September 18: The New Great Game: Potential Impact of Mongolia’s Mineral Development on China, Russia, Japan and Korea

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September 18, 2012: Alicia Campi
(Click to enlarge) Dr. Alicia Campi presents charts of Mongolia's mineral holdings during her seminar at the East-West Center in Washington
(Click to enlarge) Dr. Alicia Campi presents charts of Mongolia's mineral holdings during her seminar at the East-West Center in Washington.

The New Great Game: Potential Impact of Mongolia’s Mineral Development on China, Russia, Japan and Korea

WASHINGTON, DC (September 18, 2012) – Mongolia has traditionally played a lynchpin role in Russian, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese strategic calculus in Northeast Asia, even before its mineral wealth became a factor, explained Asia Studies Visiting Fellow Dr. Alicia Campi. However, as the need for key minerals to feed the Chinese economic juggernaut, as well as the advanced economies of Japan and South Korea, the landlocked country has again attracted the attention of the global political and financial investment communities. Mongolia, home to vast resources of coal, copper, rare earth minerals, uranium, gold and silver, had a 17% growth rate in 2011 and this year to date. It has the potential to strongly influence the political, economic, and environmental atmosphere of its North Asian region. Mongolia’s version of resource nationalism is not only of concern to the regional players, but also to the United States’ strategic and political interests in Asia for the next several decades.

Dr. Campi described the mineral and energy resource situation faced by these consumer countries, their challenge to find alternate sources of raw materials, and concerns about Mongolian mineral development policies. She presented Mongolia’s mineral resource and development strategies together with an analysis of lessons learned from the actions of major foreign investors and Russia during the past 10 years. She explained Mongolia’s use of mineral investment laws and resource nationalism to maximize its ability to achieve its national security and economic goals. Dr. Campi then commented on US government policy objectives for its relationship with a democratic Mongolia that faces growing corruption issues. She placed particular emphasis on how the rise of Mongolia could impact US-Chinese, US-Russian, and US-Japanese relations overall as well as America’s goals for North Asian regional harmony.

Dr. Campi's prepared remarks can be found here. [pdf]

The slides from Dr. Campi's Power Point presentation can be found here. [pdf]

Dr. Alicia Campi is a China/Mongolian specialist, President of The Mongolia Society, President of U.S.-Mongolia Advisory Group, and a 2012 Asia Studies Fellow at the East West Center in Washington. A former US diplomat, in 2011 she received the “Polar Star” (Mongolia’s highest medal) for her contributions to U.S.-Mongolian relations. She has published over 80 articles and book chapters on contemporary Mongolian, Chinese, and Northeast Asian issues, and advises Chinese and western financial institutions on Mongolian investment, particularly in the mining sector. Her book on The Impact of China and Russia on U.S.-Mongolian Political Relations in the 20th Century was published in 2009.