Deripaska Sells Stake in Mongolia Coal Explorer, Kommersant Says

By Alex Nicholson

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska sold his 31 percent stake in Gobi Coal & Energy, a coal explorer in Mongolia, for $25 million, Kommersant reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the deal.

The buyers include Origo Resource Partners Ltd. and China Commodities Absolute Return Ltd., the Moscow-based newspaper reported today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexander Nicholson in Moscow at

Controversy of building railroads from Tavan Tolgoi directly to China

Plan of Energy Resources, consortium of Mongolian private companies to build direct rail link from Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit to Gashuun Sukhait, Mongolian-Chinese border point caused controversy in Mongolia. Battulga, Minister of Urban Planning and Infrastructure Development is very critical of this plan and considers the rail should be built and owned by state rather than a private company. The distance from Tavan Tolgoi to Gashuun Sukhait is 245 km.

Government of Mongolia plans to build industrial complex near Sainshand, capital of Dornogovi aimag. According to the plan, the complex will be birth place of heavy industry in Mongolia including chemical. Core of the plan is processing of the Tavan Tolgoi coking coal and building of copper smelter and add value to mineral commodities. The plan have high chance of realization if rail is built from Tavan Tolgoi to Zuunbayar, former military base and oilfield, 45 km away from Sainshand.

Why Zuunbayar, one might ask? Answer is Zuunbayan has rail terminal. From Tavan Tolgoi to Zuunbayan is about 1000 km. Battulga, the minister said “ state must build this road using all its resources as it is of utmost importance to Mongolian economy.Mongolia will add value to its mining commodity and stop shipping coal and copper raw. Thousands of jobs will be created.”
From Zuunbayan, it will be easy to ship any final product to China or any third countries through main railroad of Mongolia-UB Railways.Since UB Railways is 50% owned by Russian Railways, Russian interests are intricately linked to building railroad to Zuunbayan.

Chinese coal giant Shenhua is already building rail link to Gashuun Sukhait border point from Chinese side in anticipation import opportunities.

Mongolian Democratic Party formed working group led by legislator Batbayar Nyamjav to investigate issue of whether to allow building of direct rail link to China (Gashuun Sukhait) by private company (Energy Resources) or support the domestic heavy industrial complex by building railroad to Zuunbayan.The group members are Enkhbold Zandaakhuu, Saikhanbileg Chimed and Gankhuyag Davaajav.
Enkhbold Zandaakhuu, lawmaker of the Democratic Party said “ Direct rail link from Tavan Tolgoi to China will put Mongolia dependent on China. We should strive to have as many trading partners as possible. We want to link Mongolian railroads with development of the mineral resources. We don’t want to have a dead-end rail link just for a private company.”
Odjargal, chair of board of the Energy Resources said this during press conference “ we own just four percent of the Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit. Building direct rail link to China from Tavan Tolgoi will not endanger national security. We have contracted Leighton Asia and Deutche Bahn, reputable companies to build rail link and develop our share of the Tavan Tolgoi.”

Position of the National Security Council on this issue is not clear. Some media reports said the council did not vote on the issue.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service


Myanbayar, owner of Mongol Gazar Holdings not arrested, but under investigation said Police

Sainjargal, spokesperson of Mongolian Police said today to MonInfo News Service Myanganbayar, owner of Mongol Gazar Holdings not arrested by police.
Last week, Mongolian newspapers (Dayar Mongol and Ulaanbaatar Times) reported Myanganbayar is arrested by Economic Police and charged for falsification of documents when obtained loan from bankrupt "Zoos" bank.
The spokesperson confirmed Myanganbayar is under investigation by Economic Police.

He added Myanganbayar is not charged for any wrongdoing and investigation is still continuing.Myanganbayar is Mongolian tycoon who made his fortune in gold mining and owns "Mongol Gazar Holdings" which have many exploration licenses. Mongol Gazar's largest asset is "Olon Ovoot" gold deposit in Umnugobi aimag (South Gobi province).

He added Myanganbayar is not charged for any wrongdoing and investigation is still continuing.Myanganbayar is Mongolian tycoon who made his fortune in gold mining and owns "Mongol Gazar Holdings" which have many exploration licenses. Mongol Gazar's largest asset is "Olon Ovoot" gold deposit in Umnugobi aimag (South Gobi province).
It is reported Goldman Sachs, investment banking group based in NY, USA invested significant amount of capital in "Olon Ovoot".

By Ganbat, editor of MonInfo News Service

Origo takes 21 per cent stake in Asian mining company

Origo Sino-India and Origo Resource Partners have taken a 21 per cent stake in Asian mining company Gobi Coal and Energy for a total of $15m. Origo Sino-India invested $4.5m for a 6.4 per cent stake, and Origo Resource invested $10.5m for a 14.9 per cent share. Upon completion of the deal, OSI and ORP’s combined shareholding will be the largest equity stake in Gobi.

A privately-owned coal company headquartered in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Gobi holds significant coal resources in Mongolia, leaving it well positioned to capitalise on growing demands from China.

The company owns two coking and thermal coal deposits approximately 133km apart from each other in the south-western Bayanhongor region of Mongolia. The company says that it is planning to ramp up production at those facilities, pending sufficient financing. The company posted an operating loss of $5.7m for the year ended 31 December 2008.

Chris Rynning, CEO of OSI and executive director of ORP, said, “I am delighted we have been able to identify and complete the investment in Gobi, a company which we believe will become a significant provider of high quality coal to China. We look forward to providing Gobi with the support they need to capture the significant China-based growth opportunities available to them.”

OSI and ORP are to merge within the next two weeks.

Copyright © 2009 AltAssets

Hakuho secures 12th Emperor's Cup

FUKUOKA, Japan (AP) — Mongolian grand champion Hakuho defeated Kotomitsuki on Saturday to wrap up his 12th Emperor's Cup with one day remaining in the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Hakuho was pushed back at the initial faceoff but eventually got a grip on Kotomitsuki's belt before lifting the ozeki out over the straw ridge to improve to 14-0 in the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Grand champion Asashoryu of Mongolia fell out of contention in the previous bout when he was forced out by Bulgarian Kotooshu to fall to 11-3 in the 15-day meet. Ozeki Kotooshu improved to 10-4.

Asashoryu was bidding for his 25th title but three straight losses from the 12th day dashed his hopes for another championship.

Hakuho will be presented with his third Emperor's Cup of the year on Sunday. He has also won this year at the spring tournament in March and the Nagoya tournament in July.

All six major tournaments in 2009 have been won by Mongolian wrestlers. Asashoryu won the New Year tournament in January and autumn tournament in September. Harumafuji took the title at the summer tournament in May.

Hakuho will be looking to make it a perfect 15-0 when he faces Asashoryu on the final day on Sunday.

The Nomonhan Incident and the Politics of Friendship on the Russia-Mongolia-China Border

Uradyn E. Bulag

The summer of 2009 in Ulaanbaatar was unusually bustling for an otherwise sleepy city at a time when almost half of its one million strong population were out in summer camps drinking koumiss (Mo. airag) in the vast countryside. The whole nation was determined to enjoy the precious tranquillity after a peaceful presidential election, avoiding a repeat of last year’s violence in the wake of parliamentary elections.

Amongst the few momentous events was the high-profile state-visit on August 25–26 by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. His main agenda was to promote cooperation in Mongolia’s strategic mining sector, a sector for which all the major powers in the world jostled to befriend Mongolia in anticipation of the long awaited passage of mineral extraction laws by Mongolia’s parliament. During this visit, Russia and Mongolia signed a Declaration on Developing a Strategic Partnership between Mongolia and the Russian Federation, raising the relationship from good neighbors to strategic partners. Medvedev also participated in a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Khalkhyn Gol. It was not a happenstance, but a specific request initiated by the Russian side. At the end of his visit, the Russian president and the newly elected Mongolian president Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj shot arrows during a naadam festival, demonstrating what Medvedev called the “military brotherhood” between the two nations.
The Battle of Khalkhyn Gol, better known in the west through its Japanese-derived name the Nomonhan Incident, was a large scale military confrontation in the summer of 1939 between the Soviet–Mongolian forces and the Japanese Kwantung army, fighting on the border separating the Mongolian People’s Republic (MPR) and Inner Mongolia which was then under the control of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. It is usually celebrated in Russia as a key moment in the illustrious career of General Georgy Zhukov, who went on to lead the defeat of Hitler’s invading army. In Mongolia, touted as the signal Mongolian contribution to the war against fascism, it is recalled as a battle of national survival in the face of the most violent aggression that Mongolia has sustained from any foreign force since proclaiming itself a nation-state in 1924, nearly costing its sovereignty. However, over the last twenty years, the significance of the Battle has faded due to strained relations between the Russian Federation and Mongolia as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and to the transformation of Japan from Mongolia’s most existential threat to one of Mongolia’s closest neighbors, one toward whom the Mongols feel the greatest affinity in Asia today.

Before the arrival of the Russian president, the Zaisan Memorial, a gigantic monument at the foot of the Bogd Khan Mountains, blocking Ulaanbaatar in the south, was dusted and polished. Chronicling the socialist fraternal friendship between the Soviet Union and the MPR, the two oldest socialist states, the monument has survived the radical years of the 1990s.
This year’s high-level Russian–Mongolian marking the joint Soviet–Mongolian victory over Japan was thus particularly striking. The Russian president’s celebration was a stern reminder to the Mongols of their debt to the Russians who helped defend Mongolia’s sovereignty.

The target of Russian animosity remains the Japanese, though it has expanded to include Canada, China, South Korea, the EU, the US and many others. The battleground, however, has now moved underground, involving competition to control Mongolia’s rare metal minerals. However, unlike 70 years ago when Mongolia staunchly sided with the Soviet Union, today it tries to strike a delicate balance between the nation’s northern neighbor (Russia), southern neighbor (China), and various “third neighbors,” one of Mongolia’s new diplomatic concepts referring to countries beside its two giant territorial neighbors.

