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China and Russia: Forever Friends
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16:25, October 29, 2008

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held a cordial, hearty talk with a dozen Russian friends on Tuesday, October 28th shortly after his arrival in Moscow, who have made vital, important contributions to the promotion of Sino-Russian friendship and cooperation.

These Russian friends are, among others, Alexander B. Shokin, an academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs; Sergei L. Tihvinsky, honorary president of the Russia-China Friendship Association (RCFA) and an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who had witnessed the founding ceremony of new China on October 1st of 1949; and Svetlana V. Khorkina, Russia's gymnastics "queen" and vice-president the State Duma's Committee on Youth Affairs.

Premier Wen was elated at this special get-together with old friends and new acquaintances. These Russian friends of different ages and with varied experiences come from all walks of life, but have a shared objective, he acknowledged, that is to advance the Sino-Russian friendship from generation to generation.

Premier Wen set the topic of the conversation by using the phrase "China and Russia: Forever Friends", written on a streamer by Russia kids at All-Russia Children's Care Center in Far East Vladivostok when they were greeting students from China's quake-hit areas. "These words, though plan and simple, display our common aspirations for the future Sino-Russian friendship and cooperation," he said.

Shokhin took the floor first. Noting that Russian people have paid attention to China's development in recent years, he said that Russia's business circle has shown a growing interest in its cooperation with China in a hope to widen channels of bilateral cooperation, particularly to expand its machinery and electrical exports to China.

In reply, Wen said there has already been a complete, turn-key mechanism for Sino-Russian economic and trade ties, which has played a vital role in advancing substantial bilateral cooperation in all fields. He also told Shokhin that the trade issue on machinery and electrical products is being tackled by both sides and related talks are underway for taking positive measures.

Tihvinsky, 90, an ace, veteran Sinologist, voiced the hope to further deepen the exchanges between the people of Russia and China. He also said that both the Russian Language Year in China in 2009 and the Chinese Language Year in Russia in 2010 would "draw more young people to Russia-China cultural exchanges." After voicing his wish for his good health and long life, Premier Wen said the Chinese government attached great importance to the Russian Culture Year in China and the Chinese Culture Year in Russia in the coming two years. He sincerely invited Tihvinsky to Beijing again during the Russian language year in China in 2009 provided his health condition permits.

To cope with the current global financial crisis, Andrei Kokoshin,first vice-president of the State Duma's Science and Technology Committee, raised policy proposals on Russia-China cooperation to cope with the present global financial crisis, saying that it is essential to revamp the existing global monetary setup, enhance financial supervision and handle appropriately the relationship between the fictitious and real economies.

Premier Wen replied that the real economy, which poses the basis, requires the steady, sound fictitious economy to back up as its guarantee. Faced with the financial crisis, he said, it is imperative to adopt emergency measures and stabilize both the market and people's confidence, and it is all the more crucial to see farther ahead and have a long-range objective, so as to ensure the long-term, sustainable growth of economy.

The presence of Russia's gymnastics "queen" Svetlana V. Khorkina caught the attention of Wen, who praised her for having made many Chinese friends, in a hope that she would make special contributions to the exchange of youths and sports between the two nations.

Khorkina said joyously that she was very much fond of the longstanding Chinese culture and the enthusiastic Chinese people; she also voiced her resolve to promote the exchanges between the young people of the two countries.

Uliya S. Shoigu, the daughter of Russian Minister for Emergency Situation Sergei K. Shoigu, said she admired the united, courageous spirit of Chinese people in the face of natural disasters, and suggested Russia and China going on to enhance cooperation in relief endeavor for the wellbeing of their people. She was a member of the first Russian rescue team sent to help China in the wake of devastating Sichuan quakes occurred in mid May.

Premier Wen availed himself of the opportunity to extend his heartfelt thanks to the great Russian people for the tremendous aid and help they had rendered China during the massive quake relief. He particularly mentioned President Dmitry Medvedev's invitation to a total of 1,000 primary and middle-school students from China quake areas to recuperate in Russia from July 17 to August 5. Russian friends, while presenting their love and compassion, have also sown the "seeds of Sino-Russia friendship" in the pure minds of Chinese students, he said. Moreover, he quoted what one kid had written in a diary, "Russians have moved us profoundly today, and we'll go all out to work for Sino-Russia ties tomorrow."

Either in the prolonged years of war in history or during their respective construction periods, Wen recalled, the people of the two nations have all along learned from and helped each other, and gone through trials and tribulations together. And it is precisely owed to the "torch of learning" passing on from generation to generation that "the trees of Sino-Russia friendship" are having luxuriant foliage and spreading branches, overhung with rich fruit, he said.

While posing for a group photo at the end of the meeting, Premier Wen asked all those present to convey the great message that the "Chinese and Russians will be forever friends" to all Chinese and Russian people.

By People's Daily Online and contributed by PD reporters Shi Xiaohui and Zhang Guangzheng

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