The Marmot's Hole

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Category: Mongolia (page 1 of 6)

Former Mongolian president takes asylum in Korea: report

Former Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar has taken asylum with his family in Korea, reports the JoongAng Ilbo.

For those keeping score at home, this would be the first time a foreign head of state—serving or former—has taken asylum in Korea. Assuming the report is true, that is.

A former poet, translator and minister of culture, Enkhbayar was president of Mongolia from 2005 to 2009. A former communist, he was credited with helping Mongolia transform into something resembling a liberal democracy, earning the appellation “Asia’s Tony Blair” from Reuters and USD 285 million in aid from the American taxpayer.

In 2012, however, Mongolia’s anti-corruption board—a board I would not want to sit on, BTW—arrested him on charges of illegally transferring ownership of state-owned factories, hotels and other properties to his family. He cried political persecution, explaining that what he did was just common practice for Mongolian politicians (Marmot’s Note: his complaints were not completely without substance). While he was being detained, he went on hunger strike, prompting his friend, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to call current Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj to ask for leniency.

Anyway, a court found him guilty of abuse of authority and sentenced him to two years and six months in the sin bin. Rather than prison, though, he spent some time in the hospital before getting pardoned for health reasons in August of last year.

After his pardon, Enkhbayar spent much of his time in Korea, getting medical treatment and engaging in various activities. Recently, he and his family took Korean citizenship. While president, Enkhbayar was a good friend to Korea, visiting Seoul several times and proposing a number of joint projects—including mining development—to both presidents Roh Moo-hyun and Lee Myung-bak. A devout Buddhist, he also received Korea’s Manghae Prize in 2006.

His asylum was reported first in the local Mongolian press last month, but that story reportedly ended when the secretary general of his party, the Mongolian People’s Party, denied the report. However, Enkhbayar is still currently president of the Mongolian People’s Party, so his taking of Korean citizenship has to be a sensitive issue, says the JoongAng Ilbo. When the Mongolian press reported his exile last month, it said he was concerned that he might be recharged with illegal real estate acquisitions. A Korean government official told the JoongAng Ilbo, however, that since Enkhbayar had been pardoned, his taking of Korean citizenship did not pose any legal problems between the two countries.

Marmot’s Note: As far as I know, the Mongolian government has not confirmed the story yet, but the JoongAng Ilbo report has apparently made the news in Mongolia, so I imagine UB will be commenting on it soon enough.

UPDATE: The Korean government is denying the JoongAng Ilbo report:

The government denied a news report, Monday, about a former Mongolian President seeking political refugee status in Korea.

“We have not received any requests from Nambaryn Ennkhbayar seeking asylum here,” a Korea Immigration Service (KIS) official said on condition of anonymity. Ennkhbayar, 56, was convicted of corruption by Ulaanbaatar’s highest court in 2012 after serving his four-year presidential term from June 2005 to June 2009.

Seoul’s immigration office added that Ennkhbayar has been living in Korea since August of last year after the Mongolian government granted him a pardon, citing his “health.”

Interesting, but the JoongAng Ilbo also cited a Korean government official. So who the hell knows what’s going on.

Wacky stuff involving China, Taiwan, Mongolia

Limeys, the Global Times would like you to know your nation ain’t shit—basically, it’s a place to sell cheap crap/illegally immigrate to study and travel in, but not much more:

The Cameron administration should acknowledge that the UK is not a big power in the eyes of the Chinese. It is just an old European country apt for travel and study. This has gradually become the habitual thought of the Chinese people.

The Global Times: keeping it classy, since 2009.

I was half surprised they didn’t include a “bad teeth” joke somewhere in there. But then again, this is China we’re talking about.

To add irony to insult, the editorial ends, “Finally, let us show courtesy to Cameron and wish him a pleasant trip.”

Moving on, the president of Taiwan—which I generally like, except when it’s baseball season—is reportedly so keen to promote cross-strait ties that he wants schools to make clearer that the capital of Taiwan—well, the Republic of China, anyway—is Nanjing, not Taipei (HT to Michael Turton). Which, I didn’t realize, is officially the case. What got me about this story, though, wasn’t that, but rather this:

Under Ma’s leadership, government officials’ interpretation of the nation’s status has been “absurd,” he added, citing the example of Mongolian and Tibetan Commission Minister Tsai Yu-ling (蔡玉玲), who recently said that Mongolia remains ROC territory.

I found this interesting for two reasons. One was that Taiwan actually has a Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission, with a history that goes back to 1636, no less. Note the yak on the commission homepage, and the adorable avatar on the Facebook page.

