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Mongolia needs to be reconnected to the outside world

COVID and Ukraine war have left nation even more dependent on China and Russia

| Mongolia
Protesters gather on the steps of the State Palace in Ulaanbaatar in December 2022: Demonstrations have been an important part of the social landscape.   © AP

Marissa J. Smith is a cultural anthropologist and an affiliate of the Central Asia Working Group of the University of California, Berkeley's Institute for East Asian Studies. She previously served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development on democracy, governance and human rights in Mongolia.

Isolation is nothing new for Mongolia, but the Ukraine war and the COVID-19 pandemic have left the Central Asian nation ever more dependent on its powerful encircling neighbors, China and Russia.

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