Mongolia to be connected to Yangtze river economic belt

On 6-8th November, 2015 the “International Tea Forum” organized by the Chinese Culture Promotion Society in Chibi city of Hubei province was attended by over 100 representatives from over 30 countries and head by representatives from Mongolia, the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China.

Representatives of Mongolia and attendees at the event were the Vice Chairman of the Great State Assembly L.Tsog, the President of the Peace and Friendship Organization of Mongolia D.Zagdjav, Governor of Tuv aimag D.Bayarbat, Special mission envoy, Secretary of the Peace and Friendship Organization of Mongolia and former Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs G.Tenger, Director of the Department of Neighboring Countries of the Peace and Friendship Organization of Mongolia E.Undraa, Head of the General Authority for Border Control, Colonel G. Byambasuren. The event is aimed at implementing the “Silk Road Economic Belt” or “One Belt, One Road” strategic policy initiated by the PRC and restoring the ancient “Tea Route” by developing and promoting culture, tourism and commerce in the cities along the route as well as fulfill the “Yangtze river economic belt and the Tea Route” policy.

The decision to create the “Yangtze river economic belt” was made by the President of the PRC Xi Jinping during a visit to Chibi city and organized this year as the “Yangtze river economic belt and Tea Route”. The “Yangtze river economic belt” is aimed to connect Northeastern Asia with Western Europe and the President of the Russian Federation V.Putin initiated the “Volga river economic belt” to join the “Yangtze river economic belt”. President D.Zagdjav proposed the “Selenge river economic belt” to correspond to the initiatives proposed by the two neighboring countries in his presentation during the International Tea Forum. “Traditionally human life and civilization developed along rivers. Mongolia must support and work together with its neighbors the PRC’s “Yangtze river economic belt” initiative which passes along 11 provinces and the Russian Federation’s “Volga river economic belt” which passes through 13 provinces through the “Selenge river economic belt” he stated.

He also noted: “This complex measure has big implications for our economy. When talking about adhering to regional integration we cannot talk only of the “Steppe Road” free zone. We need to develop policy to resolve the issue comprehensively. There are several notable economic and commerce epicenters worldwide. The European economic center is in Paris, New York is an economic hub of the US etc. Our two neighbors are striving to reach the same goal.  Mongolia must not be outpaced from the policy of its neighbors but actively participate and cooperate with its neighbors in all spheres. There are many opportunities for development within reach if Mongolian citizens, their government and economic entities take note and strive for this goal together.”

Compared to the Silk road the Tea route was established over a 1000 years later, however it had a significant impact on economic development of the cities along its route. Apart from the development of commerce it contributed to increasing friendly relations, cultural exchange and social harmony of the citizens of the three countries.

Lastly, Chibi city marks the starting point of China’s side of the tea route which passed through Mongolia, through to Hyagta, St.Petersburg in Russia and to the European subcontinent. The tea route strengthened friendly ties between the three neighbors, expanded the tea trade to Western Europe and contributed to the development of the cities along its route and served as a trade connection between Northeastern Asia and Western Europe and Chibi city is significant as it is located at the starting point of this important junction.