The other thing that got me was, obviously, that the ROC still officially operates on the premise that Mongolia is part of China. Not that I hadn’t heard it before, mind you. That the ROC still officially claims to rule Mongolia and Mongolia officially recognizes the PRC rather than the ROC has naturally presented some problems in the bilateral relationship, but the two seem to be getting past it:

Ninety-one years after Mongolia’s first declaration of independence, Taiwan did not recognise Mongolia as an independent country; official maps of the Republic of China showed Mongolia as Chinese territory. Relations began to improve in 2002, when the Executive Yuan under a Democratic Progressive Party administration announced that Mongolian nationals would be entitled to visas rather than entry permits when travelling to Taiwan, the same as individuals from foreign countries; however, the Kuomintang-controlled Legislative Yuan criticised the implementation of the decision, as they had not been consulted.[7] Later, representatives of the two governments agreed to open offices in each other’s capitals; Taipei’s office in Ulan Bator was opened in September of that year. Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior then decided to discontinue including Mongolia on its official maps of Chinese territory, and on 3 October 2002, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Taiwan recognizes Mongolia as an independent country.[8] In 2002, the Taiwanese government excluded Mongolia from the definition of the “mainland area” for administrative purposes. In 2006, old laws regulating the formation of banners and monasteries in Outer Mongolia were repealed. However, the official borders of the Republic of China have not been changed to exclude Outer Mongolia[9] via a vote of the National Assembly (as required by the Constitution prior to 2005) or via a referendum (as required by the Constitution after amendments made in 2005). The official status of recognition is currently ambiguous, though in practice Mongolia is treated as an ordinary foreign power.

Interestingly, the ROC also claims Tuva, a Russian-ruled area best known for its throat singing, weird connection to Richard Feynman and, if you’re Mongolian, livestock rustling. What was that, you say? Could I post a video of Tuvan throat singers doing a cover of Joy Division? Why, I’d be delighted:

For a map of the world according to the Republic of China, see here. And for a recent editorial in the Taipei Times about Taiwan, Mongolia and their shared history, see here.

Speaking of things Mongolian, if you haven’t read Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj’s speech to students at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung University at the end of October, here’s the full text at his official website. It must have raised some eyebrows, and I would have hated to be the translator. In fact, I’d be keen to see a Korean transcript of that lecture, if there is one.

Hey, at least the Mongolian didn’t seem to start it

The Maeil Gyeongje’s Internet TV ran another piece on how the rise in crime in neighborhoods with lots of foreigners has the locals living in fear.

Nothing you haven’t seen before, although it does got some cool footage of a rumble between a Russian and a Mongolian in a sauna near Dongdaemun’s Little Mongolia.

Also on the foreigner crime front, Incheon Immigration officials have announced that a Pakistani who was deported in 1999 after he sexually assaulted a young Korean woman while residing here illegally has been rearrested in Seoul posing as a businessman. Despite a reentry ban, he’d reentered Korea on a laundered identity.

The Pakistani in question was given a suspended sentence and subsequently deported for molesting a 23-year-old woman who was playing the the waters off Busan’s Haeundae Beach. He apparently dragged her out to the deep water and assaulted her after rendering her unable to resist.

So, how’s the month long “strengthening of public order in areas with lots of foreigners” campaign going? Well, not bad, according to Yonhap. The campaign—conducted in six areas—has netted 464 arrests, with 29 being confined and 435 booked without confinement.

Some 40.1% of the arrests were for simple assault, followed by 16.2% for gambling.

The cops netted 62 on immigration law crimes. They also got some really bad dudes, too, including four muggers, three rapists and eight on drug offenses.

On a positive note, the Chosun Ilbo’s business paper reports that for Korea’s major telecom firms, foreigners have gone from being a problem to being a golden egg. Not so long ago, these companies looked at the foreigner market as something they didn’t really want but didn’t want to completely abandon, either. This was because the phones were often used by foreigners to commit crimes and many foreigners left the country without paying their bills. But with the local market now flooded, telecom companies now see resident foreigners as a way out.

Sit down for this: Netizens misbehaving on social media

I know, I was shocked, too:

Amidst worldwide claims that Australian referee, Barbara Csar, failed to point out some faults in Heidemann’s play, such as maintaining the correct distance and starting before the clock began ticking, Korean netizens searched online to find out more about the referee and Shin’s opponent.

