yet to receive input from any one of the nine, this writer can but perch o'er aonian streams, pawing at dregs of genius as they pass her by. 

Borderline Eleutheromania: a <i>Sinic's</i> Quest Along National Lines

Borderline Eleutheromania: a Sinic's Quest Along National Lines

The grisly splendour of a Gobi sunrise cast our desert-crossing Trans-Mongolian into hard relief. Shivering in the rail-honoured freeze of compartment exteriors, eight foreigners bleary-eyed their way through seven extended carriages and a floating medley of rail attendant breakfast smells to the buffet car. Eggs and similar delights, we imagined, wafted through the still air to our expectant palates. Mild dissension spilling amongst the ranks was stilled by the updraught of yolky, sunny-side-up expectation. Squeezing the seventh and final handle keeping us from a timely breakfast, I gave thanks to the saint of tour instigators that we had yet an activity to euthanise an hour of monotony and energise for the final eight hours of sitting and observing. The carriage partition swung open with a kingly languor and our olfactories strained even as our visual faculties perceived the betrayal. From the train’s final carriage stretched leagues on leagues of pure nothing. Glistening rails, scratchy desert and scratchier bactrians were birthed at running speed from the train’s underside and continued apace to a point far beyond the horizon. The sun, harder even than any ‘Vedder soundtrack could communicate, punished the land from its perch in the world’s largest sky. Tengri himself, I can only surmise, had despatched this most serendipitous of uncomplex symbols. Behind us was China, abandoned with its noodle-bearing, rib-peddling and Mandarin-speaking buffet car at the formal line ripping a fluid landmass into 4,677 kilometers of two.[1] Ahead, as my suspicions presumed and a ten-minute traversal confirmed, lay Mongolia and its own car, complete with concomitant trove of steak omelettes and meat-veg nomad sustenance. Unbeknownst to any of the party, our great iron wayfarer hulking the desert had undergone an arcane transmogrification in its Sino-Mongolian passage. China had been, but China had gone, along with its predominating cuisine and regnant language. House proud at great loss of border-station expedience, the Mongolians could make no more assertive welcome gesture. Sprawling emptiness where just the previous night there had been a Beijing dinner, hearty steppe breakfast where just the previous night there had been sprawling emptiness. Mongolia was here, and it wanted us to know - as a considerably talented pundit once, I believe, wrote - You’re not in the PRC, anymore.

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Indeed, in the seven centuries separating the unremitting preponderance of an auspicious tribal conglomerate from their internationally jostled democratic cousins, much had intervened to whittle at Mongolia’s military momentum. By the dawn of the 20th century, Chinggis and his world-shrinking conquests had been filtered through so many layers of foreign occupation and industrialised geopolitics that the Mongols could be allegorically reduced from a ‘scourge of God’[2] - to merely ‘lambs’[3] awaiting the slaughter nature ordained be theirs. In fact, the latter moniker is unlikely to have upset the staunch collection of Buddhist converts collected in Qing-era Mongolia united in their desire to renounce the world over conquering it.[4]

The 20th century is nothing if not famed for its wont to push collections of peoples into the pen marked “nation,” however - and the grand arch of territory separating China from its Russian compatriots was no exception.[5] As nationalist feeling began to coagulate in the veins of Mongolia’s intellectuals, a Chinggis Khan astride his sturdy horse leapt back into politics both national and global as puppet, figurehead and focus for competing and disparate groups unbound from dictated borders. Following a century of stalking from elements on both north-and-south border extremities, Chinggis has returned to his homeland, ‘brutalities forgotten or ignored in the rush of adulation’.[6] After seven decades as the titular rubber sphere in a wider game of Sino-Soviet Swingball, the Mongols were free to untether themselves and take full possession of their cultural property. Chinggis’ likeness is paraded, lauded and constructed to 200 feet even as he lends his name to sports teams, beers, institutes and greetings card establishments.[7]

Mongolia’s sense of nationhood is far from the simplicity a bottle of Chinggis vodka and replica composite bow might suggest, however. To approach Ulaanbaatar in modernity is to slide through a post-Soviet scar mangling the steppe flesh to a sedentary retreat. Great swathes of the population staunchly manifest the customs of their ancestors by forming tented suburbs of fenced plots some miles from the joyless epicentre of state. As self-contradictory as it may seem, the yurted have been given property rights - whether or not they asked for them. Ulaanbaatar proper is a traditionally congested urban centre, but sunk in its heady horn-blaring mess of inner-city traffic issues is a satellite’s shadow. The fin-de-seicle abundance of coloured Tibetan architecture has melted into the city’s present Soviet miasma of grand, Stalinist architecture curious for its inextrusion. Where the man of steel himself once rested in cast iron sits a void shouting its non-presence to any with the perspicacity to perceive it. Yet the casts of Mongolia’s revolutionary leaders Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal and Damdin Sükhbaatar stand prominently as they ever have, staunch reminders of the people’s struggles with stately transition. At the same time, neither Beijing nor the swelling populace its hegemony contains have relinquished their designs on Chinggis or the unkempt ideal he represents. As Derrida once wrote, ‘All the questions on the subject of being or of what is to be (or not to be) are questions of inheritance.’[8] Thus the antecedent that precedes a birth, a family or a nation is neither parcelled nor delivered - its digestion becomes an active process of chewing, swallowing, regurgitating…

Caught in the physical midst of the world’s second-most embattled geopolitical conflict, Chinggis’ descendants find themselves ‘of crucial strategic importance’[9] to both Russian and Chinese politics and territorialism. For their Qing Manchu cousins, the Mongols served as immaterial Great Wall defence against ascendant Tsarist imperialists from 1644–1912 and guarded frontier against united China for the Soviet Union from 1922–1991.[10] As strategic object in the game of Swingball earlier referred to, Mongolia in just the last century has seen Russian dominance following China’s 1911 revolution and Chinese occupation following Russia’s own revolution in 1917. The frailty of China throughout both world wars provided ample opportunity for the Soviets to press their political victories further into the hard steppe surface of the territory, placing a vice around the Mongolian people’s political concept and any notion of destiny. I would argue that Mongol nationalism was, if not birthed by, certainly matured in opposition to the nationalisms slavering at its “borders” from the dawn of early-modern reality. Through the combined efforts of central-Asian colonialism, “Mongolia” as an ethnic conglomerate has been ripped into multiple shards, each sharing their own possessor. Inner Mongolia (Neimeng,内蒙)was retained by the PRC, Outer Mongolia has passed from Soviet to democratic hands while the Buryats and Tuvans were subsumed into the folds of Stalinist expansionism and are yet to be relinquished. By 2010, 80% of Inner Mongolia’s population was Han Chinese and currently over 65% of the Buryatia Republic’s are ethnic Russians.[11] Both exclusive and inclusive Mongolian nationalisms, then, rest upon Chinggis’ Great Empire and social upheaval overseen by centuries of concerted Qing colonialism and tampering Soviet ethnology.

To smash through the frozen lake of a nation and peer into its nationalist waters, however, one must first give shape to a working definition of the concept itself. Utilising selective reasoning, a modern consensus can be reduced to Gellner’s 1983 assertion of a ‘principle which holds that the political and national unit should be congruent.’[12] This can be actualised in many ways - linguistically, ethnically, ideologically - but fundamentally all nationalistic feeling is founded on homogenising principles predicated on a set of values prescribing ‘normalcy’. To depart from or to be born outwith these values is dangerous both to the nationalism and the outsider, who is either made to conform, driven from the edifice’s natural - national - bounds, or by sheer force of will bends the values to his or her own, updated variation. The Mongols are a unit of population with six uniting features, according to Professor Bulag: ‘a common proper name, myths of common ancestry, historical memories, distinctive elements of culture, association with a given territory and a sense of social solidarity’.[13] Hroch has made it clear that ‘Nation-building was never a mere project of ambitious or narcissistic intellectuals, and ideas could not flow through Europe by their own inspirational force. Intellectuals can “invent” national communities only if certain objective preconditions for the formation of a nation already exist. Karl Deutsch long ago remarked that for national consciousness to arise, there must be something for it to become conscious of.’[14] His formula for coalescing the kernel of a nation included three essential preconditions:

1) A memory of some common past, treated as a destiny of the group - or at least its core constituents. 2) A destiny of linguistic or cultural ties enabling a higher degree of social communication within the group than beyond it. 3) A conception of the equality of all members of the group organised as a civil society.’

20th century Mongolia easily met this list of resources, despite the overwhelming difficulties a numerically weak and decentralised population commonly face in doing so. That the Mongols had overcome this barrier heavily implies that a nascent awareness of Bulag’s features has long drifted about on the steppe’s nomadic winds, but certainly it would be foolhardy to suggest that the impetus to build a nation purely for Mongols belongs to any time but modernity. Were “Mongol history” not to exist as such a uniquely sanctified form of heritage, however, Bulag believes that ‘more recent forms of Mongol nationalism would be barely conceivable.’[15]

Across the border, Bin Wong (王国斌) has reflected that ‘China is the only pre-twentieth century agrarian empire to have sustained its political cohesion to the end of the twentieth century and to have become and remained both a nation and a state’.[16] One must, however, recognise the blindspot in Wong’s standoff: in the century-long transition from Qing imperialism to modern People’s Republic, more than simple political doctrine was lost and gained.[17] The Qing bequeathal is now formally and internationally parted along racial and national lines into a pair of states equal in the eyes of global bodies, even if their economic disparities could be little wider. As Bulag notes, Beijing’s “One China” mythos has similarly been subject to stringent testing in the years subsequent to PRC ascendance, with heated scuffles flaring the fraught Taiwan Strait on a clockwork basis.[18] In 2004, the Chinese novel Wolf Totem (狼图腾)[19] catapulted its heretofore nameless author Jiangrong (姜戎)to the heights of literary predominance. Its narrative weaves an unsubtle pattern revealing China’s unceasing sedentary assault upon Mongolia, eroding in one motion both its territorial and nomadic integrity. In Jiangrong’s mythology, the receding nomadic blood is inevitably inimical not only to Mongolia itself, but China proper, doomed to pastoralist worm-grubbing without the periodic injection of ‘virile blood’(输血)[20] from beyond the paddies via the cyclic conquests and invasions of history. Similarly, the Mongolian ballad Chindamani Erdeni (中文:吉祥三宝)set the Chinese market alight not a year later.[21] As Professor Bulag asserts, such cultural vignettes ‘exemplify how prominently the minority Mongols [and Tibetans] figure in China’s cultural representations in the new millennium’.[22] Such rearing questions as ethnic destiny and national identity are met in China only to have their answers configured in confluence with the minority groups of cultural significance dodging about the Sino fringes. The PRC’s increasingly fraught relationship with candour allow for ever more egregious appropriations and ever lengthier stretches in the historical realm. Chinggis and his descendants become not only the sole co-ethnic ‘yellows’ (黄人)[23] to have ever beat Europe with the imperialist stick, but also naturalised Chinese first welcomed into and then subsumed within the Sinosphere.

Following many years as the most loyal of Soviet satellites, a Mongolian capitalist democracy willingly excising its public ventures for full-scale privatisation and an embrace of free market gospel sprang from the Berlin Wall’s concrete rubble. With Beijing now lodged firmly in the middle of Mongolia’s revenue stream, the country cannot help but feel as though the Kremlin has simply teleported from one great, distant city to another. As of writing, the Scylla of Russia’s bear and Charybdis of China’s dragon remain unspoken nemeses hungry for control over the vital strip of land separating their nations. As the standard flying between these two symbols, Chinggis Khan has fought and must continue to fight on a battlefield transplanted from his native steppe to a theatre of international ideologies, beaten and buffeted though he may be.

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The Tavan Tolgoi (Five Hills) mine lies some 250 kilometers north of the Chinese border, perched on the southern rim of the Gobi. Its some 6.5 billion tonnes of high quality coke coal are conservatively estimated at a world market value exceeding $2 trillion.[24] A pustulent industrial blight, its rearing grey shelves and cables of loaded trucks coiling their overcast way along tracks less than roads align with the warped industrialist aesthetic my British Stockholm syndrome has engendered. Even here, at a site worth more than Russia’s entire nominal GDP, the long arm of foreign investment stretches. The clouds of dust spitting from its earth-splitting crevasse disgust and beguile in equal measure as legions of white-suited insects in the employ of international conglomerates haze in and out of the visible spectrum. The Mongol government maintains a 49% stake in all coke coal mining operations, but the remainder has passed into the hands of an Anglo-Australian mining corporation intent on excising untold amounts of mineral wealth for the foreign market.[25] My Chinese tour guide had given to fits of ecstatic jabbering regarding the uplifting effect operations at Tavan Tolgoi were having on the native economy, but our Mongolian companion kept quiet. Certainly, it is true, the Mongols independently would lack the resources to fully exploit the mine, but the still-fresh memory of Soviet self-sufficiency and continued self-labour projects make the prospect of foreign intervention and exploitation highly denigrating to many of Chinggis’ modern brood. Our companion peered through the dawn-frosted window at the hulking colossus belching and stuttering through its normal operations. ‘It makes me cold,’ he attempted in shuddery Mandarin. ‘Colder than a winter morning on the steppe’. Yet a peek behind the curtain makes it patently obvious that the history of Mongolia in modernity is coiled around the history of foreign economic infiltration and exploitation in centuries far beyond the twenty-first. In the summer of 1910, a team of Muscovite merchant adventurers departed natal ground with twelve Cossacks, several interpreters and a gaggle of others maintaining professional or scientific interests in Mongolia at the behest of seventy-three Moscow firms.[26] The MTE (Moscow Trade Expedition) report is an idiomatic document punctuated with injected anecdotes of the sort expected of James Gilmour’s classic Among the Mongols or Roerich’s Trails to Inmost Asia.[27] Contained amidst its sheafs of nosy observations and lore collector’s gleam is a bright and faithful rewind to Mongolia prior its 1919 independence as the Qing verged on collapse and the Mongols were yet to be formally torn in two. As an edifying historical treasure-trove, its value cannot be overstated. Yet the question of anthropology was not one held in any position of primacy by a majority of the Expedition. They sought expansionism, both economic and political. Several chapters treat statistics of Mongolian imports and exports, and it emerges that the merchants were in search of new markets ‘to which they might export their textiles and other manufactured products’.[28] At the same time, they were evaluating Mongolia as a source of unprocessed raw materials for import into Russia. The statistics weave a narrative - designed or not - of Russian trade’s terminal decline at the hands of ever-more mercurial and assertive Chinese business practices. ‘Hundreds of Chinese merchants have surged into this area,’[29] they write of northern and western Mongolia. ‘Well organised and united, making use of the support of the local authorities and relying on firmly established credit, the Chinese little by little have managed to concentrate in their hands all trade of the region, gradually shoving the Russians into the background.’[30] The MTE was deeply perturbed by the discovery that Russian merchants in Urga had come to lean on exporting Mongolian raw materials at the expense of distributing the motherland’s processed goods. Some Russian merchants had even liquidated their stakes in the territory and departed for a less heated market back home. The statistics are unlikely to be far from accurate, and would have been designed to provoke the naturally cautious Muscovites into increased Mongolian investments - ensuring the total Sino-eclipse of the territory could never come to pass.

Clearly, the list of MTE objectives was not limited to the economic realm: geopolitical concerns are regular features in the document’s subtext. While the 1912 report tells that Russia’s trade relations with western Mongolia remain stable, it repeatedly emphasises that the northern Mongolian market is ‘slipping out of our hands.’[31] Often, the discussion slips from subtextual into an active, pressing discourse. ‘Mongolia has significance not only as a market for the products of Russian industry and as a supplier to us of its raw materials; we also have political tasks here. The reinforcement of our trade position in Mongolia undoubtedly will also promote the strengthening of our political influence in this region.’[32] The Tsarist government are exhorted to provide ‘serious support’ in the fight against Chinese encroachment and to establish permanent Russian influence in the vital territory.

