements, China would continue to control the country, mostly to discourage other nations from offering Mongolia their support. In 1919, the chaos of the Russian revolution allowed warlords in Outer Mongolia to re-establish their authority. The Chinese government dispatched troops that same year. 
 
In the early 1920s, the Soviets won important victories over the White Russians, and occupied the Mongolian capital of Urga in July 1921. Russia exerted its influence over the country again, leading Mongolia to declare itself the Mongolian People’s Republic on November 25, 1924.
 
Between 1925 and 1928, the Mongolian Peoples Revolutionary Party (MPRP) consolidated its power under the Communist regime. The MPRP seized control of the government, but faced several daunting obstacles. The country still remained mostly nomadic, with a high rate of illiteracy. Mongolia lacked a middle class, and most of the country’s wealth was shared among religious groups and the upper class. The government had little experience or organization.
 
To make up for these shortcomings, the new government took extreme steps to exert reform. The aristocracy and religious establishment came under attack. Between 1932 and 1945, anti-Communist groups gained power as they fought back against the religious purges of the late 1930s, including the imprisonment of more than 10,000 people. 
 
The Japanese threat during World War II caused a reversal in policy for the Mongolian government. Eschewing Communism, Mongolia began to build its economic base and national defense sectors. When Japanese forces invaded eastern Mongolia in the summer of 1939, the Soviet-Mongolian army defeated these forces. A truce was signed, which set up a commission to define the Mongolian-Manchurian border in the fall of that year.
 
When World War II ended, the Soviet Union again asserted its influence over Mongolia. The country turned toward greater development and expanded its ties with other countries, especially North Korea and the new communist governments of Eastern Europe. In 1961, Mongolia became a member of the United Nations.
 
In the early 1960s, Mongolia attempted to declare itself neutral amid the events of the Sino-Soviet conflict. This effort did not last long, as Mongolia and the Soviet Union signed an agreement in 1966 that introduced large-scale Soviet ground forces as part of Soviet’s general buildup along the Sino-Soviet frontier.
 
As Sino-Soviet tensions escalated, relations between Mongolia and China deteriorated. In 1983, Mongolia began to expel many of the 7,000 ethnic Chinese living in Mongolia, even though many of them had lived in Mongolia since the 1950s, when they were sent to work on construction projects.
 
In January 1987, Mongolia established diplomatic relations with the United States, and in 1989, the country enjoyed some of its first popular reforms, including the establishment of the Mongolian Democratic Association.
 
For much of the late 1980s, a popular democratic movement gained in strength, and by January 1990, large-scale demonstrations demanding democracy were held. In March 1990, Soviets and Mongolians announced that all Soviet troops would be removed from Mongolia by 1992. That same year, the country’s constitution was amended to provide for new elections, as well as a multi-party system.
 
Mongolia held its first democratic elections in July 1990. In September the first democratically elected legislature (People’s Great Hural) took office. By February 1992, a new constitution went into effect, and in June 1993, the first direct presidential election was held.
 
By June 1996, Mongolia had a peaceful transition of power, from Communism to a coalition of democratic parties. The next several years saw four prime ministers and many cabinet changes, and in early 2000, the Democratic coalition was dissolved.
 
In July 2000, the former communist Mongolian Peoples Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won the election, and 95% of the parliamentary seats under Prime Minister N. Enkhbayar. The Motherland-Democracy Coalition formed in 2004 to contest the parliamentary election. The election resulted in a roughly 50/50 split of parliamentary seats between the former Communist party and the democratic opposition. A new government was formed under Prime Minister T. Elbegdorj of the Democratic Party.
 
The Mongolian government was again dissolved in January 2006, and the MPRP ministers resigned. A new coalition government was formed led by the MPRP and with the participation of four smaller parties. In October 2007, the MPRP ousted its leader, Prime Minister Enkhbold, who resigned his post. Sanjaa Bayar, the new leader of the MPRP, became prime minister and formed a new cabinet.
 
In July 2008, the MPRP claimed a landslide victory in parliamentary elections. But large-scale protests turned violent outside MPRP headquarters. Five people died, and 13 went missing as hundreds were injured. Hundreds more were detained by the police. President Enkhbayar declared a four-day state of emergency, imposing a curfew, a ban on public gatherings, and a broadcast-news blackout.
 
