Security ramped up for Chinese President’s visit
Mongolian security officials began ramping up security across Ulaanbaatar on Monday with the impending visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Chinese President was due to discuss bilateral matters on Thursday. However the UB Post could not confirm rumors prior to deadline that the Chinese President’s visit is set to begin a day earlier than both Mongolian and Chinese officials had announced.
However, major multi-use venues Blue Sky and Monnis Towers confirmed that they were advised by police not to open windows facing the State Palace on August 20 and 21.
Sources in the Chingeltei District Police Department confirmed that security has been heightened since Monday. He noted that during high level official visits, the police typically heighten security on the day of the visit, and that the police are taking on more work during this particular visit.
Mongolia and China enjoy an officially diplomatic if complicated historical relationship, further complicated by anti-Chinese sentiment common in some sectors of Mongolia society and politics.
With increased trade, boosted after the free market and democratic revolution of 1989, Mongolia’s dependence on China for consumer goods jumped radically, which some see as cause for concern for Mongolian national security and independence. China’s state-sponsored People’s Daily describes the relationship between the two countries as one of “constant progress” since the revised signing of the Treaty on Friendly Relations and Cooperation in 1994.
President Ts.Elbegdorj has been particularly keen on reshaping the image of Mongolia’s southern neighbor to the public, for which he has received both criticism and praise. Bilateral relations have improved as the nations increased high level dialogues in recent months.
President Ts.Elbegdorj visited China in May for a regional security summit, which was followed by visits from Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in June, and Vice-President Li Yuanchao in April.
The last visit of a Chinese president to Mongolia occurred eleven years ago in 2003, with the visit of then President Hu Jintao.
During the visit, officials are expected to draw up a series of energy and infrastructure deals, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The deals will cover the construction of two coal-to-gas plants that will supply up to 95 percent of its output to China. Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Jianchao told the South China Morning Post that the two countries would also sign deals on coal mining and infrastructure.
The UB Post will provide coverage of President Xi Jinping’s visit in our next edition.
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