1 MONGOLIA NATIONAL DAY - GREETING BY MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE (USA) WWW.MN.USEMBASSY.GOV PUBLISHED:2020/07/10      2 MONGOLIA TO GO AHEAD WITH NAADAM FESTIVAL, BUT WITH NO TOURISTS WWW.INTELLINEWS.COM PUBLISHED:2020/07/10      3 FEDERATION COUNCIL APPROVES RATIFICATION OF MONGOLIAN-RUSSIAN TREATY ON COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2020/07/10      4 GERMAN PRESIDENT EXTENDS NAADAM GREETINGS TO MONGOLIAN PRESIDENT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2020/07/10      5 PRESIDENT ORDERS TO EXPAND REPATRIATION TO BRING BACK MONGOLIANS FROM ABROAD WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2020/07/10      6 PREGNANT WOMAN IN QUARANTINE GIVES BIRTH TO BABY BOY WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2020/07/10      7 PANDEMIC HITS MONGOLIA’S ECONOMY GROWTH WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2020/07/10      8 CONTROVERSIAL MP SENTENCED TO OVER FIVE YEARS IN PRISON WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2020/07/10      9 CHINA TO TEST DIGITAL YUAN VIA RIDE-HAILING PLATFORM WITH OVER 550 MILLION USERS WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2020/07/09      10 COVID-19 CRISIS PUSHING GOLD PRICE TO ALL-TIME HIGHS WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2020/07/09      МОНГОЛ УЛС ӨРИЙН ХЭМЖЭЭГЭЭР 70 ДУГААРТ ЖАГСАЖ БАЙНА WWW.NEWS.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2020/07/09     ЭКСПОРТЛОГЧ НАРТ ХЯМД ЗЭЭЛ ОЛГОХ ТӨСӨЛ БОЛОВСРУУЛЖ БАЙНА WWW.MONTSAME.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2020/07/09     1081 ЗЭЭЛДЭГЧИЙН 194.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН ӨР ҮЛДЖЭЭ WWW.UNUUDUR.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2020/07/09     S&P МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ЗЭЭЛЖИХ ЗЭРЭГЛЭЛИЙГ “B, ТОГТВОРТОЙ” ХЭВЭЭР ҮЛДЭЭЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2020/07/09     А.ЭНХЖИН: ХЯТАДЫН АРДЫН БАНКТАЙ БАЙГУУЛСАН СВОП ХЭЛЦЛИЙГ СУНГАНА WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2020/07/09     УОК: ДОЛООДУГААР САРД 3000 ИРГЭНЭЭ ТАТАЖ АВНА WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2020/07/09     ХУДАЛДААНЫ САЛБАРЫН БОРЛУУЛАЛТ 10.7 ХУВИАР БУУРЧЭЭ WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2020/07/09     МОНГОЛБАНКНЫ ХУДАЛДАН АВСАН ҮНЭТ МЕТАЛЛ ӨНГӨРСӨН ОНООС 4.8 ТОННООР ӨСЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2020/07/09     ФИТЧ: ДЭЛХИЙН ЭДИЙН ЗАСАГ ИДЭВХЖИЖ БАЙНА WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2020/07/08     10 МЯНГА ГАРУЙ АЖЛЫН БАЙР ИДЭВХТЭЙ БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2020/07/08    

Events

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57TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW The Academy of American and International Law Plano Texas USA

NEWS

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Mongolia National Day - Greeting by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State (USA) www.mn.usembassy.gov

On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I extend my best wishes to the people of Mongolia on the opening of the Naadam festival on July 11.

As strategic partners and Third Neighbors, the United States and Mongolia enjoy a strong partnership bound by common interests, shared democratic values, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

On this occasion for celebration, I wish the people of Mongolia a wonderful Naadam.