Nor does an engaged investigator need limit themselves to the previous century in search of evidence for Mongolia’s subject status. Seams of outside influence have run through the nation’s veins since long before the nation was conceived. From the earliest years of Qing ascendance, Mongolia was treated as a liquid resource with the capacity only for limited self-determination. The Manchu court implemented a series of regulations keeping northern and southern bloodlines resolutely unmixed.[33] Chinese men were forbidden from marrying Mongol women and any Cathayan family nursing the intention of emigration was first politely told and then impolitely made to part with the idea. Chinese traders seeking to enter the region had first to grapple with a series of regulations that only grew in maddening complexity as the dynasty’s lifespan increased.[34] These restrictions were actualised in part to preserve the isolated sanctity of the Mongols themselves, who formed an invaluable Qing currency as elite troops prized not only for their capacity as border defence unit, but also for their use in quelling internal rebellions and joining expansionist campaigns into China. Equally, a Pan-Mongolian state united in its fervour and ideology would present thunderous threat to Qing imperial designs.[35] As a result, the Manchu court rigorously pursued their policy to drive a wedge between Inner and Outer Mongolia. Accomplished by introducing an unhealthy number of administrative subdivisions within both territories, they simultaneously ensured that the princes dominant within both regions were set against one another. Although, as Caroline Humphrey writes, ‘they have been part of the same political formation for the past three centuries at least,’ the antagonism separating Inner and Outer Mongolians has resulted from ‘a divide-and-rule strategy carried out by Manchu emperors during the Qing dynasty.’[36] Acutely aware of the time-honoured nomad-pastoral conquest cycle - having, themselves, conquered China with a tribal conglomerate comprising much Mongol martial magic - the Manchu were wise or wary enough to bifurcate their Mongol cousins. The Willow Palisade was the ultimate expression of this artificial enmity, splicing a single political body along manmade lines with such stark finality that, though no longer a physical presence, the Palisade has cut a deep channel in the psychological makeup of the now international Mongolian brethren.

Nomad-agriculturist conflict is an infinite cycle stretching back in recorded memory to 220 B.C. and likely far beyond,[37] but border conflict was birthed only by the dualistic imperialist impetus carried by both Czarist Russia and Manchu China during the 17th century. Qing forces affected a vicarious indignance for their Mongolian neighbours, clashing with Russian prospectors and settlers on the borders of Manchuria.[38] Just as the Chinese empire was growing distracted by Czarist designs on central-Asian expansion, the enigmatic descendant of a 15th century Oirat figurehead known as Galdan was working to unite the Western or Zunghar Mongols to challenge Sino supremacy across the eastern mainland.[39] Naturally the prospect of a Zunghar-Russian alliance was enough to light a reforming fire beneath the Qing command, who limped to the Czarist negotiation table. Beijing granted Moscow the right to despatch merchants to their lands, to establish a Russian Orthodox ecclesiastical mission and allowed several Russian scholars the opportunity to study Manchu and Chinese. In return the Russians agreed to a Manchuria-centric border delineation to calm Qing paranoia regarding their homeland.[40] This Treaty of Nerchinsk in 1689 was followed in 1727 by the Treaty of Bura and Kyakhta, both further prescribing concrete borders. With his back against a formalising wall, Galdan was forced into an unfavourable pitched battle with the Manchu, who “held the place of slaughter”. In the following year, Galdan gave himself to Tengri by committing suicide as his conglomerate withered to winter.[41]

By 1911, the Manchu were teetering on the verge of collapse and the ‘Mongolian Question’ - as one Inner Mongolian writer termed it in 1923 - had become ‘the most important and most tangled issue in relations between China and Russia.’[42] It was to remain as such until the Korean war - even then only losing a few rungs on the foreign policy ladder. USSR relations with both the Chongqing nationalist and Yan’an communist governments were coloured by Mongolian ideals at opposing loggerheads. At the foundational level, there is a fundamental lacuna in Sino-Russian cross-cultural communication; national concepts of territory and boundary differ in both nations. For the Chinese, doctrinal affinities born of the radiating Tian’xia (天下) geopolitical conception mean that borders are nothing more than concentric circles coloured by a gradient of power concentrated with most sanguinary fervour in the space directly proximate to the emperor and dissipating like mist somewhere over the frontier. This peculiarly Sinic weltanschauung disturbed the encroaching Slavic interest, who follow the hive of mainland Europe in interpreting national borders as absolute pencil-lines. The contrast is certainly highly enticing in its readable appeal to the modern human’s natural affinity for taking refuge in the media-warmed blanket of ‘cultural difference’. Yet Franke Bille warns of the same beguiling warmth, demonstrating through comparative analysis of terminology that Russia and Russians can and have conceived of frontier-like borders, while the Great Wall is crumbling testimony to the Chinese ability to reconcile with a hard edge.[43] In all likelihood, reality hovers somewhere atop the border and amidst the frontier. Incongruous worldviews are likely at play, but the Mongolian border conflict is a question of historic standing. Transhumance and its unrooted lifestyle have long precluded a ‘careful delineation of frontiers’[44], and China’s long-held diplomatic presumption made any treaty with the Mongols a cultural impossibility - formalising relations would imply racial, national and subsistence parity. Additionally, Gregory Delaplace has noted that ‘the states that meet in this region see themselves not only as nations, but also as “civilisations”, whose encounter on the ground cannot be as simple, it if ever can be, as drawing a line between them.’[45] To settle Chinese-Mongolian border squabbles would, then, require the unsubtle exertion of outside influence. In 1855, the imperial Tsarists lost the Crimean War in the Near East just as they took the Amur Basin at the Far end of their empire. In 1862, the Foreign Ministry’s Amur Committee concluded that if the Qing dynasty were ever to collapse, the most expedient Russian response would be to form an ‘independent domain… in Mongolia and Manchuria.’[46] From this early date, the internationally unstated object of Russian foreign policy was to wash Chinese influence from the Mongolian region and assert their own, if possible to the exclusion of all else. British and American manufactures formed the prevailing bedrock of luxury goods, so before Russia could challenge Chinese influence, they had first to eradicate that of the various other interested parties.

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When St. Petersburg neutralised hostility with Britain by demarcating the Afghanistan-Xinjiang border in 1891 and delimiting mutual spheres of Chinese interest in 1899,[47] the ground was laid for a similar Kyoto settlement - a settlement that duly bore fruit following the Russo-Japanese war. In 1907, Russian foreign minister Aleksandr Izvolski and Japanese ambassador to Russia Motono Ichiro laid out a clandestine document marking Manchuria and Mongolia into two separate spheres, bound by the north-south geography of the separate powers. These ‘spheres’ were later built into concrete treaties - one secret, one public - in 1910.[48] China was so frightened by this international posturing that she lashed out to denounce the foreign imperialist designs and cohort-machinations of both empires. The 1914 storm that blew across the globe intervened, however, to prevent either set of imperialists from realising their goals. Nevertheless, 1916 saw yet another clandestine secret treaty signed by Sazonov and Motono treating northern China as a ripe commodity - with both powers granting themselves monopolising rights to pick, package and trade in their object.[49] This treaty was only made public in 1917 by the Soviets as part of their campaign to discredit the dark, tar-filled gutter of secret Tsarist diplomacy.

Meanwhile, the Manchu had turned to harsh authoritarianism and uncouth babysitting as a means to maintain their perceived slipping grip on Outer Mongolia. By the late 19th century, the Qing were a dynastic force stretched across the plains, mountains and rivers of their land almost to breaking. Yet their unceasing policy of induced Mongolian torpor had almost reached its zenith. The Mongolians had incurred enormous debts owed to Chinese financiers and corporations, and the Chinese product had taken on a pervasive ubiquity across the most basic facets of nomadic life. Inner Mongolia played host to exacerbated tensions between the Mongols and their Manchu colonial authorities - a development seized by Russia to expand their own burgeoning colonialist envelope. To understand the misguided policy of direct settlement enacted by the Qing as they drifted towards absolute submersion, it is necessary first to perceive the dynasty’s own vision of itself. The conquest that had brought them nearly four centuries of imperial dominance had been the ultimate expression of the ‘traditional’ Chinese dynastic transition. Emanating from the landward side of China beyond the Great Wall’s northern face, the Manchu had been accompanied not only by their Mongol kin, but by seams of Chinese bannermen and administrators with the technical and administrative capability to grease the wheels of empire.[50] The fighting force was united beneath a single leader of great charisma and with great force he had subsumed other tribal chiefs and their dependants to his own banner. This sequence was neither recently conceived, nor particularly surprising to any with a working knowledge of Chinese history. In fact, one of the few reasons the Manchu were not reduced to dust by the functioning of their own pattern was that, as Owen Lattimore points out, the Manchu conquest was contemporaneous to ‘a revolution in military technology and an economic revolution, especially in the economics of transportation.’[51] Though the Chinese had been pioneers in the realm of ignition-propelled lead, a centralised lethargy had allowed the middle kingdom to fall some miles short of their European counterparts by the 17th century. As the Ming themselves dwindled in efficacy and power, they were glad to have cannon cast by the Jesuit Adam Schall - whose cannon were, indeed, used in the Ming struggle to defend China from its Manchu invaders.[52]

Simultaneously, the centuries immediately subsequent to Qing conquest saw Asian economics pulled apart and reworked at the hands of Europe. Though the Manchu spent two hundred years ruling their kingdom in a manner inherited fairly wholesale from their imperial predecessors, they had little control over the European vessels that first docked and then permanently colonised their Pacific and southern coasts.[53] Trade was thrust into the interior with a lip-curl and the baring of a heavily-armed, modernised tooth before wares and their direction passed into the dictative hands of the foreigner. Naturally, the seaborne progressed into the rail-borne and with every high-powered thud-thud the Manchu government was emasculated one further step. What limited inter-provincial trade had existed prior to European intervention was blown apart without any of the French, British, American vessels bobbing on the sun-dappled Pacific needing to light a destructive wick. China was thrust into the possession of a national market before being pulled into the world market proper. As Lattimore observes, the railway network the colonialists built was ‘not designed to integrate a national economy but to tie a powerless China into the world market; factories to take advantage of the cheapness of Chinese labour were not placed at the points that might have been indicated by the location in China of raw materials, transport facilities and consuming markets, but where they served the needs of foreign investors, foreign naval and military protection of the investment, and the convenience of foreigners both in importing commodities into China and in exporting commodities from China.’[54]

These grandiose changes in the national makeup were naturally filtered down to the imperialists’ nomadic neighbours in Mongolia. Prior to the “revolution” devolving China’s economy to a plate-shining service for foreigners, the Mongols held a stable position with a circular economy, fully able to produce for its own domestic demands.[55] As the European-impelled capital generation expanded and enrichment spread amongst the very highest echelons of society, Manchu splendour began to glint in the corner of many a Mongol prince’s eye. Chinese artisans made expenses-paid trips to the northern barbarian wastes to set about constructing opulent palaces kowtowing to the whim of Qing trappings. Such palaces were hardly inexpensive creations, and the steppe is so lacking in trees that even were money to grow on them, transportation costs would surely outweigh any possible profits.[56] In the stead of spontaneous currency, those Mongol princes closest to the sedentary agriculture of their Chinese neighbours began to cultivate their land in the pursuit of revenue. The grain they grew was not exported into China, but rather further “out” - into the northern wilds with their barren land and sheepskins and livestock.

Once Europe’s finger had toppled the first domino insulating Western Asia from global trade, however, the Mongolian economy could no longer sustain itself. As a self-contained unit, the Chinese economy had had minimal demand for woolen textiles or even beef, mutton milk and cheese. This meant that the average price of wool for winter clothing and all-year housing wavered around a median so low even the poorest Mongolian families remained self-sustaining, even as the requirements of self-sustenance were easily matched by the meat and dairy not seeing export to China.[57] As the Peking-Mukden, Trans-Siberian and Chinese Eastern railways sliced through the virgin landscape, however, Mongolian materials could cut through China and enter the vast world market’s pool, wolf-famished as it was for the various products Mongolia could provide. Chinese middlemen grew fat on decapitated profits and, with currency blowing away the barter-values regnant for centuries, many families collapsed as the price of daily consumables shot for the great, blue sky much faster than the price of their own raw materials. Feudal princes, drunk and in love with the fineries offered them by Chinese merchants, pulled up transhumance by its itinerant roots, exacting ever greater demands from their tenants.[58]

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After the humiliation of foreign intervention during the 1900 Boxer Rebellion, the Manchu lethargy appeared shaken from their atrophied limbs. The Guangxu Emperor (光绪皇帝)announced a broad set of reforms that would overturn the country’s languor and replace China’s international crown. The Supervisory Bureau of Political Affairs (督办政务处)was founded in April 1901 under the tutelage of Prince Qing (和硕庆亲王)to oversee the speed and efficacy of China’s new vogue.[59] In 1902, the Bureau announced a brand new leaf in the history of Chinese imperial dominance as the Manchu authorities launched a concerted campaign to cultivate capital and smudge the line between China, the Chinese and Han-ness - asserting its own homogenising principles in the strong-arm hope that a unified, central nation would conglomerate from ethnic assimilation. Vast swathes of Inner Mongolian land were repossessed from their original owners and put to the plow and till, forcing economic principles upon a political body founded upon ancient truths to the opposite effect.[60] Outer Mongolia found itself subject to similar depredations, but the progress of settlement and agriculture was far more heavily limited, and the tenants willing to migrate to the irrigable border with Siberia found themselves the occupants of patched, liminal spaces entirely independent of other Sino-led ventures into the Outer north.[61] For any idle warlord who owned a province or province-group on the border with Mongol land, colonisation was an immensely profitable slice of feudal pie, for the land was easily confiscated from its previous “tenants” with military or other means before famine refugees were imported to function as “share-croppers” - glorified slaves - on the requisitioned land. No site in all China saw such an oppressive landlordism as was considered common practice aboard all Inner Mongolian colonial ships.[62] The central administration sought to further degrade the long-held podium of Mongol separation by knocking over the ban on inter-cultural marriage, cross-border settlement and other rescripts keeping Mongols from writing officially in Chinese or taking Chinese names.[63] Such an abruptly voracious colonial appetite can only be explained in nationalistic terms. Facing the swiping threat of the ursine Tsarist pawing at its borders, the Manchu government realised that its border territories would be significantly more difficult to absorb if they contained a large Han population, inculcated as its people were with deep allegiance to the mountains, rivers and power structures of their homeland.[64] To expedite further colonisation, the Qing opened a Department of Colonisation within the Ministry of Dependencies and abrogated all statutes preventing Han reclamation of Mongol lands in 1910 before opening a bureau of colonisation in Urga to promote Han colonisation directly.[65]

In Inner Mongolia, the Qing’s programme of culture and populace restructuring proceeded at a breakneck pace. Han merchants contributed to the speed by purchasing Inner Mongolian land for rental to colonists enticed by the prospect of arable clarity. The Buriats and Kazakhs were distrusted for their Russian sympathies and driven from the vulnerable border areas. The high-volume Han conduit ironically provided by Russia in the form of the trans-Mongolian railway equally facilitated rapid recolouring of the Inner Mongol lands.[66] Mongols were galvanised across the political and interpretative spectrum, with newly exacerbated tensions across the region drawing bowstrings long attached to swathes of the population taut. Even as the gongs of reform sounded across China proper, with constitutionalism lumbering its way over the horizon and worker rights, education and reinvigorated jurisprudence settling like haar into the varied ground of the country, the objective in Mongolia was held apart. The New Administration harboured a cringing need to subsume and digest Mongolia into nothing more than yet another Chinese province. As the programme advanced, ever slicker commercial operations were born to bear the weight of immigrating colonists. One officially formed exploit was placed at the feet of Manchu bannerman Yigu, whose exploits posterity have decreed take on the foreboding term ‘episode’.[67] He began in Inner Mongolian Chakhar and attained a heartening success, mainly as a result of the local political structures. Rather than owing allegiance to a local prince, the banners of Chakhar were zongguan (总管)- gathered beneath an imperially designated official.[68] Yigu’s objective was to optimise and overhaul the collection of land-contract fees and annual land taxes while pushing the predatory independent land merchants into the shade. Little impact was made upon the tenant farmers, whose rents departed their pockets for development corporations instead of the individual merchant who had functioned as long-distance landlord for their occupations all this time. With the prevailing zephyr of local cooperation, Yigu’s conversion of Chakhar took place with greased ease in less than two years.[69]