For the Japanese, the Nomonhan Incident is an embarrassment if not a humiliation. Perhaps the Japanese government is too proud to admit defeat at the hands of a few half-wild nomads seventy years ago, just as the Mongols have never comprehended why the world’s most powerful army was twice repulsed by those isolated islanders seven hundred years ago. In the folklore of both nations, Japan was saved from Mongol conquest by the intervention of Kamikaze – the “Divine Wind.” Similarly, seventy years ago, Mongolia was nearly overrun by Japan, save for Soviet military support. However, while the Japanese idolise and unfailingly worship the Divine Wind, which seemed to bless only the Japanese, Mongol devotion to the Human Wind swerves as often as the wind changes direction. The unmistakable truth is that Japan and Mongolia have achieved today’s friendly relations not due to a lack of historical conflict, but precisely because of contemporary symmetrical reciprocity.
At the initiative of a few peace-loving Japanese academics, a joint international symposium was held in Ulaanbaatar on July 3–4, 2009 to reassess the Incident organized by Japan’s Sekiguchi Global Research Association together with the General Archival Authority of Mongolia and the Institute of History of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.
The choices of timing for this symposium and the above-mentioned Russian celebration are as fascinating as they are revealing of the different attitudes of the Russians and the Japanese: while the Russians chose dates highlighting a Soviet-Mongolian triumph, the Japanese opted for earlier dates, commemorating a time when the Japanese Kwantung army was at the height of its power. The symposium was international enough, with the participation of a sizable contingent of prominent Japanese and Russian scholars. Unlike previous ones, however, this symposium was attended by a few western scholars and perhaps more significantly a negligible number of expatriate Inner Mongolian scholars, including this author.

As with most academic conferences, this one was no exception in raising many new questions while solving few. Indeed, there is as yet no agreement on what meaning should be given to the event. It is still called an Incident (jiken) by the Japanese, named after a place called Nomonhan in Inner Mongolia, but this characterization is more than an attempt to disguise a major military defeat. We can measure the name’s historical weight when we compare it to the Japanese atrocity committed in Nanjing. Japanese most often call it Nankin Jiken – Nanjing Incident, but it is generally referred to as Nanjing Datushua (Nanjing Massacre) and Rape of Nanjing in Chinese and English renderings, which signify heavy moral incrimination. In recent years, on the Japanese side, there have been efforts to reassess both its name and its historical magnitude, especially its place in world military history, recognizing both the magnitude of the events and their impact on Japan’s war making.

In Mongolia and Russia, it is still called a Battle, named after a river in Mongolia called Khalkhyn Gol, denoting the major military significance and placing it on a par with the Battle of Leningrad. On the Mongolian side, however, there seems to be a retreat from Battle (dain) in favor of accepting the Japanese nomenclature, calling it a hiliin budlian – border incident. Is this simply linguistic sloppiness, or is it a mental disorder, commensurate to another meaning of budlian – confusion, given the changing perception of Japan from an enemy to a friendly neighbor? As Mongols like to say, only history will tell.
Many western writers, however, use a different terminology, referring to the the event as a conflict, which can be seen alternatively as maintaining neutrality or as showing insensitivity to the significance of the event. Whatever the name, there is an emerging consensus that it was the first major defeat for Japan in World War II, one which forced a change in its military direction leading ultimately to the attack at Pearl Harbor and the Asia-Pacific War.

What all this suggests is that the exact meaning of the event will not be set any time soon, nor will international consensus emerge on how to name it “properly.” While such a state of affairs may be cause for despair, in fact it allows us to explore the Battle/Incident/War/Conflict from different angles. One approach, which is adopted here, is to attend to the powerful sense of enmity and friendship that is manifest today, perhaps no less strongly than it was seventy years ago. This means that we can move away from the military front to social and relational dimensions, which cannot be easily exorcized. Rather, the affect imbedded therein informs the relationship of each of the four parties concerned to one another; it is as easily invoked as was the case this year for emphasizing Russian interest in Mongolia to the exclusion of Japanese interest, thereby giving it renewed relevance.

Central to my perspective are Carl Schmitt’s concept of the political and Mao Zedong’s United Front strategy [2]. Formulated in 1927, Schmitt’s concept involves binary opposition, with the self-exercising agency to distinguish between friend and foe, or more precisely whether a friend is a real friend or actually a hidden enemy. Mao’s strategy, developed in 1925, was not simple binary opposition but a triangular structure, wherein the self allies with a friend to neutralize the threat from a foe. Their subtle differences aside, both the concept and the strategy are ontologically predicated, demanding that the self be conscious of one’s existential identity in a web of social relationships, never losing sight of the material consequence that a failure of judgment might have for one’s fate.

Mao’s and Schmitt’s relational approaches are thus a useful tool for understanding the multiplicity of the Battle/Incident/War/Conflict, allowing us to go beyond the standard dualism as exemplified by Alvin D. Coox’s monumental but flawed book, Nomonhan: Japan Against Russia, 1939 [3]. Coox provides a skewed picture of Nomonhan by presenting it exclusively as a battle between Japan and Russia, neglecting the Mongolian dimension. All Russian and Japanese writings on the subject focus on their own forces and those of their nemesis, downplaying or sometimes conveniently forgetting the involvement of their respective Mongolian allies. The preponderance of the Mongolian literature, on the other hand, magnifies the contribution of Mongols associated with the MPR against Japanese fascism.

The purpose of this essay is to bring to the fore the role of a long neglected party to the Incident, namely the Inner Mongols, who fought on the Japanese side. The point is not to highlight Inner Mongolian contributions to the Incident, thereby gaining a perverse sense of satisfaction, however significant their role might have been. What needs unraveling are the entangled relationships involving the Soviet Union, the MPR, Japan and Inner Mongolia that a simple picture of a Japanese-Soviet duality disguises. Clearly, in this relational approach, we can neither simply dismiss the MPR as a minor “puppet” power fighting alongside the Soviet army, nor the Inner Mongols on the Japanese side as playing an auxiliary role of little significance.
Here I limit myself to exploring the counterpart of the Soviet-Mongolian friendship pact, that is, the alliance between Japan and the Inner Mongols. Unbeknownst to, downplayed or dismissed by many historians, was the participation of about ten thousand Inner Mongolian troops, who outnumbered the MPR troops. Known as the Hingan [Ch. Xing’an] Army in Manchukuo, their Mongolian identity immediately challenges the usual representation of the nemesis of the Mongolia-USSR Allied Forces by recognizing the Japan-Manchukuo Allied Forces. The ephemeral existence of Manchukuo (1932 – 1945) cannot provide an excuse to ignore what “the Incident” entailed for the native Inner Mongols who would be left to pick up the pieces, far more than a few unexploded bombs, left behind by the departure of the Japanese from the scene with their defeat in 1945. Furthermore, it is important to examine what the Incident meant for the Inner Mongols who were fighting on the Japanese side against their co-ethnics, the Mongols of the MPR.
It needs no reminder that Mongolia was divided into two parts, Inner and Outer, by the Qing dynasty. What needs to be emphasized is that in the first half of the twentieth century, the two Mongolias became spheres of interest of two newly rising empires, Russia and Japan, respectively. The acrimonious conflicts between the two empires had direct bearing on the permanent separation between the two Mongolias, and the Incident, to a great extent, institutionalized that separation by settling the border disputes between the MPR and Manchukuo, of which eastern Inner Mongolia was a prominent part. With the departure of Japan from the scene in 1945, China inherited that borderline between Mongolia and China. Thus, bringing in the Inner Mongolian dimension is not simply to add color to an already complex war, but makes it possible to understand the larger repercussions for the formation of both Mongolia and China: the former minus the largest part and population of historical Mongolia, and the latter with the addition of the world’s largest Mongolian population.

Japan was the major source of inspiration for Inner Mongolian modernity and nationalism in the early decades of the twentieth century. At the turn of the century, some Mongolian princes such as the Kharachin prince Gongsangnorbu, impressed by the Meiji Revolution, set out to modernize Mongolian society. They were pro-Japan, supporting the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese war. Conversely, burgeoning Chinese nationalism directed against the ruling Manchu and increasing Mongol discontents in the wake of massive land loss to the Chinese led Japan to see the Mongols as a potential force to cultivate in its continental ambition, specifically in its two-pronged struggle against Russia and China. In 1916, the Japanese supported the military campaign of Babujab, an Inner Mongolian pan-Mongolist who was rejected by Outer Mongolia after the tripartite treaty that reduced Mongolian independence to an autonomous state recognizing Chinese suzerainty [4]. His untimely death in 1916 did not stop the Japanese from supporting other Inner Mongolian leaders, but Japan’s indecision or its internal factional division over China and Mongolia resulted in repeated blunders in Inner Mongolia, thereby both inciting Chinese hostility toward the Inner Mongols and diminishing Japan’s moral authority in Mongol eyes.

With the declaration of independence of Outer Mongolia in 1911 supported by Tsarist Russia, and especially following the founding of the Mongolian People’s Republic in 1924 under the aegis of the Soviet Union, Inner Mongolian nationalism was directed towards unification of two Mongolias. Many Mongols saw Outer Mongolia as the moral and sacred centre – Golomt or the Hearth. Eastern (Inner) Mongolia, especially the Hulunbuir region, was the hotbed of the Mongolian unification movement, or failing that, autonomy from the new Chinese government. The demise of the Inner Mongolian nationalist movement, which was led by the Inner Mongolia People’s Revolutionary Party in 1927–8 [5], and subsequent Chinese warlord-turned-Nationalist control of Inner Mongolia, compelled many Inner Mongolian nationalists, especially the aristocratic princes, to welcome the Japanese as a third sympathetic force, not least because Japan openly supported Inner Mongolian autonomy from China. In the first half of the twentieth century, Inner Mongolia was caught among four countries: Russia, Mongolia, China and Japan. Each of the four states had a pan-Mongolist ambition of one kind or another, but each also was paranoid about pan-Mongolism espoused by the others.

