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China, Russia, Mongolia vow to strengthen trilateral cooperation

China, Russia, Mongolia vow to strengthen trilateral cooperation

BISHKEK: Presidents of China, Russia and Mongolia pledged to strengthen trilateral cooperation during their meeting here on Friday.

The trilateral meeting, the fifth of its kind, among Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga was held on the sidelines of the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.

The heads of state reviewed the achievements of trilateral cooperation and discussed the overall plan for the next phase.

Since the last gathering of the heads of state in China’s eastern port city of Qingdao last year, the three sides have maintained close communication and cooperation, and the trilateral cooperation has gradually developed, said Xi.

Noting that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the China-Russia and China-Mongolia diplomatic relations, Xi said China will hold celebrations with the two countries respectively.

Against the backdrop of rising protectionism and unilateralism, the three countries need to firmly promote regional cooperation and achieve common development, he said.

They should focus on the alignment of the three countries’ development strategies, promote comprehensive cooperation in all fields, and jointly release the positive signal of maintaining multilateralism and creating an open world economy, said Xi.

For the next phase, the three sides should deepen political mutual trust, increase mutual support, respect each other’s core interests, and strengthen coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs, Xi stressed.

The Chinese president said the three countries should promote the implementation of cooperative projects within the framework of the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, promote customs facilitation measures, upgrade major ports, and deepen sub-national cooperation.

The cooperation and coordination within the framework of the SCO should be expanded, said Xi.

Putin said Russia is committed to deepening its relations with China and Mongolia on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and is ready to step up cooperation to promote the synergy between the Eurasian Economic Union, the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, and Mongolia’s Steppe Road program.

He also called on the three parties to enhance inter-connectivity in transportation, expand trade, and bolster cooperation in energy and finance.

Battulga said it is Mongolia’s unswerving policy to deepen the friendly cooperation with China and Russia, adding that his country is committed to pushing forward the trilateral cooperation and the construction of the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor.

He called on the three sides to set up institutional arrangements so as to accelerate the construction of a network of cross-border highways, facilitate customs clearance, strengthen energy cooperation, and discuss the construction of regional power grids.