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Oasis of democracy between big powers

A Mongolian archer taking a shot during a Naadam ceremony attended by United States Secretary of State John Kerry in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, yesterday.

Mr Kerry made the visit to Mongolia en route to Beijing to attend the eighth Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the high-level talks held between the US and China each year.

At the US ambassador's residence, Mr Kerry told Mongolian and American Embassy staff: "You really set a great example. You've got China on one side of you, and Russia on the other side of you, and there are always a lot of pressures, and here you are in this oasis of democracy fighting for your own identity."

The Naadam ceremony is a competition that traditionally includes horse racing, Mongolian wrestling and archery.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2016, with the headline 'Oasis of democracy between big powers'. Print Edition | Subscribe