Japanese support for Inner Mongolian nationalism against China has often been touted as the foundation for friendship between the Mongols and the Japanese; but I suggest that it is also the source of tension between the two, which had had serious consequence for the Incident. Alliance may be forged against a common enemy, but in a triadic relationship, friendship between two allies needs as much management as the care and effort taken to defeat the enemy. Indeed alliance or friendship does not necessarily forfeit conflict, but may lead to it. And enmity that results from a mismanaged friendship is qualitatively different and may as well be more deadly than a pure enmity between two known enemies. Let me clarify what I mean by using the example of Inner Mongolian autonomy, which Japan supported.

Autonomy, in its original western understanding, is a political concept denoting limited sovereignty, and a possible step towards independence. However, in the Asian context, it has relational features, forming the basis for political alliance. Specifically, Inner Mongols demanded autonomy in relation to the Chinese state and society, which was deemed the enemy Other. It was an autonomy supported by the Japanese who did so as friends of the Mongols and foes of the Chinese government headed by Chiang Kai-shek. Thus, Inner Mongolian autonomy was predicated on the distinction between friend and enemy. However, Japan made Inner Mongolia autonomous or even independent of the Chinese enemy, but it was not autonomous of the friend, Japan. Thus, when the enemy was defeated, what was left were two friends in alliance, but friends who did not draw a clear boundary between themselves. Since Inner Mongolian autonomy was not a fight to get into the Japanese fold, while Japanese imperialism sought to encompass Inner Mongolia, we now see a new source of conflict between the two friends. The property of affect involved in such enmity was fundamentally different from the enmity with China, for it now involved a sense of betrayal, betrayal by a friend. Specifically, after the establishment of Manchukuo in 1932, with the collapse of Chinese administration in the area, the triad was reduced to a dyad, that is, to a relationship between Mongols and Japanese. My contention is that one cannot be independent or autonomous of a friend without challenging the friendship itself. In other words, insistence on autonomy in a regime predicated on relationality rather than constitutional rule to regulate group relationships would call that “friendship” into question, turning friends into foes. Following this logic, tensions developed between the Inner Mongols and the Japanese immediately after the founding of Manchukuo. Indeed, the subsequent history of Manchukuo was not one of Mongols enjoying autonomy, but in fact, one of demanding or fighting for autonomy from the Japanese, the very agent that helped create Mongolian autonomy in Manchukuo in the first place. Two cases illustrate this point.

In late summer 1931, Khorchin Mongols organized an Inner Mongolian Autonomy Army to fight for Inner Mongolian autonomy from China. This armed movement was organized by Tomorbagan, a Khorchin Mongol and a Comintern agent who returned from the Soviet Union in 1930. He was also a member of the failed Inner Mongolia People’s Revolutionary Party, which went underground after 1928. Two cavalry corps were organized, commanded by military leaders of the two Khorchin banners, and they attracted the surviving soldiers of Gada Meiren, a martyred Khorchin banner army commander who opposed the Khorchin prince’s selling of Mongol land to Zhang Zuolin, a Chinese warlord in Manchuria. The army was also joined by students of the Northeastern Mongolian Banner Teacher’s College established in 1929 by the famous Daur–Mongolian revolutionary Merse, a co-founder of the Inner Mongolia People’s Revolutionary Party in 1925. Two years earlier, he had tried to storm his hometown, Hailar in Hulunbuir, but having miserably failed, he surrendered to Zhang Xueliang, who succeeded his father, Zhang Zuolin, in controlling Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia. Soon after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on September 18th, 1931, the Japanese decided to support the Inner Mongolian autonomy movement. They aided Ganjuurjav, the eldest son of Babujab, the legendary Inner Mongol hero fighting for Mongolian unification, building the third cavalry corps of the Inner Mongolian Autonomy Army, and equipping it with 3,000 rifles and 600,000 bullets, as well as cannons and machine guns. However, in February 1932, when the army refused to accept Japanese advisors, Han Sewang, commander of the second corps, and Xiao Lama, who was Gada Meiren’s protégé and commander of the second brigade, were killed by the Japanese. Most of Xiao Lama’s soldiers, on hearing of his murder, left the army and became “Mongol bandits”, or ‘horse-thieves’ as the Japanese would say, taking up arms against the Japanese until 1936 when they were wiped out. The remaining two armies were reorganized into the Hingan Army, part of the Manchukuo army. Although almost all the solders were Mongols and the original commander was a former Mongolian prince, Badmarabtan, over the years, most of the top commanders were replaced with Japanese, thereby losing its autonomy [6].

As the case shows, the conflict between the two allies raged over nothing but the issue of the boundary between themselves. While the Japanese insisted on Japanese control and leadership of the Mongolian army, Mongols insisted on their internal sovereignty. Loss of organisational capacity was tantamount to losing the raison d’être for being an autonomous nation, and this was the least a friend in the alliance had expected, but it was often the case. Failure to resolve this thorny issue especially on the part of the stronger party, for reasons of benevolence or malice, was bound to produce acrimonious response, defeating the very purpose of the alliance, producing benefit to neither party.

Perhaps the most dramatic clash between the Mongol vision of autonomy and the Japanese imperial vision was the execution of Lingsheng, a prominent politician from the Hulunbuir region, later the governor of Hingan North Province under Manchukuo. Lingsheng was a Daur Mongol, having extensive connections with the Soviet Union and the MPR, and he was related to Merse, the Inner Mongolian revolutionary. Lingsheng was initially friendly to the Japanese, persuaded as he was by Japanese support for Inner Mongolian autonomy from Chinese warlords. He was one of the ‘founding fathers’ of Manchukuo, having personally joined a delegation to invite the last Manchu emperor Pu Yi to become the head of the Manchukuo state. However, he soon became disillusioned with the Japanese when the latter began to tighten control of the four Hingan provinces by sending Japanese as deputies or advisors at all levels of administration. In the 1935 Manzhouli Conference negotiating with the MPR over a border dispute between the MPR and Manchukuo, Lingsheng, the chief representative of the Manchukuo delegation, refused to support the Japanese claim as had been expected. In several border clashes between Japanese and MPR armies, the Japanese were repeatedly defeated, leading them to suspect that Lingsheng had sent intelligence to the MPR side. In a meeting of the four Hingan governors in Mukden at the end of March 1936, he was sharply critical of the Japanese policy of settling Japanese peasant immigrants in the Hingan north, south, and east provinces, a policy he saw as indistinguishable from that of the Chinese warlords. He also denounced Kwantung army interference with the local administration, a denunciation that cost him his life on April 24, 1936 [7].

The Japanese purge of Lingsheng, the most prominent pro-Manchukuo Mongolian leader, exposed, inter alia, the fundamental structural problem of demanding autonomy from a friend. As a friend supporting Mongolian autonomy from the Chinese “enemy,” the Japanese never thought of guaranteeing Mongolian autonomy from the Japanese “friend” themselves; indeed, such a demand was deemed heinous, showing ingratitude to the Japanese and meriting capital punishment. From the Mongolian perspective, they had never expected that they would lose autonomy at the hands of their friend and ally. Thus, Japanese disrespect for Mongolian autonomy, and the murder of Lingsheng, shocked all Mongols, including Japan’s most loyal supporters.

This tension was dramatically manifested in the Nomonhan Incident. The Kwantung army mobilized almost all Hingan Army forces in the Tenth Military Zone, which had incorporated the former Hingan North and Hingan East Garrison Armies, and a newly established Hingan Division from within the Ninth Military Zone. Altogether, there were eight cavalry regiments, totaling about ten thousand Mongol soldiers. Whereas the four divisions in the Tenth Military Zone were commanded by Mongols with Japanese deputies, most of the commanders at all levels in the Hingan Division were Japanese.
The Hingan Division was of the highest caliber in the Manchukuo army. Prior to the Nomonhan Incident, Mongol soldiers had fought successfully along with the Japanese army in suppressing Chinese anti-Japanese guerilla forces and winning all the battles against Chinese Nationalist armies in southern Manchuria and north China. However, on the Nomonhan battlefield, by August 3, only a month after entering the battle, just 31 people remained in the Division. Of these, only one was Mongol, the others being Japanese officers. Many Inner Mongol soldiers died in the battle, but the majority fled, deserting the army [8]. This behavior of the Inner Mongol soldiers in the Hingan Division and its ignominious end begs explanation.

One might wish to explain it in terms of the overwhelming superiority of the joint Soviet–Mongolian forces. Indeed, the Japanese who usually had the upper hand in battles against the Chinese, proved no match, and they also suffered a devastating defeat. But we cannot dismiss the so-called puppet army from the vantage point of the victors. What needs to be explained is why the majority of Inner Mongol soldiers deserted, failing to die a glorious death, having been ordered, like all the Japanese soldiers, to fight to the death.

The answer must be sought in Japanese deployment of Inner Mongolian troops against the MPR. Fighting or invading the MPR posed for the Inner Mongols a moral dilemma of the highest order, contravening their nationalist sentiment, which was directed toward unification with the MPR. Japanese anti-Communist propaganda and that of saving the MPR from racial and ideological enemies – the Soviet Russians – was not convincing, particularly because the Inner Mongols had become disillusioned about the prospect of their own autonomy within Japanese–controlled Manchukuo. In fact, for all its problems, of which the Inner Mongols were partly aware, the MPR was an independent nation. In other words, Japanese suppression of Mongolian autonomy within Manchukuo and the murder of the most prominent Mongol leader, Lingsheng, destroyed any moral high ground Japan could have when propagating their own superiority over the Soviet Russians in terms of treating the Mongols.
Jinjuurjab’s behavior during the Incident was emblematic of Mongol sentiment. He was the younger brother of Ganjuurjab, and a son of Babujab. Upon Babujab’s death in 1916, all of his children were taken to Japan for education. By 1939, Jinjuurjab was a highly Japanised Mongol, and was seen by the Japanese as loyal to Japan. Even he, however, was disillusioned, and sometimes openly defiant. For instance, when Lingsheng was killed by the Japanese, he married his younger sister to Lingsheng’s son Sebjingtai [9]. In the 1936 Manzhouli conference, as the liaison officer between the Manchukuo and MPR delegations, he was suspected of leaking information to the MPR and was kicked out of the Manchukuo delegation. A highly educated Mongol with a passion for Inner Mongolian autonomy as he was, Jinjuurjab was deeply concerned about the danger that the Japanese invasion posed for MPR sovereignty. Yet, as a high-ranking officer, and a son of Babujab, who was deemed an enemy of the MPR, he knew what awaited him if the Soviet–Mongolian forces won the war. Faced with this dilemma, when the Hingan Division was ordered to march to Nomonhan, he requested a ten day leave to look after his sick wife, utilizing his connection with the high command of the Kwantung army [10]. This was an astonishing move.

