Xi calls for economic links with Russia, Mongolia

THE top leaders of China, Russia and Mongolia launched a three-party summit, during which President Xi Jinping proposed a three-way economic corridor featuring cross-border infrastructure and trade development.
Xi called for an economic corridor linking Beijing’s proposed Silk Road economic belt, Russia’s Trans-Eurasia railway and Mongolia’s passage to grassland initiative.
“They should also beef up interconnectivity by railway and road, facilitate customs clearance and study the construction of cross-border power grids,” Xi said at the meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj said the country hopes to boost infrastructure and cross-border transportation through cooperation with the other two.
Observers said the summit highlighted the countries’ eagerness for close ties to fuel their economies and firm up their strength in the region.
They have seen challenges in economic growth and world affairs, which makes working together the best choice, observers said.
Cooperation will mean more security along China’s northern border and a broader market, which will be a key for China’s Silk Road economic belt plan, said analysts.
It will be difficult for Mongolia to revive its sluggish economy and improve its international status if it continues sticking to its third neighbour policy, said Chen Yurong, a senior researcher at the China Institute of International Studies.
Mongolia has long upheld a third neighbour policy to strengthen cooperation with Western countries and international bodies. The mineral-rich country is experiencing its weakest growth in four years. Foreign investment plummeted 70% in the first half, Bloomberg reported. — China Daily/ Asia News Network
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