Lost Mongolia: From steppe to Slum, How serious are the Consequences of Blind Westernization?
From the world map to see our China is a rooster shape, in our “chicken back” there is a country, that is Mongolia.In winter, Mongolia’s capital, Ulan Bator, is shrouded in thick fog, with fine particles of PM2.5 suspended in the air, rushing into the chest like thousands of horses when you breathe.When the fog was lifted, two very different pictures emerged.On one side are skyscrapers and successful people in suits, laughing with desire and energy.On the other side are the dense yurts that surround the city, where desertification eats away at the territory and extreme poverty leaves the people living in them to collect garbage, out of the process of modernization.Compared with Japan and South Korea, Mongolia rarely appears in the eyes of the Chinese people, and people’s memory of Mongolia is still stuck in the paradise of “wind blowing grass, low cattle and sheep”.Today, However, Mongolia faces the dilemma of desertification, the gap between the rich and the poor, the economic development is blocked, and, crucially, there is no solution to these problems.From the king of grassland to the kingdom of civilian grottoes, how Mongolia is broken step by step, where is its way out?To understand this, we need to understand Mongolia’s past and present.01 Sino chemical, Soviet to Westernized Mongolia is located in the Eurasian continent, the humid ocean airflow can not reach, trees can not grow, but the grass in this barren land to find a living space, in the spring breeze blowing, stubborn growth.The enmity with the Mongolian people on the steppe has long been deeply engraved in the cultural DNA of China.As early as in the Han Dynasty, The Han people set foot on this land, a legend staged here.The horsemen of xiongnu repeatedly attacked the border, plundered the middle earth, and repeatedly jumped across the face of the son of Heaven.Finally, Huo Qubing was ordered to meet the Xiongnu.Huo Qubing rate of soldiers directly against the hinterland of the Xiongnu, the knife under the dead tens of millions, such as into the territory of no one.When huo Qubing arrived in the depths of the desert langju Xu Mountain, which is now in Mongolia’s Kent Mountain, the strong enemy fled, leaving only the Gobi sand blowing in the wind, a sense of sadness and passion arises.Huo Qubing climbed to the top of the mountain, set up an altar to worship heaven and earth and erected a monument to commemorate the central Plains. This vast territory became a territory of the Han Dynasty.This is known as the “Wolf for mercy”, since countless military generals regarded it as the highest honor.In ancient times, The land of Mongolia was dotted with many ethnic groups, and history rolled on in alternately frenemy relations with each other.It was not until genghis Khan, the emperor of heaven, trod the plains and united the scattered, separate tribes into greater Mongolia.The power of the Great Mongol empire spread southward and toppled the ailing Song Dynasty. The Mongols entered the Central Plains and reached the peak of their power. At this time, history came to the Yuan Dynasty.However, the ethnic discrimination policy and cruel ruling strategy of the Mongols against the Han people aroused the Resistance of the Han people, and the beacon of the uprising was burning brightly. Under the “adding fuel and vinegar” of various factors, the Yuan Dynasty turned to ashes and became the dust of history with the wind blowing.The ancients cloud, the world trend, separated for a long time, together will be divided.Ancient Chinese dynasties changed frequently and showed periodic rules.Following the trend, Mongolia changed hands in the Ming and Qing dynasties.If nothing changes, the Mongol regime will continue to change hands forever.However, no matter which dynasty Mongolia belongs to, it always belongs to this line of Chinese history.The influence of Genghis Khan’s Chinese culture on Mongolia is reflected in its architecture. Up to now, you can still see the ancient Chinese temples and palaces in Mongolia, with carved beams and painted buildings.However, a new era sprouted in the spinning machine of the West, the industrial Revolution swept the world, and western colonists opened China’s closed door with strong ships and guns.One of the consequences of industrial civilization crushing agricultural civilization is the loss of land.After the Yalta Agreement in 1945, Mongolia was removed from China and given to Russia as a booty.One of the greatest revolutions of all time, which took place in China from the 1920s to the 1940s, had little time for Mongol affairs.Mongolia was reddened under later Soviet control: Kulun was renamed Ulan Bator, the “Red Hero City”;The traditional “hudumu” script was replaced by the Cyrillic alphabet of the Slavic people.New China has visited the Soviet Union for many times, in order to new China tried to Mongolia and Inner Mongolia into the territory of China, but in the Mongolian leaders are reluctant and the Soviet Union has repeatedly blocked, there is no way to recover the lost territory.At