In Modi’s Mongolia Pivot, a Test of Indian Soft Power

Mongolia is among Asia’s more vibrant democracies, long influenced by Indian culture. Such cultural ties are invaluable as countries compete for influence in Asia, suggests Phunchok Stobdan, a former Indian ambassador writing for the Wire. He details many reasons for forging strong ties with the landlocked country of 3 million including its central location in Asia, surrounded by Russia and China, and rich mineral resources. “To seek an independent role, Mongol strategic thinkers have experimented with their ‘third neighbor’ policy to develop overseas partnerships with the United States, Japan and India,” he writes. He adds that other countries cannot match China’s economic role in Mongolia: “China has replaced Russia as Mongolia’s leading economic partner…. China accounts for nearly 90 per cent of Mongolian exports.” India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Mongolia to commemorate the 60th year of India’s diplomatic relations and the silver jubilee of Mongolia’s democracy. The two countries cooperate on defense, and India “helps build Mongolia’s capacity to manage its vast border with China.” – YaleGlobal

In Modi’s Mongolia Pivot, a Test of Indian Soft Power

India nurtures partnership with Mongolia, but no country can match China’s economic role which accounts for near 90 percent of Mongolian exports
P. Stobdan
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Phunchok Stobdan is a former Indian ambassador and the only Mongolist in India.

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