Chinese President Xi speaks at Mongolian parliament

World Today

Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded a two-day state visit Friday with an address at the Great Hural, Mongolia’s parliament. CCTV-America’s Jin Yingqiao reports.

“We will uphold the guidelines of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in neighborhood diplomacy,” Xi said.

Watch a replay of President Xi’s speech

Xi said that China would always respect Mongolia’s independence, territorial integrity and right to make its own decisions.

China’s president is the country’s first head of state to visit Mongolia in 11 years, emphasizing the growing ties between the two nations. Mongolians are now looking to China to help lift their ailing economy amid a sharp decline in foreign investment and delays in exploiting the country’s abundance of coal, copper and other mineral resources.

The Chinese President and his Mongolian counterpart, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, signed a joint declaration on Thursday to upgrade bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership. They both pledged to almost double their annual two-way trade to $10 billion by 2020, while Beijing agreed to give Mongolia access to ports in its north and northeast from which to export its resources.

China accounts for more than half of the country’s external trade and receives almost 90 percent of its exports, mainly copper, coal and animal products, while supplying 37 percent of its imports. Bilateral trade has soared over the past decade, reaching $6 billion last year.

Despite those economic ties, Mongolia has been resolute in treading its own political path. In the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet empire and loss of subsidies from Moscow, Mongolia transitioned into a democracy and a market economy and adopted a “third neighbor” policy to court nations like the United States and Japan and reduce its reliance on its two giant neighbors.

Chinese President Xi speaks at Mongolian parliament

President Xi made the remarks while delivering a speech at Mongolia's parliament, the Great Hural.

Report compiled with information from CCTV News and The Associated Press

Complete transcript of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech to the Mongolian parliament

Distinguished President and Mrs. Elbegdorj,
Distinguished Chairman Enkhbold,
Distinguished Prime Minister Altankhuyag,
Members of the State Great Hural of Mongolia, ministers and guests,
Ladies, gentlemen and friends:

Hello everyone! Today, having the opportunity to come to the State Great Hural of Mongolia and meet with you here, I feel delighted. First, on behalf of the Chinese government and people and myself, I’d like to extend my sincere greetings and best wishes to you, and through you to all people of Mongolia.

In 2008, as Vice President of China, my first trip outside China included a visit to Mongolia. When I stepped onto this beautiful land, I deeply felt this is a place with nature’s treasures. The famous Mongolian writer Natsagdorj wrote in his poem “My Native Land”

High stately mountains Khentei, Khangai and Soyon,
Forests and thick-wooded ridges-the beauty of the North,
The Great Gobi desert-the spaces of Menen, Sharga and Nomin,
And the oceans of sand deserts that dominate the South;
This, this is my native land,
The lovely country; My Mongolia.

After six years, I’ve come again to Mongolia and see thriving prosperity. When I was going from the airport to Ulaanbaatar, I saw more works of architecture on my way. I see a place filled with vitality. I feel truly happy and would like to give my heartfelt congratulations to the brave and hard-working Mongolians for their progress and achievements!

Yesterday, I held talks with President Elbegdorj. I also met with Chairman Enkhbold and Prime Minister Altankhuyag. I had an in-depth exchange of opinions with Mongolian leaders on China Mongolia relations and issues of common concern. The two sides decided unanimously to enhance the China Mongolia relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership and issue a joint declaration. In addition more than 20 cooperation documents have been signed in areas such as politics, economics, trade and culture. I am very satisfied with the achievements made during this visit, and I feel more confident about China Mongolia relations.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends!

“The strength of a horse is tested over a long distance, and a human heart is known by the test of time.” 65 years ago, China and Mongolia officially established diplomatic relations. Mongolia was one of the first countries to recognize New China. We will not forget your support for us. Let me say this again: No matter what changes may come in terms of international or regional conditions, China will abide by the the Sino-Mongolian friendly cooperation treaty, respect the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity of Mongolia, respect Mongolia’s own development path. This is a policy we will always uphold.

