Security of Mongolia and security in NEA.
Mongolia has two neighbors – PRC and RF which are the biggest territories on the earth. Today Mongolia has very favorable external security environment because those two neighbors protect us from the outside threat. And there is no threat from neighbors due to reason of absence of any border or territorial disputes between our countries. I think it is very good reason to be happy, isn’t it?
But if look at the recent history of Mongolia you can find that current happiness had a lot of circumflexions. Until the end WWII Mongolia’s independence was recognized by only SU. Soviet troops were stationed on Mongolian soil four times. Big brother security umbrella was directed against Beijing. From the todays stand it is clear that concentration huge amount foreign military forces, especially with nukes might become a target for preventive or responsive strike.
Drastic changes in the environment surrounding Mongolia and their further development trends since the end of Cold War made it imperative to Mongolia to consider its future and security within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Region, particularly North East Asia.
It is beyond Mongolia’s capacity to prevent all potential threats by relying solely on its own resources; therefore, since 1990s, Mongolia has been pursuing policy of integration step-by-step to international security cooperation in NEA as a single way to provide its national security.
Mongolia has refused to accept direct foreign military assistance, and it has stated that in times of peace it will not join any military bloc or alliance, station any foreign troops in its territory or allow their transit through its territory as well as declared its territory as a nuclear weapon-free-zone. That could be considered as our contribution to the global and regional security processes.
Changes in Mongolia’s foreign policy in connection with security cooperation between NEA countries.
After the collapse of world socialist system at the end of 1980s, our country faced an inevitable task to renew its perception of external security environment of Mongolia, and, first of all, principally change its foreign policy in order to solve a problem how to relate with the two our great neighbors and how to provide the national security by its own means.
In order to find right solution of this problem, the country chose to develop beforehand a balanced, comprehensive cooperation with the two neighbors as the main direction of our foreign policy. Based on this principally new course, Mongolia concluded new Treaty on Friendly Relations and Cooperation with Russian Federation and with People’s Republic of China in early 1990s.
Besides, Mongolia set up a new foreign policy direction of developing active cooperation with the USA and other influential countries in North East Asia. Proper, rational and far-sighted implementation of this policy, called as a Third Neighbor Policy, was vital, in our mind, for the future security of the country.
Comprehensive cooperation with Russia and China in security field as Mongolia’s contribution to strengthening security in North East Asia
As I mentioned before, friendly relations and cooperation with its two neighbors are the core of Mongolia’s policy towards development security cooperation with North East Asian countries. It should be mentioned here, that in its essence our Third Neighbor Policy never had intention to prefer any other country over the two our neighbors. And from the beginning these two nations showed their understanding and respect to our policy.
During the last 25 years, our good neighborly relations have been developing and deepening fruitfully being vitally important for our development and security.
Therefore, Mongolia has brought these friendly relations to a new level of trilateral cooperation expressing our interest to be a reliable bridge in progressing cooperation between the two great nations.
In September 2014, a very first summit meeting between the state leaders of our three countries took place in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, setting up a new basis for friendly relations and cooperation between them.
The trilateral cooperation has been proceeding successfully. Just recently, presidents of the three countries met fourth time during the Tsingtao SCO summit and exchanged views on number of topics concerning further development of trilateral cooperation.
The main point is that the two our neighbors, instead of competing to gain dominant position in Mongolia, have accepted Mongolia’s initiative to expand our trilateral cooperation.
We in Mongolia expect that cooperation of Russia and China in development of Mongolian infrastructure would be also profitable for them too, i.e. transiting rail and auto roads, oil and gas pipeline structures through the territory of Mongolia would be very cost effective.
Recently, there are a lot of talks about possible upgrading of Mongolia’s observer status in SCO to a full member status in near future. Some argue that a SCO membership would become a question about its decisive role in providing economic development, security and geopolitical balance to Mongolia.
Participation of Mongolia in international peacekeeping and antiterrorism activity
Active participation of Mongolia in international peacekeeping and fight against terrorism is expression of its sincere desire, as of the other small nations, to make own possible contribution to common efforts towards providing international and regional peace and stability.
Successful participation of Mongolian military in peacekeeping missions under the UN mandate not only brings us respect from international community, but it also provides us with possibility to bring up our Armed Forces capability closer to international standard. Participation of Mongolian Armed Forces in international peacekeeping is now an integral part of our efforts for peace in the North East Asia.
Mongolia’s policy towards non-nuclear world
The Government of Mongolia put nuclear free issue to level of national state policy and rightfully declared the territory of the country as a NWFZ from the UN podium in 1992.
The unique a single state NWFS of Mongolia, in difference from other traditional NWFZs had no legal and internationally binding background. As a result of the numerous negotiations and meetings the five nuclear powers in 2012 recognized NWFS of our country and agreed to issue a joint declaration in due regard. Consequently, in September of the same year, their Permanent Representatives at UN signed the above-mentioned Declaration and pronounced the fact to the world community.
The main content of this Declaration is that that the five nuclear powers recognize the Law of Mongolia on Nuclear Weapon Free Status adopted in 2002 and pronounced to hold united position against any acts negatively affecting such independent status of the country.
The world community has been greatly recognizing and supporting the idea of NWFZ set by a single state that was initiated by Mongolia. This was a success of Mongolia’s national security policy and its implementation by diplomatic and political ways as well as one of our major contributions to international efforts to introduce regional security system in North East Asia.
Korean Peninsula: Mongolia’s stand
Having friendly relations with both Koreas, Mongolia has been striving to make its possible contribution to easing tension on Korean Peninsula. Mongolia constantly expresses its interest in developing Six Party Talks into a North East Asian security dialogue mechanism and in such case to be a part of this mechanism in possible form.
Mongolian state and government leadership officially pronounced that it is against isolation of North Korea on international arena. In order to solve the problem realistically, instead of forceful, rushed attempt to change the situation, it would be more rational to involve North Korea into international cooperation gradually, and make this a part of policy aimed at resolving its nuclear program.
Therefore, the government and people of Mongolia are very satisfied with results of the recent USA-DPRK summit.
We also consider that our experience of restless efforts for 20 years for international recognition of self-declaration of Mongolia as nuclear weapon free zone, and consequent recognition of such a status by the P5- Permanent members of the Security Council and official issuance of the UN declaration in due regard, could be taken as an important example that a small nation, like Mongolia, may warrantee its security without implementing a nuclear program or deploying nuclear weapon on its soil. That is an important message for nations of NEA, particularly on Korean Peninsula.
In conclusion, we consider that PRC peace oriented foreign policy based on its intensive economic development has a good impact on international security, including NEA region. The government of Mongolia puts a lot of hope on Chinese foreign policy aiming creation of stable and effective mechanism for security cooperation in North East Asia.
The strategy of joint development, peace and harmony with neighboring countries declared by the Government of PRC was well received in our country. We are sure that implementation of this great endeavor aimed at peace and stability would meet with common interests of NEA countries, including Mongolia.