Mongolia-China relations at its historic peak

The Mongol Messenger
2019-10-18 15:08:51

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the People’s Republic of China this year, Deputy Foreign Minister B.Battsetseg gave an interview with MONTSAME news agency.


- There have been a series of events that have taken place since the start of the year in the framework of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). How do the two sides see their significance and results?

- One of the first few countries to immediately acknowledge the establishment of the new Chinese state in 1949 was Mongolia. It has been 70 years since the two sides exchanged letters and established diplomatic relations on October 16, 1949. This is a long period of time. In the past 70 years, all sides of relations, realized partnership and friendship between the peoples of our ever-neighboring two countries continuously developed, coming over various challenges and deepening the relations.

Mongolia became the 8th country to acknowledge the country when the new Chinese state was established. The very first countries were led by the USSR /1949.10.03/, along with Bulgaria /1949.10.04/, Romania /1949.10.05/, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, North Korea /1949.10.06/, and Poland /1949.10.07/.

To put it briefly, you could say that the past 70 years of relations between Mongolia and China is a model for friendly relations and a realized partnership for neighboring countries. Thus in 2019, we came to the decision to mark the anniversary in a way that is accessible, easy to understand, and beneficial for the two countries and peoples by co-organizing various events, successfully implementing the planned events throughout the year.

For instance, a series of events on politics, trade, and economy, and humanitarian sectors as well as in regional partnership are being co-organized. To name a few, in the political sector, President of Mongolia Kh.Battulga did a state visit to the People’s Republic of China at the invitation of President of PRC Xi Jinping in April, and attended the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Vice President of PRC Wang Qisan also did a visit in Mongolia in July at the invitation of Prime Minister of Mongolia U.Khurelsukh, as an honored guest of the National Naadam Festival.

Furthermore, there have been many events that were organized in the culture-humanitarian sector. In September this year, cultural days events of China and Inner Mongolia were organized in the capital and in some parts of the country. The events included multi-ethnic cultural performances of China, Chinese movie days, ethnic cuisines as well as the Chinese folk arts of paper cutting and embroidery, and the book launch of the Mongolian translation of Chinese classic and modern literary works—a rich series of events have taken place.

There is a lot of significance and results of all these events. We consider all of the year-round events being organized as a significant boost to fortify the two countries’ relations, actively cooperate, enhance mutual trust, and strengthen friendly relations.

- Could you highlight events, in which Mongolia was promoted in our southern neighbor in the framework of the anniversary?

-Exchange programs for children and youth, mutual visits of the media sector, reporting, joint scientific conferences of scholars—this year has been full of many events and activities.

To highlight a few of the events, the Mongolia-China Expo was successfully organized in Hohhot and Ulanqab cities of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China in early September. During the expo, various events were organized to create new opportunities for business owners and officials in the sectors of food, agriculture, environment, tourism and the small and medium enterprises in aims of further developing bilateral trade and economic partnership.

The ‘Mongolian cultural days’ events will also be organized in Beijing and several cities of China in October. In its framework, our top performances will take place in the cities. Photography and artwork exhibitions depicting the development, way of living, and exquisite nature of modern Mongolia alongside eventto promote ancient and modern literary works will also be taking place.

- The many construction works that were done with the non-refundable aid of China during the 50s and 60s continues to be a symbol of friendship for the two nations’ peoples. Could you highlight some of the great moments of the friendly relations between the two countries in the past 70 years?

- Yes, many of the infrastructure, apartment complexes, factories, and power plants that were built through the non-refundable aid and soft loans from PRC between 1950-1960 continues to be used even to this day. For instance, just in Ulaanbaatar, we have the State Department Store, the Peace Bridge, Sports Palace, the third thermal power plant, the Ulaanbaatar-Nalaikh road, and the glass factory in Nalaikh district, while we also have many more that we could name, such as the match factory in Selenge aimag, and an irrigation system in Kharkhorin.

I would also like to highlight that these types of construction work that serves as a symbol of friendship is still being done in this modern time. This includes the construction of the new Wastewater Treatment Plant, the project on transforming the ger districts into apartment complexes, the 20.9km road between Ulaanbaatar and Nalaikh, the highway to the airport, the flyover crossing over the Narny Road, the 67km road between Tosontsengel and Uliastai soums of Zavkhan aimag, the 127km road en route Bayankhongor-Gobi-Altai aimag as well as many others. All of these projects being implemented in the framework of the partnership are beneficial to the development of Mongolia and the Mongolian people.


- In 2014, President of the PRC Xi Jinping did a state visit to Mongolia, bringing the relations between the two countries to a new era of comprehensive strategic partnership. As a result, the high-level relations between the two countries stabilized. Would you please give information on future high-level visits?

 -This year, President of Mongolia Kh.Battulga did a state visit to the PRC in April and attended the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. And during the National Naadam Festival in July, Vice President of the PRC Wang Qisan also paid a visit to Mongolia. The two sides will continue to implement regular high-level visits. Visits and events will continue to be organized as according to the plan for this year.