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Mongolia to go ahead with Naadam festival, but with no tourists www.intellinews.com

By Milena Mendes in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia July 9, 2020
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has played hell with the international event calendar everywhere this year. Football tournaments have been nixed. The Munich beer festival called off. And the 32nd Summer Olympics, initially scheduled to take place in Tokyo between July and August of this year, has been cancelled. After much discussion the International Olympic Committee said sports fans will have to wait another year to see its streets flooded by tourists coming from all over the world to participate in the biggest sports event in the world.

But not in Mongolia, which has decided to go ahead with its own mini-Olympics: Naadam, Mongolia’s biggest festival, where the population come together every year to compete in the Three Manly Games: wrestling, archery and horse riding, which starts this weekend.

Naadam brings in tourists from all over the world during the three day-long summer games that celebrate the anniversaries of the Foundation of the First Mongolian Sate, the founding of the Great Mongol Empire, and the Mongolian People’s Revolution of 1921. Despite the current pandemic, the event will neither be postponed, as its date is an official Government calendar holiday, nor cancelled. But there have been some adjustments made for this year’s edition.

Though the biggest events take place in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, including concerts and performances at Sukhbaatar Square, the central square where the Mongolian Parliament House is located, cultural festivals are celebrated throughout the country. Naadam might be a centuries-old tradition in its different forms and editions, but it is still a huge part of modern Mongolian culture. For the approximate 3mn natives, it is also a chance to reconnect with families, friends and old acquaintances as Mongolians ride into the capital on this occasion, which is as much about keeping in touch with extended family as a sports event – a nomad’s version of Thanksgiving.

Naadam starts on July 11 with a months-long planned opening ceremony that involves synchronised performances with hundreds of volunteers telling stories about some events of the Mongolian history, featuring dancers, musicians and monks. Two of the greatest moments involve a speech addressed by the President, and paying respect to the Nine White Banners – a type of flag pole adorned with horse tail hair hanging from a circular base in the superior part, with a sort of fork-looking piece on the top of the pole that represents a flame. A tradition initiated by Genghis Khan, the Mongol khans would place banners outside their yurts as a symbol of times of peace. Currently the Nine White Banners also symbolise eternity and great power, and they are kept in the Parliament house, being taken out only for very special occasions, such as the Naadam’s opening ceremony in a procession followed by many others over about three kilometres to the National Stadium.

The Naadam Organising Committee members have decided to go ahead with the ceremony but with some concessions to the pandemic: the performances will happen simultaneously in different locations and be live-streamed on television and via the internet to keep crowd sizes down. The provision of trade and services has also been forbidden around the Central Stadium, which will hit the traditional food tents and are a big part of the festival.

The main traditional dishes of the country comprise of a sort of noodles with meat and some vegetables, called tsuivan, which is either Mongolian or Chinese in origin (no one can agree), as well as flour and meat based steamed or fried dumplings called buuz and huushuur respectively. The latter is the big star of Naadam, but also eaten throughout the year as a popular cheap and fast food.

However, the competition in all three of the traditional disciplines will still take place as usual, except every participant must first have been tested for the COVID-19. The Committee said that “officials will be assigned to check temperatures and enforce the safety rules during the tournaments,” officials said as cited by local media.

The Three Manly games

It is the colourful traditional costumes that make Nadaam special. The dress-like outfits reflect the ancient and modern countryside styles. Belted by a broad sash called a deel, the upper part works as a big pocket in which horsemen and herders can put their tools, freeing their hands for the work in the field before returning to their yurts, also called gers. Nowadays there are infinite styles of deels, for both genders and all ages and at a vast range of prices. They are mostly used on special occasions, such as for wedding and graduation ceremonies, Tsagaan Sar, as well as for Naadam.

But it is the three manly games that draw the crowds from all over the world. When Genghis Khan united the people of the steppe in the 13th century horse riding became an essential part of Mongolia’s culture. Riding lessons begin at five years old, and children master their skills until they take part in the Naadam race with hundreds of other children – a rite of passage.