Elsewhere in Inner Mongolia, forced conversion was not swallowed with such an obedient grin. In the leagues of Yekhe Juu and Ulaanchab there was incensed revolt as hordes united in their common vituperation for the gentrifying tendencies of the settled Sinic invaders. Elsewhere, such renowned rebels as Chogdalai and Togtakhu Taiji of the Jirim League, Bayandalia of the Josotu League among many others drew indignant Mongols to resistance under their banners.[70] These groups obstructed land surveys, murdered the uninvited officials and plundered Chinese governments. These rebellious groups were given the collective moniker of ‘Mongol bandits’ (蒙匪)by the Qing authorities, but the rebels themselves maintained a self-image as deeply politicised, grieved victims forced to defend themselves and their homeland against the depredations of a foreign invader. As a result, the Qing ushered military coercion into their colonialist toolbox. The ‘opening-ups’ were increasingly overseen by crowding Chinese battalions and where ethnic resentment erupted into active conflict, these flatly-Han troops were used as sharpened countermeasure to “quiet” the local malcontents. That the Chinese were not repelled by the historically triumphant nomadic warriors was resultant of the fragmented form that rebellion took. Mongolian nationalism had not yet entered the mainstream consciousness and so any hatred directed against the Chinese colonialists was felt only in the most parochial sense. Mongols of different regions and classes had no unifying ideology to fight beneath and so while rebellion was both fierce and virile, it was fractured and decentralised. Under cross-border pressure, the Guangxu emperor elevated Yigu to the position of Board President (尚书)of the Colonial office to facilitate further, and more voracious work amongst the Mongol lands.[71] Facing impossible travails, Yigu finally succeeded in opening Western Inner Mongolia by creating multiple administrative units, drawing revenue from the openings and inciting many colonialist Han to the territory. During his six-year tenure, more than 1,513,000 acres of previously unfarmable land were fully surrendered to the ambitious tentacles of agriculture.[72] Specific statistics are unavailable for the period following Yigu’s "episode," but a 1919 census speaks of a concerted attempt at ‘swamping’ the local nomadic peoples with the more manageable subjects of ‘civilisation’ from the Chinese interior. In Inner Mongolia there resided some 697,164 Mongols living amongst 5,297,844 immigrants - all of whom were Han Chinese aside some 29,000 Manchu who occupied a small strip of land in the north-east.[73] The leagues of Jirim, Josotu and Juu Uda were crammed far beyond their original capacities. In a historically ironic twist, the Manchu government sought to unleash an irresistible torrent and erode in decades what had been taken from themselves over centuries - sanctified political and cultural identity in stark contrast to the omnipresent Chinese. As Mei-hua Lan discusses in her New Administration Essay and the 1909 Russian minister to Beijing I.Y. Korostovets observed, late-Qing China sought not simply to tame the Mongolian lands, but to ‘end Mongolia’s special status and to transform it into a Chinese province.’[74]

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Yet modern Mongolian nationalism was not formed simply in opposition to dusty-old Qing exploitation of centuries past. As Mark Juergensmeyer remarks, ‘much of the force of new nationalism is fueled by a pent-up hostility against what was regarded by many as a long period of Russian colonialism’.[75] In 1995 a sitting member of the MMRP (Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party) proclaimed from her position as historical savant par excellence in Ulaanbaatar that her party was firmly not communist, that it never had been, and that in time the truth of long-term Soviet ‘exploitation and control’ would have its shutter pressed and truth exposed.[76] Russian colonialism bestowed even as it denied, with the modern Mongolian capital serving as cinder-block reminder of a centralising planned economy amidst largely unspoiled land neither exploited nor managed. Stalinist anti-religious fervour steamed the country’s grand religious character from its national consciousness, with the sole Tibetan temple to escape the Soviet construction purge the Gandantegchinlen Monastery on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar’s valley. Even the “Great Place of Complete Joy” fell victim to the zeal of anti-reactionary Soviet cullings, with its several hundred staff reduced to less than 70 at the height of Stalin’s revolutionary might.[77]

Though 1919 had brought Mongolia its Chinese military occupation, it also saw the Soviets realise the indispensable geopolitical import of their Central Asian neighbour, expanding Comintern operations well beyond the Amur. Desire for independence within Mongolia only continued to grow, and with its natural burgeon the Soviets parted the Mongolian envelope ever further. Eventually the gap was so wide that its troops could step through and Ulaanbaatar’s ruling council could see right back to Moscow and the Kremlin. Comintern policy advisors ensured that the Mongolian government purged any leaders or figureheads declaimed “pro-Japanese,” “pro-Chinese,” or “counterrevolutionary”.

From thence the Soviet blast doors familiar to those across Eastern Europe and Central Asia closed with a satisfying thunk and ostensible permanence to isolate Outer Mongolia from any world beyond the Comintern. By late September 1924, all extra-Soviet economic activity in the independent state had ceased and the political purge of “reactionaries” had administered a stilling needle to any anti-Russian murmurings that might have interrupted Mongolian vassalage.[78] In November, the Mongolian People’s Republic was duly instituted as the pulse of progression to Soviet satellite quickened. Beginning in 1925, ‘Stalinist restrictions, controls and political radicalisation unfolded in Mongolia with seeming inevitability, just as they were developing in the Soviet Union itself.’[79] Soviet martial aid helped to train some 40,000–50,000 Mongolian troops, even as officialdom under Karakhan announced that the Red Army had withdrawn its presence from the nomadic land.[80] The Chinese saw Soviet withdrawal as an issue of paramount importance, but their international standing hovered near abject irrelevance and the Sino-Soviet conference clamoured for over a period longer than 14 months failed to see the issue even brought to table. Michael N. Pavlovsky remarked in 1949 that ‘the absence of a tripartite treaty similar to that of 1915, or a direct Sino-Mongol convention, was particularly disadvantageous to China, since it permitted Mongolia to interpret her autonomy as widely as she wished, and permitted Russia, while admitting Chinese sovereignty, to turn this wider interpretation to account.’[81] Moscow’s hand was simply played far more deftly than Beijing’s, with the latter forced to recognise 1915’s treaty even as both countries agreed not to enforce it. The USSR’s subsequent refusal to negotiate a superseding treaty left a China unprepared and unwilling to engage the communists in war little to do but accept Mongolia’s solid captivity within the Bloc. Soviet politicking had equally resulted in the “independence” of Tannu Tuva, a region long considered merely a Mongolian extremity due to their shared language and economy. Once hooked by the Soviet crook, the Tuvan government was manipulated to prevent the growth of pan-Mongolism.[82] By 1944, Josef had had “thoroughly enough” of the nomadic uniting spirit and incorporated Tannu Tuva as the Tuvan Autonomous Oblast within the USSR. In one motion, he annexed 66,000 square miles of formerly Mongol territory to the Soviet Union. [83]

Indeed, Russia’s “occupation” of Mongolia was a far cry from the interpretation presented in its internal grinding engine of anti-imperialist propaganda. Not only were Moscow’s geopolitical interests directly served by the weak, hunchbacked waiter of Mongolia itself, but to keep the stooped server in its employ, the USSR had to engage ‘oppressed’ China in secret diplomacy and its own form of oppression to maintain control. Mongolia was a Bolshevik guinea pig - the first in a succession of underdeveloped countries to see “root-and-branch” political control. In 1925, a secret protocol was signed between the Kremlin and Beijing defending and promoting Moscow’s imperialist policies in Outer Mongolia[84]- a fact unbeknownst to history until the Red cloud finally dissipated from atop Russia’s mountains and rivers in the 80s. Though the Russian public were submersed in a narrative preaching Bolshevik support and struggle towards China’s economic and political liberation, expansionism was the only true ideology driving the stiff Soviet engines forwards. In this regard, Robert C. Tucker’s assertion of a control-focussed USSR[85] in the wake of World War II is seen to have been germinating in Moscow’s underbelly since the 1920s. Techniques sharpened and shaped in Mongolia’s forge - propaganda about ‘friendly government,’ ‘higher democracy,’ ‘struggle against world imperialism,’ contrasted with minority rule from the superheated solar plexus of government in Moscow - would only later be exported across the Eurasian continent.[86] The Azeris and Kurds of northwest Iran, the Kazakhs of northern Xinjiang and a great spate of Baltic ‘states’ would be made to endure similar Stalinist tentacles subsequent to the conclusion of World War II.

While the war still raged, however, the question of Mongolian sovereignty remained a ball rolling in the grand basins of its home territory. Chongqing maintained a foothold in the scratchy subsistence wasteland of western Inner Mongolia, while the Japanese ruled the productive sections of Inner mongolia through their instituted vassal state of “Manchukuo”[87] and the Russians continued to exert extreme pressure on the Outer state through the long arms of their educational, linguistic, economic predominance and Soviet zealot Marshal Choibalsan, the MPR’s de-facto leader. Chinese legal claims over the vast state deeply felt and stuck like a limpet to the great whale of Tian’xia politics further complicated the Mongolian question’s solubility. These claims had been bolstered during the 1920s and 30s by the large numbers of Chinese still resident in Mongolia; as Morris Rossabi has remarked, ‘The mongols depended on Chinese merchants for tea, Chinese peasants for farming, Chinese artisans for the building of monasteries and making of Buddhist artifacts, Chinese money-lenders for capital, and Chinese labour for hard work other than livestock herding’.[88] As the 30s morphed by, however, visible removals of Chinese expatriates forced by the state translated into a sudden ethnic cut-off by the second world war’s opening act. Chiang Kai-Shek complained of a 1936 mutual security treaty between the USSR and MPR, suggesting that as integrated region of China proper, Mongolia had no right to independent diplomacy. Japanese encroachment, prominent warlords and Chinese communism conspired to prevent his maintaining any extended rage.

Throughout the war, Chongqing believed an Allied victory would lead China down a path concluding at its border territories, with sovereignty asserted over even Tibet under the Dalai Lama and Choibalsan’s MPR.[89] Their fatalistic focus on the lower Yangtze area, however, meant that the educational, networking and propagandistic efforts necessary to tie such territories into the national conception - thereby strengthening central control - were heinously lacking. To muddy the already confusing waters with yet another set of territorial ambitions, Choibalsan himself found ignition for his own expansionist fervour. Hoping to tie Inner Mongolia into his own state, he settled for Xinjiang when the local Kazakh leader Osman Batyr rallied a violent revolt.[90] Stalin listened to Choibalsan’s ethnically-founded exhortations, funnelling weapons and large amounts of capital destined for Kazakh rebels along the trans-Siberian into Choibalsan’s hands. Meanwhile, at the 1945 Yalta Conference, Stalin procured from Roosevelt an assurance that the ‘status quo’ in Mongolia would be observed by both parties and that China would eventually be pressured to do the same.[91] Chinese intelligence procured the relevant stipulations and was none perturbed, having given itself to the anti-colonialist, anti-racist leftward current that the fight against fascism had fostered worldwide. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s Sixth Congress cast out the prevailing ‘national unity’ interpretation of Chinese nationalism in favour of a strengthened ‘self-determination’ for the border peoples. Specifically, the manifesto procured by discussions prescribed a ‘high degree of autonomy’ to Outer Mongolia and Tibet.[92] In June of the same year, the new Soviet ambassador to China directly affirmed the Yalta deliminations, holding Chongqing to preserving the Mongolian ‘status quo’. Yet Chiang Kai-Shek rallied against the Soviet impositions, suggesting that a ‘high level autonomy’ might suffice to satisfy all parties. This ‘autonomy’ was to include diplomatic and military self-governance, effectively enfeebling China’s claim from sovereignty to a loose suzerainty.[93] Chiang’s brother-in-law was duly despatched to Moscow once the Soviet entrance to World War 2 became certain. If no end was negotiated to the permanent Sino-Russian squabbling, Stalin’s Yalta gains would hang in an international limbo and Chongqing could face either direct Soviet occupation or a newly USSR-aided communist party.

The agreement then stamped and delivered saw Chiang submit to the results of a Mongolian referendum in which over 99% of the electorate opted for independence.[94] This slight cooling in the furnace of Sino-Soviet relations immediately precipitated Stalin’s hard guillotine to the neck of Kazakh support, decapitating Choibalsan’s expansionist ideals before they even had chance to bear upon the world.

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Throughout the coming years, consistent communist victory in mainland China reintroduced uncertainty into the Mongolian Question. In Edgar Snow’s famous interview with the Communist leader, Mao was quoted in his belief that Mongolia would inevitably return to Chinese jurisdiction after the Communist victory in China.[95] The undelimited pressure cooker continued to pool its Sino-Soviet steam as talks fell through into an inner-steppe purgatory with Mongolia’s status suspended on the dual strings of its opposing puppetmasters. Eventual Communist victory over the middle kingdom in 1949 at last surfaced a tacit assent to Mongolian independence, contained within Mao’s February 1950 PRC-USSR Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance and its pointed lack of reference to the untamed country.[96] Shortly after, Sino-Mongolian trade soared for the wide skies and Chinese labourers worked with their nomadic counterparts to build the trans-Mongolian railroad connecting Jining to Ulaanbaatar and from thence to the trans-Siberian.

Chinese aid was continually accepted in Ulaanbaatar until the Sino-Soviet split of 1960 forced Mongolia into a corner. At the time, both pairs of Great State arms were open, but to leap into either would result in an instant, irredeemable contraction of the opposing hug. For the central Mongol state, the decision was not difficult. Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal, who had taken the MPR’s premiership following Choibalsan’s death in 1952, was married across the northern border and had received his education in Moscow.[97] What opposition he faced in ushering Mongolia further under the Soviet umbrella was blown aside by the Kremlin’s 1962 COMECON invitation, ushering Mongolia into a position never previously held by a non-European state.[98] Though an attempt to ingratiate themselves with the Mongols, Beijing’s contemporaneous cede of sovereign territory to Tsedenbal’s government served very little to salve the fervent Sinophobia rife in Mongolia. Not a month subsequent to Tsedenbal’s departure from China, he denounced the Beijing Communists for ‘defaming the USSR’ and ‘undermining the unity of the Communist bloc through disparagement of the Soviet policy of peaceful coexistence with the capitalist world.’[99] In July 1964, Mao’s perverse contumacy made print in an interview he gave to a Japanese journal, alleging not only that the USSR was an emotional and political manipulator of Mongolia, but also that the territory was China’s alone. The Mongolian cabinet reacted much as their British counterparts in the wake of certain Wilhelmine journalistic revelations, bolstering Tsedenbal’s anti-Sinic slant.

