The two sets of talks originally scheduled for next week were seen as crucial for Mongolia to access badly-needed Chinese loans and development projects.
“The meeting was intended for negotiations on soft loans and the projects on Tavan Tolgoi railroad, a copper plant and coal gasification project. Unfortunately, the Chinese side responded that this visit was unacceptable,’’ Munkh-Orgil Tsend, Mongolia’s foreign minister told reporters in Ulaanbaatar on Thursday.
A traditionally Buddhist nation that has deep historical ties to Tibet, Mongolia has hosted the current Dalai several times since 1979. Past visits have been met with reprisals from Beijing, which considers the Dalai Lama to be a separatist leader and routinely condemns nations that give him a platform to speak.
The visit, which concluded earlier this week, was purely religious in nature, said Munkh-Orgil, adding that it had been organized by Gandan Monastery and the government had played no role in the invitation.
China also canceled a bi-annual consultative meeting between the two countries’ Parliaments, said Munkh-Orgil. Preparations for a planned visit by Mongolian Prime Minister Erdenebat Jargaltulga to China next year are also in doubt, he added.
His Holiness visited Mongolia for a series of public events and teachings in the capital of Ulaanbaatar from November 20th to the 24th.