Reporter’s diary: Mongolians taking di
More and more Mongolians tend to show friendliness to Chinese people after BRI entered the country Chinese TV series are widely watched in the country, which may show that more people in Mongolia are interested in Chinese culture
China’s border with Mongolia is 7,580 kilometers in length, the longest of all its neighboring countries. It takes only two hours to fly the 1,600 kilometers from Beijing to Ulan Bator, the Mongolian capital. In the near future, when the new Chinggis Khaan International Airport opens, both Mongolians and international visitors will be able to drive on the newly built airport expressway. Built by a Chinese company under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it is the first ever expressway in Ulan Bator. Adopting Chinese road standards, the road was highly praised by officials from the Mongolian traffic department and Mongolian workers. However, more than a decade ago, incidents of violence and robbery targeting Chinese frequently happened in Mongolia. Negative news on Chinese workers in Mongolia appeared on local media from time to time. But nowadays, more and more Mongolians
are becoming more friendlier to Chinese and acknowledging BRI, which can be reflected in the field of public welfare, the business sector, as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges, the Global Times reporter learned.
China’s Vice President Wang Qishan went to Ulan Bator on July 10 to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Mongolia.
Wang and Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh attended the opening ceremony for the expressway on July 10.
Connecting the New Ulan Bator International Airport and Yarmag toll station, the 32.226-kilometer long and 32.5-meter wide expressway has six lanes, with a designated driving speed of 80 kilometers per hour.
“The expressway will shorten driving time from 90 minutes to 40 minutes,” Yang Yupei, deputy manager of the project built by China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group, told the Global Times.
This improvement will mean a great deal to people living in Ulan Bator, as the city is notorious for its traffic jams. It took almost two hours to drive 19 kilometers at 9 pm during the Global Times reporter’s stay in the city.
Foreign second-hand cars are very cheap in Mongolia, according to Chinese construction workers at the project in Ulan Bator. As a result, almost every family there has a car.
At the same time, automobile exhaust and dust from building construction sites bring air pollution to the city, especially in winter.
The ubiquitous tower cranes and construction signs also show the city is in a “growth period.”
In addition to providing a faster alternative to the local people, the expressway also showcased the high-quality standards and intelligent roadbuilding technology of a Chinese company.
One of the biggest difficulties the team encountered in Mongolia was building a durable road under local weather conditions, since the city sits in a high altitude and cold area, and the drying temperature for bitumen must be neither too high nor too low.
Adopting the Chinese standard, the team controls road roughness to 0.8 centimeters and lower, which is at the world-leading level.
Yang cited a Mongolian official from the transport department to demonstrate the flatness of the road.
“The official told me he was sleeping all the way back to the city center as the road was so flat and smooth,” Yang said.
Yang also noted that after rain, the expressway looked like a mirror, which also demonstrates its flatness.
Mongolian workers were also amazed that the Chinese company spent just over 900 days to complete the high-quality project.
“I have learned many new road-building techniques that I never knew before in my country,” Nyamdorj, a Mongolian measurement
deputy manager of the project built by China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group
A view of the ward in the Rehabilitation and Development Center for Children with Disabilities in Mongolia Inset: Connecting the New Ulan Bator International Airport and Yarmag toll station, the expressway will shorten driving time from 90 minutes to 40 minutes.