Xi invites Mongolia to join fast growth track

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"Welcome aboard China's train of development!" Xi Jinping, president of the world's second largest economy, told Mongolian lawmakers on Friday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the State Great Hural of Mongolia, the country's parliament, in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, Aug. 22, 2014. [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the State Great Hural of Mongolia, the country's parliament, in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, Aug. 22, 2014. [Xinhua] 

"China is willing to offer opportunities and room to Mongolia and other neighbors for common development," Xi said in a speech delivered at the State Great Hural of Mongolia, the country's parliament.

"You can take a ride on our express train or just make a hitchhike, all are welcome," he said.

China has the largest number of neighboring countries in the world and sees this as a valuable asset. "A good neighbor is not to be traded for gold," said Xi, citing a Chinese proverb.

China has always regarded its neighbors as cooperative partners and sincere friends for common development, peace and stability, he said.

"We will continue to adhere to the foreign policy of developing good-neighborly relationship and partnership with our neighboring countries, and the policy of bringing harmony, security and prosperity to them," said Xi.

"We will uphold the guidelines of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in neighborhood diplomacy," he added.

The president stressed that China will seek a fair distribution of interests in its cooperation with developing countries.

"We will never do things that could result in 'one wins and the other loses' or 'one wins more and the other gets less.' We will take into consideration the other side's interests in some specific projects," Xi said.

"China will surely do what it has said and deliver on what it has promised," he said.

As China is growing, noted Xi, some people in the world begin to worry about where the country is going and whether it will constitute a threat.

"It is either out of misunderstanding or is simply a distortion," he said.

"China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development and in the meantime, it will push for peaceful development among all countries," he added.

On regional cooperation, the Chinese president noted that Asia is the world's most dynamic region in terms of economic development, and it is also a place rife with a host of hotspot, sensitive issues.

It is a major task for Asian countries to correctly handle relations with their neighbors, get along well with each other, achieve common development, and properly resolve controversies and disputes, he said.

Countries in the region, said Xi, should respect each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, respect each other's free choice of social system and development path, not interfere in each other's internal affairs, take into consideration each other's major concerns, and deepen mutual understanding and recognition.

He also suggested Asian countries focus on their overall interests, gather more consensuses while reducing differences through dialogue and cooperation, and jointly participate in global and regional governance.

In addition, Xi called on Asian nations to carry out mutually-beneficial cooperation, expand shared interests, work together to push for the construction of free trade areas and inter-connectivity, and deepen regional economic integration.

On China-Mongolia relations, Xi said the two countries should be good neighbors who can offer timely assistance to each other.

"No matter how the international landscape changes, the two sides should firmly grasp the main direction of bilateral relations, give more consideration to each other as strategic partners, and resolutely support each other on issues concerning the other's major core interests and major concerns, such as sovereignty, security and territorial integrity," said Xi.

China and Mongolia should be good friends who often visit each other, and mutually-beneficial partners whose cooperation will bring tangible benefits to both peoples, he said.

The Chinese president called on the two sides to further increase people-to-people exchanges, particularly between their youths and media, so as to create a more favorable social atmosphere for bilateral relations.

Xi arrived in Ulan Bator Thursday for a two-day state visit to Mongolia.

It is the first visit in 11 years by a Chinese head of state to Mongolia, and also the second time for Xi to make a one-country foreign trip since he took office in March 2013.

During the visit, the two countries announced the upgrading of their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership, and pledged to almost double their annual trade to 10 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.

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