QINGDAO, China – The presidents of China, Russia and Mongolia – Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Khaltmaa Battulga, respectively – held on Saturday a trilateral meeting in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao, where they discussed the possibility of building oil and gas pipelines across the three countries.
The meeting, the fourth to bring the three countries together, was held parallel to the 18th Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), of which China and Russia are founding members and Mongolia an observer nation.
The possibility of developing a flow of crude and natural gas through Mongolia was initially proposed by the president of that Central Asian country with Putin’s support, Kremlin sources said Saturday.
“In general it’s a good idea, though viability studies need to be done,” the Russian president said.
The three countries also analyzed the improvement of communications by road and rail, vital for the Chinese plan to improve Euro-Asian connections under a global investment program dubbed “New Silk Roads.”
Mongolia was a satellite state of the former Soviet Union until the fall of communism, though it is currently more linked economically to its other neighbor, China, a country to which it sends around 90 percent of its exports, chiefly from the mining industry.