Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vice President Biden visits Mongolia

Because we don't get to hear the news very often here we were the last ones to realize that Vice President, Biden was here in UB yesterday.  Last night after a long days work we were taken out to dinner by visiting dignitaries from Inner Mongolia along with the President of MIU, his wife and a few others from MIU.  As we were driving to the restaurant we noticed policemen lining the streets about 20 feet apart on both sides down the road we were traveling.  We were just passing Chingas Khan Hotel (the nicest hotel in UB) and I commented that there must be someone important here because of the policemen.  The President looked at me and said that VP Biden was visiting UB today and said, "You didn't know?"  When I shook my head, he laughed uproariously. Boy, did I feel stupid!

Anyway, this morning, as I was getting ready for work it suddenly went quiet.  Quiet where we live is unheard of so I looked out our "window with a view" and noticed no traffic.  Looking further I noticed the policemen again lining the streets and the traffic way down the road stopped.  Because we live close to Chingas Khan Hotel I figured out it must be the VP coming down our street.  So I ran to grab my camera because I thought - this will be a great picture!  Before I could get the camera in place they were already coming.  4 police cars, about 5 black cars, and 3-4 RV's which looked more like mini-buses.  Below you can see some of my very uninteresting pictures!

Which black car is Biden in?

Your guess is as good as mine!

Is it this one?

Not this one

Maybe these?

Here is the surveillance van

More dignitaries

Here come the entourage of people which follow the VP

Lastly, the lone policeman pulling up the rear!
So what do you think about the security here?  My comment was what can a bunch of policeman do lining the road?  Do they have guns?  Didn't appear to be any.  They were all just standing there looking bored!  Maybe they don't need much security here.  As I was watching it all happening I was also noticing the local people.  Was there any interest in what was going on?  Not much really - hardly anyone blinked an eye as these things were happening.

About 5 minutes later another entourage of cars came down the road again with a police escort.  The only difference was that they didn't stop traffic.  So who were they?  The press?  Or maybe it was the real VP in a plot to fool the terrorists!  

So what was he doing here anyway?  Apparently, "Mongolia wants to develop its mineral wealth but needs outside help, with firms from neighbors China and Russia, as well as from the U.S., Australia, Japan and Canada looking to develop projects. Last month it picked U.S. mining giant Peabody Energy, China's Shenhua Group and a Russian-Mongolian consortium to jointly develop the Tavan Tolgoi coking coal deposit in the Gobi Desert."  "There have been reports of secret discussions between the Mongolian, Japanese and U.S. governments on storing nuclear waste in Mongolia, but the country’s government has denied this." 

There were however, some protesters which met him and said, "'Hi Joe, No Nuclear Waste, Go Home!"  

Here are some photos of his trip here
That large wrestler is probably the winner of the Nadam Wresting Competition

Eating Traditional Mongolian Food in a tent
Anyway, he's gone now!  So that's the end of that!

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