Csar and Heidemann were easily located on Facebook, and soon their walls were full of messages rebuking them for what happened. When their accounts were blocked from public view, netizens started to write on the wall of Heidemann’s boyfriend, and revealed contact information online.

Many, however, are concerned that this will cause emotional strife between Korea and Germany, including German media such as Der Spiegel, a weekly magazine that wrote an article titled “Referee Csar Insulted on the Internet.”

Not sure what this means, either:

The high rate of Korean athletes involved in judging controversies has the country up in arms, in particular, whether the referees are biased against Team Korea. Sports watchers are saying that despite improved performances by South Korean athletes, the prowess of the country’s sports diplomacy has yet to develop.

The country currently has two members on the International Olympic Committee — Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee and Moon Dae-sung, former Olympic taekwondo gold medalist.

Jesus H. Christ, a half-country of 50,000 million currently sits No. 3 in the gold medal count. How much more above Korea’s weight do they want the country to punch?

On a slightly positive note, Mongolian judoka Naidan Tuvshinbayar took silver in the 100 kg weight category, losing in the finals to a Russian as President Putin looked on. He was the reigning gold medalist (not to mention a Hero of Labor!), so I suppose this is something of a disappointment. All things considered (and by all things, we mean Uncle Vlad sitting in the stands), though, it wasn’t such a bad result.

Oh, and just out of curiosity, is there an archery team out there not coached by a Korean?

As global temperatures warm, could pyramids of skulls be around the corner?

Might unusually warm weather in the 13th century given the Mongols what they needed to conquer much of the known world?

Beginning in the 13th century, the Mongol Empire spread across Asia and into the Middle East like wildfire, growing into the largest contiguous land empire the world has ever seen.

Historians have long speculated that periods of drought pushed the Mongol hordes to conquer their neighbors, but preliminary new findings suggest that theory may be exactly backward. Instead, consistent rain and warm temperatures may have given the Mongols the energy source they needed to conquer Eurasia: grass for their horses.

This idea, bolstered by the discovery of tree rings that preserve a climate history of Mongolia back to 657 A.D., is still in the preliminary stages of investigation. LiveScience spoke with Amy Hessl, the dendochronologist, or tree-ring researcher, who along with collaborators Neil Pederson and Baatarbileg Nachin first discovered the preserved trees hinting at the weather during the era of the Mongols.

Not to worry anyone, but as the New York Times recently reported, the Mongolians might be stocking up for the big push:

These days, the perks are far plusher. Mongolia, it turns out, sits atop a treasure trove of copper, coal and gold that is changing the fate — and the face — of this mostly empty country, thanks to China’s insatiable demand for natural resources. The surging mining trade has made Mongolia the world’s fastest-growing economy, transforming Ulan Bator into a city where Soviet bust meets Chinese boom.

And now the mercenaries in finance, attracted by a frenzy of deal-making, have joined in, too. “It’s a bit of a gold rush,” Mr. Hodgson said as he worked a booth at a coal industry conference packed with tailored suits and foreign accents.

For locals, their gentrifying capital, home to half of Mongolia’s 2.7 million people, has become a petri dish for their hopes and fears. Amid the crumbling Stalinist apartment blocks and rising skyscrapers, a debate is raging over mining’s impact, pitting those who praise the industry for sweeping away decades of decay against others who see materialism and corruption polluting Mongolia’s traditional way of life.

Sure, the Mongols might look cute and cuddly, but one minute they’re tending sheep, the next they’re chucking plague-infected carcasses into besieged cities.

Belated Happy Naadam


Wife hiding behind big khuushur at Ix Mongol Café, Dongdaemun.

Mongolians might get their dinosaur back

Last month, Brian Switek at Wired posted on the controversy surrounding a tyrannosaur auctioned in New York that Mongolian authorities claim was illegally smuggled from Mongolia.

Well, according to reports, US authorities have seized the dinosaur and may send it back to Mongolia.

(HT to reader)

Feel the love AND Oh, why do the Taiwanese hate us so?

A couple of interesting, although not all together surprising, opinion polls and news stories recently.

Firstly, it turns out that—and you may want to sit down for this—that Japanese and Chinese don’t like each other:

About 84% of Japanese respondents said they have a negative impression of China, a six percentage point increase from the previous year, according to an annual bilateral survey conducted by Japanese think tank Genron NPO and the state-run publication China Daily that was released Wednesday. It’s the highest percentage of negative views seen among Japanese respondents since the survey began in 2005.

Meanwhile, 64.5% of Chinese indicated that the feeling is mutual, though this figure is a slight improvement from the previous year.

