Monday, August 25, 2014

Start of new era of Sino-Mongolian relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping has returned back in Beijing, wrapping up a two-day state visit to Mongolia. During his stay in Ulaanbaatar, he delivered a speech to the Great Hural, the Mongolian parliament. In his speech, President Xi said relations between the two sides had entered their best period in history. Before that, he had wide ranging discussions with top Mongolian leaders on bilateral relations and issues of common concern. They later watched a traditional Mongolian cultural event.

President Xi Jinping started his speech with a poem by a famous Mongolian writer Natsagdorj: "This is my native land. The lovely country. My Mongolia."

President Xi recalled his first visit to Mongolia when he was Vice President of China, back in 2008.

Mongolia was one of the first countries to recognize the New China. Xi Jinping said China had always appreciated that support in its early years.

"No matter what changes may come in terms of international or regional conditions, China will abide by the the Sino-Mongolian friendly cooperation treaty, respect the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity of Mongolia, and respect Mongolia’s own development path. This is a policy we will always uphold," he said.

In the past decade, China has been Mongolia's largest trading partner and investor.

Bilateral trade volume reached 6 billion US dollars in 2013, which is nearly 20 times that in 2002 and comprises more than half of Mongolia's total foreign trade.

Both neighbors share a border of around 4,700 kilometers. In 2013, over 1.3 million people crossed that border contributing to friendly relations between the two.

"It’s fair to say that the time is now ripe to build a comprehensive strategic partnership. And it marks that Sino-Mongolian relations have entered the best time in history," he said.

Xi Jinping spent the second day of the visit holding talks with top Mongolian leaders, including President Elbegdorj, Prime Minister Altankhuyag, and Chairman of the Great Hural Enkhbold.

The talks were described as "pragmatic".

"The two sides decided unanimously to enhance the China Mongolia relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership and issue a joint declaration. In addition, more than 20 cooperation documents have been signed in areas such as politics, economics, trade and culture."

Xi Jinping said the two sides should consider the building of the comprehensive strategic partnership as an opportunity, to bring Sino-Mongolian relations to a higher level.

Before Xi Jinping concluded his trip, he was treated by his Mongolian counterpart to a performance at the Naadam Fair.

The traditional Mongolian cultural event includes seven days’ of archery, wrestling, horse racing, dancing and acrobatics.

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