ULAN BATOR, May 31 (Xinhua) -- An upcoming state visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Mongolia will help turn a new page in the bilateral ties between the two neighbors, said a leading Mongolian scholar.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, L. Begzjav, head of Chinese studies at the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, said bilateral relations have seen stable and healthy growth over the past 16 years since the signing of the Treaty on Friendly Relations and Cooperation between Mongolia and China in 1994.
The two countries signed over 70 agreements on bilateral ties and cooperation since a visit in 1994 by then Premier Li Peng to Mongolia.
Wen will pay a two-day state visit to Mongolia on June 1 on the 60th anniversary of a visit by late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai.
The upcoming visit of Wen will take their good-neighborly friendship of mutual trust to a new level, said Begzjav, author of a book titled Mongol-Chinese Relations, 1949-1999.
Exchanges of visits have been increasingly frequent between China and Mongolia, and bilateral cooperation has expanded to cover politics, economy, technology, culture and education.
China is Mongolia's largest trading partner, with their trade rising by 6.4 fold to 2.3 billion U.S. dollars in the seven years since 2002.
China has also been the leading source of foreign investment in Mongolia over the past decade, and the Chinese investment is still on the rise. Official statistics show 4,927 Chinese enterprises have invested a total of 2.3 billion dollars in Mongolia.
Chinese investments and grants to the mining and infrastructure sectors of Mongolia contributed to the country's economic growth, said Begzjav, adding that he expects further cooperation in these sectors.
"Especially we have a great opportunity to increase Chinese investment and cooperation in areas like railway, construction industry, oil, coal and agriculture and husbandry," he said.
Bilateral ties have improved steadily over the recent years, though there have been minor sidetrackings, Begzjav said.
"(We) see a brighter future," he said.
Begzjav said Premier Wen's visit will promote a better understanding of China among Mongolian young people who have had growing interests in the Chinese culture and language.
It is in the interests of the two peoples to enhance their good-neighborly relations, he said.