The economic sanctions imposed by China, Mongolia’s main trading partner, lead to a change of heart in Mongolia.
Ulaan Baatar (AsiaNews) – Mongolia’s Foreign Minister Tsend Munkh-Orgil expressed his country’s regret for hosting the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism.
"Under this current government, the Dalai Lama will not be invited to Mongolia, even for religious reasons," Mr Munkh-Orgil told the Mongolian newspaper Unuudur.
Last month, Mongolia hosted the Dalai Lama despite a stern warning from the Chinese government, which sees the spiritual leader as a political enemy and a separatist.
After the visit of the head of Tibetan Buddhism, the Chinese government postponed bilateral meetings with the Mongolian deputy prime minister and imposed heavy economic sanctions on the country.
These sanctions have been a blow to the Mongolian economy, which depends heavily on China, its first trading partner.
Less than two weeks ago, the Indian government offered a billion US dollars to help Mongolia to cope with China’s sanctions.
According to Trading Economics, China receives 89 per cent of Mongolian mineral exports – in particular copper, coal and gold – worth US$ 4.93 billion.
Mongolia had hosted the Dalai Lama before, in 2006, which led China to cancel briefly all flights between Beijing and Ulan Bator.
The Chinese government bears a grudge against every country that welcomes the Nobel Prize recipient and almost always imposes economic sanctions on them.
During his visit to Mongolia, the Dalai Lama announced his intention to visit US President-elect Donald J. Trump.