this time, Mongolia began to establish diplomatic relations with other countries as an independent country, which was recognized by the international community.After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Mongolia abandoned its heavy history, turned to the embrace of the West, and began the road of westernization.As a fresh blood, will western culture inject vitality into Mongolia, or let it fall into an endless vortex?It can be said that Mongolia is a great treasure house of resources.With herds of cattle and sheep on the ground and 19 million hectares of forests, and more than 80 minerals and unestimated groundwater resources worth more than $1 trillion, the world once believed it would be the next golden nation.Mongolia’s per capita GDP in 2019 was $4,200. Behind the beautiful per capita GDP, there are countless people “being averaged”.Mongolia had a natural handicap in geography, surrounded by nations, unable to develop its navy and aviation. In many ways, it was the Soviet Union that helped it develop, but that help was not free.During the Era of Soviet control, Mongolia was a vast “resource pool” from which the military-industrial power was constantly siphoning off nourishment.The Soviet Union sent experts and workers into Mongolia to mine the minerals, which were then shipped directly into the Soviet Union.Mongolia enjoys the feeling of being carried by others, like a frog in warm water, and gradually gives up trying to make progress.Mongolia did not build refineries or train local workers, and absolute dependence on the Soviet Union crippled Mongolia’s mining industry after the Soviets withdrew.However, Mongolia’s foundation is still there, and given a chance, its abundant resources can produce tremendous energy.In the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union into Russia, Russia was in a mess at home and abroad. Russia simply had no time to care about Mongolia, a little brother. Even if the prime minister himself, he only got cold butt.But the domestic industry can not develop, can only continue to raise cattle and sheep?Mongolia is worried.At this time, the United States offered Mongolia an olive branch, and Mongolia, desperate, opened its doors and became involved in a wave of privatization.The international demand for bulk commodities is large. After the marketization of the economy, Mongolia’s economy made rapid progress by exporting minerals. After the outbreak of the financial crisis, the economy even bucked the trend and rose to a staggering 17.29%.But the benefits of growth have not been shared by all Mongolians.In a wave of privatisation, groups of Mongolian oligarchs have sprung up.They are endless black holes, soaking up the mineral dividend.Mongolia’s per capita GDP in 2019 was $4,200. Behind the beautiful per capita GDP, there are countless people “being averaged”.But a third of Mongolians still live below the poverty line, according to the United Nations Human Development Index.Mongolia’s extreme inequality is reflected not just in cold numbers but in every aspect of social life.While the upstarts on the steppe live in five-star hotels and are treated like emperors, ordinary people live in humble yurts.There is no complete water system, only fixed water collection place, and defecating and urinating everywhere has become a normal life.Migrants living in the suburbs are not covered by the health insurance system, although the out-of-pocket share of the system is high.Ordinary people can receive 12 years of free compulsory education, but public schools lack quality teachers, outdated facilities, and in many places, arbitrary fees are charged, while the rich send their children abroad.The phenomenon of class solidification, which is hotly discussed in China, also exists in Mongolia, where some people win at the starting line when they are born.Although living in poverty, Mongolians are passionate and open-minded about life. They are good at singing and dancing and are “spiritual rich”.In the streets of Mongolia, it is common to see nightclubs and bars that “stay up all night”. The flashing lights, heavy metal rock music and dancing of guests weave a colorful picture. Various disappointments in life turn into driving force after song and dance.This open-mindedness extends to childbearing.Mongolia has a high fertility rate, and in its capital, Ulan Bator, 80% of the population is young. The aging dilemma faced by developed and some developing countries has nothing to do with this young country.But the gap between rich and poor, with only 0.8% of mongolians rich and most of them poor, is particularly stark in the distribution of cities.In the city, steel forests have sprung up, while in the suburbs, vast numbers of the poor have been gobbling up grasslands, turning lush grasslands into dense yurts.The yurts are poorly equipped, with no proper heating system.In winter, when temperatures plummet to minus 40 degrees Celsius, millions of people burn low-quality coal to ward off the frigid northern air.The fog rose from the clouds of media and, blocked by the Kent Mountains and unable to be dispersed by cold winds from