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PM Narendra Modi invites new Mongolian President, a known China critic



PM Narendra Modi, Mongolian President, Khaltmaa Battulga, India, China, National News

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited newly-elected Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga to visit India. The move is seen as a subtle message to China since Battulga is a vocal critic of China who advocated greater economic independence from Beijing during his election campaign.



This comes amidst India’s outreach to Mongolia and a border standoff with China at the Bhutan trijunction.

Nearly 70% of Mongolia’s foreign trade is with China alone. Moreover, 90% of its exports are to China. During the 2017 Mongolian Presidential elections, Battulga had said, “rail and transportation for any country is both a national security and an economic issue”. In a 2014 interview, he had said that a depletion of resources would mean “there will definitely be conflict between the Mongolians and the Chinese”.


Ties between China and its northern neighbor hit a low last year when the Buddhist-majority Mongolia had invited Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to visit. China had reportedly closed off a crucial border crossing after this visit, which had left several Mongolian truck drivers stranded at the border. This had led to Mongolia cracking under pressure and it promised never to invite the Dalai Lama again.


After Battulga’s electoral victory, former President Pranab Mukherjee had extended his wishes to him even as the Indian Ambassador to Mongolia was one of the first to meet him.


In 2015, Modi had visited Ulaanbaataras part of his outreach and promised to extend a $1 billion credit line to the country, which is nestled between Russia and China. This is expected to find favour with President Battulga, who advocates lesser economic ties with China.


Australian PM Scott Morrison makes ‘samosas’, see Narendra Modi’s reaction




Taking to Twitter, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “Sunday ScoMosas – samosas
with mango chutney, all made from scratch – including the chutney. A pity my meeting with @narendramodi this week is by videolink.

PM Modi responding to Morrison’s tweet said that the two countries are “connected by the Indian Ocean, united by the Indian Samosa!”

“They”re vegetarian, I would have liked to share them with him.”


He also attached a photo of himself holding the platter of the snacks. The tweet has so far garnered 27,000 likes.

In a reply to Morrison”s tweet, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said: “Proposing your name for Michelin Star.”

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