The forthcoming holding of the Year of Russia in China will help strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries and Russia hopes to expand bilateral cooperation in science and technology, culture and physical education, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua prior to his visit to China on March 21-22, Putin said Russia attaches great importance to keeping a close and sincere partnership with China, noting Russia will vigorously develop the bilateral ties.
The Russian president lauded China's remarkable economic achievements, saying China's technology and education have also advanced rapidly along with its ever-increasing international reputation.
There exists broad prospects for bilateral cooperation in the fields of humanities and information exchange, Putin noted.
"Our overall impressions of each other, to a large extent, are based on our past experience," Putin said. "Therefore, it is highly important to let the two peoples know better about the real life in Russia and China, about the achievements they have been making over recent years."
The decision on launching the Year of Russia in China in 2006 and the Year of China in Russia in 2007 totally meets the requirement for the task of promoting bilateral ties, Putin said, adding that a series of grand events to be held during the two years are aimed to bring the two peoples closer and enrich the creative cooperation with new ideas and activities, which will be ultimately conducive to promoting the strategic partnership between the two countries to a new level.
To strengthen the understanding and friendship between the two peoples, it is far from enough only by holding some events within the framework of the two Years, Putin said.
Russia and China should go all out to increase exchanges in science and technology, culture, physical education, youth and tourism, he added, saying that the two sides have already gained experiences in such cooperation and achieved some fruits.
On his forthcoming visit to Beijing, Putin said he is always very happy to meet with President Hu Jintao and other Chinese leaders.
Putin expressed the hope that his visit would yield new substantial fruits, which would be conducive to vigorously developing the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership.
During his two-day visit to China, Putin will attend the opening ceremony of the Russian Year.
In October 2004, the two countries decided to launch the Year of Russia in China in 2006 and the Year of China in Russia in 2007.