Moscow’s central command leapt upon the Central Asian wind now firmly in their favour and pledged some six hundred million rubles of aid before offering a Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, entailing a Soviet guarantee of territorial integrity. With the Sino-Soviet conflict building up to a predicted proactive explosion, tens of thousands of Soviet troops poured across the Mongolian border into the wild frontier separating the two warring giants.[100] A certain revolution in culture blowing across the Sinic plateau eroded any trust in China remnant amongst the Mongols. Inner Mongolia saw violence erupt along ethnic lines as Red Guards engaged Mongols in fitful bursts of crimson-splashed violence. Han and Mongol alike lost their lives amidst outraged Ulaanbaatar press censuring Beijing’s ‘oppressive’ policies in Inner Mongolia, extrapolating the notion that Mao’s PRC would seek, sooner or later, to annex their own lands lest action be taken. With such justified paranoia biting at the Mongol heels, it was inevitable that Ulaanbaatar would strain for any actionable alternative. A scion of the government sought to abandon national independence in favour of full integration into the Soviet union. Tsedenbal, by now Party secretary, filled out plans to action the integration, but they were struck down by both the Bolsheviks themselves atop Choibalsan’s own rebuttal. In response, he constructed a political ethos aimed at ‘relying on the powerful technical base of the Soviet Union [to] build socialism in Mongolia’. The programme was so identifiably of the secretary’s personal devising that it has been accepted into historiographical tradition as‘Tsedenbalism’.[101] Its effects plunged into the cold depths of Mongolia’s steppe and a new ideology bubbled in the cold peat. ‘Internationalism’ took on a more strictly codified set of implications, no longer meaning simply ‘proletariat internationalist goodwill’ - now, rather, implying a prostitution of the nation before the north’s Red edifice.[102] The Soviets and their vast technical abilities were to overhaul the nation’s economy while keeping China’s slavering jaws - real or imagined - at bay with their grand military mass. The concomitant group process of enthused engagement with production was part of the same equation; labour was to be divided across internationalist lines if the nation’s security was to be secured. This Tsedenbalist economic interaction was the foundation of a socialist Mongolian nation based on ‘iron friendship’ with the Soviets and a culture ‘socialist in content and national in form’.[103] By now any trace of voluntary Chinese presence had been catapulted from Mongolia’s scales by Russia’s overwhelming counterbalance. In 1966, a foreign observer noted the singular lack of any Chinese reveller present at the annual Naadam parade and festivities. [104]

Just how had such a fetid rift come to rot between the Chinese and their Mongol brethren? For some, the mulched root lies in the late-post Qing departure from earlier Manchu policy. In 2000 and 2001, both Pamela Crossley and Mark Elliott in their respective studies uncovered ostensible ‘sustained and sophisticated’ Manchu efforts to ‘create the institutional structure to secure their primacy within a polyethnic empire.’[105] Through a meticulous analysis, they demonstrate that the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors were ardent overseers of a Yuan-style dynasty bejewelled with the lifespan-increasing studs of cosmopolitanism and cultural/religious tolerance. Similarly, Peter Perdue’s exhaustive investigations into Qing expansionism draw the Manchu leaders China’s singularly cross-cultural agent of conquest, expanding Sinic borders into Inner Asia while building its multiethnicity.

Nor is such pro-imperial theorising limited to postcolonial academics. Since the 1960s, China’s intelligentsia has gazed back upon the quantitatively broad, pan-ethnic vision of their forebears with glasses of tunnel vision. As the Sino-Soviet split reached its fizzing height in the middle of that decade, CCP leadership took to complex and rhetorical defence of Chinggis Khan and the Mongolian Empire of his foundation. In Beijing’s terms, the Mongols were a cultural typhoon, ripping and tearing at all the petty kingdoms between China and Europe such that Han civilisation could drift over their scattered ruins and touch the ancestors of Hellene. In Beijing’s terms, pax Mongolica was repossessed as pax Sinica, ad infinitum.[106] Similarly, when the global political climate began to undermine Leninist Communism in 1988, a swathe of Chinese intellectuals clamoured to denounce the Great Wall. Standing not only in imperious ineffectuality, the Great Wall had also played historical rallying point for Chinese parochialism and chauvinistic ethno-primacy. In 1988, Deathsong of the River (河殇)- possibly the most daring, and certainly most physically radicalising Chinese documentary ever made - gave an acerbic commentary on the Wall: ‘By the time that Genghis Khan’s fierce horsemen had swept down like a tide, not even natural barriers like the Yellow River and the Yangtze, let alone the Great Wall, could stop them.’[107] The Ming’s Great Wall has become an object of ‘incomparable reverence, enthusing the Chinese with the knowledge that their structure is the sole man-made structure visible from the moon. ‘Yet,’ Deathsong continues: ‘…if the Great wall could speak, it would very frankly tell us, its Chinese [华夏] grandchildren, that it is a great and tragic gravestone forged by historical destiny. It can by no means represent strength, initiative, and glory; it can only represent an isolationist, conservative and incompetent defence and a cowardly lack of aggression. Because of its great size and long history, it has deeply imprinted its arrogance and self-delusion into the souls of our people. Alas, O Great Wall, why do we still want to praise you?’[108] The Wall is here visioned as a Berlin Wall of a millenium’s standing, keeping a cowering China locked in its own self-restricted mode.

Such modern writers as Yu Qiuyu treat the Manchu Kangxi Emperor with reverence for his decision to leave the Great Wall unrepaired in 1691.[109] A vein of aspartame-sweet irony dwells in the fact that contemporary Chinese scholarship has come to rest in alignment with its writers’ ages-past steppe conquerors - conquerors who ipso facto required no grand barrier to prevent themselves from entering China. In an extreme case of political romanticism, China’s scholarship has transformed the Manchu into history’s most staunch defender of “grand unity” (大一统). As Schmitt wrote, ‘From the standpoint of romanticism… it is simply not possible to distinguish between the king, the state, or the beloved. In the twilight of the emotions, they blend into one another.’[110] Typifying this globally-honoured process of edited national glory, Li Zhiting in 2005 wrote: ‘The Kangxi emperor decided to abandon the Great Wall, so that henceforth there was no more division between the south and the north, no more distinction between the Chinese and barbarians, genuinely becoming “one family,” endowing “Central Kingdom” with contemporary meaning of China.’[111] The Kangxi Emperor’s admirers make the conveniently servile effort of humouring the figure’s own professions of borderless sovereignty. In reality, the Manchu kingdom was cracked into two split halves along an arcing line just as daunting - if less grandiose - than its time-honoured counterpart. The Willow Palisade had been initiated by the Kangxi emperor’s immediate antecessor long before he crowed of ‘consolidating the empire without relying on the perilous mountains and rivers’[112] in 1691. Built to prevent both Jurchens, Mongols and Koreans entering the Manchu heartland, the ditch-embankment palisade’s ‘old’ (老边)section zips and crackles from the Shanhaiguan Fortress at The Wall’s Eastern arm, conluding at the Western Korean border. The new section (新边)was addended in 1670 and stretches from the Weiyuanbaomen gate to end at Fadiha, some hundreds of miles to the west. Evidence equally worth submitting to the case against Manchu pretensions includes the Qing’s extraordinary institution of the first international border on the globe against their Russian imperialist neighbours. The most paradoxical element in the Qing love affair with demarcation is their own origin as nomadic steppe dwellers, accustomed to roaming with the wind. Either insecurity in the face of or sedentary influence itself directly imparted such a ‘taming’ influence on the victorious conquistadors that, within decades, wolves had been made dogs.

This passion for demarcation naturally stretched into the Manchu’s “Colonial Affairs” (理藩). Certainly, it was Qing conquest that broke down the still trenchant ethnic and tribal divisions to create a unified “Mongol” group. In fact, it was only with extreme Manchu didacticism that the term “Mongol” took preference over such ethnonyms as “Oirad” and “Horchin”.[113] The disparate Mongol groups all fell under the Colonial Affairs Board’s (理藩院)administration, generating spontaneously a sense of mututal, shared destiny in opposition to the Manchu, Tibetans, Muslim and Han. Qing ‘ethnic sovereignty’[114] was the official imperial framework for maintaining pan-Asian hegemony. The legal deference afforded to borders grew in pace with the march of the dynasty. In the twenty-third year of the Jiaqing reign (1814), an imperial scribe recorded that ‘Originally, should there be border violations from Mongolia, a prince would be fined 10 horses, aristocracy 7 and commoners a member of their herd.’[115] By the time of his writing, the scribe noted with ample satisfaction that the fine had been increased tenfold for aristocrats, while a commoner would lose all his property - including himself - awarded to the accuser if proven guilty. Within this ostensible "national unity," the Qing exerted themselves to prevent any propitious conglomeration from springing into life. The Mongols felt the full force of imperialism’s arbitrary scalpel as the Board of Colonial Affairs brought tribes (aimag), leagues (chuulgan) and banners (hoshun) to fracture their otherwise unified peoples.[116] Hard borders were instituted and policed with all the zeal of 19th century Germany between tribes, leagues and even banners. Control stations blotted the previously empty terrain and where the ebb and flow of power crackled with most vivacity, some 30–40 Manchu soldiers made permanent garrison against the north, whether or not sedentary organisation was exerting its will in peacetime.

As Robert Lee argues, this fetishisation of demarcation and the fractures it left in the Mongolian crust lies at the heart of the modern Sino-Mongol distaste.[117] The Willow Palisade was not constructed to prevent invasion - any potentially blocked invaders were already ruling in its interior. The manifest border of the palisade was scratched into the north to maintain suspicion and arm’s-length distance between the Mongols and their potential allies in China. As Lee remarks: ‘The Manchus had conquered China by forging an alliance composed of themselves, the Mongols, and the dissident Chinese. As rulers of China, they were determined not to let such an alliance be formed again.’[118] A keen observer might note that the Jin had themselves been reduced to puffs of smoke and a faint lick of flame by an alliance forged across ethnic boundaries between both steppe warriors and the settled Song elite some four centuries prior. This inculcated cross-border distrust carries today on folkloric winds, blowing deeply nationalist fables of altan unag (golden pony) across the big skies.[119] These fables are invariably founded in a lush, verdant nutag (homeland, allocated pastureland) saturated with treasures. The treasures are symbolised by golden ponies or golden calves grazing on the land’s bounty until an imbalance causes them to flee. More often than not, an alien is responsible for the disturbance undermining eco-harmony and in other, rarer cases, a Chinese or yellow-haired Russian is direct thief, making off with the gilded object by clandestine subterfuge. Tales no doubt borne on the remnants of predominating Manchu currents, such unashamedly moralistic fables preach at once the hallowed value of personal borders and the danger of “foreign” - non-Manchu - interference.

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With Chinese influence decidedly purged in the shadow of Sino-Russia’s public spat, the question yet remains of just how much ditch and embankment Mongolia mustered between their own sovereignty and the long arm of Soviet Russia from the 1960s forwards. Unquestionably a “satellite” in the Bloc, the status does not imply a thorough surrender of sovereign control. Such other political formations as the protectorate and colony are granted no self-determination at all, with their sovereignty institutionally - and in some cases constitutionally - vested in the possessing country.[120] A satellite certainly bows almost to breaking under foreign pressure to remodel its internal life, social structure, political institutions and economic structures after the great object it orbits, but there is no compulsion in the social transaction. Finland stands alone against the USSR satellites of Mongolia, North Korea, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria in that its ruling party played no energetic or active role in plying further integration with the Soviet bloc. As such, despite falling well within the Soviet sphere of influence, the Nordic country cannot be counted as a satellite. Lattimore articulated seven fundamental conditions to identify orbital national relationships.

  1. The regime in the satellite country came to power with the active and uplifting aid of the star nation.
  2. The regime in the satellite country does not merely accept, but actively wants the satellite relationship.
  3. The regime could not survive without the support and protection of the dominating power.
  4. The individuals, social classes and inner-class groups identify their interests in confluence with the star nation’s.
  5. Outside the regime there exists an actual or latent opposition hostile to both the star and internal regime.
  6. If this opposition were to grapple successfully with the internal regime, the result would leave the ‘liberated’ satellite not independent, but drifting through space until finding the orbit of a different star.
  7. The satellite’s regime must, therefore, model itself on the star - imitating its social makeup, patterns of rule and economic superstructure until the two take on an indistinguishable social homogeneity.[121]

All conditions are perfectly applicable to Mongolia in the 1960s, with both local administration and Kremlin moving in tandem to overhaul the nation’s fabric in Red. For the USSR, expansionism was no burning question. The international flowering of the Soviet system was regarded as desirable - indeed, as the inevitable outcome of world history - but for much of its lifespan, the Soviet Union was willing to exercise the virtue of patience. To delay expansion would threaten no internal demolition - for the Soviet national myth was not founded on absolutist notions of imperialistic nadir. While playing the waiting game, their primary foreign focus was to strengthen and consolidate the borders against an influx of perceived ‘imperialist war’.[122] The most practicable method of actualising these goals was, therefore, to reduce any territory sharing a Russian land border to a satellite: consequently preventing the growth, rise or penetration of any regime - local or foreign - hostile to the Soviet government. This ostensibly non assertive method of expansion has been dubbed the ‘doctrine of the irreversible minimum.’[123] First asserted by Lattimore, it implies an imperialism bearing little relation to the absolute in which the ‘aggressor’ is satiated by gains made in his favour, however slight or far from their ideal.

Awaiting the progress of this deepening political wash, Mongolia could do little but sit in its geographically ordained position and watch. The nation’s Bloc placidity was and remained the resignation of its Soviet detractors and uninterrupted pride of its Soviet proponents. Why, to tug only at a single instance, should Mongolia have never played host to a socially estimable revolt with Japan as powerful ally in the 1930s even while Yugoslavia found internal cohesion enough to light the torches of rebellion only some few years into its occupation?[124] The answer, as usual, lies in historical vaults - the product, once again, of Qing era chicanery. The Mongolians in modernity are an ethnically homogenous people - its borders holding only a very limited vein of minorities. In Yugoslavia, vested interests had been torn free in the hurricane of oppressive German occupation and, as a multi-national state, the suggestion that the individualised group be subject to Russian domination rankled. Here, indeed, was ‘the psychologically vulnerable point’[125] Soviet expansionists found themselves in conflict with. For the Mongols, independence was an ‘ethnic process,’ founded in 1902 fear of the unsupportable decay an expected wave of Chinese influence would allow to grow on Mongolian ‘religion and root’. Stalin’s “leftist” revolution was a far more virile strain of the same virus from 1928, but to the earliest revolutionaries, Russia appeared a great power of less immediate threat precisely because both nations lacked co-ethnicity. Religious concerns were of equal importance - Johan Elverskog has identified an efficiently machined piece of historiographical trickery.[126] In the vast majority of pre-Qing Mongolian historical texts, the Mongols are depicted with an origin at the feet of Chinggis himself. After the 17th century and Manchu conquest blazed a trail across China’s grand traditions, however, the Mongol Khans are repositioned to sit at the head of a lineage ‘originating with the first Buddhist ruler Maha Sammata - then come the Chakravartin of Tibet, then Chinggis Khan in Mongolia, culminating with the Manchu emperor.’ [127] By linking their genealogy to India, Tibet and Buddhism more generally, the Manchu robbed Mongolia of its prerogative to decide the form and function of its own national heroes. The great narrative edifice then propped up by the Qing told of Chinggis Khan as ‘founder of Mongol-Buddhist nation’ or ‘one transnational avatar of a Buddhist ideal within a Buddhist cosmological continuum.’[128] Not only was the Mongolian identity shifted on all its planes, but the fundamental reason for Mongol being was turned on its head. The Mongols were serving, and had long served, as instrument in a wider, universalist cause - a cause with axis far beyond the lives of mortal men. Whether the bulwark of a Manchu dynasty or at the feet of a Buddhist vine destined to encircle more than just the globe, Mongolia was a speck. A speck of great importance, no doubt, but a speck nonetheless. Its burning Buddhist fervour reflected this reconception. It was for these reasons that Buddhism and its omnipresent Sangha became an enemy of the revolution under Josef’s zealous eye. For these reasons did Mongolian monasteries feel the lick of fire and were the vast population of practising acolytes whittled down to size. In this, too, the Soviets were striking out for their ‘irreversible minimum’. If occupation and full-scale ideological upload were too obstreperous geopolitical assertions, the eradication of a decidedly non-Russian, South Asian influence also served the Soviet interest in Mongolia.

