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Mongolia is a landlocked Central Asian country, bordered by Russia to the north and the People's Republic of China to the south. It was the center of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, but was ruled by the Manchu Qing dynasty from the end of the 18th century until an independent government was formed with Soviet assistance in 1921. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, Mongolia adopted electoral politics. The 18th largest country in the world by area, Mongolia has very little arable land: much of its area is grassland, with mountains in the north and west and the Gobi Desert in the south. A little over 30 percent of the population are nomadic or semi-nomadic Tibetan Buddhists of the Mongol ethnicity. Over fifty per cent of the population reside in the capital city Ulaanbaatar.
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