I’d almost be willing to pay money to see how the Chinese results would look like if the Global Times had done the poll.

Meanwhile, to China’s north, Mongolians have to deal with large numbers of Chinese workers at a mining site. And they don’t like it:

The high Chinese profile at one of Mongolia’s most cherished emblems of national pride isn’t coming at a particularly opportune moment. In April, Ulaanbaatar reacted badly to a Chinese bid for Mongolian coal producer SouthGobi Resources Ltd. Sensitive to encroachment and playing to a nationalistic gallery, the government suspended some of SouthGobi’s mining licenses and moved to restrict foreign ownership of “strategic industries” — including mining, banking and telecommunications — to 49 percent for deals worth more than $75 million, unless parliament grants an exception.
China’s increasing economic might, and the growing presence of Chinese businessmen and workers in Mongolia – some of whom inevitably start up relationships with Mongolian women – has led to a surge of anti-Chinese sentiment in the country in recent years, particularly among young, unemployed men. Chinese people are the chief targets of an neo-Nazi movement in Ulanbataar that made headlines in 2009 after the leader of ultranationalist group Blue Mongol, known to shave the heads of Mongolian women who slept with Chinese men, was convicted of murdering his daughter’s Mongolian boyfriend, reportedly because he had studied in China.

Chinese involvement in mining operations has occasionally led to flare ups in other countries, most notably in Zambia, where Chinese managers of one mine elected to try to contain labor unrest by shooting local employees last year.

Finally, in a recent poll, Taiwanese selected Japan as their favorite country:

The Interchange Association, Japan, which represents Japan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic relations, yesterday released a survey on Taiwanese perceptions of Japan, the third of its kind since 2008.

Similar to the previous two surveys, most Taiwanese continued to list Japan as their favorite foreign country or region, with 41 percent of respondents choosing Japan, 8 percent opting for the US, 8 percent saying China and 6 percent preferring the EU, while 37 percent offered no opinions.

The survey found that 39 percent of respondents regarded China as the country or region with which Taiwan should have closer relations, followed by Japan with 29 percent of respondents, the US with 15 percent and the EU with 3 percent.

Sixteen percent of respondents did not identify a specific country.

Again, to anybody who watched the 2009 World Baseball Classic, this comes as no surprise.

Nor does it probably come as a surprise that another Northeast Asian country was nowhere to be found on the Taiwanese list. Which naturally brings us to the following question:

Why is it that the Taiwanese seem to have a stick up their ass about Korea?

Now, I’ve never been to Taiwan. I’d like to go—I’ve heard it’s a lovely place, almost every Taiwanese I’ve met has been really friendly, it’s got tons of Japanese colonial architecture for me to see and photograph, and it seems it’s quite similar to Korea in a lot of ways. Point is, I don’t really know what Taiwanese think about Koreans other than what I’ve read in the Korean press, which is not good.

Anyway, with that in mind, Kim Bong-su of the Asia Gyeongje newspaper penned a piece last month on why Taiwanese like Japan and hate Korea. Kim notes that at least as far as Korea is concerned, it wasn’t always like this—the relationship between Korea and Taiwan used to be quite close, almost a “blood alliance,” especially when Chiang Kai-shek ran Taiwan and his junior at the Japanese military academy, Park Chung-hee, ran Korea.

Everything changed in 1992. That’s when Korea rather unceremoniously cut its diplomatic relations with Taiwan to establish relations with the PRC, closing the Taiwanese embassy in Myeong-dong and handing it over—as is—to China. Taiwanese watching this on TV felt betrayed, especially considering how much aid the late Chiang had provided Park.

More recent factors have made things worse. Korea’s big corporations have pulled ahead of Taiwanese small and medium-sized corporations—previously seen as Taiwan’s strength—in the high-tech sector; with Korea’s GNP and national power surpassing that of Taiwan, Taiwanese now feel jealous of Korea. Ditto goes for the Korean Wave, which Taiwanese—who consider themselves culturally superior “continental” people—find unpleasant.

Feelings towards Japan, on the other hand, are warm. This despite the fact that Taiwan, like Korea, was ruled by Japan as a colony. The Taiwanese, however, view the colonial era very differently—namely, they see it as having prepared the base for Taiwan’s modernization.

