Across China: Booming business returns to China-Mongolia border areas
HOHHOT, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- With unbridled excitement, Ulantuya, who hails from Mongolia, indulged in a shopping spree at a bustling mall in Erenhot, a major city on the China-Mongolia border.
"There is a great variety of products here. I will surely take many of them home," said Ulantuya, surrounded by a swarm of Mongolian merchants and customers.
Border cities like Erenhot have seen booming business and greater people-to-people exchanges since cross-border travel resumed between China and its neighbors on Jan. 8, as part of the country's optimized COVID-19 response.
Zhang Yuan, who has been running a leather goods shop at the mall for 12 years, was delighted to have Mongolian merchants back. "As I reconnected with old friends, warm greetings were exchanged, and our handshakes lingered just a tad longer than usual," Zhang said.
Statistics from the commerce department of China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region showed the Erenhot highway port has recorded a daily average of about 600 passenger trips since Jan. 8. The port also handled 1.42 million tonnes of cargo in January, up 98.2 percent year on year.
Ceke Port, located in Alxa League in Inner Mongolia, is an important cross-border channel for mineral products transportation.
At a worksite in Ceke, Mongolian containers brimming with coal were hoisted onto waiting trucks before being shipped to various corners of China.
According to the regional department of commerce, inbound and outbound cargo volume at Ceke Port increased by 105,000 tonnes in January compared with December.
In Ganqmod Port, the largest highway port on the China-Mongolia border, trucks loaded with copper powder, coal and other mineral products were seen lining up to enter China.
With an impressive five-fold surge in the volume of goods handled since the start of 2023, cross-border trade is off to a roaring start at the bustling port, said Hecheltu, deputy director of the management committee of the Ganqmod Port.
Boldoo, a truck driver from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, has transported mineral products between China and Mongolia for eight years, mainly via Ganqmod Port.
"The port has seen an increasing number of trucks coming from Mongolia over the past month," said Boldoo. "I now earn 6,000 yuan (about 876.6 U.S. dollars) a month by making two trips every week. My family's life has greatly improved since I began this job."