In the battle, Hingan Mongol soldiers and commanders agreed among themselves not to fight hard against MPR soldiers, “not to forget that we are all descendants of Chinggis Khan” [11]. But they had to deceive their Japanese superiors who were closely monitoring them. Soon after joining the battle, two Hingan Mongolian officers defected to the MPR side, and Soviet aircraft dropped pamphlets with their photographs urging the Hingan Mongol soldiers that “Mongolians do not fight Mongolians,” and calling on them to turn their guns against the Japanese. Adding to the discontent of the Inner Mongol soldiers was Japanese abuse. Japanese officers physically punished Mongol soldiers for the slightest offence. Having lost their fighting morale, the Inner Mongol soldiers sought to find a way out of the battle: one way was to get wounded or killed – this would result in permanent departure from the battlefield; another option was to surrender to the Soviet-Mongolian army, but it was not easy given the distance between the two camps and tight Japanese control; the third, which all agreed to be the most feasible option, was self-mutilation by shooting oneself; wounded, they would have legitimate reason to leave the battlefield [12]. Soon, the majority deserted the battlefield, many having shot themselves.

Note the interesting idea that Mongols do not fight Mongols. This is arguably the first time in history that a major Mongol group refused to fight another Mongolian group. As is well known, the Manchus conquered the Mongols by pitting one group against another. This tactic has caused enormous repercussions for inter-Mongol relations down to today; for instance, there remains lingering tension between Khorchin and other Inner Mongolian groups, between the Eastern Mongols and Oirats, and between Khalkhas and Chahars. Certainly the Manchus were enormously successful in persuading Mongols to align with the Manchus rather than sticking with other Mongolian groups. The Oirat-Khalkha alliance in the face of the Manchu conquest proved short-lived and imploded. Thus, the litmus test of nationalism, I suggest, is whether the sense of brotherhood would be extended across different Mongolian groups. In this regard, the Inner Mongolian soldiers’ refusal to fight the MPR army, and their decisions to self-mutilate rather than fight to kill their co-ethnics, was unprecedented in Mongolian history.

The implications of this nationalism were profound. For one thing, modern Inner Mongols were never unconscionable collaborators with the Japanese against their co-ethnics, though such denunciations were rampant in Mongolia, and Inner Mongols have paid a high price as a result. Almost all adult males among the Barga Mongols who had settled in Mongolia in the 1910s were accused of being Japanese spies because of links with their kinsmen in Inner Mongolia and were liquidated, as were nearly all adult male Buryat Mongols in the Great Purge. Secondly, by refusing to fight the MPR and by risking being killed by the Japanese, Inner Mongols rendered Inner Mongolia a buffer to Mongolia, protecting its sovereignty. However ineffective such a defense was, I suggest that the Nomonhan Incident proved to be the first instance when the Qing practice was reversed whereby Inner Mongolia was no longer a stepping stone to conquer far-flung Mongolian groups. To be sure, these two statements may need to be qualified, attending to the historical nitty gritty. But this much is clear: Inner Mongols have been accused of treason as often by Mongolia as by Japan and China, just as their support was equally and eagerly sought by these states. What needs to be appreciated is a general Inner Mongolian identity that is acutely aware of its interstitial situation.

On December 15, 1939, a conference was held for seven days by senior Japanese officers of the Hingan Army, together with Kwantung army officers, to review the Hingan Army. At the end of the conference, the Japanese senior advisor to the Manchukuo Ministry of Security summed up the reasons for the defeat of the Hingan Army. Two points stood out:

1. The strategic mistake: [we] should not have used Mongols to fight Mongols. Later, the Mongols should be sent south to fight the Eighth Route Army, in order to avoid nationality conflict [between Mongols and Japanese].
2. The number of deserters was greater in all regiments with Japanese commanders. In regiments with Mongolian commanders, deserters were relatively few, and such regiments had better fighting capacity. Therefore, the policy of using Japanese as regiment and company commanders was in the “Hingan Army” wrong [13].

The first point was obvious, but the second one needs clarification. It referred to the contrast between the Hingan Division and the Tenth Military Zone, which was based in Hulunbuir. The majority of the soldiers of the Tenth Military Zone were local Barga Mongols who had longstanding disputes with the Khalkha Mongols over pasture around the Nomonhan area. They were fighting spiritedly not because they were defending Manchukuo, but their own tribal border.

This Japanese assessment was a candid acknowledgement of their failure to handle the relationship properly. But the damage was already done. In fact, the Japanese failed to learn the bitter lesson, but repeated the same mistake in 1945. As the Soviet Union and the MPR declared war against Japan, the Kwantung army ordered the Hingan army to halt invading joint Soviet-Mongolian armies. As in the Nomonhan battle, the Hingan army was once again at the forefront of the confrontation. Would they fight to the death to defend Manchukuo and the Greater Japanese Empire against their co-ethnics? It was a moment calling for the most important decision of one’s life; it was one that would also test the friendship between Japanese and Inner Mongols.

On August 9, 1945, the day after the Soviet-Mongolian declaration of war against Japan, Guo Wenlin, the Daur Mongolian commander of the Manchukuo Tenth Military Zone, and Jinjuurjab, his chief of staff, defected to the Soviet–Mongolian side. On the 11th, with their support, Mongol soldiers killed more than thirty Japanese officers within the zone. Two days later, on August 13, a Soviet aircraft dropped an open letter from Guo Wenlin and Jinjuurjab, entitled: “A letter from Guo Wenlin and Jinjuurjab asking puppet army soldiers to surrender.” The following point is eye-catching: “No soldier should forget the history of misery caused to the borderland people and the puppet army officers and soldiers by the Khalkhyn Gol Battle and the Nomonhan Incident incited by the Japanese warmongers.” Influenced by the letter, all the Mongol soldiers in other Hingan army units surrendered, but not without killing their Japanese superiors. This was the most radical betrayal of the Japanese by any of the puppet armies under the Japanese control, and it was all the more significant because it was done by arguably Japan’s most trustworthy ally [14].

It is not too far-fetched to suggest that precisely because they refused to fight the Soviet-Mongolian forces and instead defected from Japan, Inner Mongolia suffered little devastation during the Soviet–Mongolian occupation of 1945. This political capital would also prove useful when Mongols struggled for Inner Mongolian autonomy within China in 1946–47, avoiding the fate of being ransacked as Taiwan had been by the Chinese Nationalists in 1948. However, the kind of autonomy established in Inner Mongolia turned out to be relational as Inner Mongols once again relied on one Chinese group as friend against another group as enemy. Does History ever forgive those who fail to learn Minerva’s lessons?

Decades after the Nomonhan Incident Japan has become Mongolia’s best friend, and Japanese friendship with the Inner Mongols has also resumed. This is not to suggest that they should not be friends. If there is any fundamental lesson to be learned from this tragic saga of friendship, it is to be mindful of both its positive ideal and its potential for intensified animosity if the relationship is not managed well. It is also imperative that the Mongols decide with whom and how to make friends by themselves rather than being dictated by others, more so now than at any time since the end of the war. Today, Russians seem determined to keep Mongolia on their side, as do the Chinese who try to keep Inner Mongols loyal to themselves. The Nomonhan Incident, or what the Chinese call the Nomonhan War – Nuomenhan Zhanzheng – now figure prominently in China’s anti-Japanese hype. The Hailar Memorial Garden for the World Anti-Fascist Wars – a large theme park whichopened in September 2008 – features a live reenactment of the Nomonhan War for tourists.

One hopes that Mongols and Japanese, Mongols and Russians, and indeed Mongols and Chinese, can review the historical lessons of animosity and friendship and chart a road ahead in a new and interdependent but challenging world.

Uradyn E. Bulag is reader in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge. His works include Nationalism and Hybridity in Mongolia (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), The Mongols at China’s Edge: History and the Politics of National Unity (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002), and The Mongolia-Tibet Interface: Opening New Research Terrains in Inner Asia (co-editor, Leiden: Brill, 2007). His interests broadly span East Asia and Inner Asia, especially China and Mongolia, nationalism and ethnic conflict.

Recommended citation: Uradyn E. Bulag, "The Nomonhan Incident and the Politics of Friendship on the Russia-Mongolia-China Border," The Asia-Pacific Journal, 48-3-09, November 30, 2009.


