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Economic Corridor “China — Mongolia — Russia”: Infrastructure in Focus



With logistical flows redirected, Russia’s interest in the opportunities of east-bound transport routes, including transit via Mongolia to China and on to other destinations in Asia, has dramatically increased. Alongside with the crucial infrastructure—the functional Trans-Mongolian Railway [1]—other potential transit links could be in high demand. Enhancing cross-border infrastructure connectivity between Russia, Mongolia and China is an issue that has been discussed for many years, the main impetus being the China-propelled Belt and Road Initiative. Much of the projected infrastructure underpins the China-Mongolia Economic Corridor Program, jointly adopted in 2016 and aimed at competitive integration with global logistics routes and regional development. Despite low activity in practical delivery of the projects, the parties are still keen on cooperation, the best evidence being regular meetings between the heads of Russia, Mongolia and China that traditionally take place on the sidelines of the SCO summit. At their last Samarkand meeting in September 2022, the parties agreed on a five-year extension of the Program.

Standby mode

The China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor program means a conceptualization of the entire spectrum of trilateral cooperation. The initially approved list of 32 joint projects does not imply projects with specific volumes and deadlines—it’s just about prospective avenues for cooperation, which are subject to thorough elaboration, as well as preparation of project documentation and approval by the parties. Among the key priorities is an inter-connected development of transport infrastructure and a closer collaboration in cross-border transportation flows. In 2018, out of thirteen projects related to transport infrastructure, two were prioritized: namely, the comprehensive modernization of the Central Railway Corridor (Ulan-Ude — Naushki — Ulan-Bator — Erlian — Beijing — Tianjin) and the development of transit haulage along the AN-3 route of the Asian Highway Network (Ulan-Ude — Kyakhta — Ulan-Bator — Erlian — Tianjin).

The need for a comprehensive modernization of the Central Railway Corridor—constructing the second track and electrifying the existing Trans-Mongolian Railway—is long overdue, but there has been a certain supineness in addressing the problem, even in spite of the priority attached to this project. Meanwhile, freight transportation by rail has been steadily growing in recent years against the favorable background of the global trend for cargo containerization, although it is still way behind the transit via Kazakhstan. The Mongolian route accounts for some 9% of container freight turnover (estimated at 71,100 TEU containers in 2021) in Eurasian rail traffic passing through Russia. Currently, 60 routes of container trains between China and Europe run through the Central Railway Corridor. Further growth in the appeal of the Mongolian direction within the transcontinental carriage system is capped by capacity limitations of the main line, and it thus requires infrastructural transformations. While modernization of the Central Railway Corridor still requires a feasibility study, the expediency of building rail corridors in the Eastern (Borzya — Solovyevsk — Choibalsan — Huut — Bichigt — Zuun-Khatavch — Chifeng — Chaoyang — Jinzhou/Panjin) and Western (Kuragino — Kyzyl — Tsagan-Tolgoi — Kobdo — Takeshken — Hami-Urumchi area) flanks is a matter of debate.

Road transit via Mongolia awaits a full-fledged launch. The obstacles are many, including the level of road infrastructure development, difficulties in building logistics chains, and the limited capacity of border checkpoints. The AN-3 section of the highway between Darkhan and Ulan Bator is undergoing a protracted overhaul, with full commissioning not expected until late 2023.

Physical barriers to automotive transit through Mongolia are further exacerbated by institutional hassles. Although Russia, Mongolia and China signed an Intergovernmental Agreement on International Road Transport along the Asian Highway Network in 2016, China lifted restrictions on the use of the Transport International Route system only in 2019. However, the launch of international road transport, officially announced by a joint commission of transport authorities, never took place as the COVID-19 pandemic entered its adjustments. Practical testing of the motorway transit is still hampered by anti-COVID restrictions imposed at highway checkpoints, which remain in effect on the Mongolian-Chinese border.

