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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.


Andrew McDonald appointed Rajasthan Royals head coach




New Delhi: Former Australian cricketer Andrew McDonald has been brought in as the head coach of Rajasthan Royals on a three-year contract. McDonald, who has previously played in IPL for Delhi Daredevils (2009 and 2011) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (2012 and 2013), also comes with coaching experience in the league – having been the bowling coach of Virat Kohli’s side. McDonald comes in to replace Paddy Upton, who was only appointed before the start of the previous season.

McDonald, who has significant experience of coaching will have to take Rajasthan to the epitome of success as they aim their second IPL title. Notably, Rajasthan Royals won the inaugural edition of the competition in 2008 under the leadership of Shane Warne.

This will be Andrew McDonald’s second stint in the IPL. He has also worked with Royal Challengers Bangalore last year; however, the team management replaced the support staff. Bangalore roped in Mike Hesson as their director of Cricket Operations.

Speaking on his appointment, Andrew McDonald stated that he is keen to take up the new challenge with the Rajasthan side. He also said that he can’t wait to associate with the best players in the biggest league across the world.

“I’m delighted to join the Royals family,” said McDonald. “It’s a great honour to take on this responsibility. The Rajasthan Royals is a new, exciting challenge for me, and I can’t wait to get started working with our world-class players and coaches in one of the biggest sporting leagues in the world,” he added.

Rajasthan Royals, the inaugural IPL champions, had finished at the seventh spot in 2019 edition after registering five wins and ending with 11 points at the end of the league stage.

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