A month later newly elected members of parliament from the opposition Democratic Party refused to take the oath of office and demanded that the nine-member General Election Commission resign in the wake of perceived electoral shortcomings.
 
A Country Study: Mongolia (Library of Congress)                                    
History of Mongolia (History of Nations)
Mongolia (Peace Corps Wiki)
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Mongolia's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Mongolia

The United States officially recognized Mongolia in January 1987. In September 1988, the US established its first embassy in Ulaanbaatar. Richard L. Williams was the first US ambassador to Mongolia.

 
Joseph E. Lake, the first resident ambassador, arrived in July 1990. Secretary of State James A. Baker III visited Mongolia in August of that year, and again in July 1991. In March 1989, Mongolia accredited its first ambassador to the United States.
 
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited Mongolia in May 1998, and Prime Minister Enkhbayar visited Washington in November 2001.
 
The US has sought to assist in Mongolia’s movement toward democracy, as well as to expand its relations with Mongolia in the cultural and economic areas. In 1989 and 1990, a cultural accord, Peace Corps accord, consular convention, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) agreement were signed. A trade agreement was signed in January 1991 and a bilateral investment treaty in 1994. Mongolia was granted permanent normal trade relations (NTR) status and generalized system of preferences (GSP) eligibility in June 1999.
 
The US Department of Agriculture has provided food aid to Mongolia in most years since 1993, under the Food for Progress and other programs. The proceeds of the food aid, approximately $4.2 million in 2006, are used to support programs in entrepreneurialism, livestock diversification and better veterinary services.
 
Although the 2000 census did not have a distinct “Mongolian” category, the 1990 census counted 3,500 Mongolians living in the US. They have settled widely, living in New Jersey, New York, Washington, DC, West Virginia, Florida, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and California.
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Current U.S. Relations with Mongolia

In January 2004, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage visited Mongolia, and President Bagabandi came to Washington for a meeting with President Bush in July 2004. President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Mongolia in November 2005. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld visited in October 2005, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert visited Mongolia in August 2005.

 
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns led a presidential delegation in July 2006 in conjunction with Mongolia’s celebration of its 800th anniversary. President Enkhbayar visited the White House in October 2007 and the two presidents signed the Millennium Challenge Compact for Mongolia.
 
In July 2004, the US signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Mongolia to promote economic reform and more foreign investment. In July 2007, six members of the US House of Representatives visited Mongolia to inaugurate an exchange program between lawmakers of the two countries.The return visit came in August 2007, with five members of the Mongolian parliament traveling to the US.
 
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) provides bilateral development assistance to Mongolia. USAID is assisting Mongolia in developing its mining sector. Mongolia has a wealth of mineral resources that remain underdeveloped and USAID plans on supporting mining development and promoting investment.   
 
The United States also supports defense reform and is assisting Mongolia in training a 2,500-troop brigade of international peacekeepers. A specific focus will also be placed on peacekeeping doctrine development and reform so troops can more effectively integrate with international security efforts.. Mongolia has contributed small numbers of troops to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, gaining experience that enabled it to deploy armed peacekeepers to both UN and NATO peacekeeping missions in 2005. With US Department of Defense assistance and cooperation, Mongolia and the US jointly hosted “Khan Quest 06,” a peacekeeping exercise in the summer of 2006, and “Khan Quest 07” a year later.
 
The Peace Corps has approximately 100 volunteers in Mongolia, engaged primarily in English teaching and teacher training activities. At the request of the government of Mongolia, the Peace Corps has developed programs in the areas of public health, small business development, and youth development. In 2005 and 2006 Mongolian officials, including President Enkhbayar and Prime Minister Elbegdorj, requested significant increases in the number of volunteers serving in country. The Peace Corps has responded with a commitment to make modest annual increases until 2010.
 
Mongolia was one of the first countries eligible for the new Millennium Challenge Account initiative that began in 2004. The program focuses on three main policy categories: ruling justly, investing in people, and encouraging economic freedom through development.
 
