The day before the Dalai Lama’s November 18 trip to Mongolia, Beijing issued a “strong demand” to its neighbor to cancel the visit of the “anti-Chinese separatist” or face (unstated) consequences. The Dalai Lama would be making his ninth visit to the sparsely populated nation of 3 million people, just to China’s north. Previous visits triggered retaliation from China, including the temporary closure of parts of the Sino-Mongolian border.
Just like in the past, Ulaanbaatar ignored the warnings. Befitting a nation where a majority of the population practices a form of Buddhism derived from Tibet, Mongolian officials described the visit as purely religious in nature. The Dalai Lama attracted crowds of thousands during his four-day trip. He visited monasteries, preached to admiring worshippers at a gigantic sports facility (built with Chinese aid), and made a star appearance at an international conference on “Buddhist science.”[Source]