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Once the Sino-Soviet split was boiling in full view of the international community, Russia’s ‘irreversible minimum’ grand strategic thinking was not lost on the CCP authorities. Ideological orthodoxy was clashing against new revisionism and Beijing sought opportunity to tear holes in the net of Soviet dominance being woven around Central Asia.[129] Chinggis was the tender nerve the Chinese communists chose to massage in an attempt to numb the Mongols into a forced empathy. First accusing Moscow of neo-colonialism in Mongolia, they made continued positive appraisals of that nation’s most prized conqueror, casting him the co-ethnic engine of history.[130] The Soviets hissed poison in return, citing this positive appraisal as evidence of Beijing’s colonial ambitions. For the Chinese Communists, Chinggis became a symbol of the oppressed ‘yellow race’[131] now spearheaded by their own nation. The Soviet denunciation of his power and creed was tantamount to a denunciation of both the Chinese and all other ‘yellow’ inhabitants of Asia. This rabid promotion was never fully predicated on racial pride, however. China sought to win over the MPR and keep a lid on Neimeng, whose leash was straining. With Russia’s boa-embrace of Mongolia into COMECON in 1962, China lost any will to continue lauding the steppe conqueror. In 1966, the Communists dug their own Khan tomb, denouncing him as a brutal feudal conqueror and a ‘nationalist’.[132] The mausoleum much GMD-CCP blood had been spilt for was also ransacked in 1966, exactly ten years after its construction. Simultaneously, the PRC-moulded Chinese self-concept underwent serious excavations and rebuildings at the drawing board. No longer was China to be a unit of loosely meshed minorities, with its liminal peoples allowed autonomy and self-direction. The new PRC vision constituted one Han China occupied by depoliticised and centrally-controlled minorities tied to the “Chinese nation”. This official nationalism retooled Mongol and other minority folk heroes as indisputable Chinese, or “people of the middle kingdom” (中国人)[133]. In China’s modern political conception, Chinggis has charged into the state’s popular mythology as quintessential Sinic icon struggling for the middle kingdom. This is in opposition to the cherished Yue Fei (岳飞)of years past, a Song(宋朝) loyalist fighting against Jurchen(金超) depredations. In the new conception, foreign conquest dynasties were ipso facto ‘Chinese dynasties’, and foreign occupation was nothing of the sort. Yue Fei’s virile anti-Jurchen stance becomes, therefore, an anti-Sinic slight not permissible within the renewed national mythos. Amidst the crackling verve for naturalisation, that the Great Khan surfaced should surprise very few. Several unsanctioned books were published in the PRC throughout the 1950s: B. Vladimirtsov’s 1922 biography Chinggis Khan entered the national market in translation,[134] May 5 1950, Vasili Yan’s Jenghis-Khan in 1955 while Yu Yuan’an published his own take on the steppe warrior in the same year. No other “minority” hero was treated with such widespread weight. While Professor Bulag understands the CCP’s zealous promotion of Chinggis to have been ‘designed for the twin purposes of bolstering the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and of making Inner Mongolia the magnet or model for the MPR,’[135] we have the benefit of 21st-century oversight. Seen from our eyes, Beijing’s 1950s ideological posturings appear to have been part of an altogether more insidious early attempt to build culture-wide assumptions within China. John Man phrases the modern quandary with most disarming candour:

The Mongols under Genghis Khan. Very good. What happened? Genghis Khan won. Excellent. And? And eventually the Mongols defeated the rest of China. They did indeed. And? And they set up the Yuan dynasty. And the Yuan dynasty was an essential part of the history of which nation? China. Terrific. So who founded this Chinese dynasty? Genghis Khan, of course. So – and here’s the tricky bit – what does that make Genghis: Chinese or Mongol? You see where we are heading. Looking at things from south of the Gobi, Genghis Khan was actually Chinese. [136]

Even prior to the war, China’s ascendant communists had wrung themselves out in the attempt to reposition the rolling image of Chinggis. As the Conqueror’s remains made a stately procession to their new resting place in 1939, 20,000 Han Chinese stood beneath the beating sun to watch his funereal convoy draw to a halt before the Shaanxi(陕西)hall designated for purpose.[137] A steppe wind is said to have blown in from the north, curling the bases of the enthusiastic communist flags: ‘Chinggis Khan, The Giant of the World,’ they proclaimed. ‘The Mongolian and Chinese nations are more closely united, continuing the spirit of Chinggis to fight to the end!’[138] In the spirit of propaganda and tourism, a tacky arch was erected to usher the curious visitor into a historical theme park of but a single attraction. ‘Welcome to Genghis Khan’s coffin!’ it read in bright lettering, acting as gatekeeper for a wreath-lined avenue drawing to a halt before a ranging gaggle of officials exerting themselves in panegyrics for ‘the world’s hero’. A genocidal conqueror, Chinggis was naturally engaged to the Communist debate - being, of course, the Yuan founder (元太祖)and discriminate nationalist. As John Man writes: ‘This was how to deal with a barbarian conqueror: confer upon him a retrospective change of nationality and turn him into a symbol of Chinese culture.’[139] Days later, the nationalists outdid their Communist rivals in Xi’an(西安) by slaughtering not simply historical accuracy and the national identification of a globe-crafting general but one cow and some twenty-seven sheep to mark his arrival. 200,000 urban dwellers removed themselves from domestic interral to cheer their ethnic enemy and the architect of local historical devastation through their city’s streets. This is a people who respect the gone-by, the ancestral and precedent. Chinggis is certainly a mighty example of all three, and homage thus flows as a cultural requisite. With the Russo-Sino-Japanese contention for Mongolia beginning to balloon, exploiting underlying cultural tendencies became a tactical necessity. In the new national order, the Mongols became consanguineal relations of China and the Han - and rather than emphasise the historical animosity boiling on both sides of the Wall, China’s wartime politicians and editorialising historians prodded the wound of Mongol-Japan, Russo-Mongol and Euro-Mongol relations. To aggrandize the Mongols was to aggrandize China; Mongolia was genealogically secured beneath the Middle Kingdom’s belt.[140]

Pre-eminent pre-revolutionary Chinese writer and social critic Luxun did not allow the irony of Chinggis’ appropriation to escape his vision in 1934:

‘Yet such useful things are difficult to find in the books of China nowadays. I remember - just for myself - to gain a smattering of knowledge was a piteously bitter struggle. When I was small, I knew that after Gupan opened the firmament [beginning recorded history], there were the Three August Ones and Five Lords [legendary rulers of remote antiquity] … then the Song, Yuan, Ming, “our great Qing”. By twenty, I knew that “our” Genghis Khan subjugated Europe and it was the most glittering of “our” days. At twenty-five, I had come to know that “our” glittering years were in fact the Mongols’ glittering years - and we were little but bondslave-lackeys. It was only by this August, while doing research for my writings, that I read three books on Mongolian history and finally became aware that Chinggis was not even our Khan when he completed invasion of “proto-Russia” and Austria-Hungary [Eastern Europe in general]. Therefore, the Russian bondslave credentials are far more advanced than our own; it should be they who claim “Our Chinggis Khan subjugated China, those are our most glittering days.” I haven’t read modern history manuals in a long time - I’m unaware of what they say - but in [Chinese] publications I still see articles pop up on occasion taking pride in Chinggis. These things are long past and perhaps matter little. Yet perhaps they really matter a great deal - the truth is always better told than not. Therefore, I think no matter whether you are a student of literature or science, you should first read a simple, enlightening and reliable book of history.’[141]

The impetus to domesticate smaller ethnic groups within the national whole has, of course, been seen as natural element of nationalism in general, but the particular verve for normalisation in the Chinese heart is worth its own extrapolation. The barrier inciting such fierce displeasure, I argue, is unrelated to the physical boundary long since blown to dust by globalisation. Instead, the border at stake is a psychological one, founded on the frustration China feels for its inability to subsume Mongolia as China’s destiny has long compelled. Why, China questions, do its concentric power circles not hypnotise the unruly steppe dwellers, with their weak culture and vitiated economy? The answer, they respond, must lie in the concept of gehe (隔阂)- alienation of the heart. Gehe is more than simple misunderstanding, implying a sense of misunderstanding and a possible third party, with either of the two obstructing free intercourse. Were the misunderstanding to clear or third party be eradicated, communication would resume and the question at stake - in this case the Hanification of Mongolia - would become soluble. The nationalist ideologue Dai Jitao threw his not inconsiderable theoretical weight behind the mission to give non-Chinese minorities Han lineage. Descending from a common ancestor, he believed, the Chinese could work towards unitary significance in a world either industrialising or far post-industry.[142] Chiang Kai-Shek’s China’s Destiny (中国之命运)encircled this point in the black of official ink, guiding his intelligentsia in the direction of this unity. [143]

This debate, still central to Sinic society, was about China’s ‘self determination in times of indeterminacy, and the crisis was resolved through self-definition about who the Chinese ought to be.’[144] This blunt answer to the ‘Mongolian Question’ amounted to politicide distilled; a meat-fisted attempt to grunt into the social, political and cultural barriers separating the Mongols from China. The consequence, of course, was to repel Ulaanbaatar further towards the arctic circle.

In the event, the Mongols found themselves at the mercy of a separate set of ethnic principles further into the same century. Socialist revolution and Marxist-Leninist ideology is so intertwined with ethnic struggle that to build the former in Mongolia, the latter had to be instituted. Socialism in Mongolia was itself a modernisation negating the necessity of a bourgeois nationalist stage, whereupon she flew at breakneck pace through to fraternity on the basis of class solidarity and a forced economy. Liberated colonial peoples were hierarchised from union to autonomous republics, with the different peoples resident therein identified according to the Marxist paradigm of historical evolution: tribe, (plemya) people (narodnost) and nation (natsiya).[145] The Mongols translated the whole range of Russian terms for the historical development of ethnic communities - obog, aimag, yastan, ündesten[146] - and built their own national mythos from the basic principles. This extrusion of ethnicity and the creation of ethnic consciousness is inherent to the socialist nation-building process. The resultant three categories include Greater Mongolian, Halh-centric and non-Mongol identities. Greater Mongolian identity is posited in opposition to Chinese and Russian national types, and is the least exclusive of any Mongol identifications.[147] The Halh-centric category is symptomatic of Soviet flattening. With the Red iron steaming through its chosen subjects, a natural concentric drift towards ‘central’ ethnicity is created by its “purifying” passage.[148] In creating a nation, the minority subjects are pushed towards liminality and, in Girard’s theorem, robbed of agency as non-central elements in a consolidating society. The non-Mongol identities comprise those foreign elements who fall within Mongolia’s borders, but possess either visual or cultural difference; the polis assigns them a socio-economic and political status outwith the main body. There are internal variations - Kazakhs in Mongolia are given citizenship while Chinese and Russians are denied the same.[149] Equally, mixed-blood Mongolians known as hurliz on the steppe were victimised as Chinese spies during the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960–80s, marginalised in society and barred from public service.[150]

Soviet ethnologist interests lay in the grand societal motion towards socialist evolutionary development. An arcane Marxist explanation reads as follows: ‘the appearance of the commodity form destroyed the obog system, and the dismantling of aimag created the conditions for the emergence of yastan.’[151] Being a social group in feudal society, the yastan is a unit of territory, language and culture that, if allowed to bubble in the furnace of a market economy, will boil into undesten - nation - with time. To even broach the construction of a supra-Soviet nation, the places and groups yet to reach mature undesten status would have to be put into economic and developmental overdrive. In Soviet ethnology, this acceleration was known as ‘ethnic process’ - a vital piece of social engineering in USSR thought.[152] Mongolia’s own ethnologists kept abreast of this theory and attempted to chart their own ‘ethnic process’. The realisation of the Mongol undesten would be achieved when the smaller yastans renounced their own subset identities and set to integration with the larger, primary group acting as solar-system star expanding to red dwarf status. As Carole Pegg identifies, ‘In 1956 there were twenty-three yastans’,[153] while by 1969 this number had dropped to ten. They have merged into what Badamhatan calls the ‘socio-political unit of the socialist Mongolian undesten, which is based on the language, literature and culture of Halh, the core group of the Mongol undesten.’[154] The Halh has become - in Soviet terms - the central ‘root’ of all Mongols, and small yastans are but feudalist remnants ready to be ground into the wider, centrifugal pool of Mongol-ness. The predominance of Halh-centric thought even in the years since communist Russia’s collapse is evidenced by the litany of revival groups formed at the foot of the fallen Iron Curtain after 1990: the Durbet Association, the Kazakh National Salvation Front; even a Buryat Association.[155] When the first parliament was finally built during Mongolia’s democratic reconstruction, the presence of minorities was a source of much pride: 333 Halh, 15 Kazakhs, 15 Buryats, 15 Durbets, 14 Bayats, 10 Dariganga, 7 Zahichin, 5 Urianghai, 3 Oold, 2 Darhat, 2 Torguud and 1 Barga sat in Ulaanbaatar to represent their dispersed voters. Social constructionist theory suggests, however, that such diversity does little more than perpetuate the root ethnicity and their nationalist monopoly on trade in identity. Chinese anthropologists point to the minority ethnic groups within China in attempt to ‘dislocate’ the modern conception of polygonal ethnic demarcation. These minority nationalities (民族), both Gladney and Kaup suggest, have no natural existence; such everyday demarcations as Hui, Uyghur, Zhuang, etc were ‘invented’ or ‘created’.[156] As a poststructuralist, Gladney suggests that minorities are to majorities as women are to men, or vice-versa. Without the proliferation of identifiable others, contemporary Han identity would be unsupportable and see itself lost to both its bearers and leaders as an actionable force. This need for difference in identity politics creates respect for the minority objects it relies upon, even while maintaining exclusivity. William Connolly communicated this concept eloquently in 1991: ‘Identity requires difference in order to be, and it converts difference into otherness in order to secure its own self-certainty… When this bond through differentiation is acknowledged, the moral demand for an all-embracing identity grounded in the truth of a fixed moral code loses some of the power it exercised over the self.’[157] The alterity are thus made insoluble molecules in the ethnic beaker, chemically prevented from assimilation or true independence by the needs and properties of the root liquid majority. They are victim to current Chinese ‘imperialist nostalgia’[158] - a desire to resuscitate what one has participated in destroying. For the Soviets, their ‘ethnic process’ whipped a centripetal force into raging strength, nudging an unprecedented ‘ethnic’ feature into the Mongols’ resistance to USSR imprecations. The lamas in Ulaangom used the expression ‘the duty of all the Derbet people’[159] as a slogan to unite their Western Mongolian laity against Communist rule. Eventually, the Soviets moved from their ethnological accelerative process to direct cultural quashing of communities like the Buryats and Barga - those significant, but sidelined groups often seething with most malcontent. Institutionalising the Halh identity as the Mongol identity was unacceptable to many non-Halh Mongols - and they were unlikely to accept Halh guardianship if it meant shedding their cultural properties and learning the central mode of speech. As Slovaj Zizek would say, this instance of other playing both oppositional device central to personal identity and simultaneous obstacle to the root achieving self-consciousness or identity is a perfect instance to apply Lacan’s motto: ‘I love you, but inexplicably I love something in you more than you, and therefore I destroy you.’[160] To draw more from the toolbox of psychoanalysis, a Freudian method of liquidating the alterity without, like Coriolanus, undoing the self, is to engage in ardent xenophilia: ‘the devouring embrace that takes the other in until there is nothing left of ‘them’ but ‘us’.[161]