Even when unpleasant incidents involving Japanese take place in Taiwan, they’d don’t generate general “anti-Japanese” sentiment. When Japanese entertainer Makiyo Kawashima’s yakuza boyfriend assaulted a Taipei taxi driver for having the temerity to tell him to put on his seat belt in February, the press were all over it, and the once-popular entertainer’s career in Taiwan was finished, but it did not lead to a rise in anti-Japanese sentiment. The Taiwanese government got directly involved to settle things down, and the incident was soon forgotten. A Korean in Taiwan said if it had been a Korean involved, it would have led to a big stink. Despite a yakuza being involved, it did not lead to anti-Japanese feeling, he said, and then the whole Jeremy Lin crazy hit and all was forgotten.

Mongolians are a linguistically talented people

A 24-year-old Mongolian has been booked for calling police officers an obscenity.

It all started at a bar in Seoul at around 2 am Webnesday when the mouthy Mongol got into an argument. The bar owner told him to get out, but in vain. The argument got louder and the owner called the cops. Two officers arrived on the scene. When they tried to remove the Mongolian from the bar, he unleashed on them, calling them jjapsae (a derogatory slang term for the police) and another obscenity Ye Olde Chosun did not feel fit for print.

In response, one of the officers pressed charges against the Mongolian for contempt.

The Mongolian—a business administration student a private university in Seoul—claimed during question he thought jjapsae was a synonym for the police, and that he didn’t know the obscenity was an obscenity. He also claimed he was abused, saying police used a baton, stun gun and cuffs on him.

A police official, however, said the only thing police did was put him in cuffs and bring him to the station after he scuffled with them. He also said the Mongol’s claim that he didn’t know Korean was unpersuasive as he’s been in Korea five years.

Clearly, the official hasn’t hung out with a lot of white folk.

Happy Naadam

And a big, happy Naadam to Mongolian readers, or readers whose significant others are of the Mongolian persuasion.

Jeju and the Mongol Invasion


While many people are aware of the Mongol invasions of Korea and subsequent failed attempts to invade Japan in the 13th century, few people are aware of the role Jeju played – specifically related to the Three Patrol Revolt which began on Kangwha Island and made its way south.

The Sambyeolcho (henceforth referred to as rebels) closed off the island from the mainland and seized weapons from the government armory. A lesser member of the royal family, known only as Wang On, was chosen as the new king, but he appears to have been merely a figurehead – a puppet to be used by General Bae.

It was clear that the rebels would be unable to hold Kangwha Island (its fortifications having earlier been dismantled in compliance with the Mongol demands) against the combined forces of the Goryeo and Mongol armies. So, on June 23, they plundered the island’s treasures, took the women and children of the officials as hostages, and sailed away from the island in an enormous armada of over 1,000 ships.

When the Kangwha Island officials (those who had gone to welcome Wonjeong’s return) discovered that their families had been taken hostage, “their bitter weeping rent heaven and earth,” but there was little anyone could do.

You can read the rest of the article at Jeju Weekly.

World’s coolest nationalities: Mongolia #4; Japan, China, Singapore on list, but…

So CNNGo came up with a list of the world’s 12 coolest nationalities

America (USA! USA! USA!) came in #5. Mongola — yes, Mongolia — came in at #4, led by actress Khulan Chuluun. Singapore came in at #2, Japan at #7 and China at #9.

Odds and Ends: Jan 7

Bit busy today, so here are just a couple of links I found interesting:

– I suppose if you want to “break down barriers” to and “counteract… one-sided coverage” of North Korea, this is the program for you:

Amid the ongoing tensions between North Korea and the international community, a educational scheme created by two young men from the US is engaging directly with citizens and students inside the country. Organisers of the Pyongyang Project say their programme is breaking down barriers to the secretive state that government bodies cannot.

The Pyongyang Project was the brainchild of Matthew Reichel and Nick Young, who were inspired to counteract what they describe as the “one-sided” coverage of North Korea in the international media.

“The US and North Korea don’t have established relations, and talks are indirect at best. And what we believe is that there is a need for a grassroots level of engagement that we haven’t seen yet between citizens,” says Mr Reichel, a 23-year-old Brown University graduate. “We feel that education is the best ice-breaker.”

The pair scheduled meetings with North Korean government officials at consulates in the US and China – and got the go ahead to run a scheme which takes university students and professors from the US, UK, Canada and other nations inside North Korea in a bid to reach out to the nation behind the headlines.

You can visit the website of the program here. As you can imagine, I’m not particularly interested in building “build[ing] trust, promot[ing] mutual respect, and lay[ing] the foundation for peace and prosperity” between North Korea and the international community, but different strokes for different folks, I guess (HT to my brother).