On October 22, 2007, at a White House signing ceremony, President Bush and President Enkhbayar signed a Millennium Challenge Compact for Mongolia that called for $285 million to be spent on four projects over a five-year period beginning in September 2008. The Millennium Compact will seek to assist Mongolia to modernize its rail system, overhaul its property rights, and develop its vocational education and health industries.
 
In 2006, 11,377 Americans visited Mongolia. The number of Americans traveling to the central Asian country has been increasing steadily since 2003, when 5,533 tourists embarked on a Mongolian odyssey.
 
 
Mongolia Matters (Brookings Institute)
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Where Does the Money Flow

The election of a pro-business Democratic Party in 2009 has paved the way for the development of Mongolia’s mineral industry. Mongolia has virtually every desirable mineral resource: gold, copper, uranium, iron ore and oil. Previously, resource industries were deterred from investing in Mongolia because of political instability and punitive taxes on copper and gold profits. These taxes were repealed by President Elbegdorj Tsakhia on the eve of a deal with Canadian company Ivanhoe Mines to develop the $5 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold reserve, which is believed to be the size of Manhattan. The success of the deal has sparked international interest, and Mongolia is hoping to attract $25 billion in investments over the next five years to build the infrastructure needed to exploit its mineral wealth.

 
The total amount of US imports from Mongolia has been in decline since 2005, dropping from $143.6 million to $14.8 million in 2009. The United States’ largest import—apparel and household goods (cotton)—fell from $101.6 million to $235,000. Apparel and household goods (other textiles) also fell drastically, from $27.2 million to 1.1 million. 
 
From 2008 to 2009, US imports from Mongolia on the rise included sulfur and nonmetallic minerals, moving up from $1.7 million to $7.8 million and was the largest the US' largest import. Soft beverages and processed coffee were also on the rise, increasing from $587,000 to $1.0 million; artwork, antiques, stamps and other collectibles increased from $175,000 to $482,000, and toys, shooting and sporting goods, and bicycles grew from $16,000 to $52,000. Other US imports on the decline include industrial inorganic materials, dropping from $6.2 million to $1.8 million, steelmaking and ferroalloying materials (unmanufactured) decreasing from $829,000 to $476,000, and sporting and camping apparel, footwear and gear, falling from $304,000 to $46,000. .
 
From 2008 to 2009, US exports to Mongolia totaled $40.5 million, a drop from the previous year's total of $57.2 million, which was more than double the 2007 total. The US' largest exports to Mongolia were wheat at $5.0 million, and passenger cars, new and used at $4.5 million.
 
Exports on the rise included wheat, up from $7,000 to $5.0 million; agricultural machinery, equipment, increasing from $980,000 to $2.2 million, civilian aircraft, engines, equipment and parts, rising from $924 million to $2.9 million, and specialized mining rising from $17,000 to $2.1 million.
 
US exports on the decline included excavating machinery, falling from $4.1 million to $2.4 million, telecommunication equipment, dropping from $4.8 million to $588,000, passenger cars, new and used, decreasing from $9.9 million to $4.5 million, railway transportation equipment down from $5.5 million to $1.1 million, and medical equipment, decreasing from $4.8 million to $588,000.
 
The 2010 Congressional Budget requested $15.2 million in aid for Mongolia. The budget allotted the greatest share of funds to Stabilization Operations and Security Sector Reform ($8.1 million), Private Sector Competitiveness ($4.8 million), and Infrastructure ($1.0 million). 
 
In October 2007, Mongolia signed a $285 million, five-year compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The compact will fund a Rail Project ($188.4 million), a Property Rights Project ($23.1 million), a Vocational Education Project ($25.5 million), and a Health Project ($17 million).
 