In the meantime, the issue of natural gas transportation from Russia to China via Mongolia has unexpectedly gained traction. Although the pipeline construction is not included in the list of projects under the Economic Corridor Program, substantial work has been done by the three parties. In 2019, Gazprom was instructed to consider the option of constructing the Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline via Mongolia. In 2021, a special purpose company named Soyuz Vostok was founded, while works on the feasibility study of the project kicked off, and the year of the pipeline construction getting underway was announced — 2024. In January 2022, the results of the study on the trunk gas pipeline construction and operation were approved, paving the way for relevant design and survey works organized. Thus, the project is taking on clearer features, bringing new elements into the landscape of the cross-border infrastructure of the three nations.

A Renaissance of Mongolia’s infrastructure

Although all three nations are interested in the economic corridor, and a functional corridor is especially important for Mongolia as it directly affects the country’s socioeconomic development. [2] Infrastructural transformations are now critical for Mongolia, since the country is landlocked and the efficiency of its foreign trade is highly dependent on transport and logistics, including that at the borders with its neighbors, Russia and (especially) China. The planned renovation of infrastructure is not only aimed at promoting transit through Mongolia—the transformation implemented or planned is largely mandated by the need to transport the mineral resources developed over the past two decades. The large-scale development of coal, copper, gold, and other minerals for export to China generates new elements of infrastructure: roads, power lines, and border checkpoints. [3]

Mongolia’s constraints in infrastructure connectivity were particularly painful and acute during the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the load on the Trans-Mongolian railroad increased. This was triggered by the diversion of cargoes from motor and air transport, but the explosive growth of container shipments along the China-Europe route had an even greater impact. Second, with the onset of the pandemic, the vulnerability of motor transport to ensure smooth trade became apparent. The suspension of motor road checkpoints on the Russian-Mongolian border, as well as on the Mongolian-Chinese border, inexorably led to traffic congestions in border regions and resulting complications in supply chains, which ultimately affected foreign trade of many countries. Restrictive measures at highway checkpoints had a negative impact on the transportation of key export items — mining products, primarily coal. Tough measures ranging from the quarantine of truck drivers and multistep sanitization of transportation vehicles to the complete closure of border checkpoints during the outbreaks of COVID-19 resulted in a dramatic decrease of coal exports. Whereas Mongolia had exported 36.6 million tons of coal to China in pre-pandemic 2019, this amount dropped to 28.7 million tons in 2020, and to 16.1 million tons in 2021. [4]

Under these circumstances, Mongolia decided to accelerate its plans for railway network development approved by the Great State Khural of Mongolia back in 2010. At that time, a total of 5,700 km of railroads were planned to be built in three phases, which implied a huge change from the existing 1,900 km of rails. Later in 2018, the decree was amended to increase the length of the planned railway lines to 6.6 thou km. Yet in 2021, construction began only on two sections, connecting the large coal deposit Tavan Tolgoi with the Trans-Mongolian Railway (Zuunbayan station) and, on the other side, with the Gashuunsukhait checkpoint on the Chinese border.

In December 2021, the Mongolian government unveiled its New Renaissance Policy (“shine sertiin bodlogo”) that marked an important step in the adjustment of economic policy in the face of global challenges. In a nutshell, the Policy of New Renaissance represents the first stage in the long-term Vision-2050 strategy (“Alsyn Kharaa-2050”), being designed for the period of 2021–2030. The Policy targets six key areas: development of border checkpoints, energy sector, manufacturing industries, cities and villages, green development and public administration.

The revitalization of border checkpoints (“boomtien sergelt”) is not limited, as it may seem at first sight, to pinpoint or one-off measures to improve the infrastructure and engineer the circulation of Mongolia’s trade flows with the outside world. Activities are much broader in scope as they involve the construction of the national railway network, increasing the capacity of the Trans-Mongolian railroad that connects border checkpoints with paved roads, creating free economic zones, etc. The planned infrastructure projects within the Policy of New Renaissance were presented by Mongolia’s Prime Minister Luvsannamsrayn Oyun-Erdene at the Eastern Economic Forum in September 2022.