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It was upon this ethnic playing field that the Japanese made their overreaching thrust towards empire. Playing to the pan-Mongolian sentiment bubbling in the troughs and gullies of Chinggisid descendants across Central Asia, they hung capital and support upon fleeing White Russian units to establish Great Mongolia in 1920 before launching a direct military invasion in 1936.[162] Naturally, their pan-Mongol posturings resounded against Beijing and Moscow alarm bells - huge quantities of people identifying with the Great Mongol identity reside inside both their borders. For Japan itself, the Meiji Restoration had brought a Rising Sun awareness across the peninsula, with fractured alliances and ingrown allegiances unified to bring the land under a national umbrella. Ethnic theories abounded in post-Restoration Japan, with bitter disagreement over the character of Japanese blood: were they single, or mixed? Far more than simply an academic debate, the question was symptomatic of Japan’s new position in East Asia and the world; the question was whether Japan should continue its insularity or remove its lipo-suction and march off into the continent.[163] By the close of the indeterminate fin-de-siecle period, the mixed-blood theory had lodged itself in the mainstream consciousness, with the national myth resting not far behind. The Japanese imperial family, it was said, belonged to Korea in ancient times - in turn justifying that nation’s 1910 occupation. By the 1920s, Hegelian whip-back had actualised its inevitable gravitic force upon the fresh-faced empire and the Japanese whirled back from Europe to re-face their Asian neighbours. Their new mission was to salvage Asian sovereignty and rid the East of its Occidental scourge. To ‘liberate’ Asia, however, did not mean stooping to its level. They were to be Asian, but different - held aloof from the feudalised and primitive morass of the central continent.[164] The most formal blockade preventing this expansion was China and the Chinese - a contemptible, anachronistic object in the Japanese eyes, dragging its Confucian feet and acting as ballast preventing pan-Asian buoyancy.[165] To keep from wholehearted identification with China and the Chinese, the Japanese identified linguistic ties with the Manchu, Mongols and Altaic people in general. Unique in having once sat crowing simultaneous overlords of both Europe and China, the Mongols were a virile symbol in the ideological battle for modern supremacy. At the same time weakened and thirsty for national fulfilment, they posed little threat to Japanese interests and were willing to cooperate with the imperial leadership to de-entrench the Chinese grip on local power. Much like the region’s other competing colonial interests, the Japanese requisitioned Chinggis to their own banner. Beginning in the 1890s, a racialist theory abounded along the Japanese littoral systematising the origin of Turks, Mongols and Tungus in order that Japan’s own Inner Asian roots could be justified.[166] This “Ural-Altaic thesis” adopted a spousal relationship with a contemporary folkloric invention identifying the great Khan as a Japanese hero. As ludicrous as this might inherently sound, its origin is even more risible. Twenty-four-year-old Cambridge BA student Suematsu Kencho was interested in history, but not so much accuracy. In 1879, he published his thesis under the title The identity of the great conqueror Genghis Khan with the Japanese hero Yoshitsune: An historical thesis.[167] Caught in the heady whirlwind of the Meiji restoration, his nation was widely appreciated in Europe as a subordinate vassal of Qing China - it was this headstrong student’s desire to elevate the international status of Japan. His thesis resurrected a dusty Japanese warrior of the 13th century Minamoto Yoshitsune whose fratricidal defeat led him into Mongolian exile, upon which he assumed leadership of the warring clans and embarked to subjugate the world.[168] Upon his return to the motherland, Kencho’s thesis was translated into Japanese and began underground circulation. By the 1920s, his ahistorical ramblings had lit the fires of public imagination and gained mainstream acceptance through political reverence. In 1924, a book entitled Chinggis Khan was Minamoto no Yoshitsune was published by Oyabe Genichiro and became an instant bestseller.[169] Though rebuked by every historical specialist in the country, its beguiling narrative seeped into the popular consciousness and multiple politicians directly endorsed its risible fantasy. The Japanese empire was pressing its Mongolian concern with ever greater ferocity, seeing Mongols as ‘key to the unfolding of world history’.[170] At once justifying Japanese colonisation of Inner Mongolia and urging the colonised to further resent the Chinese, it was a perfect colonialist recipe. In the same year as Genichiro’s book, a hotheaded Shinto figurehead, Deguchi Onisaburo, arrived in Mongolia at the head of a Mongol-Chinese bandit conglomeration with the intention of marching into the political warzone of Ulaanbaatar and planting a flag for his free Lama-Omoto Kingdom of Mongolia amidst the geopolitical shatters of a fallen Bogd khanate. He proclaimed himself both the Dalai Lama and Suzeng Khan, riding astride Mongolian waves of Tibeto-Mongolian Buddhism and populist fascination with Chinggis.[171] A marriage of convenience was organised between he and the infamous Chinese bandit leader Lu Zhankui, whose legitimacy was to be recognised by the upcoming kingdom in return for the bandit’s confirmation that Onisaburo had been born among a tribe in Mongolia’s Hinggan Mountains. At the age of six, it was said, Onisaburo’s Mongolian mother had married a Japanese in the wake of her widowhood and the new family had moved to the archipelago. Though such unsupported claptrap failed to part any headway for the Japanese hopeful, it perhaps helped to plant among the Mongols a certain predilection for their island cousins.

When Japanese imperialism in Mongolia became far more frighteningly corporeal over the upcoming years, there was little the Mongols could do to resist their headway even if they had wished. Japanese colonialist discourse was built on an entirely different plane to that of their European counterparts. In a fascinating article, Hyun Ok Park draws the two ideologies apart, pointing out that European colonialism is ‘predicated on desire to distance and thus control the colonised by creating categories of otherness’.[172] By contrast, Japanese colonialism cultivated co-ethnic affinity through imagined and organic blood ties between the metropole and its diverse colonies. In imperialist Japanese discourse, the histories of the Koreans, Manchu and Mongols were all central to the origin of Japan and the Japanese themselves. More than simply a casus belli, this handy reversal justified both invasion and occupation as ‘familial’ bellicosity and within the political geography of the Greater Japanese Empire. By 1936, Japanese plans to secure an independent pan-Mongolian state bifurcating China and Russia became clear. The Russians responded by piling Soviet troops into their nominal satellite and increasing the depth of their pressure on anti-Communist elements within the republic.

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Thus far, we have spoken much of the Mongols’ subject status and little of the indigenous desire for post-war agglomeration and independence. The Mongol-international relationship was not always the one-sided game of weighted dice it had become by the 20th century. For the nomadic peoples of the steppe, transhumance was glorious freedom unbound by the moorings of settled life. Wilder than the prey they chased, their existence was tuned to survival beyond the brink of external acceptability. The sedentary Chinese were ‘earth-grubbers’ worth little more than the worms that crawled about as their companions-in-farming.[173] Indeed, modern research has uncovered a startling new sequence for the development of civilisation. Nomadism does not, as has long been assumed, predate property and cultivation; rather they are ‘equal’ - read: contemporary - branches of the same historical tree.

Mongolia has equally long been flushed with a very particular sense of self. In 1983, Benedict Anderson argued in his book Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism that nations are more ‘imagined’ than based in solid truth.[174] The nation-imaging facet of most import, he argued, was the circulatory presence of print media. Essentially, in an era before the newspaper acted as uni-language conduit for the communication of events within a given territory, it was very difficult for the working citizen to presume any identification with land beyond his immediate locality, for his knowledge of the polis could spread little further than his parochial vision allowed. Extracting from a similar vein, Thongcai Winichakul published Siam Mapped: A History of a Geo-Body of a Nation in 1994, intimating that a people cannot assume nationhood before a map makes the place and its borders physically manifest before him.[175] The term ‘geo-body’ is of his own devising, and refers not simply to the territory of a nation, but to the fact that the nation’s territorial image is clearly recognisable to its citizens through their exposure to maps and images of the borders; equally that this image of the nation’s territory is a source of ‘pride, loyalty, love, passion, bias, hatred, unreason…’[176] etcetera. Yet as far as we allow 13th century Mongols to have self-imagined, this manner of privileging modern society as the only social form capable of generating political awareness is highly problematic. Individuals and groups in both modern, agrarian and unsettled societies have maintained group identifications and the distinctive mode of ‘nationalistic’ (in modern parlance) consciousness at varying moments in history. Nationalism in Mongolia at the 20th century’s opening was the successor to a nationalism founded and kept functioning on the ‘imagined community’ of 13th–14th century supremacy. The term used in 1206 to denote Chinggis’ newly unified lands before they expanded to swallow a multitude of ethnicities and identifications was Mongol Uls - meaning Mongol nation or Mongol state - conveying a unitary ethnicity, attaching the Mongol people to the land that bred them.[177] Throughout the empire’s lifespan, ethnic attachment only grew in strength before it could be subsumed into the local culture many centuries subsequently. Mongol obogtan, Mongol yazguurtan, Mongol usgaatan and Mongol tuurgatan all gained currency in the elite lexicon during the period, and all carried weighty notions of ‘Mongol-ness’.

By virtue of the perennial settled-unsettled conflict of Central Asia, the people of the steppe had long shared both Moirai and ethnie. The Yuan’s foundation implied no dissolution of such nationally-divided identification and the imperial notion of ‘five coloured peoples and four foreigners’[178] prevailed among the elite. A colour symbolism drawing on the five elements, spirits of the year, directions and planets to perpetuate national demarcation, it stipulated that blue was for Mongols, red for Chinese, black for Tibetans, yellow for Uyghurs and white for Koreans. The Mongols maintained a cosmological conception of ‘nation,’ and ethnic boundaries, decreeing that to violate any of these borders was strictly taboo. As Prof. Serruys discovered in 1987, the Chinese aspired to Mongolian dress, Mongolian names and to learn Mongolian. The ruling elite issued continued rescripts to prevent the growth or actualisation of these fads. The eventual result was that the Yuan régime, once ancien, picked itself up from China to find it had left only the barest traces of an imprint in the sands and plains of Sinic culture. What little Mongol had fused with Han-ness was systematically de-encultured by the Ming, whose ethnic contempt for their previous overlords resulted in a judicial campaign to ‘cleanse’ Chinese culture and revert the perceived "barbarian" customs to their glorious Middle Kingdom roots.[179] As demonstrated, the Qing later made strenuous efforts to separate Mongols and Chinese; communication was only brokered with express imperial consent from the highest echelons of court. The Mongol ethnie was and is necessarily formed not only of its own devices, but also as a direct barbiturate sparked into life by the chemical opposition of alien cultures and modes of being.

Why, then, did independence take root in the compact soil of Outer Mongolia, but failed to unite the much more brutally exploited Neimeng? Certainly, since the New Administration reforms had barely got underway in Outer Mongolia there was far less fiscal benefit for the Outer Mongols to appropriate from Chinese intervention than there was for their Inner counterparts. Whereas large shipments of revenue were being tilled into and reaped from the soil following Yigu’s imperial reclamations in Inner Mongolia, little more than foreign gold mining had made any real headway into the Outer Mongolian economy.[180] A Russian-Belgian stock company ‘Mongolor’ was created to mine steppe gold in 1900, but even this was heavily opposed by the nomads. At the same time, the nation’s watchful anthropologists became politicised pundits wholly aware of what dragons and demons drifted on the liminal fringes of their prospective nation. In 1911, the Khalkas Mongols presented to the Tsar a list of unbearable changes made by the Chinese colonial authorities to Inner Mongolia: creating Chinese administrative units, reducing the power of banner jasags and replacing Mongolian garrisons with Chinese troops along the Russo-Bargu frontier. Familiar with these Inner developments, the Khalkas assured their Muscovite hosts that such practices could be expected to filter across the border given enough time and continued Chinese acceleration. [181] How much blame-broth is directly owed to the Manchu bowl, however, is a different question. A memo written to the emperor by an entrenched colonial official weighed that ‘Inner Mongolia can be considered plentiful and populous; therefore, the task there is to educate. However, Outer Mongolia is extremely exhausted, and its nation weakened. The task there should be to nurture. Since they are different, how can the policies toward them be the same?’[182] The Manchu were not only aware of, but even sensitive to Outer Mongolia’s situation. Even Chinese officials as bellicose as Tang Zaili paid lip service to the cultural, ethnic and martial difference one had to cede to the Outer Mongolians. ‘It is needless to say that it is an urgent danger to frontier defense to have aged useless soldiers fight with young energetic enemies, and to defend vast land of ten thousand li with several hundred people. Beginning from the first month of this year, the old army began to learn modern military skill. However, it is inadequate, and will not better the situation.’[183] When the centralising court in Beijing suggested the forcible annexation of Outer Mongolia into a regular Sinic province, the authorities stationed there made wise and honest appraisals. Both Military Governor of Uliastai and Assistant Military Governor of Kobdo reported that ‘such a proposal was unfeasible and harmful’[184] even as the Amban of Urga honestly passed on his belief that it was difficult for Outer Mongolia to walk directly in China’s shadow for the ‘situation was different’ there. A common thread woven historiographically into the literature is an overestimation of the Manchu and Colonial Board’s energetic impact upon launching Mongolian independence proper. Though the Manchu’s heavy-handed attempts to take the wolf from its habitat are likely to have stepped on the toes of many ethnic sensitivities and more than a few nationalisms, the reality of an immediate catalyst for Mongolian independence is unlikely to rest entirely at colonialism’s feet. The energy propelling Mongol movement was likely shaken into life by the reverse death of Manchu power and prestige.[185] Steppe tradition taught that tribes were to gather around a charismatic leader in times of success and abandon him as failure licked at the bow of his ship. The Mongols considered the domestic-Manchu relationship to be one of alliance; a business held aloft on the basis of mutual succour and dualistic profits. When founding their independent state, the first words to spill from Mongolia’s lips were ‘At present we often hear that in the southern land the Manchus and the Chinese are creating disturbances and are about to precipitate the fall of the Manchu dynasty. Because our Mongolia was originally an independent country, we have now discussed and decided to establish a new independent state, based on our old tradition, without the interference of others in our own rights.’[186]

Such it was that, following five centuries of subjugation, exploitation and strongarm reformation by foreign powers, the eighth Jebtsundamba Khutuktu of Halh Mongolia was ‘elevated by all’ as ruler of a new Mongolian theocracy on 29 December 1911.[187] As Tatsuo Nakami has demonstrated, this motion was neither unheralded or unexpected. All throughout the previous sticky summer, Mongolia had stored up the last vestiges of her resolve and attempted to negotiate with Beijing to reassert the status quo ante of pre-Colonial-Bureau relations. Only when met with the stern edifice of an international impasse did the pacifist Buddhist nomads set their sights on breaking from the imperial unit. Mongolia’s theocracy was not without precedent in the Buddhist world. Unlike the politico-religious symbiosis of South East Asia and its Theravada Buddhism, the Tibeto-Mongolian branch of Vajrayana Buddhism preaches of reincarnate lamas returned to earth by choice to the benefit of the suffering multitude. Lamas had been enjoined to the Mongolian tradition of conquest since the thirteenth century and, more pointedly, the theocrat was symptomatic of Qing-imposed structures. The Chinggisid aristocrats held more or less commensurate social standing in the Manchu cast of the world, but they were certainly subject to the emperor and reincarnate lamas.[188] When finally the time to launch Mongolian independence was ripe, the Chinggisid aristocrats could unite beneath a generally acknowledged superior in the form of Jebtsundamba Khutuktu. To contest his now unilateral internal secular power, the Chinese unleashed their own religious figureheads in response. The Janggiya Khutuktu was Inner Mongolia’s most senior lama and the nominal head of countless monasteries throughout Beijing and Shanxi province.[189] He bowed before the republican edifice with little protest, pledging his attachment to the nationalist cause on 1912, only four months after Yuan Shikai’s inauguration. As formulated by George Simmel, a triangular power group sprang into charged life, with Shikai placing the two lamas into a ring of disputes far beyond the purely theological. Neither lama played passive victim, however. The Janggiya was suspected of politicking with the least scrupulous of dynasts by involving himself in the death of Kanjurwa Khutuktu of Beijing’s Yonghegong temple, whose sympathies for the Mongol independence movement had become well known.