 
Mongolia (USAID)
Mongolia on Verge of Mineral Boom (by Linda Pressly, BBC)
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Controversies

Supreme Court Ruling May Mean Millions in New Property Taxes

In June 2007, the United States Supreme Court ruled that American taxpayers could be liable for millions of dollars in taxes on US diplomatic properties overseas. Soon, foreign governments may be allowed to sue for more than $100 million in back property taxes. The State Department has said that it is preparing for possible retaliation overseas. The US maintains more than 3,500 buildings overseas, and many of them may be subject to taxation to recover money owed. The ruling may jeopardize rights and privileges covered under international treaties, such as the Vienna Convention. The ruling also gives the city of New York the right to sue the government of Mongolia for nearly $20 million in property taxes for its UN diplomatic mission in Manhattan. Another possible upshot of this ruling is that cash-strapped locations like Kabul and Baghdad could argue that the US should be paying taxes on US embassies there, and have the right to sue to recover these funds.
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Human Rights

According to the State Department, Mongolia’s human rights problems consist of police abuse of prisoners and detainees; impunity; poor conditions in detention centers; arbitrary arrest, lengthy detention, and corruption within the judicial system; continued refusal by some provinces to register Christian churches; sweeping secrecy laws and a lack of transparency; domestic violence against women; international trafficking of persons; and some domestic cases of child prostitution.

 
 
 
Police, especially in rural areas, occasionally beat prisoners and detainees, and the use of unnecessary force—particularly to obtain confessions—in the arrest process was common and cruel punishment was used. NGOs claimed that some inmates were burned with cigarettes, beaten with batons, or kicked in the shins with steel-toed boots.
 
Conditions in pretrial detention and prison facilities were generally poor, but improved significantly during the year. However, the low quality of medical care available to inmates and overcrowding threatened the health of detainees. NGOs reported that the construction of 12 new prison facilities since 2006 greatly reduced overcrowding. Prisoners were offered a variety of religious, vocational, educational and outdoor activiites.  
Many inmates entered prison infected with tuberculosis (TB) or contracted it in prison.
 
Arbitrary arrest and detention remained problems. General public awareness of basic rights and judicial procedures, including rights with regard to arrest and detention, was limited, especially in rural areas.
 
There was general agreement that corruption in law enforcement agencies was endemic. There were no major changes to prevent or punish police who abused detainees. The government, however, took efforts to improve training and professionalism of the security forces.
 
Mechanisms to investigate police abuses remained inadequate as investigatory units lacked the resources to pursue all allegations. According to the SIU, police frequently blocked or impeded the work of its investigators, particularly when the targets of investigation were high-ranking police officials.
 
Government interference with licensing and indirect intimidation of the press, particularly broadcast media, was a problem despite the ban on state censorship. Perceived self-censorship remained a problem as well. Indirect censorship in the form of harassment, libel complaints and tax audits was also evident. The government monitored all media for compliance with anti-violence, anti-pornography, anti-alcohol, and tax laws.
 
“Observers stated that many newspapers were affiliated with political parties, or owned (fully or partly) by individuals affiliated with political parties, and that this affiliation strongly influenced the published reports. The observers also noted that underpaid reporters frequently demanded payment to cover or fabricate a story.”
 
The law provides for the freedom of religion and generally respected those rights in practice but all religious groups were required to register and the registration process was burdensome and could take years. Some provincial authorities sometimes used the lengthy process to limit the number of places for religious worship. The law does not prohibit proselytizing, but it forbids the use of incentives, pressure, or “deceptive methods” to introduce religion.
 
Chinese citizens were widely treated with suspicion and sometimes with contempt.
 
“The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, but it did not always implement the law effectively, and officials sometimes engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Corruption was perceived to be a serious and continuing problem at all levels of government, particularly within the police, judiciary, and customs service. Varying degrees of corruption at most levels of government resulted in a blurring of the lines between the public and private sectors. Conflicts of interest were rife. The problem was compounded by weak governmental oversight bodies and media that frequently failed to expose corruption.”
 
Government and parliamentary decision making was not transparent, and public legislative hearings were rare.
 
There is no law specifically prohibiting spousal rape, and rape remained a problem. During 2009, 223 people were convicted of rape. However, NGOs claimed that many rapes were not reported because police and judicial proceedings were stressful and discouraged the reporting of crimes. Police referred only a minority of rape cases for prosecution, generally citing lack of evidence.
 
Domestic violence against women was a serious problem, particularly among low-income rural families. There were no reliable statistics regarding the extent of domestic violence, but the National Center Against Violence estimated in 2007 that one in three women was subject to domestic violence. Police lacked sufficient funding and, according to women’s NGOs, often were reluctant to intervene in what has long been viewed as an internal family matter.
 
