Mongolia sits between Russia and China. It is the most sparsely populated fully sovereign nation in the world with around 3 million people (slightly more than Armenia). 30% of the population is still nomadic and horses play a large role in daily life. It has very little arable land but is well connected to the rest of Eurasia by the grassy steppe which forms an ancient highway across the continent from Romania to China. In 1206 Genghis Khan founded the Mongolian Empire which would later conquer Baghdad (ending the Islamic Golden Age) and Kievan Rus, and establish the Yuan Dynasty in China. Mongolia declared independence after the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911 (around the time various monarchies in the old world started falling). As a buffer state, this independence was supported by Russia, with it becoming a Soviet Satellite. Pax Mongolica describes the stabilising aftermath of the Mongol Hordes with the eased communication and commerce. European merchants like Marco Polo (1254-1324) made his way on well-maintain roads from Europe to China.