Mongolian president to visit China, reflecting excellent growth of comprehensive strategic partnership
Published: Nov 22, 2022 08:53 PM
President of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khurelsuh Photo:AFP

President of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khurelsuh Photo:AFP

President of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khurelsuh will pay a state visit to China from November 27 to 28, which reflects the high-level development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, expressing China's hope to work with Mongolia to take the visit as an opportunity to set a good example of neighborly relations and further deepen mutual trust and practical cooperation.

Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, announced on Tuesday that at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, President of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khurelsuh will visit China.

Zhao Lijian, another spokesperson at the ministry, said at the regular press conference later on Tuesday that during the visit, Xi will hold formal talks with Khurelsuh. The two presidents will jointly witness the signing of cooperation documents. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Li Zhanshu of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress will also meet with Khurelsuh, according to Zhao.

The leaders of the two countries will have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest, and jointly chart the future course of the growth of China-Mongolia relations, Zhao said.

The spokesperson noted that in 2018, Khurelsuh paid an official visit to China as Mongolian Prime Minister. In June 2021, Khurelsuh was elected president. The upcoming visit will be his first to China as Mongolian president, which will carry forward the friendship and the fine tradition of close high-level exchanges between the two countries and shows the excellent growth of China-Mongolia comprehensive strategic partnership.

China looks forward to working with Mongolia to take this visit as an opportunity to deepen our strategic mutual trust and practical cooperation and set an example in neighborly relations to elevate China-Mongolia relations to a new height, Zhao said.

Among the 14 countries which have land borders with China, China-Mongolia relations have remained stable, friendly and mutually beneficial for a long time, Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

In July 2021, Xi had a phone conversation with Khurelsuh, calling on both countries to enrich the connotation of their comprehensive strategic partnership, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

During the visit of the Mongolian leader, the high-level exchanges are likely to cover international hot-button issues such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the joint response to the complicated geographical security and politics, as well as regional and international governance, Da said.

In the context of regional tensions, a further deepening of China-Mongolia relations will undoubtedly inject certainty to the region, Da said.

Mongolia and China share a border of more than 4,700 kilometers, and both countries are strategic partners and friendly neighbors, exemplified by the fact that China has been Mongolia's largest source of investment and biggest trading partner for 18 consecutive years, media reports said.

The upcoming visit is expected to improve bilateral cooperation in food security and energy security, Da noted.

Given that China and Mongolia enjoy geographical support and have the basis and conditions for long-term cooperation, in the future, there will be broader space to strengthen cooperation in agriculture, animal husbandry and energy, the expert predicted.

In September, the heads of China, Mongolia and Russia extended the Outline of the Development Plan on Establishing the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor by five years in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, unleashing greater potential for regional prosperity while upgrading Mongolia's role as a transit hub. 

As an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the economic corridor aims to further strengthen trilateral cooperation between China, Mongolia and Russia by increasing trilateral trade volume, enhancing product competitiveness, strengthening transport facilitation and developing infrastructure through cooperation projects.

Considering China's market, capital and technology are highly complementary to Mongolia's resource enrichment advantages, and the two sides have much space for cooperation, experts believe that taking this state visit as an opportunity, the two countries will expand cooperation in trade, investment, finance, minerals and energy, connectivity, infrastructure, digital economy and green development, and push forward bilateral cooperation to a new high. 

Particularly worth mentioning is that cooperation on the construction of transportation routes and corridors has been greatly boosted in recent years, which has sped up logistics between China and Mongolia and greatly increased transport capacity for bulk commodities, especially mineral products. 

Currently, Mongolia is looking to dock multiple new railway lines with Chinese ports and hoping to provide strong traction for China-Mongolia economic and trade growth. 

Experts said there are many complementarities between the two countries in fields including minerals, road and corridor infrastructure construction, cross-border trade and commerce, among others. Cooperation highlights in the horse industry and cross-border grassland tourism are also expected.