In Ulaanbaatar alone, there were hundreds of brothels posing as saunas, massage parlors, and hotels even though prostitution and soliciting prostitution are illegal. Some women worked abroad in the sex trade; an unknown number of them were trafficked. Sex tourism from South Korea and Japan remained a problem.
 
There are no laws against sexual harassment. According to NGOs, there was a lack of awareness within the society on what constituted inappropriate behavior, making it difficult to gauge the actual extent of the problem.
 
The law provides men and women with equal rights in all areas, including equal pay for equal work and equal access to education. In most cases these rights were enjoyed in practice.
 
Child abuse took two main forms: violence and sexual abuse. According to the governmental National Center for Children (NCC), both problems were most likely to occur within families. Although it is against the law, the commercial and sexual exploitation of children was a problem. Mongolian society has a long tradition of raising children in a communal manner, but societal changes have orphaned many children.
 
The country remained a source of internal and transnational trafficking of men, women and children for labor exploitation and sexual exploitation Some men were also trafficked to Kazakhstan for labor. Women between the ages of 18 and 25 were most at risk for trafficking. Most were trafficked abroad to China where Mongolians can visit without a visa, but destinations such as Kazakhstan, South Korea, Japan, Macau, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Turkey and Switzerland were alleged or confirmed. The government took limited steps to curb trafficking and relied heavily on NGOs for victim services and prevention activities.
 
A handful of nationalist and xenophobic groups threatened the personal safety of Chinese residents as well as the safety of Mongolian women who associated with Chinese men. There were more than 12,000 reports of violence against Chinese residents. The government, as an institution, took steps to protect the rights of Chinese residents; but privately, many government officials also harbored suspicions against Chinese residents.
 
“Homosexuality is not specifically proscribed by law. However, Amnesty International and the International Lesbian and Gay Association criticized a section of the penal code that refers to “immoral gratification of sexual desires,” arguing that it could be used against homosexuals. Homosexuals reported harassment by police, but remained divided over the overall level of societal discrimination.”
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

Note: The United States established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of Mongolia on Jan 27, 1987. The Embassy in Ulaanbaatar was opened Apr 17, 1988, with Steven Mann as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim. Ambassador Williams resided in the District of Columbia.

 
Richard Llewellen Williams
Appointment: Jul 11, 1988
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 13, 1988
Termination of Mission: Made farewell call, Apr 2, 1990
 
Joseph Edward Lake
Appointment: Jun 27, 1990
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 18, 1990
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 30, 1993
 
Donald C. Johnson
Appointment: Aug 2, 1993
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 14, 1993
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 16, 1996
 
Note: Llewellyn Hedgbeth served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Aug 1996–Dec 1997.
 
Alphonse F. La Porta
Appointment: Oct 24, 1997
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 15, 1997
Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 3, 2000
 
John R. Dinger
Appointment: Jun 14, 2000
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 17, 2000
Termination of Mission: Left post Jan 20, 2003
 
Pamela J. H. Slutz
Appointment: Apr 16, 2003
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 4, 2003
Termination of Mission: Left post, Sep 8, 2006
 
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Mongolia's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Altangerel, Bulgaa

The remote central Asian nation of Mongolia—sandwiched between big powers Russia and China—appointed a new ambassador to the U.S. in December 2012. Dr. Bulgaa Altangerel presented his credentials to President Obama on January 14, 2013, succeeding Bekhbat Khasbazar, who had served since April 2008.

 

Born October 25, 1955, in Khovd Province, Mongolia, Altangerel was handpicked at an early age by the Mongolian Foreign Ministry to receive a university education and eventually work for it. He earned a Master's degree in International Law at the Moscow Institute of International Relations in 1979, a Master's degree in Political Science at the Moscow Institute of Political Science in 1990, and a PhD in International Law at Ukraine's Kiev National Taras Shevchenko University in 2003.

 

In 1992, he was a visiting fellow for International Law and International Public Affairs at Columbia University, and from 1993 to 1997 he served as chair of the International Law Department at the Mongolian National University.