[1] This is a revised and expanded version of a paper originally delivered at “The Battle of Khalkhyn Gol (Nomonhan Incident) in the World History: Knowing the Past and Talking of the Future,” an international symposium held on July 3–4, 2009, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The proceedings of the symposium are due to be published under the same title by Fukyosha in Tokyo. I thank Tanaka Katsuhiko, Imanishi Junko and Husel Borjigin, the editors, for permission to reproduce the paper here in advance. I am grateful to Mark Selden for his comments on an earlier version of the paper.
[2] Schmitt, C. (1996) The Concept of the Political, trans. G. Schwab, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Mao Zedong (1994 [1925]) ‘Analysis of All the Classes in Chinese Society (December 1)’, in S.R. Schram and N.J. Hodes (eds) Mao’s Road to Power: Revolutionary Writings, 1912– 1949, vol.2: National Revolution and Social Revolution, December 1920–June 1927, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, pp. 249–62.
[3] Alvin D. Coox (1985) Nomonhan: Japan Against Russia, 1939, Stanford: Stanford University Press. See also Edward J. Drea (1981), Nomonhan: Japanese-Soviet Tactical Combat, 1939, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Link.
[4] Nakami, T. (1999) ‘Babujab and his Uprising: Re-examining the Inner Mongol Struggle for Independence’, Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko, No. 57, pp. 137–53.
[5] Atwood, C. (2002) Young Mongols and Vigilantes in Inner Mongolia Interregnum Decades, 1911–1931, Leiden: E.J. Brill.
[6] Sexihao (1990) ‘Nei Menggu Zizhijun de Jianli he Jieti’ (The Establishment and the Dissolution of the Inner Mongolia Autonomy Army), Zhelimu Meng Wenshi Ziliao, No. 4, pp. 53–56.
[7] E’erhenbaya’er (1985) ‘Weiman Shiqi de Lingsheng Shijian’ (The Incident of Lingsheng during the Puppet Manchukuo), Hulunbei’er Wenshi Ziliao Xuanbian, No. 3, pp. 38–54.
[8] Li Chunpeng, Xu Zhanjiang, Abide, Yan Weimin, Nashen (1988) Nuomenhan Zhanzheng (The Nomonhan War), Changchun: Jilin Wenshi Chubanshe, p. 258–64.
[9] Gong Qinghe (2001) ‘Yi Zhenzhu’erzhabu, 2’ (Remembering Jinjuurjab, Part 2), Haila’er Wenshi Ziliao, No. 8, p. 132.
[10] Li Chunpeng, Xu Zhanjiang, Abide, Yan Weimin, Nashen (1988) Nuomenhan Zhanzheng (The Nomonhan War), Changchun: Jilin Wenshi Chubanshe, pp. 130–31.
[11] ibid. p. 128.
[12] Haosibaya’er (1989) ‘Nuomenhan Zhanzheng jiqi Zuoyi Zhanchang’ (The Nomonhan War and Its Left Battlefield), E’erguna Qi Wenshi Ziliao, No. 2, p. 89.
[13] Li Chunpeng, Xu Zhanjiang, Abide, Yan Weimin, Nashen (1988) Nuomenhan Zhanzheng (The Nomonhan War), Changchun: Jilin Wenshi Chubanshe, p. 351.
[14] Zhenzhu’erzhabu (1982) ‘Weiman Dishi Junguanqu Suoshu Budui Touxiang Sulian Hongjun de Jingguo’ (The Story of the Army Units Belonging to the Tenth Military Zone of the Puppet Manchukuo Surrendering to the Soviet Red Army), Hulunbei’er Wenshi Ziliao Xuanbian, No.2, pp. 111–15. Gaoqide Magesi’er (1988) ‘Weiman Dishi Junguanqu Bufen Guanbing zai Xinihe Shadiao Riben Junguan de Jingguo (The Story of Some Officers and Soldiers of the Tenth Military Zone of the Puppet Manchukuo Killing Japanese Officers at the Sinehen River), Hulunbei’er Wenshi Ziliao Xuanbian, No. 4, pp. 179–84.

Entree - PacMag Business Combination Doubles Copper Resources

VANCOUVER, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Entree Gold Inc. (TSX:ETG; NYSE Amex:EGI; Frankfurt:EKA - "Entree" or the "Company") announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement with PacMag Metals Limited (ASX:PMH - "PacMag") to implement Australian Schemes of Arrangement to acquire all of the issued shares and options of PacMag.

PacMag has a 100% interest in the Ann Mason Project located near Yerington, Nevada, which hosts the Ann Mason copper-molybdenum porphyry deposit. This deposit has a Joint Ore Reserves Committee ("JORC") compliant inferred resource of 810 million tonnes grading 0.40% copper and 0.004% molybdenum at a 0.30% copper cut-off grade, estimated to contain more than 7.1 billion pounds copper. The project is contiguous with the HoneyBadger and Bronco Creek properties recently optioned by Entree (see news releases from July 23 and September 25, 2009). PacMag owns several other assets in the US and Australia.

The transaction values PacMag at approximately CAD$47 million (AUD$49 million)(1). Consideration will be payable with a combination of Entree shares and cash. Each PacMag shareholder will receive approximately 0.102 Entree shares and CAD$0.041 (AUD$0.043) cash for each PacMag share. In addition, Entree will acquire all of the outstanding PacMag options for aggregate consideration of approximately 294,000 shares and CAD$343,500. The aggregate consideration payable by Entree for all of the PacMag shares and options will be approximately 15 million Entree shares and CAD$6,343,500.

The Directors of PacMag have informed Entree that, in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an independent expert concluding that the Scheme is in the best interests of PacMag shareholders, they will unanimously recommend that PacMag shareholders vote in favour of the proposed Scheme and all directors intend to vote their shareholdings (including option holdings) in favour of the Scheme.

Greg Crowe, Entree's President & CEO, stated, "The business combination with PacMag complements our current copper-gold resources in Mongolia, consolidates our exploration and development position in the highly prospective, under-explored Yerington Camp in Nevada, and brings under the Entree umbrella a sizeable copper and molybdenum inventory. Entree is well on its way to holding a stable of high quality, advanced stage, large-tonnage copper-gold-molybdenum assets."

Highlights of the Transaction

Entree management believes the combination of the two companies is advantageous to shareholders for numerous reasons:

- Entree shareholders gain access to an exciting project portfolio,
including the Ann Mason copper-molybdenum porphyry deposit directly
adjacent to existing properties which Entree has optioned in Nevada;
- The Ann Mason deposit adds a significant copper-molybdenum resource to
the Company's asset base, more than doubling existing resource
- The Ann Mason property hosts other significant copper prospects,
including the Blue Hills, Shamrock and Minnesota projects;
- The transaction combines high quality base metal and gold assets in
three mining friendly jurisdictions.
Entree management also believes the combination of the two companies is beneficial to PacMag shareholders:

- It gives PacMag shareholders exposure to a liquid, under-leveraged TSX
and NYSE-Amex listed company with a strong shareholder base in the US,
Canada and Europe;
- It allows PacMag shareholders to participate in the development of the
Oyu Tolgoi Project in Mongolia;
- Consolidation of the property holdings in the Yerington Camp allows
for a more efficient approach to ongoing exploration and development
of this highly prospective porphyry copper district;
- PacMag shareholders will be exposed to a company with an experienced
Board of Directors and management team, strong senior mining partners
in Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines, a strong balance sheet and a proven
record of raising capital.
The PacMag combination is complementary to Entree's existing holdings in Mongolia. Entree is the only junior company with a stake in the emerging Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold camp in southern Mongolia, now recognized as the most significant new copper discovery worldwide in the last twenty years. The recent signing of an Investment Agreement between the Mongolian Government and the Rio Tinto - Ivanhoe Mines partners will facilitate accelerated responsible development of this major, long-life resource.

Scheme Implementation Agreement

Entree and PacMag have entered into a scheme implementation agreement ("SIA") to implement the proposed acquisition by Entree of PacMag.

Under the SIA, PacMag has agreed to propose an Australian scheme of arrangement with its shareholders ("Share Scheme") under which Entree will provide PacMag shareholders one Entree share and CAD$0.0415 cash for each 9.828 PacMag shares held on the record date. This values PacMag at approximately AUD$49 million, and equates to AUD$0.33 per PacMag share(1).

In addition PacMag has agreed to propose an Australian scheme of arrangement with optionholders ("Scheme Optionholders"), other than optionholders who were granted options under PacMag's Employee Share Option Plan, ("Option Scheme") under which Entree will provide Scheme Optionholders 0.0107 to 0.0481 Entree shares and CAD$0.0125 to $0.0562 cash for each PacMag option (according to their class) held on the record date.

Entree will also offer to cancel all options issued under PacMag's Employee Share Option Plan in consideration for 0.0367 Entree share and CAD$0.0429 cash for each PacMag option held on the record date. The Share Scheme and Option Scheme are conditional on the cancellation or exercise of all options issued under PacMag's Employee Share Option Plan.

The SIA contains a number of customary conditions, including an independent expert's report concluding that the Share Scheme is in the best interest of PacMag shareholders and that the Option Scheme is in the best interests of Scheme Optionholders, receipt of required approval from regulators and Australian court approvals, as well as approval by PacMag shareholders of the Share Scheme and Scheme Optionholders of the Option Scheme.

The SIA contains customary terms typical for a transaction of this nature including no shop and no talk exclusivity provisions, a break fee of AUD$350,000 payable in certain circumstances (although not linked to the outcome of the PacMag shareholder or optionholder vote in relation to the Share Scheme or Option Scheme).

Advisors and Counsel for the Transaction

Entree's financial advisor for this transaction is TD Securities Inc., its Australian legal counsel is Blakiston & Crabb and its Canadian legal counsel is Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP.

About Entree Gold Inc.

Entree Gold Inc. is a Canadian mineral exploration company focused on the worldwide exploration and development of gold and copper prospects. Entree's expertise is in exploring for deep and/or concealed ore deposits and with a treasury currently in excess of C$40 million, is well funded for future activities. Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto are major shareholders of Entree, holding approximately 15% and 16% of issued and outstanding shares respectively.

Entree's flagship property is in Mongolia, where it holds two mining licences and one exploration licence comprising the 179,590 hectare Lookout Hill property that completely surrounds the 8,500-hectare Oyu Tolgoi project of Ivanhoe Mines, and hosts the Hugo North Extension of the Hugo Dummett copper-gold deposit and the Heruga copper-gold-molybdenum deposit.

The Lookout Hill property is subject to a joint venture with Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia Inc (IMMI) whereby following expenditure of US$35 million by IMMI, Entree now retains a 20% to 30% carried interest through to production, with Entree's share of development costs to be repaid from future production cash flow.

The Hugo North Extension deposit hosts a 43-101 compliant Indicated Resource of 117 million tonnes grading 1.8% copper and 0.61 g/t gold, estimated to contain 4.6 billion pounds of copper and 2.3 million ounces of gold and an Inferred Resource of 95.5 million tonnes grading 1.15% copper and 0.31 g/t gold, estimated to contain 2.4 billion pounds copper and 950,000 ounces of gold. Entree retains a 20% carried interest in these resources.

The Heruga deposit contains an Inferred Resource of 760 million tonnes grading 0.48% copper, 0.55 g/t gold and 142 ppm molybdenum, estimated to contain 8 billion pounds of copper and 13.4 million ounces of gold. Entree also retains a 20% carried interest in this resource.

