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(Mongol Ard, Uls)

Mongolia (Mongol Ard, Uls), landlocked nation in central Asia lying between China and the USSR. A vast plateau with extensive grasslands embraces the heartland of the country; part of the Gobi Desert occupies the S. An agricultural economy relies primarily on herd animals with more than 80% of the total land area devoted to pastureland. Herdsmen make up the majority of the labor force and have been organized into collectives. Crops are grown on large-scale state farms. More than 900% of the people are indigenous Mongolians; 75% Khalkha Mongols. The church was suppressed in the 1930s; at that time Tibetan Buddhist Lamaism was predominant. Only one active monastery remains.

Governmental power is vested in the People’s Great Khural of Deputies, elected every three years by universal suffrage. From this body is chosen a nine-member Presidium to exercise state affairs. Under Genghis Khan in the 13th century, Mongolia conquered most of Asia and much of Europe. In the 14th century the empire collapsed annd came under Chinese rule. During the 1911 Chinese Revolution, Mongolia, with Russian backing, declared its independence; a republic was formed in 1924. Officially recognized by China in 1946, Mongolia became a member of the United Nations i

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