China, Russia and Mongolia inked a development plan here on Thursday to build an economic corridor linking the three neighbors, pledging to boost transportation connectivity and economic cooperation in border regions.
The plan was signed after a meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent ahead of an annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
While chairing the trilateral meeting, the third of its kind, the Chinese president reviewed the achievements the three countries have made in implementing their mid-term roadmap for cooperation, saying progress and positive results have been made in such areas as trade and economy, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, transit transport, tourism and sports.
“The Chinese side is satisfied with the momentum of our trilateral cooperation,” Xi said.
He proposed that the three countries continue to center on the aligning of China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative, Russia’s development strategies, especially its transcontinental rail plan, and Mongolia’s Steppe Road program to actively advance the trilateral cooperation.
Xi called on the three countries to well implement the development plan to build the economic corridor and strengthen cooperation in transportation infrastructure connectivity, port construction, industrial capacity, investment, trade and economy, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and environmental protection, thus producing outcomes at an early date.
“We three sides should actively engage in the discussion of building cross-border economic cooperation zones, enhance industrial tie-in, boost sub-regional cooperation in our adjacent areas, and promote the common development of our adjacent areas,” Xi said.
The Chinese president also urged the three countries to expand cooperation within the framework of the SCO, especially in such areas as transit transportation, food security, disaster reduction and energy.
Putin said Russia, China and Mongolia are friendly neighbors based on equality, respect and mutual benefit.
He said Russia, in light of the three countries’ consensus, is committed to working with China and Mongolia to well implement the projects of transportation and infrastructure construction, speed up simplifying port procedures, and promote regional economic integration process.
Russia is also willing to increase cultural and people-to-people exchanges with the other two countries, he added.
For his part, Elbegdorj said the development plan on the economic corridor linking the three countries is very important, adding that Mongolia stands ready to join hands with China and Russia to advance the construction of transportation infrastructure and strengthen economic cooperation in border regions.
Mongolia also hopes to enhance cooperation with the other two countries in agriculture and disaster relief, he said.
After the meeting, the three heads of state also witnessed the signing of a trilateral agreement on the mutual recognition of the customs supervision results on certain commodities.
The 16th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State is scheduled to be held in Tashkent on Thursday and Friday.