Nevertheless, the question keeping Greater Mongolian independence turbid remains unanswered: why did not a single Inner Mongolian banner move to declare for themselves? Owen Lattimore has answered the apparent paradox. For the Inner Mongolians, an Outer vanguard would have left them secondary, and possibly debased. If the Outer Mongolian princes were allowed to lead the charge, their interior counterparts would have to fall in subservience - to a potentate of significantly less lustre than the currently incumbent. Equally, the Inner Mongolians were tied with much thicker rope to the Chinese economy than their cousins and nominally preferred the loom of Chinese influence to the Russians’ encroaching offering on their border. Lattimore overlooked the similar weight carried by Han settlement, Han railways and Han armaments in something approaching an omnipresence across the Inner Mongolian lands. The princes themselves, deeply enmeshed into the fabric of Inner Mongol society, were removed from the interests of their subjects. Though Inner Mongolia suffered colonialist depredations on a scale unfathomable in the untamed wilds of the Outer nation, its princes were willing to negotiate with their wallets and compromise with China’s wealth-suffusing administration. Similarly in Inner Mongolia there was very little vested power to change hands: lacking a middle class or independent trade, what manifestations of Inner Mongolian nationalism bubbled to the surface did so sporadically and always in the character of a minority rebellion rather than a people’s revolution.

Meanwhile, the theocratic Bogd Khanate now founded in Outer Mongolia found itself unsurprisingly only six feet from stillborn. As the first World War set about scudding ideologies from underground river basins and loosing them upon the entrenched power structures of the pre-war globe, Mongolia was caught in the midst of globalised conflicts and the muscular cordage of power pulsing back and forth overland. In both of China’s outlying, fiercely self-aware territories - Tibet and Mongolia - the states reacted to Manchu collapse by casting about for new patrons. This was the product of deeply pitted political thinking; reliance was endemic to the fabric of both ‘nations’.[190] For the Dalai Lama it was England and its Indian government, while for Mongolia the Tsar and his imperial structures north of the border were the most appealing gravitic centre. Moscow crowed appreciatively and hoped that the Mongols could wait for their internal discomposure to be righted before any enthusiastic anti-Chinese cooperation could get underway.

As it happened, the Tsarist discomposure became terminal and from the corpse it left behind rose a Red phoenix. The Mongolia it crowed above was predominantly religious, with 113,000 lamas occupyinh a population hovering only above 500,000.[191] The lamaist organisation was in control of a further 150,000 people via a cleric-laity power structure hamjilga.[192] Buddhism was fully enmeshed within the national character; in Soviet estimation, the lay-ecclesiastic relations constituted an exploitative relationship of unequal coexistence. To actualise the re-revolution in the image of egalitarianism, the laity and clergy were bifurcated at the cost of major administrative reorganisation. As elsewhere in the extra-Russian world, the Comintern’s most radiant tool was the promise of ‘self-determination’ for groups who broke with their lamaist “patrons” and further tax exemption from 1922.[193] This alien appraisal of lay-lama relations constitutes a gross mischaracterisation, however. As far as understanding class in power-weakness, wealth-dearth couplets goes, stratification certainly existed in pre-revolutionary Mongolia. The interconnection of both was, however, far from naturally antagonistic as blanket Leninist ideology would preach to be the case. Rather, in contrast to Gellner’s claims, egalitarianism was typical of the pastoral Mongols.[194] There was no monopoly on high culture; the upper echelons ushered all and sundry through the doors of the country’s temples. The means of pastoral production and its complex multitude of rites and customs were known to all and such material provisions as food, clothing, tents, utensils and transportation were shared by all Mongols, including the Manchu-sustained hereditary nobles and high lamas. This pastoral egalitarianism was such a unique expression of ‘Mongolness’ that to find To Wang, a Halh prince, teaching fellow herders to care for and slaughter animals in the 19th century annals should surprise little.[195] The hamjilga relationship was such that the ordinary could attain extreme wealth and a prince could fall to his knees before a pauper if his business was managed inefficiently. Tribal interests had been replaced by the ‘universal efficacy of Buddhism’.[196] It was only the foreign nationals - Chinese and Russian traders - who had neither window to nor interest in the cyclical patterns of existence on the steppe. These ethnic invaders were, indeed, such egregious exploiters that they drove the upper echelons of Mongol society from ever forming a class solidarity with their counterparts in the Beijing elite. When the revolution came, it swept nomad and noble alike into its billowing curtains.

The same revolution altered at their base lay relations to both their religion and one another. Exposed to Russian and Japanese colonialist expansion and Chinese nationalism, the Mongol head was forced into an industrialised grinder to be filled with new conceptions of power and natural relations. Doctrinaire physical power and racial competition entered the commonplace ideological menu available at even the simplest of night-time Mongol tables. The secularising Mongols began, of their own eroding accord, to question the central role of Buddhism and the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu in their new, emerging state. As early as 1891, the Chinggisid aristocrat Injannasi took to praising Chinggis Khan and his historic domination while dripping vituperates for the ‘jellying,’ ‘weakening’ effects of Buddhism among his ethnie.[197] The text, eventually published in 1939, formed a key segment of the Inner Mongol nationalist literature. Buryat Mongol intellectuals equally took to giving ‘Qing’ buddhism the cold shoulder; as passionate nationalists they were as engaged by Chinggis as Injannasi - evidenced by their trip to Ordos in 1910. In the attached travelogue, Buryat’s most prominent intellectual Tseveen Jamtsarano put to the intricacies of his pen the rituals and texts dedicated to Chinggis Khan and the black standard.[198] ‘The texts he chose were replete with references to Mongols, the glory, and the invocation of the soul of Chinggis Khan and his black standard to protect the Mongols, to make Mongols prosper and to defeat enemies.’[199] When the four standards of Mongolia’s expeditionary army were despatched to liberate Inner Mongolia in 1914, they marched for Ordos. Upon discovering a blocking Chinese army, the Mongolian government feared any conflict might see fire and brimstone rip at the Chinggis shrine and called off the maneuver.[200] Catching onto this national drift, the shadow CCP adopted incendiary tactics to widen the drift between China’s liminal peoples and the viciously centralising GMD (国民党,Kuomintang). By emphasising their role as ‘sons and daughters of Chinggis,’[201] the CCP were exhorting the Mongols to resist GMD assimilationist ideals and Japanese colonialist predations. The MPR was welcomed by the Chinese communists not because they genuinely supported Mongolian nationalism, but because they saw Sinic-bordering peoples’ defiant stance against China as resultant of Chinese imperialism and chauvinism. When the communist victory would finally lie spread over her nation’s politics in perpetuity, such meaningless gehe would be resolved by diplomatic and ethnic parity with the mainland.

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The flower of international politics never does bloom quite as its invested gardeners might like, however. After 1966, anti-Sinic sentiment in Mongolia was forcibly institutionalised from the centralised ideological head in Moscow down to its nomadic toes dispersed across the steppe. Tsedenbal and his 1952–84 government used every Soviet apparatus at their disposal to seed Kremlin-themed perspectives into the daily lives of their populace.[202] The many arms of state were manned by intelligent, manipulative Mongolians all trained in the Soviet Union. A section at the Ministry of Internal Affairs was given over to censoring media and literature material and[203] department personnel worked directly under the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party Central Committee in 1953. From 1934, the department was tasked with censoring ‘all publications, newspaper materials, and radio broadcasts’[204] before any of the offending materials could make their potentially disruptive way to public consumption. In the 60s and 70s, history similarly underwent a ‘correctional’ period to ensure enough weight was placed upon the sacrifices made by Soviet and Mongolian revolutionaries in the struggle to overturn pre-Communist feudalism and drag the steppe into socialist productivity. China was seen as an inherently malicious colonising force with the perennial desire to assimilate and digest its ethnic neighbours. Certainly far from outright falsehoods, the curriculum was traditional Soviet fare: massaged into alignment with Soviet ideals and Soviet objectives. That the PRC did little but forcibly insert enmity into any available cracks and gaps throughout the period did not hinder Russian propaganda efforts. From 1958, an incendiary wall of PRC troops was built on the Sino-Mongolian border.[205] Beijing then entered a war with India in 1962, tested nuclear armaments in 1964, engaged in the Ussuri River Armed Conflict in 1969 and, of course, activated the Sino-Vietnam war of 1979. Negative rumours about a Chinese takeover, Sinic spy rings and nuclear invasion all abounded on the Soviet steppe. Government officials alleged to have Chinese ethnic ties or undeclared interests in the PRC were shown the door to stigmatisation and butchered employment opportunities. Life beneath the Red-capped yoke was harsh and for much of the time faceless and callous. It grasped at every blade of grass and attempted to break the spirit of every horse hugging the steppe. For those who dwelled within its reach, life was a frame from Gogol; monotonous and only amusing with the proffered goggles of distant perspective.

In 1991 a burbling democratic fervour left Ulaanbaatar’s iron effigy to the man of steel a mangled mess face-down in the inner-city grime he had succeeded in modelling after himself. While still an illegal act of vandalism, the student criminals went unpunished for their flight of semiotic violence.[206] Given the eruption of colloquial, academic and joyously inflammatory discourse that burst free from Mongolia’s mouth once the Soviet boot was no longer constricting its windpipe, this subtle instance of judicial neglect is hardly surprising. Newspapers fell over themselves to thrust criticism of officialdom through the presses, politics reformed into an organic series of fractured multiple parties while a new constitution settled the freedoms of private citizens and guaranteed private ownership to those living in the memory, reality and wake of a fully socialised economy.[207] Long before the nascent Federation had an inkling to make the attempt, the Mongolian government instituted a system of vouchers to be distributed equally among its many citizens, allowing for the “purchase” of stocks in Mongolian corporations.[208] As Mongolian economists described it, they and the state were ‘creating an economic system from nothing’.[209] Yet the new darling in democracy did not entail a wholesale excision of times past; nor was there a gap in gratitude for the emancipating heroes of the steppe lands. Wandering past an Irish bar, several Korean restaurants and the soundless Prius legions constituting the largest proportion of Mongolia’s automobile population, an inquisitive visitor comes to Ulaanbaatar’s central square. There, before the flat Soviet architecture of their foundation, the imposing communist figures of Sukhbaatar and Choibalsan stand, untouched by time or vandals. On occasion, it is said, Choibalsan’s base is marred by an unenthusiastic rebel with a can of spray paint, but neither Mongolian freedom fighter is in danger of going Josef’s way.

In 1992, the Yassa (sharing its name with Chinggis’ dubitable promulgation of some centuries prior) of Mongolia was ratified as a sparkling constitution along national lines. ‘We, the people of Mongolia, cherishing human rights, freedoms, justice and the national unity; inheriting the national statehood, the traditions of its history and culture; strengthening the independence and the sovereignty of the nation; respecting the civilisation of mankind; and desiring to develop a humane and democratic society in the land of Mongolia, hereby proclaim the State Yassa as the Constitution of the State.’[210] Yet such nationalist enthusiasm was underlaid by extreme economic sickness just a year after the Soviet withdrawal. A tripartite coalition of economic shocks collided with the newly democratic state set to bring it almost to its knees. Soviet economic advisors withdrew from a state they had steered from feudalism to socialist development within only sixty-five years and their expertise was sorely missed. At the same time, Soviet aid was slowed to a crawl in 1989 and fully executed in 1991[211] just as the Russians began demanding hard (and stable - non-Mongolian) currency in return for their goods and services. Throughout the period of Bloc domination, Mongolia had been locked into a barter-like system where its abundance of high quality raw materials in the form of skins, livestock and minerals were exchanged for Soviet machinery, oil and finished goods. Now, with foreign trade a fiscal concept hanging around somewhere in distant territory, black gold dried up, broken machinery stayed broken and vast swathes of industry simply ground to an ungreased, unfixable halt. Unemployment, once eradicated in its entirety, soared on the steppe's cities. In the Dornod region of the southeast, employment was running at just some 40%.[212] While the privatisation of the economy had gotten underway with the government’s energetic voucher scheme, no citizen owned much of any company and very few understood stock-holders’ rights or derivative lawsuits. By innocent ignorance, shareholders left companies to be run as previously without change in management or approach. Equally, livestock privatisation did little good for the country. The animals were given to individual herders and, now facing stringent competition from other herders within the nation, many turned to uninhibited flock growth to keep up with their rivals. The total number of animals charging around the steppe did, indeed, grow from 25 to 30 million, but this sudden surge also upset the ecosystem.[213] There was less grazing land to be had, and what little there was no longer had the benefit of collective maintenance. The southern half of Mongolia ringing its grand Gobi is so arid that to graze animals there requires consistent use of its army of wells. With Soviet withdrawal and planned economic ruin, however, these sources of life fell into disrepair: by 1999 only 20% of the 24,600 wells remained functional.[214]

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With such a gloomy national outlook, one might be forgiven for presuming Atlas had entirely lost interest in Mongolia. In yet another ironic twist of history’s crook, however, it appears the steppe’s inimical sedentary sibling has stepped in to keep the sky from falling. Beginning with the visit of Chinese Premier Li Peng to Ulaanbaatar in April 1994, both nations pledged a commitment to one another, culminating in a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation on 29 April.[215] Both parties made mutual recognition of sovereignty and territory, with further stipulations including non-aggression, non-interference and peaceful coexistence. Neither of the post-Communist pair would allow foreign states to station soldiery within either border for the purpose of attack and in 1998, Mongol President Natsagiin Bagabandi met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin to discuss vital issues of border security.[216] Such violations as drug trafficking, illegal entry, money laundering and smuggling have been the prime Sinic focus of 21st century Mongolian politics, rather than ethnic paranoia centred on a Chinese ‘swamping’ force.[217] Their cooperation has culminated in a thorough rapprochement, with the final crux being the alignment of their security relations. The Mongol Defence White Paper published by Ulaanbaatar in 1998 asserted that neither Russia nor China ‘is striving to exert dominant influence in Mongolia,’ and went on to detail increasing collaboration between they and the Sinic giant.[218]

Naturally, the diplomatic coolant applied to border disputes and the political reconciliation normalised in both cabinets quickly precipitated a sharp Keynesian increase in trade seen between both nations. By 2009, Sino-Mongol trade had soared to occupy 48% of total Mongolian turnover, with China receiving 73.9% of exports and supplying 25.2% of imports in return.[219] Since the early 1990s, the United Nations Development Programme has touted its plan to see Northeast Asia mature into an integrated unit, with individual countries providing complementary assets.[220] From China and North Korea emerge bountiful labour, from Mongolia and Siberia uncountable quantities of raw mineral wealth, from South Korea and Japan great rafts of technical expertise and post-industrial capital. While this idealistic unit is yet to see full-scale fruition, it is clear that a lively trade conduit between the fractious north Asian states is coming into play. Less complementary developments in Sino-Mongol relations have spawned along sub-official lines, however. Following in the bright white of free trade explosivity has stalked the spectre of black market dealings, with vast material wealth taking osmosis advantage of the cell-like population inequality between both nations. In 1999, Mongolian authorities halted 100 trucks groaning beneath the combined weight of cashmere loaded into their bays - coming to a net market value of millions in United States dollars.[221] Gold, cement, clay and ore have all been similar subjects of criminal interest and commensurate government displeasure. Customs officials themselves are often less than rigid upholders of state rule and, the border being as long as it is, adequate policing might be simple impossibility save neo-conservative American policy. Human trafficking poses the question of most morbid interest to both governments and the media-consuming public - an Asia Foundation study reported that some street children in Ulaanbaatar were kidnapped and smuggled to Beijing and Erlian for forcible participation in the sex trade.[222] Some adults were misled by false advertisements promising jobs in China, Russia, Japan, South Korea or elsewhere, only to be economically entrapped into prostitution upon arrival.[223] No wonder so many Mongols in the capital and elsewhere feel exploited and at the Sinosphere’s mercy. A U.S. Peace Corps volunteer attempted to conjure the mood when he recorded, ‘China, in one sense, is already invading the country. There are the towels at the market, the fruits in the shops; the cheap electronic equipment in the stores… the number of Chinese restaurants in the capital…’[224]

Aware of the potential pitfalls a fiscal snaring into China’s trap might spring upon their country, the Mongol government has made insistent motions to secure international relations with nations of less immediate power. Almost upon democratic release in 1989, the Mongols opted to join the Group of 77 - an international alliance designed to protect and promote the interests of the world’s “underdeveloped” nations.[225] At the same time, the reins of official relations with the EEC (now EU) were grasped with all the might a straggling, economically unrooted nation could muster. They have spent time orating at the forums of Japan International Cooperation Association, the United States Agency for International Development and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation - as well as enjoining their destiny to the Asia Pacific Economic Organisation and WTO. Equally, the Mongols have drawn closer to their former jockey in the form of the Russian Federation; now back on its feet and panting along with almost no visible hint of its near-death experience in the early 90s. Likely once again peering at the Chinese dragon along an elongated nose, the Kremlin has reaffirmed its interest in Central Asia and Mongolia more specifically. In 2009, Putin visited Ulaanbaatar and pledged the assistance of his nation in energy, railways, airlines and agriculture.[226] Some three months later, Medvedev made a second official Federation appearance on the steppe and reaffirmed Russo-Mongol solidarity, promising an expansion of trade, training for personnel across the professional spectrum, help with environmental issues and space technology along with joint development of Mongolian uranium resources.[227] Agreements of such eye-opening scope are undoubtedly welcome to the singularly-focussed Mongols, but it is China that they face now and likely must continue to for some time.

