Mongolia's one other neighbor, Russia, remains important, supplying fuel and owning half a mammoth copper mine and half the national railway system, legacies of the 70 years Mongolia spent as a Soviet client state. But China, with its huge population and voracious demand, looms larger than resource-rich, thinly populated Russia.Mongolia has sought to minimize both Moscow's and Beijing's influence by forging links with other world powers. The fledgling democratic government has contributed troops to U.N. peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone and other countries, and to the American war in Iraq. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a visit in July, praised Mongolia as "an inspiration and a model."
For Mongolia, China's Too Close For Comfort
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