the north, gathered in the Valley of Tula.As a result, Mongolia’s PM2.5 threshold in winter often rises above 900, 25 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization.Particles from the soot make their home in the lungs, making it painful to breathe.A child’s young lungs are exposed to the air and become a “disaster zone”.Pneumonia is now the leading cause of death among children under five in Mongolia, according to official statistics.After the marketization of the pasture, the state-owned pasture was disintegrated without modern and scientific centralized management, and the herdsmen, restricted by their class vision, blindly expanded the herd for immediate interests. Although there was a slight growth in the beginning, the operation mode of fishing for nothing eventually damaged the ecology and deteriorated the husbandry.Overpopulation growth, greenhouse gas emissions and overgrazing have been left unchecked, completely crushing the local ecosystem, and nature has retaliated fiercely.Since 2000, Mongolia has experienced year-round catastrophes every seven years, including high temperatures in summer and extreme cold in winter.Each time a major disaster struck, livestock lost a great deal, up to a third of the year’s population.According to government figures, 70 percent of Mongolia’s land is desertified and 850 lakes and 2,000 rivers have dried up.The wind blowing grass low to see cattle and sheep “no longer, leaving only” the desert smoke straight “desolate scene.What is the way out?Animal husbandry and mining are the two pillars of Mongolia’s economy.However, the extensive operation of animal husbandry leads to ecological pollution, which leads to ecological disaster, and the ecological disaster gives a fatal blow to animal husbandry, which shrinks year by year, and the development of animal husbandry becomes a dead cycle.The mining sector, with weak foundations and international markets, is not doing well.Mongolia’s mining industry has been at the low end of the primary processing stage, with under-trained local miners and a shortage of skilled workers.The government is aware of the problem and has explicitly limited the proportion of foreign workers.But companies will do whatever it takes to make a profit.Instead of spending time and money training local herdsmen, they find herdsmen to recruit falsely so that their staff numbers expand and businesses can hire more skilled foreigners.As a result, the primary international division of Labour remains, in a twist.Moreover, due to Mongolia’s over-dependence on western countries, some Western countries have taken control of Mongolia’s mining industry, which has kept Mongolia from developing.In 2012, when international commodity prices fell, Mongolia’s economy was hit hard, people’s living standards fell, and domestic hatred of the rich rose.Mongolia failed to introduce effective measures in time, but the economic slowdown of the hot potato to foreign trade, openly torn up investment agreements.Foreign investors fled, government revenues fell and the government eventually relied on foreign debt.GDP growth has not kept pace with foreign borrowing, the government is heavily in debt and the economy is in a mess.Government deficits have affected infrastructure, and Mongolia’s first highway, the new airport expressway in Ulan Bator, has only just opened in 2019.Moreover, the highway was built with Chinese assistance.Poor infrastructure will also affect livestock development.After all, only with roads, power stations and other infrastructure can we carry out scientific and effective ecological management on vast land and stop the spread of desertification.04 Summary now to Mongolia, in addition to Genghis Khan’s north and South war left the Chinese architecture and some Soviet style government buildings faint to remind people of the history has gone.Young people have jumped on the westernization bandwagon, dressing up as Europeans, drinking vodka, listening to heavy metal, partying in nightclubs, or wearing suits, eating Western food and observing table manners.It makes one wonder how easy it is for a civilization to change over a few epochs.But the transition has not made the country’s development any easier. Instead, he is dealing with the rupture of history and the convergence of civilizations.Mongolia once held a good hand but played it to pieces, the reason is nothing more than blind westernization and unable to find the characteristics of the road according to the national conditions.Governing a big country is not a small fish. Every step of reform involves the interests of vested interests on all sides, making reform difficult.Still, Mongolia is making changes, including adopting the Mongolian language and increasing cooperation with China.Mongolia is like a youth rebellious period of children, determined to break away from the arms of their parents, to the outside.After social beatings, accumulated experience and experience, I believe Mongolia will find its own way to grow up against the wind and rain.From grassland to slum, Lost Mongolia, How serious are the Consequences of Blind Westernization?