China imposes economic sanctions on Mongolia for hosting the Dalai Lama in November. India is ready to help the country economically. India’s External Affairs minister announces a beneficial credit line.
Ulaan Baatar (AsiaNews) – India is ready to provide Mongolia with one billion US dollars in financial assistance to deal with China’s decision to impose economic sanctions after the visit of the Dalai Lama between 18 and 21 November.
China did its utmost to discourage the visit to Mongolia by the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Beijing views the Dalai Lama as a political enemy.
A week after the visit, the Chinese government cancelled a biannual meeting with Mongolia, with negative repercussions on the latter’s economy.
Southern Mongolia, which borders China, has rich coal, copper, and natural gas deposits. Over the past 20 years, the country has based its economy on resource development and exports to China.
Every day about 900 lorries cross the border into China's autonomous province of Inner Mongolia. Now they are charged 10 yuan each (US$ 1,45), and 0.1% of the worth of the cargo if it is beyond 10,000 yuan (US$ 1,450).
This way, China can harm Mongolia’s mining sector, which is being developed with financial aid from the Chinese government.
In view of this, India wants to help. "We are ready to work with Mongolian people in this time of their difficulty,” said a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
“During the visit of the PM to Mongolia in May 2015,” he added, the prime minister “had conveyed to the Mongolian leadership that India will extend support in diverse fields. We had announced a credit line of US$ 1 billion.
At present, “We are closely working with the Mongolian government to implement the credit line in a manner that is deemed beneficial to the friendly people of Mongolia".
Ties between the two countries are important. "We have a long spiritual relationship with India," noted Gonchig Ganbold, Mongolia's ambassador to India.
What is more, "It is important India raises its voice against China's unilateral measures which are hurting our people, specially when severe winter is upon us."