- Alternative meaning: Mongolia (region)
Mongolia (Khalkha Mongolian: Монгол Улс) is a landlocked country in Asia, bordered by Russia to the north and the People's Republic of China to the south. After the conquest of China by the Mongol Empire, much of Mongolia was ruled by the same emperors as China, first Mongolian and then Manchus, and later by the Republic of China, until an independent government was again formed with Soviet help in 1924. The country has been a democracy since 1993. Almost as big as Alaska, Mongolia has very little arable land: much of its area is grassland, with mountains in the north and west and the Gobi Desert in the south. Most of the population are nomadic Lamaist Buddhists of the Mongol race.
Main article: History of Mongolia
In the 13th century, Mongolia was part of the Mongol Empire. After a century of power, the Mongol Empire fell and Mongolia became two outer provinces of China, Outer Mongolia and Inner Mongolia. The former declared its independence from China in 1913 in a treaty with Tibet, but an independent government was not formed until 1924, when the Mongolian People's Republic was set up with Soviet support.
During World War II, the USSR defended Mongolia against Japan. After the war, the MPR was recognized by both the Republic of China and People's Republic of China, after pressure was applied by the USSR. The Republic of China later refused to recognise the independence of Mongolia and vetoed every attempt of Mongolia to join the United Nations until 1961. Mongolia aligned with the Soviets following the Sino-Soviet split of 1958 and housed many Soviet military bases during the Cold War.
In 1990, the Communist Party relinquished control over the government, paving the way for a new constitution in 1992 that abolished the People's Republic and created a hybrid parliamentary/presidential state.
Main article: Politics of Mongolia
Until June 27, 2004 the predominant party in Mongolia was the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party or MPRP, which was formed by Mongolia's communist leaders after the end of the Cold War. The main opposition party was the Democratic Party or DP, which controlled a governing coalition from 1996 to 2000. As of the 2004 elections, the MPRP was relegated to minority party status after being dealt a crushing defeat in the highest voter turnout in Mongolia's history.
The state employs a dual executive system with an elected president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. The legislature, or State Great Hural , has one chamber with 76 seats.
Main article: Aymags of Mongolia Mongolia is spilt in to 22 Aymags, Ulaanbaatar (the capital) is a municipality.
Main article: Geography of Mongolia
The Mongolian heartland consists of relatively flat steppes. The southern portion of the country is taken up by the Gobi Desert, while the northern and western portions are mountainous.
Most of the country is hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter, with temperatures dropping as low as -30°C (-22°F).
Main article: Economy of Mongolia
Mongolia's economy is centered on oil, coal, and copper, with smaller industries in molybdenum, tungsten, and phosphate mining. Following decades of state-run enterprise, the economy has undergone an often-painful transition to capitalism. There are currently over 10,000 independent businesses in Mongolia, chiefly centered around the capital city. Outside the cities, most Mongolians engage in sustenance herding.
GDP per capita is about $1,780. Although GDP has risen steadily since 2002, the state is still working to overcome a sizable trade deficit and a massive ($11 billion) foreign debt to Russia. Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997 and now exports cashmere and food products to Russia, China, Japan, and other countries.
Main article: Demographics of Mongolia
Most Mongolians are Mongol in descent: there are also smaller populations of Kazakh and Tungusic people. The predominant religion is Tibetan Buddhism. Like many developing countries, Mongolia suffers from a young and very rapidly growing population, which has put great strains on its economy.
Main article: Culture of Mongolia
See also: Music of Mongolia
- CIA World Factbook - Mongolia http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/mg.html
- Flags and arms of the aymags of Mongolia http://www.geocities.com/ulsuud
- Mongolian Tourist Board http://www.mongoliatourism.gov.mn/
- Mongolian Open Government http://www.open-government.mn (in Mongolian)
- Mongolia Gateway portal http://www.gateway.mn
- Images of Mongolia http://www.mongolialife.com
- 2500 pictures of travel in Mongolia http://www.ub-mongolia.mn
- PhotoGlobe - Central Mongolia http://www.photoglobe.info/gb_mongolia/ offers high quality, commented photos of Central Mongolia together with GPS coordinates
- Country Studies - Mongolia http://www.photoglobe.info/ebooks/mongolia/ offers background information on Mongolia
Last updated: 02-07-2005 06:02:07
Last updated: 04-25-2005 03:06:01