Obstructions towards the Execution of the Green Corridor Plan (1975) from the 1960s to 1970s

Back to the 1950s, Mongolia had started industrialization with assistance from the USSR and China. The constructions of industrial infrastructure and dwelling apartments concentrated in Ulaanbaatar. The USSR helped with the construction of felt-rolling mills, water supply plants, leather-processing factories, etc.[1] China sent laborers to build roads, bridges and housings.[2] The most significant milestone of Mongolia’s industrialization was the launching of the Trans-Mongolian Railway in 1956.[3] It showcased the friendly relations among the three states. At the same time, it reflected the city planning of Mongolia was heavily relying on her communist allies.

Fig. 1 ‘The USSR Aided Economic Development of Mongolia’ Source: Ta-Kung-Pao

 

Fig. 2 ‘Trian directly from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing -” The Road of Friendship” is in Operation Now’ Source: Ta-Kung-Pao

The Sino-Soviet Split took place from 1956 to 1966. Although the connections between Mongolia and China had not suspended, Mongolia was more loyal to Moscow than other Asian communist countries.  The Mongolian leader, Tsedenbal considered China than the USSR a bigger threat.[4] In a diplomatic meeting between Zhou Enlai (Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China from 1949 to 1976) and Tsedenbal in 1963, they had a hostile conversation:

“I believe, for example, that the MPRP follows a wrong line. However, I am not demanding that you change your line. If there is a meeting of fraternal parties in the future, I would ask you, Comrade Tsedenbal, not to strike me with a blow again (Zhou Enlai pointed to his right cheek with his hand)”[5]

The worsening Sino-Mongolia relations had hindered the progress of the city construction in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1962, Zhou had threatened to withdraw Chinese workers if Mongolia insisted in opposing the Chinese “struggle against Soviet revisionism.”[6] At the end, the labor assistance from China was ceased in 1964, leaving some constructions unfinished.[7]

Fig. 3 ‘Complete Withdrawal of Chinese Assistance Labors from Mongolia’ Source: Ta-Kung-Pao

On the other hand, the Soviet-Mongolian relations were not always cooperative. In 1960, the Soviets demanded a drastic revision of Mongolia’s Third Five-year Plan as the USSR wanted Mongolia to developed rural policies, but Mongolia was eager to industrialize herself.[8] Although the aggravating Soviet-Sino conflicts helped improve their relations, it also limited Ulaanbaatar’s freedom of policy-making as well as the city planning.

 

[1] 〈蘇助蒙古發展經濟貸款見牛奶麵粉廠〉,《大公報》,1956年4月11日。

[2] Balazs Szalontai, “Tsedenbal’s Mongolia and the Communist Aid Donors: A Reappraisal,” Wilson Center, November 22, 2004, accessed December 14, 2018. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/tsedenbals-mongolia-and-the-communist-aid-donors-reappraisal

[3] 〈火車自烏蘭巴托直駛北京 三國「友誼之路」正式通車〉,《大公報》,1956年1月3日。

[4] Szalontai, “Tsedenbal’s Mongolia.”

[5]  “Record of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to China Stepan V. Chervonenko and the Mongolian Ambassador to China Dondogiin Tsevegmid,” Wilson Centre, January 15, 1963. Accessed December 11, 2018.

https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117697.pdf?v=423ae6566db755cfda7d1e0243290f42

[6] Cold War Bulletin, “Bulletin: Inside China’s Cold War,” (Cold War International History Project Bulletin, Issue16), pp.344.

[7] 〈最後一批離烏蘭巴托 中國援蒙員工撤清〉,《大公報》,1964年7月11日。

[8]  Szalontai, “Tsedenbal’s Mongolia.”

 

Bibliography

Cold War Bulletin. “Bulletin: Inside China’s Cold War.” Cold War International History Project Bulletin. Issue16.

“Record of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to China Stepan V. Chervonenko and the Mongolian Ambassador to China Dondogiin Tsevegmid.” Wilson Centre. January 15, 1963. Accessed December 11, 2018. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117697.pdf?v=423ae6566db755cfda7d1e0243290f42

Szalontai, Balazs. Tsedenbal’s Mongolia and the Communist Aid Donors: A Reappraisal. Wilson Center. November 22, 2004. Accessed December 14, 2018. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/tsedenbals-mongolia-and-the-communist-aid-donors-reappraisal

〈蘇助蒙古發展經濟貸款見牛奶麵粉廠〉。《大公報》。1956年4月11日。

〈火車自烏蘭巴托直駛北京 三國「友誼之路」正式通車〉。《大公報》。1956年1月3日。

〈最後一批離烏蘭巴托 中國援蒙員工撤清〉。《大公報》。1964年7月11日。

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