Within the Policy of New Renaissance, Mongolia has set to a vigorous construction on the national railroad network. Three major projects have been commissioned in 2022: the sections Tavan-Tolgoi — Zuunbayan (414 km), Tavan-Tolgoi — Gashuunsukhait (267 km), and Zuunbayan — Khangi (226 km). While they started building the initial two sections as early as 2019, the construction of the railroad from Zuunbayan station to the Khangi checkpoint on the Chinese border only kickstarted in March 2022, with an ambitious timeline of six months for completing this leg.

The new section will diversify freight flows along the Trans-Mongolian Railway, relieving the load on the Zamyn-Uud-Erlian border checkpoint. Above all, the plan calls for iron ore shipments to be redirected from Darkhan and Selenge aimaks to Baotou, a major metallurgical center in northern China; the delivery route will in this way be shortened by 318 km. It will also be possible to export coal from Tavan Tolgoi along with other minerals from the deposits located along the built Tavan Tolgoi — Zuunbayan railroad in the direction of Zuunbayan — Khangi pass. In addition, the new Khangi-Mandal railway checkpoint at the Mongolian-Chinese border will cater to some of the imports.

The opening of a new strategically important route to the Chinese market is also of interest to Russia. Next in line for construction are the Artsuur — Nariinsukhait — Shivehuren (1,255 km) sections in the west and the Choibalsan — Huut — Bichigt (426 km) sections in the east.

It is obvious that the construction of railroads in Mongolia will fundamentally change the infrastructure of border checkpoints between the three countries, primarily on the Mongolian-Chinese border. [5] In addition to the only railway checkpoint between Zamyn-Ud and Erlian on the Mongolian-Chinese border, functioning since 1956, four new railroad checkpoints will be opened, primarily with a focus on mineral transportation. Three of them (Gashuunsukhait — Gantsmod, Shivahuren — Sehe and Bichigt — ZunKhatavch) have already been formally agreed upon. In 2020, these checkpoints were included in the Agreement on the Mongolian-Chinese Border Checkpoints and Their Regimens. In general, Mongolia, as a link between Russia and China, facilitates conditions for a prospective kickoff of railway corridors outlined in the Economic Corridor Program.

Interests tailored to a new reality

A radical change in the global geopolitical situation since February 2022 has become a challenge for the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor. The intensifying confrontation between Russia and the West imposes a new reality for interaction, with China becoming increasingly active in promoting alternative transport routes.

Under these circumstances, Mongolia is trying to pursue a weighted policy based on the balance of power between the two “perpetual neighbors” (Russia and China) and on maintaining partnerships with the United States, the European Union, Japan, South Korea and other countries under the “third neighbor” strategy. [6]

Nevertheless, the outcome of the November 28, 2022 meeting between Mongolian President Uhnaagiin Khurlsukh and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing was revealing. In a joint statement, the two sides unanimously agreed to work with the Russian side to step up efforts towards promoting the construction of the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, to accelerate the feasibility study for modernization of the Central Railway Corridor, and to push for the gas transit pipeline project.

Amid the unprecedented sanctions pressure from the West, Russia is making a pivot to the East: its interest in infrastructure opportunities keeps growing, and the steps toward the economic corridor are more tangible. Work on the project of upgrading the Central Railway Corridor is accelerating: by the end of 2023, the relevant agencies of Russia, Mongolia and China will have completed the feasibility study, with practical implementation getting underway in 2024.

Not only the above-mentioned project is taking on greater appeal—the development of the Eastern Railway Corridor as a link between Trans-Siberian Railroad, the railways of Northeast China via Trans-Baikal Territory (with a checkpoint in Soloviovsk) and eastern aimaks of Mongolia appears to be a very attractive choice. This route, whose feasibility had previously been questioned, is now taking real shape: Mongolia is preparing to build the missing Choibalsan — Huut — Bichigt section. This alternative route is geared towards transit container traffic and the export of Mongolian mineral resources. Besides, it opens up an opportunity for Russia to relieve freight traffic congestion in the East and to export coal, regardless of the high burden currently crippling its Far Eastern ports.