We are happy to see that Sino-Mongolian relations have entered the next sixty years, and is progressing towards a higher level. Especially in the past 20 years, when there have been constant high-level exchanges, and political trust was deepened. The two countries’ economic cooperation is also developing fast. China has been Mongolia’s largest trade partner and investment destination for several years in a row. In 2012, over 1.3 million people made trips across the border, among them, there were over 1 million Mongolians entering the Chinese border. It’s fair to say that the time is now ripe to build a comprehensive strategic partnership. And it marks that Sino-Mongolian relations have entered the best time in history.

China and Mongolia are friendly neighbours that share common borders. We are both important nations in the region. This year marks the 65th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, 20th anniversary of the creation of the Sino-Mongolian friendly cooperation treaty , and the Year of Sino-Mongolian Friendly Exchanges. The two sides should regard building the comprehensive strategic partnership as an opportunity, to bring the Sino-Mongolian relations to a higher level.

First of all, China and Mongolia should be good neighbours that look out for and help each other. No matter how the global conditions change, China and Mongolia should firmly hold the right direction of bilateral ties, and think about more about each other from the standpoint of a strategic partner. We should firmly back each other in terms of sovereignty, security, territorial integrity, and other important issues that touch our core interests.

The two countries should keep up high level exchanges. Leaders of China and Mongolia can, through various means, keep up regular meetings to strengthen strategic communication, and deepen political trust. I’d like to invite President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj to China to attend the Mutual-Communicating Partner Dialogue meeting during the November APEC meeting. China welcomes Mr. Miyeegombo Enkhbold to pay an official visit this year. China and Mongolia have already decided to build mechanisms to allow communication of the two countries’s legislative bodies on a regular basis, and the mechanism for the two countries’ diplomatic bodies to hold strategic dialogues. The two sides will keep strengthening the cooperation in national defense, within the framework of defense security dialogue.

China supports Mongolia joining a host of regional groupings, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the East Asian meeting, to help boost its cooperation with countries in the region. China also supports the North-east Asia Security Ulaanbaatar Dialogue Initiative, proposed by the Mongolian side. China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Mongolia within multiple frameworks that include the United States, the Asia-Europe Meeting, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

China is willing to enhance cooperation with Mongolia under the Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative, and holds a supportive and open attitude towards the Savanna Road initiative proposed by the Mongolian side. The two sides can strengthen cooperation through these new platforms and others, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, to increase mutual development and benefits.

Second, China and Mongolia should maintain a good partnership that has mutual benefits and win-win visions. As a saying goes, “A water-front pavilion gets the moonlight first”. China and Mongolia enjoy close geographic proximity. Our economies are complementary. China’s market, capital, technology, and development path can complement Mongolia’s rich resources, which will generate many opportunities for cooperation. Last year, China’s total volume of commodity imports and exports reached 4.16 trillion US dollars. In the coming five years, China is forecast to import commodities worth more than 10 trillion US dollars. Its investments abroad are estimated to exceed 500 billion US dollars. Last year, nearly 100 million foreign trips were made by Chinese nationals. The number is expected to exceed 150 million per year by 2020. The continuous growth of China will bring huge market opportunities for its cooperative partners including Mongolia.

During my visit, issues like cross-border transport and harbour construction, that the Mongolian side has long been interested in, have been handled and solved properly. The two sides have established the Mines, Interconnection and Interworking Cooperation Committee, signed the “Mid-term Development Outline for China-Mongolia Economic and Trade Cooperation”, and confirmed the goal of reaching 10 billion US dollars in bilateral trade by 2020. The two sides have conducted in-depth discussions in port and railway cooperation, reaching consensus on both issues. The two sides have also decided to expand a bilateral currency swap mechanism to 15 billion RMB. The two sides agreed to study the possibility of establishing a Cross-Border Economic Cooperation Zone in areas including Chinese northeastern city of Erenhot, and Zamyn-Uud on the Mongolian side. The two countries will also carry out comprehensive cooperation in mineral processing, new energy, electric power, agriculture, livestock, and environmental protection. These new cooperation platforms will definitely benefit the people of both countries, and bring tangible results to them.

