The US should continue to appreciate Mongolia’s strategic importance

Mongolian Economy
2023-08-03 16:56:13
Category: Interview

Congressman Don Young is the co-chair of the US-Mongolia friendship caucus.

-For both countries, the main guardian of democracy is parliament. Hence, the inter-parliamentary cooperation may be important.

-This is a critically important aspect for both countries that this be the case. I believe we can also learn from one another from an inter-parliamentary perspective by exchanging ideas. In my forty five years and nine U.S. Presidents I have seen a lot, but I have never seen an Executive branch that wanted less power. Sometimes the Congress has given them more, on occasion it has taken power back. The U.S. Congress and the Mon- golian Parliament were created to be the voice of the people and they must play as strong a role as possible in doing so. We also must remember that more local forms of government are even closer to the people and can govern better on many issues. There can be vast differences between different regions of a country and the federal government must respect that. The power is derived from the people, not the other way around. -2017 marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the USA.

– Could you please speak about main achievements appeared as a result of bilateral relations?

– Thirty years of strong diplomatic relations is an achievement in itself. History is rife with examples showing how hard it is for countries to maintain a lasting friendship. Mongolia’s ability to peace- fully transition from a once authoritarian regime to a now democratic one really says something about the determination of its people to see that through and improve their country. That transition for so many other countries, has unfortunately taken a much more violent form over and over. I am also particularly proud that since 2003, Alaska and Mongolia have been perfectly paired under the National Guard State Partnership Program for military-to-military exchange that has in turn furthered civilian-to-civilian relationships.

-How do you imagine the future relationship between the two countries in 30 years?

-I see a bright future between our countries. The United States should continue to appreciate Mongolia’s friendship and strategic importance as an ally in an area of the world where challenges can arise. We must continue to support them as one of the newer democracies and encourage the development of those institutions that make life better for all citizens. Mongolia should remain dedicated to the principles of market reform, political rights, and civil liberties that have served it so well. I believe they will continue to be the responsible global actor that we have seen play an important role in places like peacekeeping operations and elsewhere through their third neighbor policies.

-What do you like most about Mongolia and a Mongolian person?

-Mongolia and its people remind me a lot of Alaska. The climate, the remote- ness, the welcoming people, the culture, and otherwise makes me think of home. There is also a lot of grit and determination that comes from the people that live in such challenging areas, but strive to make a better life for themselves and their families.

The more Mongolians I meet, the more I am impressed with their dedication to develop their country and also play a role internationally. The Great Land of Alaska and the Eternal Blue Sky of Mongolia shall remain good friends in the years to come.

-Geographically, the two countries are located far distance from each other. But how can we reverse this situation into advantages? Perhaps tourism…

-Tourism can play an important role in Mongolia and I think we will see it increase as Mongolia develops that area of its economy along with the infrastructure that accompanies it. Similarly, a lot of tourists are attracted to Alaska for its sites and natural beauty and that plays a considerable role. I believe the real wealth of both of these places is in their ability to develop their natural resources responsibly. Both have immense opportunities and I am encouraged to see more development in Mongolia and the expansion of trade. It can serve as the backbone of the economy and therefore the strength of the country. Further, it allows for diversification into other sectors.



Mongolian Economy