 

Upon joining the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1979, Altangerel had two years of desk work before taking a four-year stint at the Mongolian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, from 1981 to 1985, which were some of the worst years of fighting between the Soviet-backed government of Babrak Karmal and the U.S.-backed rebels who eventually won and established the Taliban regime.

 

Altangerel served the next twelve years based in Ulan Bator, first at the Foreign Ministry as a member of the Inter-Governmental Commission on the inspection of state boundaries between Mongolia and the USSR from 1985 to 1988, then as foreign policy advisor to the Parliament of Mongolia, known as the State Great Hural, from 1990 to 1991, and finally as director of the Foreign Relations Division (later Department) of the Great Hural from 1991 to 1997, when he was also the responsible Secretary of the Mongolian Inter-Parliamentary Group. During Mongolia's transition from Soviet-style rule, Altangerel was involved in re-establishing the country's foreign policy apparatus for the new regime.

 

In 1997, Altangerel was assigned to his first ambassadorship, to serve as the first-ever Mongolian ambassador to Turkey, resident in Ankara and concurrently accredited to Bulgaria, Lebanon, Romania and Uzbekistan, from 1997 to 2003. He then served as director general for Legal and Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry from 2003 to 2008, and as director of the Law and Treaty Department from 2004 to 2008. He also spent five years (2007-2012) as a member of the board of directors of the Trust Fund for Victims of the International Criminal Court. From May 2008 to late 2012, Altangerel was ambassador to the United Kingdom, resident in London and concurrently accredited to South Africa, Ireland and Iceland.

 

Altangerel speaks Russian, English and Spanish. An enthusiastic equestrian, Altangerel owns a dozen horses and even attended Royal Ascot while posted to London.

 

He and his wife, Erdenee Chuluuntsetseg, have three daughters.

 

Official Biography (pdf)

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Mongolia's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia

Campbell, Piper
ambassador-image

The landlocked nation of Mongolia, sandwiched between Russia and China, has long been one of the most remote and least developed places in the world. Its progress toward democracy and economic development since the end of the Cold War will likely be familiar to the career diplomat nominated by President Obama on March 5, 2012, to be the next ambassador to Mongolia.

 

Piper Anne Wind Campbell, daughter of Gay Campbell and David N. Campbell, a longtime director of Gibraltar Industries, which manufactures and distributes building materials. She was born circa 1966 in Buffalo, New York, and graduated Nichols School, a Buffalo prep school, in 1984. She later said her participation in a summer exchange program to Japan “definitely set me onto this career path in diplomacy.” Campbell earned a B.S. in Foreign Service with a certificate in Asian Studies at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1988, and a Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in 1999.

 

She worked briefly for an organization promoting trade between Western New York and Canada prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1989. She began her career with service as a consular and administrative officer at the embassy in Manila, Philippines, followed by a stint as a general services officer providing support to the three U.S. missions in Brussels, Belgium (to the EU, to NATO and to Belgium). Campbell served in the State Department Operations Center from 1994 to 1995, and in the International Organizations Bureau from 1995 to 1996. Detailed to the civil affairs section of a UN peacekeeping mission in the Balkans from 1996 to 1998, Campbell helped the US Agency for International Development (USAID) establish an office in Eastern Slavonia, Croatia, in 1998.

 

After taking a one-year leave to earn her M.P.A. in 1999, Campbell covered Asian issues and Security Council reform at the U.S. Mission to the UN in New York from 1999 to 2002, and served as counselor for Humanitarian Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2002 to 2006. Campbell then served at the Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, first as deputy chief of mission, starting September 20, 2006, and then as chargé d’affaires ad interim from August 25, 2008, to January 19, 2009.

 

Back in Washington, Campbell served as chief of staff to Jack Lew, the deputy secretary of state for Management and Resources, until being named consul general at the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah, Iraq, on July 12, 2011. 

 

Piper Campbell has donated $3,200 to Democratic candidates and organizations over the years, with $1,500 going to the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry and $700 to the Democratic National Committee in 2004; she also donated $1,000 to Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, according to OpenSecrets.org. An avid runner, Campbell has competed in marathons and half marathons on three continents.

-Matt Bewig

 

Buffalo Native Nominated as Ambassador to Mongolia (Buffalo News)

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