Where Mongolian wrestling differs from the international free wrestling is the fact that the competitors weight is not taken into consideration. There are many different titles for the wrestlers, such as Titan, Lion, Elephant and Falcon – all meaning strength. These vary according to the numbers of wins over succeeding fights, especially during Naadam. The Nadaam champions can win cars, apartments, or large amounts of money.

And archery began as a weapon, but the Mongolians soon realised archery was also a way to express their strength allied to precision. For official tournaments, the target is placed at a distance of 75 metres for men and 60 metres for women, who can compete both individually or in teams of eight to 12 people.

Absent tourists

Despite these precautions the biggest change to the event this year will be the absence of foreign tourists. The Naadam week is the biggest week in the country’s tourist season, but this year tourism has dropped to next to nothing.

In the first four months of 2019 the tourism sector achieved $73.3mn in revenue, but this year it only registered $20.9mn, according to the Mongolian National Statistics Office. Out of the total decrease in the exports of services in the first quarter of 2020, almost $24.7mn, tourism services accounted for more than half (54.7%).

In the first quarter of 2020, the total revenue from accommodation services reached MNT35.3bn ($12.5mn), and the revenue of food services attained MNT102.9bn ($36.5mn), respectively 42.9% and 2.6% decreases compared to the same period of last year. In 2019 restaurants and hotels had a combined revenue of MNT766.6bn, equivalent to over $270mn.

According to CEIC Data, Mongolia registered 577,300 foreign visitors in 2019, a increase of 10% compared to the previous year. The Chinese led the charts in the first quarter of 2019, making up 39.6% of the total number of tourists in Mongolia. Secondly came the Russians (36.8%), followed by South Koreans (10.7%). For the same period this year, Russians increased their share to half (51.5%), while China and South Koreans fell to 20% and 14.4% respectively. Visitors from Kazakhstan, the fourth country in the list, have remained roughly the same, accounting for 3% and 3.9% in the reported periods.

China is just across the southern border, so Mongolia was exposed to and aware of the spreading epidemic from the start. The government started taking preventive measures early on, in order to keep the virus from spreading through its very small population, of which half live in the capital of Ulaanbaatar. In January, after children had only been back at school for a week after the winter break, the government shut the schools and switched to online and distance learning via TV.

A few weeks later, the Lunar New Year (Tsagaan Sar) public celebrations were suspended and families were strongly recommended to cancel big family gatherings, when traditionally the younger members travel all around the country to visit their older relatives and pay them their respects.

In February, international flights were suspended and still are. Since then, foreign residents who wanted to go home could only do so in the few chartered flights to locations with a large Mongolian population, who wanted to be repatriated. The land borders with Russia and China were also closed to travellers, but not goods.

The fast action of the government paid off. The first confirmed COVID-19 infection was only announced on March 10, brought into the country by a French citizen. Three months later the country now has had 215 reported cases, though there are no reports of local transmission, and so far, not a single death.

Hoping to keep things this way, the Government intends to maintain the country in lockdown until a vaccine is found, according to an announcement made by Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa on May 25. Currently there are no public plans to reopen the borders or restart international commercial flights.

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Federation Council approves ratification of Mongolian-Russian Treaty on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation at its plenary meeting on July 8 approved the bill on the ratification of the Treaty on Friendly Relations and Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Mongolia and the Russian Federation, signed by the heads of state of Mongolia and Russia on September 3, 2019, during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official visit to Mongolia at the invitation of President Kh.Battulga.

The State Great Khural of Mongolia ratified the Treaty at its plenary meeting on November 29, 2019, and the treaty comes into force when the sides exchange letters of ratification.

Under the Treaty, the sides pledge to have long-term, unwavering, “equal, mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields such as politics, defense, economy, infrastructure, education, healthcare, culture, and humanitarian assistance through comprehensive strategic partnership and strengthen people-to-people ties between the two countries.