– Has Mongolia’s ship come in? Foreign Policy’s Ron Gluckman seems to think so:

For the first time in as long as anyone can seem to remember, there have been traffic jams in Ulan Bator — a place previously known mainly either as the answer to a trivia question (Which capital city has the coldest average temperature?) or as a historical curiosity: Asia’s Timbuktu, the fabled homeland of Genghis Khan. Until recently, the Mongolian capital had more horses than cars.

No longer. Mongolia is in the middle of an epic gold rush — think San Francisco in 1849 — but it’s copper and coal that have enticed businessmen, investment bankers, and miners from London, Dallas, and Toronto by the planeload. Today, Ulan Bator is abuzz with talk of options and percentages, yields and initial public offerings. Not since the 13th century, when Genghis Khan consolidated the nomadic tribes of these remote steppes and established an empire that eventually spanned from Eastern Europe to Vietnam, has Mongolia seen so much action. The country’s stock exchange (though still the world’s smallest) rose 125 percent last year, and the IMF forecasts double-digit GDP growth rates for years to come. Others aren’t nearly so pessimistic: Renaissance Capital — an investment bank that specializes in emerging markets, one of many that have recently set up shop in Mongolia — notes that overall economic output could quadruple by 2013.

Be absolutely sure to check out the accompanying photo essay by Timothy Fadek.

– Also in Foreign Policy magazine, Richard McGregor explodes five myths about the Chinese Communist Party.

Mongolia, Nazis and Interracial Sex, Oh My!

This was emailed to me by a few people, who for reasons beyond my ken thought a piece mixing Mongolia, Nazis and interracial sex might interest me:

Groups such as Tsagaan Khass, or White Swastika, portray themselves as patriots standing up for ordinary citizens in the face of foreign crime, rampant inequality, political indifference and corruption.

But critics say they scapegoat and attack the innocent. The US state department has warned travellers of increased assaults on inter-racial couples in recent years – including organised violence by ultra-nationalist groups.

Dayar Mongol threatened to shave the heads of women who sleep with Chinese men. Three years ago, the leader of Blue Mongol was convicted of murdering his daughter’s boyfriend, reportedly because the young man had studied in China.

Though Tsagaan Khass leaders say they do not support violence, they are self-proclaimed Nazis. “Adolf Hitler was someone we respect. He taught us how to preserve national identity,” said the 41-year-old co-founder, who calls himself Big Brother.

Charming. You have to give them credit for at least being honest, though:

“We have to make sure that as a nation our blood is pure. That’s about our independence,” said 23-year-old Battur, pointing out that the population is under three million.

“If we start mixing with Chinese, they will slowly swallow us up. Mongolian society is not very rich. Foreigners come with a lot of money and might start taking our women.”

Foreigners without a lot of money might starting taking your women, too. Just sayin’.

Anyway, while the Nazis themselves probably don’t have a lot of support, anti-Chinese sentiment is pretty widespread:

“While most people feel far-right discourse is too extreme, there seems to be a consensus that China is imperialistic, ‘evil’ and intent on taking Mongolia,” said Franck Billé of Cambridge University, who is researching representations of Chinese people in Mongolia.

Hip hop tracks such as Don’t Go Too Far, You Chinks by 4 Züg – chorus: “shoot them all, all, all” – have been widely played in bars and clubs. Urban myths abound; some believe Beijing has a secret policy of encouraging men to have sex with Mongolian women.


On a more enriching note, NPR did run a piece on Mongolian hip-hop last year — it’s actually worth reading.

Charles Chaille-Long: In the footprints of Kublai Khan, Part 4

Korean weapons and armor in the 1860s

That is right – time for the fourth part. Never really planned on doing this article in a series but…..

In this part Chaille-Long finally glimpses what he had come to the island to see –

“Mounted on little ponies I beheld 200 or more men holding in their hands, each, a banner or flag on which was inscribed some strange device. Their dress consisted of a complete coat of mail, whilst on their heads they wore a round copper or brass helmet surmounted with a heavy spike. From the helmet a curtain of plated leather fell upon the shoulders, and down over the faces of the warriors themselves a mass of long black hair straggled in disorder, lending to the great black eyes, set in faces bronzed to a mahogany hue, an expression of brutality, anything but pleasant to the sight. Covered with dust and clothed in a dress several centuries old, what wonder that I started as at a ghostly apparition of what seemed a detach-ment from the armies of Genghis and Kublai Khan…”

You can read the article here – Part Four

Part Three .                                 Part Two  .                                 Part One .

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