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Why is Taiwan still carrying out spying operations in Mongolia? (1912-Baitag Bogd-1961-2020)

Admin | Published: 2020-04-15

One place, that still earnestly doesn’t recognize independence of Mongolia is Taiwan.

Who is Taiwan?

Even though in everyday language we call them Taiwan, their official name is Republic of China. They were an official government in China between 1912 to 1949. First president of this republic was Sun Yat-sen. Then the position was handed over to Yuan Shikai, the leader of the Beiyang Army. Sun’s party Kuomintang (KMT) won parliamentary election in 1912.

Kuomintang party never acknowledged independence of Mongolia

Mongolians have certain negative feelings towards China. To some extent this attitude is caused by KMT party. Even though Mongolians think China is chinese, there are many different factions and parties whose interests differ from each other. Out of them, KMT was a stronger party in China and it had very negative attitude towards Mongolia. From outset, this party didn’t recognize independence of Mongolia, and it still views Mongolia as part of China.

KMT intervention and Baitag Bogd incident in 1948

As late as 1948, Chinese Kuomintang party still had intentions to undermine independence of Mongolia through military interventions. In July 1948, KMT soldiers, along with Osman bandits of Xinjiang, marched into Mongolian territory. In 2018, Mongolian “Fantastic Production” produced “Top Secret-2: Baitag Bogd” film, explaining the historic events through screen dramatization.

Since then, KMT party botched Mongolia’s attempt to become a member of the United Nations, many times. Because of repeated vetoes of ROC (KMT), Mongolia became a member of the UN only in 1961.

Chinese civil war: KMT vs Communists

Internal conflicts between Communist Party of China (CPC), and KMT burst open in 1927, as KMT slaughtered members of CPC in Shanghai on April 12, 1927. This conflict turned into Chinese Civil War. Thus, while fighting against Japanese invaders, chinese political parties engaged in fights against each other. After long struggle CPC gained upper hand in the battle and in 1949 it declared People’s Republic of China, overthrowing nationalist government on the Chinese mainland, with the nationalists moving their capital from Nanking to Taipei, Taiwan.

CPC declared it’s support and independence of Mongolia in 1949, while KMT didn’t acknowledge independence of Mongolia till 2002. As it didn’t acknowledge independence of Mongolia, Taiwan or KMT fought against Mongolia’s membership to the United Nations and used its veto right against Mongolia repeatedly. That’s another story, we’re intending to analyse and make a post in the future.

Taiwan’s official world map

Do you remember scandals on political maps which drew Mongolia as part of China? Main culprit behind those maps was Taiwan. Because of their political intentions, Taiwan repeatedly produced political maps as the one below.

In those maps Taiwan (Republic of China) claimed mainland China, some parts of Burma, Bhutan, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Mongolia, and Tajikistan as their territories administered by other countries.

Because of their antagonistic attitudes, Mongolia doesn’t acknowledge Taiwan as independent country. Indeed the two parties never had diplomatic relations. Only in 2002 Taiwan did recognize independence of Mongolia. As Mongolia doesn’t recognize Taiwan, Taiwan doesn’t have right to establish diplomat embassy in Mongolia. However, in order to develop mutual unofficial relations, Taiwan opened its Trade Center in Ulaanbaatar. It works as unofficial embassy of Taiwan in Mongolia.

Taiwan Center in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Thus, there have been some positive developments in the mutual relationship. However, negative attitude of Taiwan towards Mongolia still shows up behind botched spy operations in Mongolia.

Botched spy operations of Taiwan in Mongolia

Even though it’s impossible to list all their secret operations, we know few of their major spying scandals.

Z.Pagmajav’s case (assistant to M.Batchimeg, former MP of Mongolia)

Scandal regarding disclosure of state secret to foreign party, namely Taiwan, involving Z.Pagmajav, assistant to M.Batchimeg, member of Mongolian parliament first broke out in 2014. In 2015 she was found guilty of disclosure of state secret and sentenced to 16 years of imprisonment by court. After subsequent court meetings, her sentence was reduced to 8 years and Supreme court of Mongolia supported the 8 year sentence in 2019.

Special operation in Golomt town, Ulaanbaatar

In October 2018, Counter Intelligence Department of Mongolia carried out special operation in Building C of Golomt town, Sukhbaatar district of Ulaanbaatar. During operation, special agents confiscated large amount of documents and arrested one foreign citizen.

In 2019, Bayanzurkh district court reviewed the case and charged Wan Chen Hun (latinized from Mongolian pronunciation), a Taiwanese, and two other Mongolian citizens (D.Amgalan, A.Munkhjargal) guilty of spying against Mongolia and sentenced them to 13 years in prison. Some Mongolian press reported that Mongolian Intelligence Agency carried out the operation with tip from foreign intelligence agency.

Short conclusion

When you look back at the above mentioned history and facts, obviously a general picture will be drawn in your mind. With coming of 21st century, relations of countries and territories of the world improved significantly. However there are still some parties that don’t recognize independence of Mongolia and claim Mongolia as part of their territory. Why Taiwan is still carrying out spying operations in Mongolia shows its negative attitude towards Mongolia and it’s inability to cope with its historic defeat in mainland China. These facts show Taiwan is still fed by its imperialistic ambition and its hope to return on the world stage one day.

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