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German President extends Naadam greetings to Mongolian President www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier has sent a letter of greetings to President of Mongolia Kh.Battulga on the occasion of the Mongolian National Holiday – Naadam Festival.

The congratulatory letter sent from German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier reads:

“Dear President of Mongolia Battulga Khaltmaa,

On the occasion of the Mongolian national holiday Naadam Festival, I would like to extend sincere congratulations to You on behalf of the people of German.

I am delightful that the Mongolian-German relationship is characterized by particular trustworthiness and traditionally close cooperation. Cooperation in the field of security policy and Mongolian-German partnership on mineral resources industry are just two of numerous examples.

I wish You and the people your country well-being and a happy and peaceful future.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier

President of the Federal Republic of Germany”

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President orders to expand repatriation to bring back Mongolians from abroad www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. President of Mongolia Kh.Battulga today received some members of the cabinet and officials to discuss about the issue of repatriation of Mongolian nationals stranded abroad because of the COVID-19-related border closures to all nationals, and instructed them to expand the current repatriation process.

Despite the fact that a total of 12,853 Mongolians returned from 40 countries until today in an organized manner since the border restriction were imposed for concerns over COVID-19 outbreak, there are now more than 10,000 Mongolians in overseas countries in distressed living conditions. Therefore, the President ordered relevant officials to focus on increasing the frequency of repatriation charter flights and work more promptly for this matter.

President Battulga ordered Deputy Prime Minister Ya.Sodbaatar to present detailed report on the schedule of future charter flights, available possibilities and isolation facilities, etc.

The cabinet ministers were charged with responsibilities to continue with the implementation of the repatriation plan set until August 1 by the previous government and ensure preparedness of all sectors.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Ya.Sodbaatar, Minister of Foreign Affairs N.Enkhtaivan, Minister of Health T.Munkhsaikhan, Minister of Road and Transport Development L.Khaltar, Ambassador of Mongolia to China T.Badral and other officials.

Following the regular meeting of the State Emergency Commission held today, July 9, Mongolia is planning to bring back additional 9,884 Mongolians from 55 countries in the near future, including 3,000 people only in July, which is already twice higher than that of the previous month. Press Representative of the cabinet today reported that the new cabinet formed yesterday is expected sometime soon to discuss whether to extend the ongoing heightened state of preparedness, which include the border closure put in place for all passengers, beyond July 15.

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Pregnant woman in quarantine gives birth to baby boy www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Director of the National Center for Communicable Diseases (NCCD) D.Nyamkhuu provided an updated information on COVID-19 situation in Mongolia during today’s press briefing of the Ministry of Health.

According to him, a pregnant woman, who had been in quarantine in an isolation facility, was brought to the NCCD and delivered a baby boy. As of today, six pregnant mothers who are staying in isolation have given birth at the NCCD.

Moreover, 701 tests were carried out on July 8 and the test results all came out negative. Two more people have recovered: a 21-year old military student made recovery after 57-day treatment and another 37-year old student after receiving treatment of over 40 days.

Thus far, 197 cases of total 227 confirmed cases in Mongolia have made recovery. 30 people are undergoing treatment now, of whom 27 are in mild and other 3 are in serious health condition.

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Pandemic hits Mongolia’s economy growth www.news.mn

Mongolia was one of the first countries in the world to adopt strict Covid-19 containment measures, starting with a January 27 halt to air and land travel between China and Mongolia, closing school and universities, and banning all gatherings. Eventually, all commercial flights to Mongolia were totally stopped, and so far this has miraculously limited the number of infections to slightly over 200, with no confirmed cases of community transmission.

