Foreign and Military Affairs

Mongolia keen to boost relations

Updated: 2011-06-18 07:34

By Ma Liyao (China Daily)

Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

BEIJING - China's growth "does not pose any threats" to regional peace and development, but provides opportunities, said visiting Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold on Friday.

Sharing a more than 4,700-kilometer frontier with China, the longest land border on both sides, Mongolia now hopes to further boost bilateral ties with China in every way, Batbold told China Daily in an exclusive interview.

Mongolia and China signed 10 "milestone" agreements in areas such as education, trade, transportation and culture on Thursday.

"As friendly neighbors, we share the advantage of being mutually complementary to each other. That is why we aim to develop a strategic partnership with China," Batbold said.

China is a huge market, and currently accounts for more than 70 percent of Mongolia's foreign trade, and there is still potential to raise that figure, he added.

Bilateral trade between China and Mongolia was $3.9 billion in 2010, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

There is huge complementarity between the two countries' economies, as Mongolia is famous for its rich natural resources and China is good at manufacturing, Wang Xiaolong, Chinese ambassador to Mongolia, said in an interview with Chinese media on Thursday.

Aluminum Corp of China is now bidding to acquire a minority interest in Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi mine, one of the largest copper and gold mines in the world.

Mongolia may soon become a substantial producer of mineral resources, so it is in the common interests of Mongolia and China, a major investor in mining projects, to work together in this respect, Batbold said.

However, he noted that Mongolia's weak infrastructure is one of the obstacles to stepping up economic cooperation with China.

"We hope that the construction of more rail links between the two countries will certainly increase the flow of trade and tourists."

As a Northeast Asian nation, Mongolia has been working to promote regional cooperation and integration.

In 2000, Mongolia proposed to establish a dialogue mechanism to discuss Northeast Asian regional issues.

It is also a member state of the Greater Tumen Initiative, a joint mechanism including China, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and Russia to provide a multilateral forum to promote regional cooperation for economic growth, peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

The region has great potential to become an engine for global economic growth, Batbold said in a speech at Tsinghua University.

However, a lack of political mechanisms to discuss regional security issues and cooperation could hamper this process.

Mongolia is also interested in and closely following the development of trilateral cooperation among China, Japan and the ROK, said Batbold, adding that China's role in maintaining regional peace and security is important in Northeast Asia.

This advancing trilateral process has captured Mongolia's attention, as there is the possibility that it may become a first step toward the creation of a multilateral regional cooperation mechanism in Northeast Asia, he noted.

"Mongolia has high expectations about future regional cooperation in Northeast Asia and we are looking forward to becoming an active member of the Northeast Asian regional community."

Sun Yuanqing contributed to this story.

China Daily

(China Daily 06/18/2011 page7)



China is taking bigger strides to become a force in fashion.

Lasting Spirit
Running with the Beijingers
A twist in the tale

European Edition


Mom’s the word

Italian expat struggles with learning English and experiences the joys of motherhood again.

Lenovo's challenge

Computer maker takes on iconic brand apple with range of stylish, popular products

Big win

After winning her first major title, Chinese tennis star could be marketing ace for foreign brands

Vice-President visits Italy
Sky is the limit
Quest for green growth