Third, China and Mongolia need to be good friends with frequent contacts. When you are familiar with the road, it’s easier to walk. And if you are familiar with a person, it will become easier to talk. Yesterday, during my conversation with President Elbegdorj, we decided to increase people-to-people exchanges, provide mutually convenient visa policies, continue to strengthen regular exchanges among the youth and media, and build an enabling social environment to promote China-Mongolia friendship.

China welcomes more Mongolian nationals to study, travel, do business, and receive medical treatment in our country. In the next five years, China will provide training to 1,000 Mongolian nationals, add an additional 1,000 full government scholarships, provide training to 500 Mongolian students in China, and invite 500 young Mongolians, and 250 Mongolian journalists to visit China. We will also offer 25 translated Chinese TV dramas and films free of charge to Mongolia. I believe these measures will play a vital role in boosting mutual understanding and friendship.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

At present, the Chinese people are working to attain our national development goal. We will try to build up a well-off society by 2020, and build up a strong, prosperous, democratic, civilized, harmonious, and modern socialist country. We gave a vivid term for this goal. It is the Chinese dream, which is realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Meanwhile, the Mongolian people are also working to reform their country and develop their economy and society. We can say Mongolian people also have a Mongolian dream.

China’s reform, opening up, and modernization drive will influence and complement the development of our neighbors, including Mongolia. The development strategy of our two countries could be well aligned to promote common development and common prosperity.

In the meantime, we are keenly aware that achieving the national development goal is not easy for China, which has 1.3 billion people and uneven development. We still have a long way to go and need to make greater efforts for a long time. The attainment of the national development goal must be based on a sound regional environment. Only with a peaceful environment at our front door can we develop ourselves with ease and comfort.

As China strength has grown, some in the world have raised skepticism about China’s future direction. They are concerned that a strong China may pose a threat to other countries. This is either a misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.

China has repeatedly expressed publicly, that we are determined to stick to a peaceful development path, and are determined to push for the peaceful development of the world. China will actively take on more international responsibilities, and cooperate with other countries to protect humanity and international justice, to balance the scales and uphold justice in global and regional affairs. China will stand by resolving differences and conflicts through dialogue, with the utmost sincerity and patience.

China also has repeatedly expressed publicly, that we respect other nations’ right of choosing their own way of development, and will never impose our will on others, nor will we allow others to impose their will on us. We uphold peaceful means to resolve international conflicts, and we oppose any form of hegemonism and the practice of power politics. We will never seek hegemony, nor seek expansion. The Chinese are a peace-loving people. Chinese culture advocates the idea of harmony. Over the five thousand years of Chinese civilization, we have been pursuing peace and harmony. For us, harmony and friendliness are gold. And we have a saying, do unto others as you would be done by. These legacies have been passed down the generations, and are deeply rooted in the Chinese spirit, and deeply reflected in our behaviors. Since ancient times, the Chinese have been actively engaged in trade with the outside world, not invasion of other countries. We advocate patriotism to protect our homes and defend our countries, not colonialism. China’s modern history is a history of disastrous misery and humiliation, a history of great resistance against foreign invasions, and the pursuit of national independence. Therefore, we value peace more than anything else, and will never inflict such miseries as we suffered from onto other nations. Chinese people will pursue friendly relationships and harmonious development with other nations, to seek peace together, to protect the peace, and to share the peace.

The history of China’s more than 30 years of reform and opening-up has demonstrated China’s strategic choice of peaceful development rests on its national conditions, social system and cultural traditions. This has served China’s fundamental interests, neighboring countries’ interests and the interests of other countries around the world. We have no reason to change it.

China has always viewed its neighboring countries including Mongolia as a cooperative partner for common development, a sincere friend in maintaining peace and stability. China has established various forms of partnership with our neighboring countries. We will adhere to the policy of good-neighborliness and partnership with countries adjacent to us. We will adhere to the policy of creating an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood. In getting along with neighboring countries, we will stick to the principle of being friendly, earnest, inclusive for the mutual benefit of both sides.

