Friday, August 22, 2014

Proximity and complementarity strengthen China-Mongolia ties

Mongolia is a landlocked country in eastern Central Asia. It’s bordered by Russia to the north and China on the other three sides.

Close to a third of the population are nomadic or semi-nomadic, giving the country the nickname "a nation on horseback."

The cuisine relies mostly on dairy, meat, and animal fat. Mutton dominates, usually roasted plain.Homes are the traditional round tents, known as yurts. Herding and minerals are the primary industries. Minerals account for more than 80 percent of exports.

China is one of Mongolia’s biggest trade partners. Chinese companies operate in several major sectors in Mongolia. The most important are mining, construction, and trade services. An estimated 80 percent of imports are from China. Beijing’s demand for commodities like coal has underwritten Mongolia’s rapid growth.

Trade ties have not only promoted economic development at the state level, but also brought benefits to ordinary people. The progress of the China-Mongolia relationship is evident in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Mongolia each year.

"We brought out many souvenirs during this year’s Naadam festival. Lots of Chinese people came to buy traditional Mongolian clothes and food." said souvenir salesperson.

Naadam means "game" or "entertainment" in Mongolian. Men gather to compete in traditional sports like wrestling, horse racing, and archery. Tourists from around the world come to watch. The festival is also celebrated in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Last month, express train service began between Hohhot in Inner Mongolia and the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar. Many people on both sides say this will bring the two countries even closer.

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