This chapter includes the following articles.
Mongolia is home to a vast desert in the south, large freshwater lakes in the north-west and dry, grassy plains throughout most of the rest of its territory. Although its borders stretch 8220 km, its only neighbours are the superpowers Russia and China, a fact that has shaped much of Mongolia’s political and economic history. The country has a vast wealth of mineral resources – over 6000 deposits of roughly 80 different minerals in total, worth an estimated $1.3trn, including coal, copper, gold, silver and iron ore. With a string of successful elections now under its belt, Mongolia’s democracy is more than two decades old. Debate can still be sharp, though, with issues such as the distribution of natural resources – particularly regarding the country’s vast mineral wealth – still in progress. This chapter contains interviews with President Ts. Elbegdorj; and Prime Minister N. Altankhuyag.