ACMS Virtual Speaker Series with Bolor Lkhaajav – The Future of Mongolia’s Foreign Policy: Opportunities and Challenges

When: Sunday, Jan 31, 2021 9:00 a.m. (ULAT)

Saturday, Jan 30, 2021 08:00 p.m. (EST)

Where: via Zoom

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 839 2910 9159

Passcode: 187612

About the Presenter: Bolor Lkhaajav is a researcher focusing on international relations, foreign policy, and contemporary national security issues in the Asia-Pacific. She graduated from the University of San Francisco in Asia-Pacific Studies in 2018. Since 2017, Bolor has been mentoring undergraduate students from the School of International Relations and Public Administration at the National University of Mongolia. She is currently writing a book on Mongolia’s foreign policy. Her research work has appeared in a range of publications in multiple languages (English, Mongolian, French, and Russian) including The Diplomat Magazine, International Security Observer, La Stampa (Italy), AsiaRussia (Russia).



When people think of Mongolia, the only things that come to mind are camels, yaks, and Chinggis Khan. The world’s romantic image of a nomadic, ancient land belies the reality that Mongolia employs a modern, sophisticated grand strategy aimed at extending its influence while avoiding encirclement. Since its independence in 1911, in the span of one hundred years, Mongolian foreign policy has been strengthening its independence by balancing between Russia and China, expanding its influence regionally and globally, participating in conflict zones protecting civilians and peacekeeping, dealing with regional security issues, and forging partnerships with global actors as diverse as Russia, China, Japan, the United States, Iran, Brazil and more. This book argues that Mongolia’s foreign policy grand strategy is successful because the nation recognizes its vulnerabilities. Mongolian policymakers understand the conundrum Mongolia faces as it cannot bandwagon with one great power nor alienate any other. Therefore, by prioritizing diplomacy over conflict, soft power over hard power, mediation over sanctions, and most importantly, expansion and involvement over encirclement, Mongolia’s foreign policy grand strategy has become a remarkable success story in the realm of international relations.

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