A founding ceremony for a China, Russia and Mongolia think tank alliance and the first trilateral think tank forum was held on Sept 17 in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.
The forum was jointly hosted by the bureau of international cooperation at China’s Development Research Center of the State Council, the Inner Mongolia development research center, the Institute of Far Eastern Studies affiliated with the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Mongolian Academy of Sciences and the National University of Mongolia.
A constitution for the alliance was passed at the ceremony. More than 120 representatives attended the conference on behalf of over 30 think tanks as members of the alliance, among which the Inner Mongolia development research center, IFES and the MAS are president members, as well as foreign ministries of the three countries.
The theme of the forum that followed the ceremony was to propel the construction of a China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridor by a full exchange of ideas on policies. Representatives from think tanks in all three countries shared their views on strategic coordination; infrastructure construction; cooperation on trade, economy, culture and tourism matters; as well as ecological protection and agricultural development.
A highlight of the discussions was the Belt and Road Initiative, as both Russia and Mongolia play major roles in this grand plan initiated by China.
Jiang Xiheng, vice-director of the bureau of international cooperation at the DRC, said it is a trend for think tanks to strengthen global cooperation. As part of the modern national governance system, think tanks participate increasingly more in drafting public policies and act as bridges between policymaking and academic research, the government and the public, as well as among different states.
Professor Matveev Vladimir Aleksandrovich from IFES said that with accelerated globalization, the existing Eurasian land transportation network is no longer sufficient to meet China’s potential demands of trade with Europe. Safer, more convenient land transportation lines are needed to connect it with Europe, Russia, Central Asia and Middle Eastern states, he said.
T Dorj, an academician and vice-president of MAS, said the Grassland Road initiative of Mongolia and the Russian plan of connecting Eurasia with railways match China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Cooperation among the three is of key importance to all three countries and the Asia-Pacific region.
As close neighbors, the three nations have long realized the importance of cooperating with each other. The alliance of think tanks will do policy research on the economic corridor of the three nations, boost innovative thinking and offer consultation for decision-making, so as to support the long-term prosperity of the three countries.