China has offered to help Mongolia address environmental problems after the two countries were hit by heavy dust storms this spring.
“Environmental problems know no borders, and China is ready to cooperate with Mongolia in environmental protection, desertification prevention and control to jointly address challenges,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in a phone conversation on Wednesday afternoon with Mongolian prime minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene, who took office in February.
A sandstorm from southern Mongolia spread across East Asia in the middle of March, engulfing a huge swathe of northern China and also affecting the Korean peninsula. Local authorities said it was the worst in a decade, killing at least nine and leaving more than 80 people missing in Mongolia.
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According to Greenpeace East Asia, the frequency of sandstorms in Mongolia has increased in recent decades due to climate change and the long-term deforestation and soil erosion in the country’s south, leading to severe air pollution.
According to a government statement, Li said China was willing to maintain strategic communication with Mongolia and intensify cooperation in pandemic containment, while also calling for efforts to speed up the restoration of cargo volumes going through border ports and ensure progress of its major cooperative projects with Mongolia.
Li added China would closely monitor changes in the global economic situation while improving the domestic business environment and keeping economic growth steady, which he believed would offer the best chance for China-Mongolia cooperation.
Oyun-Erdene said Mongolia supported green development and regional economic cooperation and was willing to step up joint efforts in environmental protection, according to the Chinese statement.
This is not a CAPTIS article. Originally, it was published here.