2014 readers choice results
Article updated: 12/9/2012 6:25 AM

Mongolia finds China can be too close for comfort

Buy this photo Buy this photo
next prev 1 of 4
   

A Mongolian miner smiles while working at Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, a coal mining company in Tavan Tolgoi, southern Mongolia. Chinese demand for copper and especially coal has propelled the Mongolian economy to one of the world's fastest growing, making some wealthy and driving down poverty in a still poor country, and China wants a larger share of the resources.

Associated Press/July 2012

Mongolian soldiers take part in a rehearsal for a military parade during the Naadam Festival in front of Parliament on the Sukhbaatar Square in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Landlocked with 2.8 million people spread over an area twice the size of Texas, Mongolia is dwarfed by China, with its 1.3 billion people and the world's second largest economy. Fully 90 percent of Mongolia's exports -- coal, copper, cashmere and livestock -- go to China, which in turn sends machinery, appliances and other consumer goods that account for a third of Mongolian imports.

Associated Press/July 2012

Pieces of coal lay in a pile at the Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, a coal mining company in Tavan Tolgoi, southern Mongolia.

Associated Press/July 2012

Miners use explosives to blast a section of the Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi coal mine in Tavan Tolgoi, southern Mongolia.

Associated Press/July 2012

About this Article

After years of testy debate, Mongolia broke ground this spring for a railroad that will haul coal across the pebbled Gobi desert to China, but with one costly condition. Citing national security, the government ordered the rails be laid 1,520 millimeters apart. The width ensures that the rails cannot connect to China's, which are 85 millimeters (about 3 1/2 inches) closer together. When it comes to China, Mongolia will only go so far and no further.
prev next
    • A Mongolian miner smiles while working at Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, a coal mining company in Tavan Tolgoi, southern Mongolia. Chinese demand for copper and especially coal has propelled the Mongolian economy to one of the world’s fastest growing, making some wealthy and driving down poverty in a still poor country, and China wants a larger share of the resources.
    • Mongolian soldiers take part in a rehearsal for a military parade during the Naadam Festival in front of Parliament on the Sukhbaatar Square in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Landlocked with 2.8 million people spread over an area twice the size of Texas, Mongolia is dwarfed by China, with its 1.3 billion people and the world’s second largest economy. Fully 90 percent of Mongolia’s exports — coal, copper, cashmere and livestock — go to China, which in turn sends machinery, appliances and other consumer goods that account for a third of Mongolian imports.
    • Pieces of coal lay in a pile at the Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, a coal mining company in Tavan Tolgoi, southern Mongolia.
    • Miners use explosives to blast a section of the Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi coal mine in Tavan Tolgoi, southern Mongolia.
    Galleries by Category