Prospects for the Western Railway Corridor (Kuragino — Kyzyl — Tsagan Tolgoi — Kobdo — Takeshken — Hami district — Urumqi) are more distant, though, since the construction of a railroad is required along almost the entire route with the exception of the final section on Chinese territory. In the spring of 2022, the Mongolian government approved new rail projects, including the construction of a 1,250 km plus leg from the Artsuur checkpoint in the western part of the border with Russia to the Nariinsukhait coal deposit in the south as well as the Shiwehuren checkpoint on the border with China. Following this announcement, Russian regions were preparing an appeal to the national leadership to resume the construction of the Kyzyl (Tuva Republic) — Kuragino (Krasnoyarsk Territory) railroad.

For now, the project with a possible option of extending the rail line to the Elegest coal mine and further to the Mongolian border is still under review. Meanwhile, in October 2022, a 745-kilometer portion of the AN-4 highway was commissioned in western Mongolia, passing through the Hovd and Bayan-Ulgiy aimaks and connecting the Russian regions of Western Siberia (through the Tashanta checkpoint in the Altai Republic) with the Chinese Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

For Russia, the Mongolian direction can become a reliable channel for national goods to reach international markets and to facilitate the import of necessary products, with a number of significant favorable factors at play. [7] This direction is characterized by the safety of the transport route, passing through conflict-free territories, as well as by a great potential for transit subject to infrastructural transformations. In addition, against the backdrop of rapidly growing Mongolian-Chinese trade (from USD 2.46 billion in 2010 to USD 10.16 billion in 2021), it is important for Russia and Mongolia to strengthen bilateral economic ties. [8] Although the trade volume is likely to reach an all-time high of more than USD 2 billion by the end of 2022, the potential for expanding the export-import potential is yet to be unlocked. Currently, the share of the Russian direction in Mongolia’s exports slightly exceeds 1%. For all that, supplies from Russia account for 28.5% of Mongolia’s imports and are substantial as far as some commodities are concerned: more than 90% of petroleum products, 27% of foodstuffs, and 30% of electric power. Business relations between Russia and Mongolia have intensified of late, including through the annual participation of representative Mongolian delegations in the Eastern Economic Forum. The search for new promising areas of interaction is underway, and the efforts of both sides are aimed at creating favorable conditions for the delivery of joint projects. Thus, in order to build new business contacts and mutually beneficial cooperation, a Russian-Mongolian Forum was held in Ulan-Ude in May 2022. In general, Russia’s interest in Mongolia keeps growing, although the Mongolian direction has admittedly received little attention in various Russian projects of promoting Eurasian integration. [9]

The much anticipated realignment of Russia’s foreign economic relations is already underway. In the long run, China will replace the EU as its main trading partner, while a stepwise pivot of trade flows to the East might be a significant factor in the development of Siberia and Russia’s Far East. Russia is diversifying its foreign trade and international haulage by developing relevant infrastructure in its eastern regions.

The Republics of Altai, Tuva, Buryatia as well as the Trans-Baikal Territory bordering Mongolia are in different conditions to be integrated into the emerging economic corridor China-Mongolia-Russia, including infrastructure capabilities and socioeconomic potential. In general, it is necessary to adapt the transport and logistics in the border regions to the new environment.

Proper maintenance of international freight flows and capitalizing on them along with robust intermediary foreign economic activity are the priority interests of border regions within the economic corridor. China’s experience in positioning its regions, especially the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in the development of the economic corridor is quite interesting in this context. [10] With that in mind, the Russian regions are in need of a more meaningful content, in addition to transit opportunities — after all, installing an economic corridor is aimed at consolidating economic activities. This requires a gradual change in the investment focus: from investing in basic infrastructure, logistics solutions and urban development to the diversification of funding among production sectors. Only then will the China — Mongolia — Russia corridor be relevant as an economic corridor.