Across modern Mongolia, it is certain that some have thrived under the new system of privatisation ‘by converting skills acquired under communism into moneymaking business’.[228] L. Bayasgalan trained as a microbiologist in the Soviet union and carried out governmentally funded research on fungus. Gambling upon the newly buoyant Mongol economy she left Moscow to build an organic vegetable business where previously farming had occupied a position of deep scorn. Beginning with a small plot outside Ulaanbaatar, by the late 1990s she had successfully “grown” a large-scale business with multiple employees and a wide range of products making significant profits. ‘A lot of the old state-run companies,’ she said, ‘don’t enjoy this [my] efficiency. There are too many people doing not enough work.’[229] The Mongolian Women Farmers’ Association is attempting to tame the steppe wolves accustomed to wheeling freedom into cultivation connoisseurs, training those stuck in ex-Soviet cinderblocks to convert their barren yards into earthy bounty. Others have retooled skills learned on the undercover capitalist black-market during the Satellite years and turned them into capital-printing devices. B. Jargalsaikhan was a cashmere factory lackey by day and illegal goods trader by night - selling a motley variety of European and pan-Asian finished goods to his Mongolian consumers-in-waiting. His underswell of illegal gains kept in foreign banks came in useful when starting the Buyan Cashmere company in 1989.[230] In the years since, he has grown from six employees to over 900 and claims to be Mongolia’s first millionaire, flashing about Ulaanbaatar in upmarket Toyota Land Cruisers or imported American Humvees, sporting Italian suits and generally taking to the role of adventure capitalist like investments to bonds. Hillary Clinton has full faith in the Mongolian commitment to adept articulation of democratic values. When asked how she might respond to the people who assert that freedom and democracy are exclusively Western concepts, she said, ‘Let them come to Mongolia. Let them see people willing to hold demonstrations in subzero temperatures and travel long distances to cast their ballots in elections. So great is their commitment to making Mongolia’s democracy strong that the Mongolian people have done just that.’[231] New freedom of information laws have resulted in state transparency far beyond the imaginings of most Western nations.

The Chinggisid descendants are naturally none deterred from their historical idolisation by modern capitalist interventions. In 1986, the Chinese film Chinggis Khan was cautiously welcomed by Mongolians more freely able to consume as they desired under Gorbachev’s perestroika and glasnost. Though less than impressed by its portrayal of the Khan himself, the film went some way to rekindling a national yearning for their ethnic hero. In 1988 a Mongolian rock musician put together the band Chinggis Khan and published a song of the same name, attaining national fame and large quantities of female adulation in the process. Peter Marsh writes, ‘Making use of traditional folk music instruments alongside of [sic] the group’s electric guitars, synthesisers and drums, the song praises the 13th century Mongolian leader as a great, if historically misunderstood, man who had always had in mind the good of the Mongolian nation - and this at a time when expressing such sentiments could have landed him in prison.’[232] In 1990, the Mongolian government sponsored an international conference in honour of the Secret History and its 750th anniversary. Mongolia was known in official and daily channels as Chinggis Khan’s Mongolia - ‘indeed, there was a burning enthusiasm for Chinggis Khan at every level of Mongolian society,’ [233] with all ‘invoking Chinggis Khan’s historic feat to bolster “Mongolian” national pride against both the Chinese and Russians.’ This zealous sense of national formation continued well through the following decade and lives into our own millennium.The new battle between China and Mongolia for Chinggisid identity is now resigned to the altogether less expansive train of thought questioning his nationality. Where before the ideological tug-of-war had become a sparking Great Power fight along racial lines, now the Sino-Mongol contention is as simple as follows: Was Chinggis Khan Mongolian or Chinese?’

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Naturally, the capitalist transition has hardly posed pure sunshine and roses to the steppe dwellers. Indeed, a recent poll found that only 10 percent of Mongolians preferred post-communist life, while half reported no real change and 30 percent wished to snuggle back up once again at the Soviet Union’s purring flank.[234] As these sweeping changes grasp Mongolia by the shoulders and drag her into our globalised reality, the inheritors of Chinggis’ legacy must set about deciding which facets of their life and nation are to be saved and which are to be excised. Economic development is bound to unleash its throaty, smog-carrying roar upon the pristine plains and deserts of Mongolia’s natural environment if not subject to regulation. Foreign hunters, fishermen, developers and mining companies - such as the conglomerate present at Tavan Tolgoi - naturally have less vested interest in maintaining the crystal wilderness of their activities than the Mongolians themselves. This must play a part in deciding how much should be ceded to external drive and impetus. Equally, the Mongols must decide how much of their pastoral past to shed in the drive towards future reality. Are fences to remain an alien presence on the steppe, or must property rights creep into even flock ownership as the eroding force of international consensus bites like airborne sand into the peace and roll of mountain and grassland? Should the del be maintained, or must Uniqlo, H&M and Debenhams take their place on the Mongolian high street and across Mongolian shoulders? The lack of traction for liberal market ideas is in part a reflection of Mongolian ‘economic nationalism,’[235] - a force of such historical and cultural strength that it ought to provide just the bubbling wellspring to preserve Mongolia in all its high-shouldered, throat-singing glory. Since the Great Empire’s fall, Mongolia has expanded and contracted in response to crimson bursts of foreign controlling fervour, each carrying its own assimilative, corrosive cultural drive. Yet Mongolia has refused to deflate its chest and exhale the beautiful mode of being nursed in its lungs. In this writer’s estimation, Mongolia shall stand against whatever set of oiled, grinding teeth international economics can thrust against its borders.

Genghisid-fist.jpg

What is the Washington Consensus to the Khan of the World?


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  112. Ibid  ↩

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  133. Ibid, P. 56  ↩

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  168. Browne, George Waldo. Japan, Continued. Rarebooksclub Com, 2012. P. 588  ↩

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  170. Tanaka 1993, 88–93  ↩

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  173. Man, John. Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection. W.F. Howes, 2010. P. 58  ↩

  174. Anderson, Benedict R. O’G. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Verso, 2016. P. 6  ↩

  175. Winichakul, Thongchai. Siam Mapped: a History of the Geo-Body of a Nation. Univ. of Hawaii Press, 2009. Chapter 7  ↩

  176. Ibid, P. 17  ↩

  177. Bulag, Uradyn Erden. Nationalism and Hybridity in Mongolia. Clarendon Press, 1998. P. 44  ↩

  178. Ibid, P. 44  ↩

  179. Bulag, Uradyn E. The Mongols at China’s Edge: History and the Politics of National Unity. Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. P. 4  ↩

  180. Kotkin, Stephen, and Bruce A Elleman. Mongolia in the Twentieth Century Landlocked Cosmopolitan. Routledge, 2015. P. 46  ↩

  181. Rieber, Alfred J. The Struggle for the Eurasian Borderlands: from the Rise of Early Modern Empires to the End of the First World War. Cambridge University Press, 2014. P. 526  ↩

  182. Kotkin, Stephen, and Bruce A Elleman. Mongolia in the Twentieth Century Landlocked Cosmopolitan. Routledge, 2015. P. 51  ↩

  183. Ibid, P. 51  ↩

  184. Ibid, P. 46  ↩

  185. See: CUNLIFFE, BARRY. BY STEPPE, DESERT, AND OCEAN: the Birth of Eurasia. OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2017.  ↩

  186. Onon, Urgunge, and Derrick Pritchatt. Asia’s First Modern Revolution: Mongolia Proclaims Its Independence in 1911. E.J. Brill, 1989. P. 126  ↩

  187. Chuluun, S., and Uradyn Erden. Bulag. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama on the Run (1904–1906): Archival Documents from Mongolia. Brill, 2013. P. 14  ↩

  188. Bulag, Uradyn Erden. Collaborative Nationalism: the Politics of Friendship on China’s Mongolian Frontier. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010. P. 68  ↩

  189. Bulag, Uradyn E. The Mongolia-Tibet Interface: Opening New Research Terrains in Inner Asia. Brill, 2007. P. 26  ↩

  190. Asiatic Russia: Imperial Power in Regional and International Contexts. Routledge, 2014. P. n/a  ↩

  191. Bulag, Uradyn Erden. Nationalism and Hybridity in Mongolia. Clarendon Press, 1998. P. 38  ↩

  192. Ibid, P. 37  ↩

  193. Ibid, P. 38  ↩

  194. Badarch, Kherlen. Integrating New Values into Mongolian Public Management. Universitätsverlag, 2013. P. 74  ↩

  195. Bulag, Uradyn Erden. Nationalism and Hybridity in Mongolia. Clarendon Press, 1998. P. 73  ↩

  196. Integrating new values into Mongolian public management P. n/a  ↩

  197. Brokaw, Cynthia J. Printing and Book Culture in Late Imperial China. University of California Press, 2006. P. 321  ↩

  198. Bulag, Uradyn Erden. Collaborative Nationalism: the Politics of Friendship on China’s Mongolian Frontier. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010. P. 36  ↩

  199. Ibid, P. 36  ↩

  200. SABLIN, IVAN. GOVERNING POST-IMPERIAL SIBERIA AND MONGOLIA 1911 –1924: Buddhism, Socialism and Nationalism in… State and Autonomy Building. ROUTLEDGE, 2017. P. n/a  ↩

  201. Cultural Encounters on Chinas Ethnic Frontiers. Univ Of Washington Press, 2015. P. 275  ↩

  202. Jargalsaikhan, M. “Lingering Anti-Sinic Sentiments in Post-Communist Mongolia: Why Dislike the Chinese?” Academia.edu, www.academia.edu/19722021/Lingering_anti-Sinic_sentiments_in_post-Communist_Mongolia_Why_dislike_the_Chinese.  ↩

  203. Kushner, Barak. Thought War: Japanese Imperial Propaganda. University of Hawaii Press, 2006. P. n/a  ↩

  204. Jargalsaikhan, M. “Lingering Anti-Sinic Sentiments in Post-Communist Mongolia: Why Dislike the Chinese?” Academia.edu, www.academia.edu/19722021/Lingering_anti-Sinic_sentiments_in_post-Communist_Mongolia_Why_dislike_the_Chinese.  ↩

  205. Ostermann, Christian F. Inside China’s Cold War. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2011. P. 358  ↩

  206. Marzluf, Phillip P. Language, Literacy, and Social Change in Mongolia: Traditionalist, Socialist, and Post-Socialist Identities. Lexington Books, 2017. P. 173  ↩

  207. Rossabi, Morris. Modern Mongolia from Khans to Commissars to Capitalists. Univ. of California Press, 2009.  ↩

  208. Goldstein, Melvyn C., and Cynthia M. Beall. The Changing World of Mongolia’s Nomads. University of California Press, 1994. P. n/a  ↩

  209. Juergensmeyer, Mark. Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State, from Christian Militias to Al Qaeda. University of California Press, 2008. P. 140  ↩

  210. Juergensmeyer, Mark. Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State. Oxford University Press, 1998. P. 120  ↩

  211. Woo, Wing Thye., et al. Economies in Transition: Comparing Asia and Eastern Europe. MIT Press, 1997. P. 365  ↩

  212. Liebert, Saltanat, et al. Public Administration in Post-Communist Countries: Former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, and Mongolia. CRC Press, 2013. P. 85  ↩

  213. Hanson, Jennifer L. Mongolia. Facts on File, 2004. P. 51  ↩

  214. Ibid, P. 51  ↩

  215. Sanders, Alan J. K. Historical Dictionary of Mongolia. Rowman & Littlefield, 2017. P. 171  ↩

  216. Ibid, P. 171  ↩

  217. Elleman, Bruce A., et al. Beijing’s Power and China’s Borders: Twenty Neighbors in Asia. Routledge, 2014. P. 181  ↩

  218. Rossabi, Morris. Modern Mongolia from Khans to Commissars to Capitalists. Univ. of California Press, 2009. P. 369  ↩

  219. Elleman, Bruce A., et al. Beijing’s Power and China’s Borders: Twenty Neighbors in Asia. Routledge, 2014.  ↩

  220. Ibid, “”  ↩

  221. Far Eastern Economic Review. Far Eastern Economic Review Limited, Hong Kong, 1999. P. 53  ↩

  222. Protecting Street Children: Vigilantes or the Rule of Law?: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights, and International Operations of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Ninth Congress, First Session, September 13, 2005. U.S. G.P.O., 2006. P. 41  ↩

  223. Ibid, P. 80–90  ↩

  224. Quoted in: Elleman, Bruce A., et al. Beijing’s Power and China’s Borders: Twenty Neighbors in Asia. Routledge, 2014. P. 182  ↩

  225. Europa World Year Book 2004. Europa Publications, 2004. P. 2937  ↩

  226. Rozman, Gilbert, and Sergey Radchenko. International Relations and Asia’s Northern Tier: Sino-Russia Relations, North Korea, and Mongolia. P. 118  ↩

  227. Sanders, Alan J. K. Historical Dictionary of Mongolia. Rowman & Littlefield, 2017. P. 727  ↩

  228. Hanson, Jennifer L. Mongolia. Facts on File, 2004. P. 58  ↩

  229. Ibid, P. 58  ↩

  230. “My Site.” My Site, www.buyancashmere.com/  ↩

  231. Report: Mongolia 2013. Oxford Business Group, 2013. P. 21  ↩

  232. Bulag, Uradyn Erden. Collaborative Nationalism: the Politics of Friendship on China’s Mongolian Frontier. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010. P. 57  ↩

  233. Ibid, P. 57  ↩

  234. Hanson, Jennifer L. Mongolia. Facts on File, 2004. P. 60  ↩

  235. Smith, Stephen Anthony. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism. Oxford University Press, 2017. P. 311  ↩


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Westering Canon: John's Stained Backs

Westering Canon: John's Stained Backs