Both resources were calculated using a 0.6 % copper equivalent cut-off. The copper equivalent grades were estimated using metal prices of US$1.35 per pound copper, US$650 per ounce gold and US$10 per pound molybdenum. All resources at Hugo North Extension and Heruga were calculated using a 0.6% copper-equivalent cut-off.

Entree continues to explore its large landholdings in Mongolia, including the coal discovery Nomkhon Bohr, and is also evaluating the Huaixi copper project in Zhejiang Province in China.

In North America, Entree is exploring for porphyry-related copper systems in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and British Columbia. Entree's Nevada property is contiguous with the western boundary of PacMag's Ann Mason copper project and increases substantially the area of prospective tenure within that district. Click here for Entree's Yerington Projects Map:

Qualified Person

Robert Cann, P.Geo., Entree's Vice-President, Exploration, and Lindsay Bottomer, P. Geo., FAIMM, both Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"), supervised the preparation of the technical information in this release relating to the Entree properties.

About PacMag Metals Limited

PacMag is an Australian-based exploration company focused on its advanced copper-molybdenum-gold assets at Ann Mason in Nevada, as well as its advanced Sentinel uranium-germanium-molybdenum project located in North Dakota.

The wholly owned Ann Mason copper deposit contains a JORC-compliant inferred mineral resource of 810 million tonnes at 0.4% copper, 0.004% molybdenum (7.1 billion pounds of contained copper metal). PacMag has made new discoveries of high-grade copper sulphide targets (Shamrock prospect and Ann Mason "5000" zone) and a new porphyry copper deposit plus near surface copper-oxide targets (Blue Hills). At Shamrock, 5 kilometres south east of Ann Mason, recent drilling by PacMag from a first pass 12 hole RC drilling program returned strong copper intersections including 33.6 metres at 1.72% copper from a depth of 15.2 metres, whilst at Blue Hills 2 kilometres west of Ann Mason drill intersections include; 73.2 metres at 0.57% copper equivalent, 100.6 metres at 0.41% copper equivalent and 526 metres at 0.3% copper equivalent.

At the Sentinel uranium project in North Dakota, resource definition drill testing of a small portion of the total prospective project area, has confirmed continuity, grade and positive metallurgical characteristics of the uranium, molybdenum and germanium mineralisation hosted within regionally continuous lignite seams.

Competent Persons Statement

The information in this Release that relates to PacMag Exploration Results, Minerals Resources or Ore Reserves, as those terms are as defined in the 2004 Edition of the "Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Resources and Ore Reserves", is based on information compiled by Mr Michael Clifford, who is a full time employee of the Company and a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists. Mr Michael Clifford has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which they are undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the "Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Resources and Ore Reserve". Mr Michael Clifford consents to the inclusion in this Release of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

This News Release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements which relate to future events. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may", "should", "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "believes", "estimates", "predicts", "potential" or "continue" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Such statements include those relating to the successful completion of the transaction and implementation of the Schemes of Arrangement. These statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our or our industry's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

While these forward-looking statements, and any assumptions upon which they are based, are made in good faith and reflect our current judgment regarding the direction of our business, actual results will almost always vary, sometimes materially, from any estimates, predictions, projections, assumptions or other future performance suggested herein. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States, the Company does not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to actual results. Readers are referred to the sections entitled "Risk Factors" in the Company's periodic filings with the British Columbia Securities Commission, which can be viewed at, and with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, which can be viewed at

(1) Based on the 20 day VWAP of Entree shares on the TSX to 27 November
2009 of C$2.724 and the Australian dollar / Canadian dollar exchange
rate of 0.9656 at close on 27 November 2009.

SOURCE: Entrée Gold Inc.


Khan gets offer from Russia's ARMZ, shares leap

TORONTO ( – Russian uranium miner Atomredmetzoloto JSC (ARMZ) has offered to buy Toronto-based Khan Resources, which owns a controlling stake in a uranium project in Mongolia.

State-owned ARMZ is offering C$0,65 a share for Khan, which represents a 48% premium on the closing price on Thursday, and a 103% premium over the 20-day volume-weighted average price, the Russian group said.

Khan shares surged on the news, and were trading at C$0,61 apiece by 15:55 in Toronto, a gain of 38,6% for the day.

The company holds a 58% interest in Central Asian Uranium Company (CAUC), which holds a mining licence on the Dornod property in Mongolia. ARMZ subsidiary Priargunsky owns 21% of CAUC and Mongolian government-owned MonAtom holds the balance.

Khan also has a 100% interest in an adjacent exploration licence area.

"We believe the offer represents full and fair value for the Khan shares and provides Khan shareholders with an opportunity to receive liquidity at a significant premium to the current market, as well as value certainty today, relative to the significant political and licensing risks associated with the development of the Dornod property in Mongolia." said ARMZ director-general Vadim Zhivov.

Khan said later on Friday that it would not comment on the proposal or speculate on potential action it could take until it had reviewed the offer.

ARMZ is the world's fifth-biggest uranium producer, with mines in Russia and Kazakhstan. It falls under Rosatom – the Russian State company controlling the nation's nuclear activities.

A definitive feasibility study was completed earlier this year on the Dornod project, and the foreign partners must now conclude an investment agreement with the government of Mongolia.

The Dornod project is expected to have a mine life of 15 years, and could produce an average of three-million pounds of the nuclear fuel, at $23,22/lb, according to the study.

Khan said in September that it would try to start negotiations as soon as possible on an investment agreement, now that Mongolia has signed its landmark pact with Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto for their Oyu Tolgoi project.

Mongolia had been putting off talks on other mining agreements until the Oyu Tolgoi deal was resolved, and other companies, including Khan, have expressed optimism that the Ivanhoe/Rio agreement will pave the way for additional deals to follow quickly.

Edited by: Liezel Hill


Management team of Zoos bank will continue, said Mongol Bank governor

Management team of Zoos Bank led by Benjamin Turnbull, American banker will be retained, said today Purevdorj, MongolBank Governor.Last week, MongolBank nationalized bankrupt "Zoos" bank as the bank sought merger with Savings Bank.
Benjamin Turnbull was appointed as CEO of the bank in July of this year to represent European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, majority shareholder of the bank.
Mongolian and foreign shareholders of the bank differed on how to save the bank from bankruptcy.

Mongolians wanted to merge with Savings Bank managed by Mongolian conglomerate "Just" group. EBRD was reluctant to merge with Savings Bank as Mongol Bank stepped in. After reviewing merger request of the banks, MongolBank refused to approve the merger, instead it nationalized the bank.

Zoos bank is renamed "State Bank" and all its employees are being terminated with option to renew their employment agreement with the new bank.
According to Ochirkhuu, Vice Minister of Finance, asset of the new bank is "modest" and not close enought to other Mongolian banks.
Turnbull praised the effort of the MongolBank and said" the decision to nationalize the Zoos Bank is most wise decision of the central bank and I'm honored to manage the new state bank".
It is alleged that inability of Mongol Gazar Holdings, privately held Mongolian gold mining company to repay its loan led the Zoos Bank to bankruptcy.

By Ganbat, Editor of MonInfo News Service


Owner of "Mongol Gazar"Holdings arrested, reports Mongolian newspapers

Mongolian newspapers "Dayar Mongol" and " Ulaanbaatar Times" reported today Myanganbayar, owner of "Mongol Gazar Holdings" gold mine company arrested in Chinggis Khaan Airport after coming back from China a week later.

The newspapers reported Myanganbayar was not repaying back 60 billion tugrig loan borrowed from "Zoos" bank. This led to bankruptcy of the bank and last week, Mongol Bank announced it is nationalizing the "Zoos"Bank and injecting cash in it.

One of the charges directed against Myanganbayar is falsification of documents in order to obtain loan from several banks using "Olon-Ovoot"gold deposit as collateral. The gold miner also reportedly took loan of 16 billion Tugrig from another bankrupt bank "Anod".

Officials of the Finance Minister and Mongol Bank said Myanganbayar should be made to repay back his loans.Mongol Bank determined Myanganbayar's loan size from Mongolian and international banks reached 187 billion Tugrig, according to the newspapers.It s alleged that only 80 billion Tugrig from Myanganbayar's loan is being repaid according to schedule and remaining 100 billion Tugrig loan considered to be bad loan.

The newspapers did not specify date of Myanganbayar' arrest.

Review written by Ganbat, editor of MonInfo News Service


Future for Foreign Investment in Mongolia Bright

BEIJING, Nov. 27 – The future for Mongolia is very bright according to Ganhhuyag Hutagt, the chief executive officer for TenGer Financial Group of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, who spoke at to a reception hosted by the Business Advisory Council of the Greater Tumen Initiative in Beijing on Monday.

Discussing investment trends and opportunities in Mongolia, Mr. Hutagt said he believed that the country’s location between Russia and China was an advantage. Every invested dollar will be worth US$1.84 in the future he said.

BEIJING, Nov. 27 – The future for Mongolia is very bright according to Ganhhuyag Hutagt, the chief executive officer for TenGer Financial Group of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, who spoke at to a reception hosted by the Business Advisory Council of the Greater Tumen Initiative in Beijing on Monday.

Discussing investment trends and opportunities in Mongolia, Mr. Hutagt said he believed that the country’s location between Russia and China was an advantage. Every invested dollar will be worth US$1.84 in the future he said.


Mongolia’s first ski resort opens today

Mongolia is reportedly opening it’s first proper ski resort today, located near the capitol Ulanbaatar. has learned that Mongolia’s new ‘Sky Resort’ has nine ski runs served by two chairlifts, one of which is just for beginners, and four surface lifts. The lifts and runs are located between 1379m (4523ft) and 1570m (5150ft), giving it a 191m (626ft) vertical.

The runs are completely covered by artificial snow, which is needed because the area is extremely dry and only receives an annual average of 20cm (7.8in) of snow between November and February. However, with an average winter temperature of -20ºC (-4ºF), it won’t be a problem creating the conditions needed to make and retain snow. The area will operate a golf course in the summer.

