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Strategic significance of second meeting by presidents of China, Russia and Mongolia

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

07-15-2015 15:18 BJT

By Gu Jianjun, post doctorate of Central Compilation and Translation Bureau

During the Twin Ufa Summits trip on July 9, 2015, President Xi Jinping attended the second meeting by heads of China, Russia and Mongolia. Presidents Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Tsakhia Elbegdorj have striven to strengthen cooperation with long-term strategic plans. President Xi suggested promoting comprehensive tripartite cooperation in international and regional politics, economics and humanities from a long-term perspective and strategic height. Deepening comprehensive strategic cooperation among the three countries has important economic and strategic considerations.

On the one hand, it helps promote implementation of China's One Belt, One Road Initiative. Focusing on real development needs, China, Russia and Mongolia look to economic cooperation for preferred and essential fields of strengthening tripartite cooperation. The three parties approved the mid-term development roadmap for tripartite cooperation between China, Russia and Mongolia. Some cooperative memos and agreements were signed by the three relevant ministries including a memorandum on compiling and building a planning outline of a China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridor, a framework agreement on creating favorable conditions to boost China-Russia-Mongolia trade cooperation and a framework agreement on the development of China-Russia-Mongolia frontier port cooperation.

Thus, construction of Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative, Trans-Eurasian Belt Development proposed by Russia, the Prairie Road by Mongolia will be linked more closely. This will effectively promote the building of China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridor and boost the regional economic cooperation and development of the entire Eurasian continent.

The Silk Road Economic Belt strategy in the One Belt, One Road Initiative covers not only southeastern but also northeastern Asian economic integration. Both are combined and lead to Europe. The tendency is to eventually integrate Eurasia economically.

The northernmost route starts from China and ends with Europe via Central Asia and Russia. The China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridor is the lifeline of the aorta. The Trans-Eurasian Belt Development proposed by Russia consists of the Trans-Siberian Railway and Baykal-Amurskaya Oblast railway reconstruction projects. This plays an important role of integrating the vast territory of Russia. The Prairie Road program advocated by Mongolia consists of five projects with a total investment of about $ 50 billion. The projects include a 997-kilometer expressway connecting China and Russia, a 1,100 kilometer-electrified railway and the extension of trans-Mongolian railways, gas and oil pipelines. The effective joining of the Silk Road Economic Belt, the Prairie Road and Trans-Eurasian Belt Development will boost the building of China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridor and promote practical cooperation projects including railways, roads, energy resources, logistics, transportation and agriculture.

The Zamyn-Üüd-Ulaanbaatar expressway project has been launched. It is the first expressway in Mongolia and the first program under the auspices of One Belt, One Road Initiative and the Prairie Road. It will not only promote the economic development of areas along the expressway but also China-Russia-Mongolia transit transport cooperation.

It is worth noting it will help ease Chinese geopolitical pressures in the Asia Pacific. China used to give priority to coastal or frontier defense.

Nowadays, oceans are of great significance for China. The tense situations in the East China and South China seas have drawn more Chinese government attention to the oceans. The Diaoyu Islands dispute will likely intensify between China and Japan in the East China Sea. China, the Philippines and Vietnam are facing the same situation about differences in the South China Sea.

Backed by the US and Japan, the Philippines and other countries are always acting provocatively. Japan even showed its malicious intention by meddling in the South China Sea. Japan and the Philippines on May 12, 2015 held their first joint naval exercises in disputed areas of the South China Sea. The location of the exercises was not far from Huangyan Island. In response to geopolitical tensions in the Asia-Pacific and to avoid headaches on two fronts, China needs a stable and reliable backup partner along its northern and western borders.

The establishment and operation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) safeguards and protects peace, security and stability in Central Asia as well as the Chinese western and northern borders. Since India and Pakistan joined SCO, the situation in South Asia is becoming stabilized. China's security situation in the west and southwest has greatly improved. China, Mongolia and Russia are the three largest neighbors on the Eurasian continent. They have a complicated historical relationship. China shares a border of over 4,700 kilometers with Mongolia and more than 4,300 kilometers with Russia.  The stable relationship of the three countries and border safety are vital to the national security of China.

Mongolia is only an observer country in SCO. Although China and Russia consented to Mongolia becoming a full member, it will take some time before it officially joins. In September 2014, President Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Tsakhia Elbegdorj launched the first three-leader meeting mechanism at the SCO Dushanbe Summit. The China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridor will cement the strategic interests of three countries more closely together.

Through cooperation in the SCO and the China-Russia-Mongolia leader meeting mechanism, China basically ensured backyard security. This will relieve pressure being exerted by the United States in the Asia-Pacific and offer a greater room diplomatic maneuvering. It also offers China more opportunities to deal with the issue of the Diaoyu Islands and the South China Sea.



( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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