BEIJING - Mongolia's prime minister pledged to strengthen trade and political
ties with China when he met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the start of a
China's Premier Wen Jiabao (L) and Mongolia's Prime Minister
Miyeegombo Enkhbold review an honour guard during a welcome ceremony at
the Great Hall of the People in Beijing November 22, 2006. [Reuters]
Wen welcomed Prime Minister Mieagombo Enkhbold at the Great Hall of the
People, the seat of the legislature, and said his trip would help advance
relations between the two neighboring countries.
"I am willing to develop relations between both countries by deep and
friendly exchanges of opinions with you," Wen said.
Enkhbold was to meet Wu Bangguo, the country's top legislator, and Jia
Qinglin, member of the Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee on
Thursday. He will also visit the western region of Xinjiang and Shaanxi province
in the north.
"We will push for the important future development of partnership and
discussions. We hope for the stable long-term development of friendly relations
and cooperation," Enkhbold told Wen.
The Mongolian and Chinese delegations signed several memoranda of
understanding, including a gift of 2,000 tons of wheat from China to Mongolia, a
special export loan of US$300 million, cooperation between the foreign
ministries of both countries in 2007 and cooperation on exploration of oil and
coal. No additional details were provided on the agreements.
According to the Xinhua News Agency, trade between China and Mongolia hit
US$1.13 billion (euro0.88 billion) in the first nine months of 2006, up by 88.8
percent over the same period last year. Its 2.5 million people live on a vast,
grassy steppe between Russia and China. Many are nomadic herders of cattle and
It is Enkhbold's first visit to China since taking office in January.
Last month, he survived a no-confidence vote in parliament amid complaints of
corruption and misconduct by officials of his government.
Critics have accused Enkhbold of misconduct in land sales during his former
term as mayor of Ulan Bator, Mongolia's capital and biggest city. Others accused
his ministers of incompetence and said they had failed to do enough to ease
poverty in the country, which suffered a sharp economic decline since