The nearest existing resort is believed to be Alsham in just across the boder in the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia - not to be confused with the actual country of Mongolia.

Opinion: much left unanswered after the senseless killing in the Southern Border

The killing of their superiors by AK-47 by the four young border guards shocked the country. What happened in military base of Fort-Hood, USA is being repeated here in small scale in Mongolia.

When I was little boy, I used to hear many stories like " poor guy, got beaten up by his superiors and now he is crippled", " he froze his feet because old soldiers made him stand outside in freezing cold to test his courage" etc. My uncle served in the People's Army for 5 years and came home safe and sound. When I inquired from him, what it was like in the army and if he had to go through "Deglelt" (rough treatment of new conscripts and soldiers by old and experienced soldiers and officers), "well, everybody had to go through this. You get used to it" and brushed off the topic. I still clearly remember his reluctance to talk about his time in the army.

Military tradition in Mongolia dating back to Chinggis Khaan's period dictates serving in military is must and pride for every able-bodied males.We have even saying that goes something like " man is not a man unless he is served in military".
Military boys always received respect and generosity from ordinary citizens. Before introduction of Lamaism, the Tibetan Buddhism, many of Mongolian tribal leaders were military men. Sukhbaatar, the famous hero of 1921 People's Revolution was military man. Newly established Mongolian People's Republic in 1924 with assistance of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics formed strong army to defend the country from possible Chinese invasion. During the communist rule, one third of GDP of Mongolia and much of Soviet assistance for Mongolia was spent on military. Military was to be supplied well and fed well. Largest Mongolian military base was in Zuunbayan southern Gobi.Later, journalist Erdenebaatar of "Ardchilal" (Democracy) newspaper called the Zuunbayan " largest open-air concentration camp in Mongolia". That was in 90s when Mongolia became democratic.

Along with excessive military spending and worship, came abuse of power and emergence of untouchable military class system. The system is very hierarchical and based on seniority and rank. New conscripts were in bottom of this system. In 1970-1980s, military service term was five long years.
What happens when you have large concentration of males with plenty of time in their hands and special status?
Well, in Mongolian Army case, old and experienced and high ranking soldiers regulary beat up and tortured new soldiers and conscripts just for fun.All that happened in military barracks off the public limit. Many soldiers who were beaten up by older and high ranking ones acted just like their torturers when they became old soldiers.

Top military brass somehow knew all this and they say, Avkhia, then minister of Defence and top general went up to one military unit where many new conscripts were tortured and beaten up. He lined up the whole unit and asked who is doing all this. One old soldier walked forward. General just pulled his pistol and shot him dead on the spot just to get others scared and stop all this "Deglelt".He wanted to let everybody know that this will not be tolerated and those who brutalize other soldiers under their command will be punished severely.

I heard similar phenomenon was occuring in the Soviet army also. I don't know if it was as widespead as in Mongolia army.By 1990s, the military service term reduced to two years. That was a good news for many young people and their parents. Mongolian public just confirmed what they knew about abuse of power or "Deglelt" in the Army from many of the newspapers that was launched after the Democratic revolution in 1991. Still many dreaded to go to Army. A friend of mine went to Army in 1990 and later we heard that he died while on duty. Cause of death was unknown. Many said he was beaten to death by his superiors. Many similar cases and deaths and cripplings were hushed up.

Many questions left unanswered what led these 19-23 year old young men to shoot and kill their superiors in the middle of night.
Were they under pressure by their superiors and hated them so much?

Were they mentally and physically prepared to serve in the most tough condition of Gobi desert? I hope these will be answered after the investigation and causes for such senseless killings among the Mongolian Border Troops will be eradicated.

By Shagai, the "other Mongolian"


Roughly one out of every ninety children are born with autism. Approximately one percent of children in the United States, between the ages of 3 and 17, have an autism spectrum disorder. Between 1-1.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. These are staggering statistics, especially considering such a prevalent disorder receives less that 5% of private research funding of other less common disorders and diseases.

My intention for sharing these statistics is not to condemn anyone, but merely to point out the vastness of the population living with some form of autism. This is a disorder that is still relatively unknown to us in terms of it’s cause and ultimately it’s place within our society and humanity. Many cling to the idea that autism is strictly a bad thing, a disease, but many others remain open to the possibility that autism isn’t a disease so much as a different way of seeing the world that neuro-typical people do not yet fully understand.

THE HORSE BOY is an amazing documentary about that very differentiation. The film follows 4-year old Rowan Isaacson and his parents as they travel from the United States to Mongolia, seeking a cure for Rowan’s autism. Rowan’s father Rupert, a horse trainer by trade, realized one day that Rowan has an uncanny connection and way with animals, especially with horses. Rupert decides he wants to use this connection and take his family to the one place that horse-riding was born, which also happens to be the home of what are considered to be the most powerful Shamans in the world.

The Isaacson’s experience of raising a child with autism, with symptoms varying from tantrums to a complete resistance to potty train, has taken an emotional toll on their lives. Rupert feels that this adventure to Mongolia, undertaken in part by way of lengthy horse-back riding, will reveal some form of healing for Rowan and themselves. Rupert’s wife Kristin is a bit more skeptical of the outcome, but remains open to the possibilities and they both ultimately find themselves amazed at the results.

Without venturing into excessive detail of Rowan’s condition, the simple truth is that at his his rate of development, he would have difficulty living a “normal” life on his own in society. This, above all else, is what frightens Rowan’s parents and pushes them to follow this path of horses and Shamanic healing. The journey has it’s ups and downs. The film, directed, photographed and edited by first-timer Michel O. Scott, vividly captures both the intense joy and exhausting pain that they endure along the way.

THE HORSE BOY harnesses moments of intimacy with Rowan, both with his father and moments by himself that reveal a unique and fascinating human being in the process of discovering himself and the world around him. Rowan overcomes nearly all of the negative, debilitating effects of autism but also maintains and thrives on the positive aspects of seeing the world from a different perspective through autism. Whether this is the direct result of the Shamanic healing, Rupert and Kristin differ slightly in their opinions, but what they agree on is that the experience as a whole has been a blessing and they are grateful, regardless of the causation of his progress.

The film takes this very engaging and emotional story of human triumph and peppers it lightly with interview clips from various experts, including Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, anthropologist and researcher Roy Richard Gringer and Dr. Temple Grandin, who herself lives with autism. These scenes are minimal, but offer an enlightening educational support to the story as it unfolds. Footage shot by Michel Scott depicts Rowan’s unbelievable connection to animals as well as the immense beauty of the remote regions of Mongolia, which give an epic cinematic feel to the Isaacson’s jounrey.

Original music in THE HORSE BOY was composed by Lili Haydyn and Kim Carroll and, while pleasant enough, felt a tad too New Age. This was a concern because, while the subject matter may seem “New Age” on the surface, is really more about a father’s determined journey to make a better life for his son than it was a testament to any specific form of alternative or spiritual method of healing. Here is a man, a father so in love with his child that, no matter what the cost or outcome, was willing to leave no stone unturned in seeking the best life possible for his son and this in turn is what makes THE HORSE BOY a fantastic must-see documentary!

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Mongolian Ambassador to Canada presented his credentials

Mongolian ambassador to Canada, Zalaa-Uul Tundevdorj presented his credentials to Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canadian Armed Forces on Nov 23, 2009.

The ambassador passed greeting of the President Elbegdorj to the Governor General and spoke about enormous opportunity to work in many areas including mining.

Source:Press Service of the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Aftermath of the unprecedented mutiny of border guards in southern border of Mongolia

Mongolia is still in shock over unprecedented killing by four guards in southern border of country. Emergency working group comprised of Border Troops Authority and Central Intelligence Agency, General Headquarter of the Armed Forces and Police are investigating this case. Sergeant Sod-erdene which is wounded during the incident are being treated in trauma and surgery department of the Hospital no.2 of Ulaanbaatar. According to the medical staff, he was hit by bullets twice. One in the thigh and other in abdomen. The 24 year old sergeant graduated University of Border Troops last year.

Who were these border guards which shot their superiors?
Private Oyunbold Erdenetsetseg:born in Zuunkharaa soum of the Selenge aimag on Aug 21, 1989. Completed high school. Prior to conscription, was unemployed. Lives with mother.
Private Lkhagvajav Gankhuyag: born in Zuunkharaa soum of the Selenge aimag on Dec 7, 1988. Completed high school. Prior to conscription, was unemployed. Lives with mother and younger brother.
Private Tulga Munkhjargal:born in Darkhan-Uul aimag on September 24, 1990. Completed high school. Prior to conscription,was unemployed. Lives with grandmother, mother and younger brothers and sisters.
Private Enkhjargal Ragchaa:born in Darkhan-Uul aimag on Oct 7, 1986. Lives with mother.

Who were the victims?
Senior sergeant Bum-erdene: born in Zavkhan aimag in 1980. Graduated University of Border Troops in 2005 and was deputy of border guard station in Zavkhan aimag and was appointed as deputy head of the border guard station. His appointment was due to finish by that fateful night when he was killed by his soldiers.
Corporal Enkh-amgalan:born in Zamiin Uud soum of Dornogovi aimag on 1989.
Corporal Byambasuren: born in Bogd soum of the Bayanhongor aimag on 1988.

It is not clear when state funeral for the killed border guards will be held and who among the top brass of Mongolian Border Troops will be dismissed.

By Battsetseg, reporter of MonInfo News Service

Onjuul drilling update

Onjuul drilling update

VANCOUVER, Nov. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Robert L. Card, President of Gulfside Minerals Ltd. ("Gulfside" or the "Company"), is pleased to report from the Mongolian camp site that the first hole of Gulfside's drilling program on the Onjuul coal project in Mongolia has been completed, and yielded preliminary information for comparison.

This first hole was located as an offset to hole #12 of the Russian/Mongolian exploration program from 1973 which was completed at a depth of 90.5 meters. The first hole, NL-09-22C TB001, was cored to 120 meters and then changed to rotary drilling as a faster and more cost effective method. The GPS location is 538626E x 5167713N. The hole was completed at a depth of 201 meters.

