Mongolian President: BRI consolidates Mongolia-China ties

By Ukhnaa Khurelsukh (China Daily) 13:07, October 16, 2023

Mongolian President Ukhnaa Khurelsukh [Photo provided to China Daily]

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), put forth by President Xi Jinping, I express my best wishes and warm greetings to the readers of China Daily and, indeed, to the friendly people of China.

Mongolia is pleased that over the past decade the BRI has turned into an important regional platform for development demonstrating the fundamental principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits based on the concept of ensuring shared development opportunities, mutual learning, mutual benefits and equitable cooperation.

The pandemic and the global geopolitical instability have brought to light the necessity of sharing development opportunities through complementarity between neighboring countries and other regional partners in overcoming the unprecedented challenges we face today.

Mongolians have a beautiful saying that neighbors, similar to a family, see eye to eye.

We, as a neighbor, are pleased with the significant role that the BRI plays in overcoming the difficulties associated with the environmental and geographical specificities and development gaps among countries in the region in enhancing their economic cooperation.

The Mongolia-China-Russia economic corridor is one of the six land corridors under the BRI.

For Mongolia, a country located between its two eternal neighbors — China and Russia, the BRI and its Mongolia-China-Russia economic corridor are of paramount importance as it would provide the necessary infrastructure to access the world's major markets via our two neighbors and other countries in the region.

The Mongolia-China-Russia economic corridor is a comprehensive programme designed to integrate Mongolia's Steppe Road, Russia's Eurasian Economic Union and China's Silk Road Economic Belt initiatives. It has been instrumental in the enhancement of cooperation between the three countries, especially in economy, trade, customs control, transportation, logistics, infrastructure, energy, tourism, environment and humanitarian areas.

Taking advantage of our geographical location connecting Asia and Europe we are keen to become "Transit Mongolia" — a hub for transportation, logistics, production and services. In this respect, we plan to develop the infrastructure that connects Russia, Mongolia and China through the construction of roads, gas pipelines and the vertical axes of railway in western and eastern Mongolia.

Such infrastructural projects shall not only strengthen the cooperation between the three countries but also enhance the regional connectivity.

The promotion of green development, an integral component of the BRI, goes along with our policy and "Billion Trees" national movement aimed at contributing to the global efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

To this end, the leaders of the two countries agreed to set up the Mongolia-China Anti-Desertification Center, that would play an important role in our joint efforts to protect the environment and fight against desertification.

The preparations for Mongolia to host the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in 2026 are well underway and I wish to invite countries to actively participate in the conference and join our efforts in its lead-up.

Mongolia and China are close neighbors, close friends and close partners that share a land border of 4709.6 kilometers. Both countries consider the long-term and sustainable development of good neighborly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation as priorities in their foreign policies.

Mongolia welcomes President Xi Jinping's policy to develop good neighborly and friendly relations that ensures development benefits for both sides grounded on the principle of a "closer, sincere, mutually beneficial and accessible" cooperation.

Next year we will commemorate the historic 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries.

Based upon the principle of mutual respect, the development paths chosen by each other, the relations and cooperation between Mongolia and China have enhanced over the past period in all areas, including political, economy, culture, education, science, health, infrastructure and environment, thus reaching today the level of comprehensive strategic partnership.

During my state visit to China last November, we held officials talks with President Xi Jinping and agreed to coordinate the two countries' long and medium-term development policies. It was welcomed by both sides as an important agreement which serves as a road map defining future prospects of our bilateral relations.

Mongolia's "Vision 2050" — the long-term development policy — encompasses our goal to develop a value-added economy based on know-how and advanced technology. I appreciate the strong support expressed by the leadership of the People's Republic of China in the successful realization of Mongolia's "Vision 2050" and its readiness to actively cooperate under the BRI and the Global Development Initiative (GDI).

Cooperation among the public and private sectors, and entrepreneurs of the two countries are key to the all-round enhancement of trade and economic ties with China, our eternal neighbor, and the creation of countless new business opportunities by utilizing the strengths and resources of both countries, in accordance with the principles of equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.

Our two countries are forever connected by nature, mountains and rivers and we share historical ties that date back to ancient times. I am fully confident that the mutual trust and friendship between our people and our cooperation towards development will continue to grow.

On a final note, I wish the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, initiated by President Xi Jinping, a success. I have no doubt that the forum will make a significant contribution for the good of Mother Earth and humanity by advancing the sustainable development goals, promoting green development, and enhancing the mutual understanding and development between countries around the world.

On behalf of the Mongolian people, I convey my best wishes for happiness and prosperity to the friendly people of China.

The author is President of Mongolia.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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