“Great things may be done by mass effort.” China is willing to provide opportunities and space of common development with neighboring countries including Mongolia, so that they may benefit from China’s development. There is an old saying that “if you want to go quickly, go alone, but if your want to go far, go together.” I have said many times that China will adhere to viewpoint of justice and respect each other’s interests when cooperating with developing countries. Chinese people insist that a “promise must be kept and actions must be resolute”. Chinese people will deliver what is promised.

Ladies, gentlemen and friends!

There is an old saying of Mongolia that the neighbors understand each other and share a common fate. Chinese people always say a good neighbor cannot be exchanged even for gold. China has the most number of neighboring countries in the world. We regard this as our valuable asset.

Today, Asia is the most vibrant economic region in the world, but it faces a number of challenges and differences. Therefore, it is vital that we, Asian countries correctly handle relations with our neighbours, achieve peaceful coexistence, mutual development and resolve relevant disputes properly. As far as I am concerned, when addressing this problem, the key lies in keeping up with the trend of the times and popular feeling. We should insist on the principle of mutual respect, seeking common ground while reserving differences, keeping a vision for the future and achieving win-win cooperation. Let’s try to use the wisdom of the East to solve more issues, ease tensions and promote harmony.

60 years ago, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence was initiated by China, India and Myanmar. It later became the basic principle directing healthy relations among countries and provided a huge contribution for development of international relations. In the process of promoting regional cooperation, Asian countries have exchanged and communicated with each other, insisting on an Asian way, which focuses on mutual respect, reaching consensus and caring for others. This way of handling our relations is a tradition which is suitable for the region. This tradition reflects how Asian countries get along with their neighbours. Therefore, it should be carried forward, stimulating constant endogenous dynamics for peace, development and cooperation among Asian countries and in the whole region. To insist on and practice this tradition, we should meet requirements for the following points.

Mutual Respect and Mutual Trust. In history, many Asian countries suffered heavily from foreign invasions so today, they cherish their sovereignty and independence. They hold ideals of showing respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries, as well as the independent choice of a country’s social system and development path. Asian countries also follow the principle of mutual non-interference in internal affairs, and taking care of each other’s major concerns has become an important basis for friendly relations in the region. Asia is famous for its diversity and has a tradition of opening up and tolerance. Asian countries should promote various cultural communication platforms and dialogues, strengthen mutual understanding and mutual recognition, in order to lay a solid foundation for stability and prosperity in Asia.

—-Accumulate consensus while addressing differences
Despite friendly cooperation being the mainstay throughout the history of Asian countries’ communication and exchanges, some problems still remain. It is unavoidable that neighbouring countries will encounter differences and disputes. The key is how to handle them. Building consensus and resolving differences through dialogue and cooperation is the most effective way to prolong political stability in this region. We shall keep focus on overall interests, conduct friendly consultation, join hands in participation of the international and regional management, and play an active role role in promoting the international political and economic order in a more fair and reasonable direction.

—-Win win cooperation
Economic development and improving people’s livelihoods are the most important tasks facing Asian countries. Strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation is an important adhesive to promoting harmony in Asia. Asian countries should uphold the ideal of uniting for self improvement and offer mutual support and assistance to each other. They should also complement each other’s advantages, expand the convergence of interests, and join hands in promoting the construction of free trade zones. Interconnection and intercommunication must also be strengthened to deepen regional economic integration, achieve common development, make a bigger pool of common interests, and promote the well-being of the Asian people.

Ladies, gentlemen, friends!

As I visit Mongolia, I deeply feel the friendship has been rooted in the hearts of the people of the two countries. It is the greatest source of confidence and motivation in the development of the two countries’ relations. I believe, in the support of people in both countries, China-Mongolia relations will have an even brighter future.

2014 is the year of the horse in China and Mongolia. The horse is a symbol of power and progressiveness. It is adored by people in both countries. I sincerely wish for Mongolia’s state construction to be full of vigor, like ten thousand horses galloping ahead. I sincerely wish the two countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership spurs ahead like a flying horse, and achieves instant success. Let us work hand in hand, and sow the seeds of friendship in the hearts of people in the two countries.

Thank you!