Mongolia-donated sheep arrive in north China border city
Over a dozen trucks loaded with 4,000 sheep from Mongolia arrived in the China-Mongolia border city of Erenhot, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on Thursday.
This was the first batch of 30,000 sheep donated by Mongolia in support of China’s COVID-19 epidemic fight.
Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga, the first foreign head of state to visit China since the COVID-19 outbreak, promised to donate the sheep to China as a token of support during his one-day visit on February 27.
China has also actively provided medical supplies to Mongolia and shared prevention and treatment experience as well as information.
Mongolian food and agriculture minister Zagdjav Mendsaikhan said the remaining sheep will be sent to China within the next 10 days.
Dozens of Chinese customs officers dressed in white protective clothing inspected sheep-carrying vehicles at the Erenhot checkpoint on Thursday. The animals had undergone quarantine in Mongolia.
According to a bilateral agreement, the sheep are to be transported to Erenhot in batches, where they are slaughtered and processed before being sent to China’s Hubei Province, the former frontier of China’s epidemic fight.
Despite the impact of the pandemic, trade between China and Mongolia is still active under strict epidemic prevention and control measures. From January to October 14, a total of 1,820 China-Europe freight train trips were made through Erenhot, surpassing the total amount of last year.
As the largest China-Mongolia border city, Erenhot exported 68,000 tons of Chinese fresh fruits and vegetables to Mongolia in the first eight months of this year, up 12.5 percent year on year.
Baatarkhuu Khorloo, chairman of the Mongolian Association for Chinese History and Culture, said sheep are the best gifts in Mongolia.
“In the folk customs of Mongolia, sheep represent friendship and peace. When its neighbor was hit by the coronavirus, Mongolia sent a generous gift of 30,000 sheep to express support,” he said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the handover is a vivid representation of the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind as well as the long-lasting friendship between the two countries.