Chinese Sanctions: Mongolia Seeks India’s Help

After receiving an SOS from Mongolia, India has assured the Central Asian country that New Delhi will help Ulan Bator utilise the USD 1 billion financial assistance offered in 2015.
Mongolia recently informed India that it was in deep trouble as China imposed economic sanctions on its neighbour in retaliation for inviting the Dalai Lama. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) responded quickly, saying that New Delhi would help the Mongolian people overcome their difficulties in the current political scenario.
A senior official of the Indian ministry told the press: “During the visit of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Mongolia in May 2015, he had conveyed to the Mongolian leadership that India will extend support in diverse fields. We had announced a credit line of USD 1 billion. 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 by its leadership.”
At the same time, Joint Secretary (East Asia) of the MEA Pradeep Rawat hinted that India would not interfere in the Mongolia-China crisis. He categorically said that India would try to resolve Mongolia’s debt-servicing problems, but not other issues. Rawat met the press after holding talks with Mongolian Ambassador to New Delhi Gonchig Ganbold.
Meanwhile, Ganbold stressed that Mongolia wanted India to raise its voice against China’s unilateral measures. According to the envoy, it is unfortunate that India decided to maintain silence on the issue of economic sanctions. He told the Indian media that silence “could be construed as giving China a ‘pass’ for its behaviour”.
However, Rawat defended India’s decision, saying that Mongolia’s two biggest neighbours are China and Russia and the Indian government recently received a report that a new era of trade co-operation between China, Mongolia and the Russian Federation was opened in Moscow on December 8, with the governments of the three countries signing an Inter-governmental Agreement on International Road Transport along the Asian Highway Network. In such a scenario, India has no plan to anger the Chinese (and the Russians) by openly criticising it for imposing economic sanctions on Mongolia, added the Indian official.
Rawat further said that the Dalai Lama’s visit to Mongolia was a different issue. The Buddhist religious leader visited the Central Asian nation for the ninth time in November and Ulan Bator allowed him to arrive there despite the Chinese opposition. At that time, Mongolia also cancelled interactions with Chinese officials. So, it is a bilateral issue and India, as a third party, cannot interfere in this, stressed Rawat.
The Indian official once again said that New Delhi has always considered Ulan Bator as its friend and relations between the two countries would remain same in the future.

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