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China and Mongolia should beef up cooperation

2013-04-08 09:27 China Daily     Web Editor: Wang Fan comment

China and Mongolia should take the chance to beef up cooperation as well as strategic mutual trust, President Xi Jinping told visiting Mongolian parliamentary speaker Zandaakhuu Enkhbold on Sunday.

The bilateral relationship is an important direction for China's diplomacy with neighbors, Xi said on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2013.

Xi told the visiting chairman of the State Great Hural (parliament) of Mongolia that both sides should "show respect" on major issues including sovereignty, security and territorial integrity and take care of "each other's concerns".

Both sides should coordinate and promote the construction of infrastructure and financial cooperation, and China will cooperate with Mongolia in fields including intensive processing, new energy, agriculture and animal husbandry, Xi said.

Mongolia highly endorses China's neighborly friendship policy and hopes to maintain high-level mutual visits, Enkhbold said.

Bilateral cooperation is expected to be expanded in fields including the trade, energy and mineral sectors, agriculture and cross-border transportation, for which the Mongolian parliament is "willing to provide legal support", the speaker said.

In an exclusive interview with China Daily, Enkhbold said the economy is the "driving force" for the China-Mongolia strategic partnership.

Both nations upgraded their relations to the level of strategic partnership in 2011. "It is the highest level of cooperation Mongolia has so far reached with a foreign country," the parliamentary speaker said.

China has been a leading trade and investment partner for Mongolia.

Statistics show that bilateral trade in 2012 reached $6.6 billion and Mongolian exports to China amounted to around $3.9 billion, about 70 percent of Mongolia's total exports, according to the Chinese embassy in Mongolia.

The parliamentary speaker said "there are ample opportunities" ahead of the neighbors in various forms of cooperation - and economic cooperation will continue to serve as the driving force of bilateral ties.

Enkhbold highlighted the implementation of large projects, which he said would yield concrete results in the economic development of both countries.

Ulan Bator stresses the importance of the infrastructure sector as well as the sectors producing more value-added products in Mongolia. Opportunities are open for foreign investors, including the country's railway and energy sectors, he said.

"Given the geographic proximity of the two countries, each and every sector is full of opportunities to explore," he said, adding that tourism is among those areas in which greater bilateral cooperation is expected to occur.

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