1. Trans-Mongolian Railway comes under the purview of Ulan-Bator Railroad, JSC (a co-owner of Russian Railways, Plc).

2. Davaasuren A., Ariunzhargal Ch. On the Problems of Forming the Russia – Mongolia – China Economic Corridor // Region: Economics and Sociology. 2021. No. 3 (111), p. 184-202. DOI: 10.15372/REG20210308

3. Namzhilova V.O., Batomunkuev V.S. Mongolian-Chinese Border: Transformations of Border Infrastructure and the Influence of Silk Road Economic Belt // Problems of the Far East. 2021. No. 1, p.21-32. DOI: 10.31857/S013128120013887-6

4. Dondokov Z.B.-D., Namzhilova V.O. China – Mongolia – Russia Economic Corridor: Building Infrastructural Connectivity under Global Challenges // ECO. 2022. No. 12, p. 52-71. DOI: 10.30680/ECO0131-7652-2022-12-52-71

5. Namzhilova V.O. Infrastructure Landscape in Cross-Border Areas of Russia, Mongolia and China: Transformations and Guideposts // Asia and Africa Today. – 2022. – No. 11, p. 13-20. DOI: 10.31857/S032150750020155-2

6. Rodionov V.A., Ayushieva I.G. Third Neighbor of Mongolia as the Political-Ideological Concept // The Herald of Tomsk State University. 2017. No. 420, p. 125-130. DOI: 10.17223/15617793/420/17

7. The National Interests of Russia and Mongolia in Russia – Mongolia – China Triangle: Problems, Contradictions and Scenarios / Compilers and editors in charge: Grayvoronovsky V.V. Kuzmin Y.V., Sukhodolov A.P. – Irkutsk. Razvitie Publishing House, 2021, 466 pages

8. Bezrukov L.A., Fartyshev A.N. Mongolian Foreign Trade Specificity: Risks for Russia // Global Economy and International Relations. 2022. No. 3, p. 101-109. DOI: 10.20542/0131–2227–2022–66–3–101–109

9. Larin V.L. New architecture of Pacific Asia in the 21st century: opportunities and challenges for Mongolia and Pacific Asia. The Mongolian Journal of International Affairs. 2021. Vol. 22. Pp. 42-53. DOI:

10. 中蒙俄经济走廊建设重点问题研究 [Studying the Key Problems in Building the China – Mongolia – Russia Economic Corridor]. Beijing:人民出版社, 2016. 421 с

From our partner RIAC

PhD in Economics, Senior Research Fellow, Buryatia Scientific Centre, Siberian Regional Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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East Asia

Assad’s visit to China: Breaking diplomatic isolation and rebuilding Syria

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Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Hangzhou, capital city of east China's Zhejiang Province, Sept. 22, 2023. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

The visit of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to China to participate in the opening of the Asian Games came as a serious step to try to break the diplomatic isolation from Syria.  Syrian President “Bashar Al-Assad” was keen to meet his counterpart Xi Jinping in the city of Hangzhou in eastern China, where the Asian Games are being held, as this was the Syrian president’s first visit to China since 2004.  According to the Syrian regime’s Al-Watan newspaper, Al-Assad will attend the launch ceremony of the (nineteenth edition) of the Asian Games, which will open on September 23, in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.  This visit to Bashar al-Assad reflects the great coordination between Moscow and Beijing, as it is likely that the Russians pushed for this visit at this precise time.  Perhaps, through his visit to China, Bashar al-Assad is trying to deliver a specific message about the start of “international legitimization” of his regime.  Syria’s accession to the Belt and Road Initiative in January 2022 is an indication of the possibility of implementing vital Chinese projects, especially since it is located between Iraq and Turkey, making it a vital corridor for land routes towards Europe.