Coal Intercept Comparison
Historic Hole # 12 *Gulfside Hole #TB001 Seam
Top Base Thickness (m) Top Base Thickness (m) ID
9.60 16.20 6.60 8.96 15.65 6.69 1
16.45 17.36 0.91
52.00 63.50 11.50 2U
------------------------------ 45.84 84.6 38.76 ----
63.50 83.90 20.40 2L
130 136 6.00
Total (Meters) 38.50 (Meters) 52.36
* Seam intercepts and correlations are preliminary, pending geophysical
Robert Card, President of Gulfside stated, "we are very pleased to report that the coal intercepts compare favorably with the offset hole # 12 with an additional seam of 6m being encountered lower in the section".

The core has been logged, split and boxed ready for testing at the Stewart Mongolia LLC laboratory in Ulaanbaatar and will be shipped once additional holes have been completed.

The Company's driller now has two rigs operating on a 24 hour basis (2 - 12 hour shifts), the camp has 21 sleeping gers, one office ger and a larger mess hall ger to accommodate 44 personnel. For pictures of the camp and drilling activities please visit the Company's website.

Kerry F. Griffin BSc., Diploma Eng Geol, MAIG, an independent consultant to the Company and the qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical content of this news release.

On Behalf of the Board of Directors,
Gulfside Minerals Ltd.

"Robert L. Card"

Robert L. Card

"Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as
that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts
responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release."
Forward-Looking Statements: This document includes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning GMG's planned exploration program in Mongolia and other statements that are not historical facts. When used in this document, the words such as "could," "plan," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "potential," "should," and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. Although GMG believes that its expectations reflected in these forward looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and no assurance can be given that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements are disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the corporation's periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators.

SOURCE: Gulfside Minerals Ltd.


Thanksgiving meals will be minus the main dish for many U.S. Embassy staff

By Franklin Fisher, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Every year before Thanksgiving, U.S. Embassy staff in Mongolia do something few Americans have to do.

They check whether any military flights will be leaving bases with Defense Department commissaries and heading for Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar. The aim: To avoid a Thanksgiving with no affordable holiday bird, or one that’s cold turkey — no bird at all.
After all, in a country where the traditional national holiday dish is sheep, turkeys are pretty hard to come by.

“Every year we try to get turkeys because to go through a company here in Mongolia it’ll cost a hundred dollars per turkey,” said Marissa Maurer, embassy public affairs officer.

“Also it’s hard to guarantee quality. You’re more likely to have good products from a U.S. commissary.”

Getting the commissary birds is no easy task, but this year things looked good ... at first.

There would indeed be a plane due in Mongolia after a stop at Osan Air Base in South Korea. So embassy community liaison officer Mike Vining gathered people’s orders and money, and arranged with the Osan commissary to have the order flown out.

For her family of four, Maurer ordered three turkeys and two hams. Total cost: $100.

But then things began going awry.

The plane would not be at Osan after all. It’d fly from Kadena Air Base on Okinawa.

So Vining checked with the Kadena commissary, which accepted the order for $2,500 worth of frozen turkeys and hams, paid by credit card.

To shepherd the order from the commissary on Okinawa to the embassy in Mongolia, the embassy sent Army Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Muravez, 33, who is assigned to the embassy’s Defense Attaché office.

Muravez used his wits to scrape up a truck to get the food to the flight line, and to persuade the cargo manager to load the perishables sooner than later.

With 1,500 pounds of food safely aboard the yawning interior of an Air Force C-17 transport, a relieved Muravez took his seat.

Then the plane sat there.

And sat there.

After a time, one of the pilots asked him if he wanted to go ahead and take the turkeys off the plane.

“And I said … ‘Why would I want to do that?’ ”

Because, the pilot told him, the flight was scrubbed due to bad weather in Mongolia.

“So we had Sgt. 1st Class Muravez canceled on the tarmac with the pallet and a half of turkeys, trying to do the whole process in reverse before the turkeys would thaw and so he could get their money back to the embassy staff,” said Army Lt. Col. Lisa Vining, the embassy’s assistant military attaché and wife of Mike Vining.

The sergeant then began scrounging for a truck. Someone from base services came to the rescue, and they drove the load back to the commissary.

The commissary manager agreed to a full refund and Muravez eventually made his way back to Ulaanbaatar.

“They were very, very grateful that we got our money back,” he said of the embassy staff.

But they were still without Thanksgiving turkeys.

In the end, they found two small farms that had a few turkeys at very high prices. They bought six, Vining said.

Five were already butchered, weighed about 7.5 pounds, and cost $98 each.

But the other they had to buy live.

It cost $130 and will probably be about 13 pounds cooked, Vining said. The farmer packed the live one in his small car and drove it to the embassy.

Maurer decided that at those prices her family wouldn’t be buying one.

She said they’ll be having lasagna instead.

Korea Gas to Study Coal-Bed Methane Development With Mongolia

By Kyung Bok Cho

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Korea Gas Corp. will study the development of coal-bed methane gas resources in Mongolia, the South Korean government said.

The state-run company and the Mongolian government plan to process the gas into clean-burning dimethyl ether for use in Mongolia, South Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge Economy said today in an e-mailed statement.

Last Updated: November 23, 2009 21:01 EST


Mongolia's aloofness only hinders itself

Following editorial appeared in Global Times newspaper of Chinese Communist Party issue dated Nov 2, 2009.This editorial carries anti-Mongolian sentiment.

By Ganbat, editor of the MonInfo News Service

Mongolia's aloofness only hinders itself

Mongolia's skepticism toward China has gone too far with its plans to bar China from developing the copper and gold mine of Oyu Tolgoi.
Touted as the world largest copper and gold reserve, and just 80 kilometers away from the Chinese border, the gigantic development project will significantly boost the local economy.
An unnamed Mongolian official was quoted by the Sidney Morning Herald as saying that "We have something in our blood about China. It will be very difficult for Chinalco to come into Mongolia."
The largest shareholder of Rio Tinto, Chinalco may be involved in the project by building the roads leading to the mine and supplying electricity and water for the project.

Canadian company Ivanhoe, in which Rio Tinto holds a 19.7 percent stake, signed a deal with the Mongolian government early October to develop Oyu Tolgoi. The Ivanhoe-Rio Tinto consortium together will hold a 66 percent stake in the mine.
Due to its past history and tenuous geographical position between Russia and China, it's understandable that Mongolia looks to balance its relationships with the major powers.
Its diplomatic policy of looking for a "third neighbor" has brought it closer to the US, Japan, South Korea and Europe.
But Mongolia should not forget the economic boom it has derived from trade with China.
China has been Mongolia's largest trading partner for 10 years, receiving over 60 percent of its exports, although the total trade volume between the two countries is a miniscule 0.05 percent of China's total.
Investment from China accounts for half of the FDI its northern neighbor receives from the world.
But busy business exchanges have not brought the closeness they should. Anti-Chinese feeling is still strong in Mongolia, and this is clearly reflected in government policy on natural resources.
China is the closest and largest market of Mongolian mining products, and has an abundant supply of technological staff and advanced machinery equipment that is highly competitive with other countries.

Despite this, China is intentionally and consistently excluded from normal business opportunities in developing Mongolian mineral wealth.
The Erdenut copper mine, which once accounted for one-third of the Mongolian economy, exports 90 percent of its ore to China, yet not a single Chinese company deals with it directly.
Chinese mining companies lag behind their peers from Russia, Canada and Australia in their involvement in Mongolian mines.
Ironically, much of this mining development would have been impossible without Chinese companies' participation in building infrastructure and providing logistical support. Chinese companies are unfairly sacrificed for Mongolia's strategic concerns.
A long-term win-win deal has to be built on sincere cooperation that benefits both sides. Without it, China will suffer losses, but Mongolia probably has more at stake.
The economic growth of China has created a huge demand for natural resources.
China does not deny this, but intends to strengthen cooperation with neighboring countries on the basis of mutual trust and shared benefit.



Runaway Inner Mongolian School Principal arrested for fraud

HOHHOT, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- A former principal of a traditional medical school in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region who had fled to Mongolia has been arrested on fraud charges, local police said Tuesday.

Ethnic Mongolian Batuzhangga, also known as Batzangaa, 35, the former head of the Ordos Mongolian-Tibetan Medical School, was formally arrested in Ordos City on Nov. 12 after he was repatriated from Mongolia on Oct. 4, said Wang Huishi, director of the Ordos Municipal Public Security Bureau.

He was accused of fabricating student roster and falsifying accounts to illegally obtain special funds of 102,000 yuan (15,000U.S. dollars) from a governmental poverty-alleviation program when he served as principal of the school, Wang said.

Batuzhangga founded the privately-owned secondary medical school in 2001, Wang said.

Police began probing Batuzhangga's case after local residents laid complaints in May that he owed large debts, but had disappeared, Wang said.

Police found Batuzhangga suddenly announced a vacation at the school on May 25 and fled to Ulan Bator the next day with his wife and daughter, Wang said.

Local police went to Ulan Bator on Oct. 1 and handled the case together with Mongolian police, Interpol and Mongolian immigration authorities, on the basis of a cooperation agreement between Chinese and Mongolian police signed in Beijing in 1998, Wang said.

"On Oct. 4, the criminal suspect Batuzhangga was repatriated to China with the great support of Mongolian immigration authorities," Wang said. His wife and daughter were also sent back to the country.

During their investigation, police also found that Batuzhangga's school had kept improper accounts of 5.2 million yuan and much of the money had been transferred to the personal account of Batuzhangga's wife, Wang said.

Batuzhangga was detained on Oct. 5 on a series of charges, including illegally appropriating public deposits, intentionally destroying accounting reports, and fraud, Wang said.

Police were still investigating the case, he said.

The state-run Ordos Municipal Health School had taken over Batuzhangga's medical school, he said.

"Classes resumed on Aug. 31. Teachers are making up missed lessons for the students," he added.

Editor: Li Xianzhi

Source:Xinhua, Chinese news agency

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