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Maps Mongolia Moron Ulaanbaatar Choyr Ereen Hoyd Hatgal Hanh Bulgan Erdenet Arvayheer Dariganga maps Mongolia.
The Mongols entered history in the 13th century when under Genghis Khan they conquered a huge Eurasian empire. After his death the empire was divided into several powerful Mongol states, but these broke apart in the 14th century. The Mongols eventually retired to their original steppe homelands and came under Chinese rule. Mongolia won its independence in 1921 with Soviet backing. A Communist regime was installed in 1924. During the early 1990s, the ex-Communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) gradually yielded its monopoly on power to the Democratic Union Coalition (DUC), which defeated the MPRP in a national election in 1996. Over the next four years the DUC put forward a number of key reforms to modernize the economy and democratize the political system. However, the former Communists were a strong opposition that stalled additional restructuring and made implementation difficult. In 2000, the MPRP won an overwhelming victory in the legislature - with 72 of the 76 seats - and completely reshuffled the government. While it continues many of the reform policies, the MPRP is focusing on social welfare and public order priorities.
Northern Asia, between China and Russia
Desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)
China 4,677 km, Russia 3,485 km
Mongolia has a 3485km (2165-mile) border with the Russian Federation in the north and a 4670km (2902-mile) border with China in the south. From north to south, it can be divided into four areas: mountain-forest steppe, mountain steppe and, in the extreme south, semi-desert and desert (the latter being about 3 per cent of the entire territory). The majority of the country has a high elevation, with the principal mountains concentrated in the west. The highest point is the peak of Tavan Bogd, in the Altai Mountains, at 4374m (14,350ft) high. The lowest point, Khukh Nuur lake, in the east, lies at 560m (1820ft). There are several hundred lakes in the country and numerous rivers, of which the Orkhon is the longest at 1124km (698 miles).

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