 Bashar Al-Assad’s visit to China also comes in an attempt to attract it to reconstruction projects in the affected areas in Syria, as China has the ability to complete reconstruction infrastructure in residential and civilian areas with exceptional speed. This is the same as what the Chinese ambassador to Syria “Shi Hongwei” announced in August 2023, that “Chinese companies are actively involved in reconstruction projects in Syria”. The war in Syria led to massive destruction of infrastructure and the destruction of many vital sectors of the Syrian economy, including oil, while the Syrian government is subject to harsh international sanctions.  We find that the Chinese side has shown great interest in the reconstruction projects in Surba, such as the presence of more than a thousand Chinese companies to participate in (the first trade exhibition on Syrian reconstruction projects in Beijing), while they pledged investments estimated at two billion dollars.

  China played an active role through diplomatic movements in Syria, as it participated in the “Astana” process, and obstructed Security Council resolutions related to Syria, to confirm its position in support of Damascus, using its veto power more than once in the Security Council, against resolutions considered to be a blow to Assad’s “legitimacy”.  In September 2017, the Syrian regime classified China, along with Russia and Iran, as “friendly governments” that would give priority to reconstruction projects. Therefore, Al-Assad affirmed during his meeting with Chinese President “Xi Jinping” that: “this visit is important in terms of its timing and circumstances, as a multipolar world is being formed today that will restore balance and stability to the world, and it is the duty of all of us to seize this moment for the sake of a bright and promising future”.

  According to my analysis, China follows the policy of “breaking diplomatic isolation on presidents and countries against which America is angry”, so the visit of “Bashar al-Assad” comes within a series of visits that China witnessed during the current year in 2023, to presidents who are isolated internationally by the United States of America, such as: Venezuelan President “Nicolas  Maduro”, the Iranian President ”Ibrahim Raisi”, and the Belarusian “Alexander Lukashenko”.

  China is also keen to conduct interviews in its newspapers and official websites affiliated with the ruling Communist Party with many presidents and officials of countries isolated internationally and diplomatically by the United States of America and the West, such as the Chinese keenness to conduct and publish an interview with Syrian Foreign Minister “Faisal Mekdad” on September 21, 2023, and the Chinese reviewed his statements, saying that “the United States of America has plundered oil, natural gas, and other resources from Syria, causing losses worth $115 billion”. The Chinese newspaper “Global Times”, which is close to the ruling Communist Party, also focused on the United States’ greater role in the deterioration of “Syria from stability to chaos” . The Chinese newspaper compared this to China’s policy, which constantly calls for peaceful dialogue and opposes “foreign interference” .

   Through his visit to China, Syrian President “Bashar Al-Assad” is trying to lay the foundations for joint cooperation between China and Syria within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, with full Chinese support for Syria’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a dialogue partner. China has always affirmed its firm support for Syria’s efforts against foreign interference, with the Chinese rejection of the stationing of illegal forces on Syrian territory. China is also making great efforts with many countries to lift sanctions and the illegal economic blockade on the Syrian people, in addition to Chinese support for building Syrian capabilities in the field of combating terrorism. Knowing that despite its alliance with President “Bashar Al-Assad”, China did not participate in supporting him militarily, but it used the right of criticism to obstruct the passage of resolutions against him in the Security Council.

   We can reach an important conclusion that Bashar Al-Assad’s visit to China has a greater political track, and that Beijing is trying to play a greater role in the issue of resolving conflicts or to have a greater actual role in negotiations related to sensitive issues in the region. The implications of Assad’s visit to China are also politically significant, as China is trying to play a greater political role in the region, as China has been trying since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war and the emergence of a vacuum in the Middle East as a result of the decline of Russian influence due to its preoccupation with the war, so Beijing is trying to expand in the Middle East and Africa. 

