Mongolia between Russia and China
- Country : India
- Subject : International Relations
When Russia pushed into the Far East and China pushed its domination north of the Great Wall in the early twentieth century, Mongolia be¬came an arena of the Great Game — the struggle for empire between China and Russia. Mongolia’s leader at the time, the Jebtsundamba (holy lord) Khutukhtu (1874– 1924), called Mongolia’s geopolitical position a “critical condition, like piled up eggs, in the midst of neighboring nations.” Russia historically has regarded Mongolia as a buffer state, whereas China historically has regarded Mongo¬lia as part of China. But after the Manchu Qing dynasty (1644– 1912) fell, Mongolia asserted— and has since preserved—its independence as a nation in the midst of two great powers. Russia’s policy initially strove to preserve Mongolian autonomy, but it did not support Mongolian independence in order to maintain China- Russia relations and not alarm Japan. After 1917 the Soviet Union eventually did support Mongolian independence but was not firm in that support. China, however, per¬sistently tried to absorb Mongolia into the new Chinese nation.