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China, Russia, Mongolia to create economic corridor
September 12, 2014, 5:21 am

Xi held talks with his Russian and Mongolian counterparts Vladimir Putin and Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on 11 September 2014 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan [PPIO]

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) held talks with his Russian and Mongolian counterparts Vladimir Putin and Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on 11 September 2014 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan [PPIO]

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday proposed to construct an economic corridor linking China, Mongolia and Russia, during tripartite talks held between the leaders of the three countries in Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan.

Xi held talks with his Russian and Mongolian counterparts Vladimir Putin and Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on Thursday on the sidelines of the 14th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Xi said the trilateral summit is of “great significance to deepening mutual trust among the three parties, and pushing forward regional cooperation in Northeast Asia”.

The Mongolian President had suggested the three countries meet in a trilateral format.

“Naturally, the geographic proximity of Mongolia, Russia and China help us implement beneficial long-term projects in infrastructure, energy and mining. We have things to discuss and we find it important, feasible and useful to establish a regular dialogue,” Putin said during Thursday’s meet.

The Chinese President on Thursday said the three neighbours can dovetail Beijing’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative with Russia’s transcontinental rail plan and Mongolia’s Prairie Road program, to jointly build a China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor.

This could turn Mongolia into a “transit corridor” linking the Chinese and Russian economies.

Mongolia has a geographical expanse bigger than Japan, France and Spain put together.

The three sides must also strengthen traffic interconnectivity, facilitate cargo clearance and transportation, and study the feasibility of building a transnational power grid, said Xi.

On Thursday, the three leaders also decided to establish a consultation mechanism at the vice foreign ministerial level to coordinate and promote trilateral cooperation.

Landlocked-Mongolia is of growing strategic interest to both Russia-China and the US. The Chinese President’s proposal of an economic corridor is also aimed at countering Washington’s increased interest in the region.

China is the biggest trade partner of Mongolia, although the US also has significant defence ties with the country.

Xi on Thursday suggested the three nations step up cooperation through their think tanks, media, aside from aligning for environmental protection, and disaster prevention and relief.

On international cooperation, Xi said the three countries need to “jointly safeguard the basic norms governing international relations, advocate the new security concept of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and collaboration, and jointly promote the political resolution of international disputes and hot issues”.

Xi and Putin both reiterated invitations to Mongolia to participate in the joint activities China and Russia plan to hold next year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victories of the World Anti-Fascist War and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

The Mongolian President told Xi and Putin on Thursday that his country is keen on strengthening cooperation with the two allies within the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

 

TBP and Agencies

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