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Conversation with Elbegdorj Tsakhia, Former President and Prime Minister of Mongolia

YCAPS and over 90 attendees had the distinct pleasure of hosting Elbegdorj Tsakhia, the former President and Prime Minister of Mongolia, at our Mongolia Connect Webinar on May 22nd. President Elbegdorj kicked off the event by analyzing the current situation in the region with an analogy. He portrayed Mongolia as a horse surrounded by a rising dragon and a bear (China and Russia). Yet despite being situated in the middle of two autocratic powers, Mongolia has maintained freedom, democracy and its unique way of life since 1990. The President also highlighted the peaceful revolution, a movement of which he was one of the leaders, that led to the democratization of Mongolia - demonstrating to the world that a nation’s wealth is not a determining factor for its citizens to enjoy human rights.

During the Q&A session, the audience asked a broad range of questions, including Mongolia’s role in the UN, how the country could contribute to the Free and Open Indo Pacific framework, and the North Korea issue, etc. The President responded to these questions by emphasizing Mongolia’s dedication to the greater peace and its relationship with fellow democracies like Japan and America as “third neighbors.”

Finally, President Elbegdorj closed the session by quoting Genghis Khan: "Conquering the world on horseback is easy; it is dismounting and governing that is hard." The President’s remarks reflected his commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights - the foundation which the friendship among Mongolia, Japan and the United States is built upon.

Alex Chou for YCAPS/Mongolia Connect