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Print Edition> World
UPDATED: June 13, 2010 NO. 24 JUNE 17, 2010
Diplomatic Dynamics (24)

China and Mongolia

China is set to launch feasibility studies on establishing a free trade area with Mongolia, said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during his recent visit to Ulan Bator.

Wen told Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaataryn Batbold on June 1 the two countries should cement trade ties while promoting cooperation in mineral resource development, infrastructure construction and finance.

Other areas of cooperation include energy, environmental protection and transportation, Wen said, adding China will continue to assist with Mongolia's economic and social development.

In terms of cultural and educational exchanges, Wen said China will offer 2,000 government scholarships to Mongolian students and arrange visits for 300 young people from Mongolia during the next five years. It will also explore the possibility of creating a youth exchange mechanism between the two countries.

China is Mongolia's largest trade partner and biggest source of foreign investment. Mongolia welcomes Chinese investors in areas such as infrastructure construction and the exploitation of mineral and energy resources, Batbold said.

China and Myanmar

Representatives from China and Myanmar signed 15 documents covering a wide range of fields including hydropower and natural gas pipeline construction during Premier Wen's visit to Myanmar—the first by a Chinese premier to the South Asian country in 16 years.

Both sides should increase interconnection of the two countries' infrastructure, while working to complete joint projects in energy, transportation and other areas on schedule, Wen told Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein on June 3.

Despite the impact of the global financial crisis, the two countries brought their bilateral trade volume to a new high last year, Wen said at a meeting in Myanmar's capital city Nay Pyi Taw.

Two-way trade amounted to $2.9 billion in 2009, up 10.7 percent over the previous year, according to China's official statistics.

During the visit, Wen and Thein Sein attended a commemorative event for the 60th anniversary of China-Myanmar diplomatic ties. The two leaders also took part in a handover ceremony for an international conference center constructed with Chinese aid.

From May 28 to June 3, Wen visited four Asian nations—South Korea, Japan, Mongolia and Myanmar.

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