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China’s Inclusive Diplomacy for Global Cooperation

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President Xi Jinping’s address at the recently held 2023 CIFTIS resonates as a powerful call for inclusive development and cooperation in the services trade sector. China’s commitment to expanding market access, increasing connectivity, and aligning policies with global standards demonstrates its commitment to ensuring a level playing field for all nations.

This commitment extends across different sectors, including telecommunications, tourism, law, vocational examinations, and the larger services sector. President Xi’s address emphasized China’s intention to expand broader, broaden market access, and support inclusive development in the services trade sector. His sentiments resonate with the global world as China seeks to create new prospects for openness, cooperation, and economic equality.

Over the last few decades, the services trade landscape has changed drastically, becoming an essential component of international business. However, this expansion has not been uniform, with developing countries frequently encountering difficulties such as limited market access, complex rules, and capacity limits that prevent them from fully participating in international services trade.

Notably, China is committed to promoting inclusive growth in the services trade sector. It assured of taking continuing steps to accelerate Chinese modernization through high-quality development, to open up new avenues for openness and collaboration for all countries.

Through openness, cooperation, innovation, and shared services, China emphasized the need for inclusive growth and connectivity. Recognizing that a rising tide in services trade should raise all boats, particularly those from nations with limited resources, China has launched a series of ground-breaking initiatives. Additionally, China is actively expanding its network of high-standard free trade areas, participating in negotiations on the negative list for trade in services and investment.

China is setting an example by aligning its policies with international standards. President Xi highlighted in his speech that national integrated demonstration zones for increased openness in the services sector, suitable pilot free trade zones, and free trade ports will be at the forefront of aligning policies with high-standard international economic and trade regulations. These zones demonstrate China’s commitment to fostering an atmosphere conducive to international cooperation and growth.

Real-world examples vividly demonstrate the practical impact of China’s assistance to developing countries in the services trade. China’s investments in transport infrastructure, such as the Standard Gauge Railway, have considerably facilitated the flow of goods and people in Kenya, boosting the services sector indirectly.

Pakistan’s experience with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is similar, with improved physical connectivity catalyzing the expansion of digital services and e-commerce. Various infrastructure developments in Indonesia have resulted in spectacular advances, opening up new potential for services trade.

Ethiopia, too, has reaped the benefits of China’s commitment, with active participation in industrial parks reviving the services sector, which includes logistics, banking, and education. These real-life success stories highlight China’s critical role in facilitating the expansion and development of services trade in developing countries.

China’s commitment to capacity building and technical aid is critical in its support for developing countries in the services trade. China provides these countries with the knowledge and skills they need to participate effectively in the services trade by offering specialized programs. Furthermore, China’s significant investments in infrastructure projects such as ports, logistical hubs, and telecommunications networks play an important role in facilitating the smooth flow of services.

Furthermore, China’s commitment to reducing entry barriers and optimizing regulations indicates the country’s persistent commitment to creating an equitable environment. This approach not only promotes equitable possibilities but also simplifies market access, making it easier for developing countries to export their services to China’s enormous and dynamic market.

Furthermore, China gives significant financial support in the form of loans and grants for service trade-related initiatives, recognizing the financial problems that many developing countries confront. This financial assistance enables nations to overcome economic challenges and invest in the expansion and improvement of their service sectors, thereby encouraging economic equality and cooperation.

As the world continues to evolve, services trade will play an increasingly important role in global economic growth, and China’s leadership in this realm is helping to shape a future where opportunities are shared, disparities are reduced, and cooperation knows no bounds. It is a vision worthy of appreciation and support since it is consistent with the ideals of justice and equality, moving the globe closer to a more linked and wealthy global community.

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China’s Multilateral Engagement and Constructive Role in the G20



Image source: X @narendramodi

The recent G20 Summit in India has once again taken center stage, attracting global attention as it gathered together leaders and delegates from the world’s 20 most powerful economies. This high-profile event was significant in shaping international relations and addressing serious global concerns due to its broad presence and crucial talks. This high-stakes gathering occurs at a pivotal juncture, marked by escalating divisions among major powers on a multitude of pressing global issues, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict, global economic recovery, food security, and climate change.