- The aid and investment being done by the PRC have steadily increased in the last few years. If you could tell us more on this:

 -As of 2018, investment of about USD 4.4 billion was done in Mongolia from the PRC. There are currently over 10,000 entities of PRC registered in Mongolia.

To mention some of the non-refundable aids given by the PRC, the Chinese side announced the non-refundable aid of CNY 1 billion during the state visit of the President of the PRC Xi Jinping in 2014, and the non-refundable aid of CNY 2 billion during the visit of Prime Minister J.Erdenebat in 2017. In the framework of the aid, the Development Center for Children with Disabilities, the project on 1,008 household apartments, the project on enhancing the infrastructure of the border checkpoint as well as many other large-scale projects on social development that are beneficial to the people, such as the construction of 7 schools and 1 kindergarten are being implemented.

In the framework of the soft loan, the sides came to the decision to implement a total of 12 projects /2 projects with the financing of USD 300 million and 10 projects with financing of USD 500 million were implemented/, and 11 projects with financing of USD 1 billion in 2014. For instance, the construction project on the electric line between Ulaanbaatar and Mandalgobi and its substation has been implemented, with projects on the construction of the 20.9km road between Gachuurt junction and Nalaikh-Choir, and the new Wastewater Treatment Plant currently being implemented. The project on the Erdeneburen Hydropower Plant has also been decided to be financed from this source.


-How should Mongolia participate in the Belt and Road initiative initiated by the President of the PRC Xi Jinping?

-The two sides decided to have correlation between the Development Road and the Belt and Road initiatives, signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Mongolia and the Government of the PRC in 2017. In its framework, a joint plan has been developed, in which the measures to be implemented have been defined. Aside from the projects and programs to be implemented on both sides, it has also become necessary to develop a tripartite partnership. For example, in the case of the Program on Establishing Economic Corridor between Mongolia, China, and Russia, we are actively working together with our two neighbors.


The sides signed the agreement on the Program on Establishing Economic Corridor between Mongolia, China, and Russia in June 2016. As according to the program, 32 projects on road, transport, and infrastructure will be implemented. And for starters, we have come to the decision to implement three important projects in the near future, which includes the renovation of the main railway corridor, active use of the AH-3 route of the Asian Highway network, as well as the renovation of the energy system.


            The side of Mongolia is interested in actively participating in the construction work being done in the framework of the Belt and Road initiative, and reach realized results. We are currently working on matters, such as taking initiative to create Awards for young diplomats for future peace, progress, and prosperity to support young diplomats’ participation for peace actions.


    - What kind of advancements and new opportunities are being made in the friendly relations between the two countries?

-Before we talk about advancements and new opportunities for development, we must discuss the current level of relations and partnership between Mongolia and China, its unique features and future prospects. To start it off, the relations between Mongolia and China are currently at its historic peak. From this viewpoint, you could say that the relations and partnership between the two sides have been brought a new level. The sides have agreed on this fact during the mutual high-level visits and meetings.

Nurturing a mutually beneficial and friendly relationship with the PRC is a priority of Mongolia’s foreign policy. As eternal neighbors, we consider the relations between the two sides having become a model relation not only in the region, but also internationally as it has developed in a way that is mutually beneficial for development. Currently, we are carefully observing President of the PRC Xi Jinping’s consistent development policy on enriching the comprehensive strategic partnership with new content that fully matches the interests of our country.

The relations of our two countries are developing at a healthy, yet fast pace. Reaching the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership means that we are paying attention to the relations and partnership in all sectors and all levels. Furthermore, strategic partnership means that rather than only being limited to high-level officials, it now covers a wider range. We could take the regional relations and partnership near the borders of our two countries as an example. Relations and partnership between the two countries are actively taking place at border checkpoints and regions.

From the development of relations between Mongolia and China, it can be clearly seen that a small and a large country can respect each other’s interests and develop a mutually beneficial partnership.

             Giving special significance to the relations with neighboring countries, the Government of China’s policy on being friendly and open, and sharing the benefits of the partnership is creating the opportunity to develop bilateral relations on a wider scale. We are currently observing and supporting how President of the PRC Xi Jinping’s principle to be “genuine, open, and accessible” fully matches with the interests of neighboring countries, such as our country.

An important part of our bilateral relations is the partnership in trade and economy. With the trade turnover between the two countries steadily increasing in the past 20 years, it is great that the trade turnover in 2017 was double the amount of 2010. As for the investment partnership, the Chinese side takes a large portion. Currently, China ranks second for the countries that have made investments to our country.

In the framework of reaching the goal of having the trade turnover reach USD 10 billion in 2020, special significance is being given to enhancing trade structure, diversifying export and increasing the amount of export for value-added products, especially that are of the agricultural and non-mining sectors.


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