However, Mongolia’s economy has been a different story. Economic growth—a respectable 5.1 percent in 2019—is expected to fall sharply in 2020. The OECD originally forecast that Mongolia’s 2020 economy would grow at 5.4 percent, but in May it revised its estimate dramatically downward, to minus 1 percent. The nation’s heavy reliance on export earnings from extractive industries makes matters worse. This lack of diversification is likely to hobble employment, investment, productivity, and longer-term recovery from the pandemic in an economic future that is “subject to unprecedented uncertainty” for Mongolia and many other developing nations.

 
 
 
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Controversial MP sentenced to over five years in prison www.news.mn

Former MP N.Nomtoibayar was sentenced to five years and five months in prison for abuse of power on Tuesday.

N.Nomtoibayar was found guilty of giving privileges to others by abusing power, including ordering the implementation of 29 projects and programmes in his capacity as Mongolian Minister of Labour and Social Protection.

On 28 May, the former minister was sent to the 461st Detention Centre by order ot the Primary Criminal Court of the Bayanzurkh, Sukhbaatar and Chingeltei Districts of the Mongolian capital. Previously, N.Nomtoibayar has been banned from leaving the country.

The 42-year-old served as labour and social protection minister from 2016 to 2017.

The former member of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party recently ran for parliamentary elections as an independent candidate but failed to win a seat in the country’s 76-seat unicameral parliament.

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China to test digital yuan via ride-hailing platform with over 550 million users www.rt.com

China’s central bank is partnering up with the country’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing to test the use of its sovereign digital currency. The digital yuan may be offered to the public as early as next year.
The regulator is working with Didi to apply digital currency electronic payment (DCEP) to the ride-hailing app, Didi said on Wednesday. The company, which currently serves a total of over 550 million users and is often described as China’s Uber, may thus become one of the world’s first’s corporate users of a government-created virtual currency.

According to Didi, “the government seeks to support the development of the real economy sectors with innovative financial services.” Didi’s peak for daily ride-sharing orders has surpassed 30 million, said the company’s CEO Cheng Wei in early June, adding that the bike-sharing business saw daily orders reach 10 million.

China’s central bank set up a research team six years ago to explore the possibility of launching its own digital currency. In May, the bank revealed plans to have the digital yuan ready in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Limited trials are already underway in four cities across the country.

The digital yuan, which is projected to replace paper money, will be linked to the holder's smartphone number, with transactions taking place through an app. Users will be able to transfer money between accounts by tapping phones, much like having physical cash change hands. The currency will be legal tender, so it could be exchanged without needing a bank as an intermediary.

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Covid-19 crisis pushing gold price to all-time highs www.rt.com

Gold has extended its rally with prices reaching their highest level in more than nine years this week. The precious metal has been doing very well lately as investors are clamoring for safe haven assets amid market volatility.
Gold surged above $1,800 on Tuesday, closing above that key resistance level. This is its highest value since 2011, and the second attempt to trade and close above $1,800 over the last month. The metal was trading up 0.2 percent on Wednesday, at $1,799 per ounce.

“It’s logical to expect gold to outperform most assets in an environment of unparalleled central-bank easing, and we foresee the precious metal maintaining the upper hand in most scenarios,” Bloomberg Intelligence senior commodity strategist Mike McGlone wrote.

According to him, slow economic recovery is going to put pressure on commodities, except for gold, which will head to its record high of $1,900 an ounce. “Depression-like global conditions should press the BCOM [Bloomberg Commodity Index – Ed.] below the 2016 trough and gold above its all-time high, about $1,900 an ounce,” he said.

Gold has been trading above its new base level of $1,700 an ounce since mid-April. “Every day that passes above this level builds a firmer base for the metal to make the next move in its stair-step rally,” McGlone said.

“The coronavirus is creating almost perfect conditions for commodity price deflation, central-bank easing and rising gold prices… Gold stands to be a primary beneficiary.”

The strategist added that, “Enduring US-China trade tension and an unlikely V-shaped global economic recovery keep our price view as unfavorable for broad commodities and favorable for gold. We see little to prevent the metal from reaching all-time highs and the Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index from extending its 2016 low.”

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