The recent inclusion of the African Union (AU) as a permanent member within the G20 serves as a positive signal, signifying consensus among major economies. However, lurking concerns persist about the formidable challenges involved in achieving unity and issuing a joint declaration in the midst of these complex global dynamics.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s opening remarks at the 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi resonate as he underscores the paramount importance of unity and collaboration among G20 member nations. He emphasizes the critical need for effective coordination of macroeconomic policies to restore hope and generate momentum for long-term economic growth.

 Premier Li eloquently highlights the interconnectedness of humanity’s destiny and calls upon nations to demonstrate mutual respect, seek common ground while momentarily setting aside differences, and work tirelessly towards peaceful coexistence. In a world characterized by profound crises and shared hardships, he aptly observes that no nation can thrive in isolation. Therefore, the only plausible pathways for guiding humanity forward are those rooted in cooperation and harmony.

The G20, originally established to navigate global financial crises and forge collective strategies for addressing economic challenges while fostering global economic development, has, regrettably, experienced a decline in consensus and a rise in differences among major powers. This shift has been particularly evident since the onset of the Ukraine crisis and the United States’ strategy of containment against China. Consequently, the G20 is increasingly devolving into a forum marked by discord, rather than the once-productive and constructive multilateral mechanism it was intended to be.

Nevertheless, the G20 retains its significance as a pivotal forum for international collaboration in confronting global challenges. With the increasing contributions of developing nations like China, India, and African countries, the voices within the G20 have diversified, no longer solely dominated by Western perspectives. As a response, the United States seeks to regain control of the multilateral process to further its agenda of great power competition. However, this approach is unlikely to be warmly received by the broader international community.

China remains steadfast in its commitment to deepen reforms and open up further to foster high-quality development and its unique brand of modernization. China views itself as a catalyst for additional momentum in global economic recovery and sustainable development. China stands ready to collaborate with all stakeholders to contribute to the well-being of our shared Earth, our common home, and the future of humanity. Despite Western media’s attempts to sensationalize China’s stance and magnify perceived differences, China continues to play a constructive role within the G20, dedicated to its multilateral mission.

To ensure that the G20 remains a platform focused on global governance rather than being overshadowed by geopolitical conflicts, China remains determined to fulfill its constructive role within the group, regardless of attempts by Western powers to politicize the mechanism. China’s efforts have expanded the G20 to include the African Union, effectively transforming it into the “G21.” China was the first nation to endorse African Union membership in the G20 and advocates for the African Union to assume an even more significant role in international governance.

The growing divisions and disputes within the G20 have eroded its effectiveness as a platform for addressing global challenges. These divisions, primarily driven by American actions and policies, have spawned tensions with far-reaching global implications, from the Ukraine crisis to escalating tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea. These developments underscore the critical role the G20 plays in promoting cooperation and unity.

Amid the current geopolitical landscape characterized by major powers’ divisions, tensions have surged, resonating globally and causing ripple effects. From the Ukraine crisis to tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea, the significance of the G20’s role in fostering cooperation and unity cannot be overstated.

All G20 member nations must recognize the urgent imperative of cooperation in building a world that is safer, more prosperous, and increasingly peaceful. Given the global challenges that transcend narrow national interests, effective responses can only be crafted through international cooperation. The G20 stands as a pivotal arena for this cooperation, with China’s positive contribution being indispensable in promoting cohesion.

Despite Western media’s efforts to sensationalize China’s position and magnify perceived gaps, China remains a committed multilateral partner within the G20, dedicated to constructive engagement. The G20 continues to serve as a critical platform for addressing global concerns, fostering unity, and promoting international collaboration. As the world grapples with intricate issues, it remains imperative that nations adhere to the principles of multilateralism and collaborate relentlessly to secure a more prosperous, peaceful, and sustainable future for all.

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