Beijing is ready to expand cooperation with Moscow and Ulan Bator, the Chinese president has said
China will make further efforts to strengthen its already robust economic ties with Russia and Mongolia, Chinese President Xi Xinping said at a meeting with his Mongolian counterpart, Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh, on Thursday. Beijing intends to develop an economic corridor linking the three nations, he explained.
“China is ready to expand the trilateral cooperation with Mongolia and Russia and to continuously work on the establishment of the trilateral economic corridor,” Xi said during the meeting, according to China Central Television.
The China-Russia-Mongolia Economic Corridor project was first launched back in 2016 and has been in development ever since. The major trade route linking the three neighbors would both aid regional development and contribute to global integration projects by strengthening “the synergy among the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union and Mongolia’s Prairie Road vision,” Chinese media reported on Wednesday.
A UN agency supporting developing nations has previously praised the project, noting in a report that Mongolia’s strategic location between Russia and China offers it “a unique opportunity to strengthen trade linkages between Asia and Europe while expanding its reach to new markets.”
In mid-September, Moscow also hailed the growing cooperation with China and Mongolia, saying that relations between the three neighbors have been developing “dynamically and fruitfully.” At that time, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Xi and Khurelsukh on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.
“All the agreements reached in a trilateral format: Russia-Mongolia-China are being implemented,” the Russian leader said last month, adding that they had achieved visible progress in the fields of trade, industries, sciences, and advanced technologies. The president also called for the economic corridor program to be extended for another five years.
On Wednesday, Xi also expressed hope for the speedy construction of a major gas pipeline connecting his country to Russia through Mongolia. The project will contribute to the nations’ energy security and strengthen the ties between the two neighbors, the Chinese leader said.
The project, dubbed the Power of Siberia 2, will bring natural gas from Russia’s Yamal peninsula to China. Previously, those gas fields served the EU market through several pipelines, including Nord Stream, which was sabotaged in September 2022. Now, Russia is reorienting its gas exports to Asia amid sanctions the US and its allies have imposed against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict.
October 19, 2023 at 08:36PM