by Huang Longjie
ULAN BATOR, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- China and Mongolia have made great efforts to deepen their strategic partnership established in 2011 and their relationship is currently at its best in history, Chinese ambassador Wang Xiaolong told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Wang made the remarks days ahead of a scheduled visit to Mongolia by Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress.
It is the common aspiration of both countries to consolidate their friendship, deepen bilateral cooperation and continuously push forward bilateral ties so as to promote development in both countries and bring more benefits for both peoples, Wang said.
China and Mongolia have maintained frequent exchange of high-level visits, the Chinese ambassador said, adding that such factors have greatly contributed to the deepening of political mutual trust between the two neighbors.
In June 2012, Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj met respectively with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, and Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the 12th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Beijing.
During the meetings, the leaders mapped out the route for further development of the China-Mongolia strategic partnership and reached various agreements on trade, economic cooperation and cultural exchanges, Wang said.
In August, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo visited Mongolia soon after the country installed a new parliament and government in order to consolidate the smooth development of bilateral relations, Wang said.
Both countries have viewed their bilateral ties from a strategic perspective and showed respect for each other's core interests and major concerns, Wang said, adding that the two sides have also maintained thorough communication on global and regional issues of common concern.
On the economic front, the two countries have seen rapid growth in two-way trade in the past decade, from 360 million U.S. dollars in 2002 to 6.6 billion dollars in 2012, among which 3.9 billion dollars were Mongolian exports to China, said Wang.
China has been Mongolia's biggest trade partner and top investment source country for several years, he added.
Alongside enhanced political trust and booming economic ties, people-to-people exchanges between the two countries have also become more active in recent years, Wang said.
According to the ambassador, more than 6,000 Mongolian students are studying in China and most of the Mongolian universities now have Chinese language courses.
The reciprocal hosting of culture month by China and Mongolia in 2012 also yielded positive results, Wang added.
The Chinese ambassador believed there are new opportunities for the development of China-Mongolia relations and the two countries could realize win-win results and common development as long as they properly take advantage of complementarity of the two economies.