Chinese and Russian Presidents Become "Dual Alumni"

(Global Times) 13:57, October 09, 2021

On 26 April, 2019, a special ceremony was being held at the Beijing Friendship Hotel. Amid warm applause from hundreds of teachers and students of Tsinghua University, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin walked into the hall. Here the alma mater of President Xi awarded President Putin an honorary doctorate.

On 26 April, 2019, Tsinghua University awarded President Putin an honorary doctorate.

The ceremony was held in a solemn and warm atmosphere. In the brightly lit hall, the national flags of China and Russia were lined up on both sides. At the center stood a large purple backdrop with golden characters in Chinese and Russian - "Awarding Ceremony of Honorary Doctorate by Tsinghua University to H.E. President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation." Chen Xu, secretary of the CPC Tsinghua University Committee, presided over the ceremony and read out the address of honor. Witnessed by President Xi and the teachers and students of Tsinghua, President Qiu Yong of Tsinghua presented the honorary doctorate certificate to President Putin, who then became a member of the "Tsinghua family" and President Xi's fellow alumnus.

President Putin said China has a time-honored, splendid civilization and has made remarkable achievements in scientific and technological innovation. Russia-China educational exchanges and cooperation are developing rapidly, with a large number of students from both sides studying in each other's country. He wished Tsinghua University greater achievements and encouraged students to pursue academic excellence and deepen the friendship between Russia and China for a better future of the bilateral relations.

President Xi encouraged young students to achieve new progress through hard work and pass on the baton of friendship between the two peoples. He also called on them to contribute their youth, wisdom and strength to the great cause of everlasting friendship between China and Russia and for the development and vitalization of the two countries.

As a Chinese saying goes, good things always come in pairs. On 6 June of the same year, another degree awarding ceremony highlighting the friendship between the two countries was held in St. Petersburg. President Putin's alma mater Saint Petersburg State University awarded an honorary doctorate to President Xi.

On 6 June, 2019, Saint Petersburg State University awarded an honorary doctorate to President Xi.

President Putin warmly welcomed President Xi at the main building of the university. After visiting an exhibition on the university's cooperation with China, the two presidents stepped into the auditorium together, where they were greeted with a standing ovation from the faculty members, students and guests present. After the national anthems of China and Russia were played, the university's rector read out the degree awarding resolution and presented President Xi with the honorary doctorate certificate.

President Xi said that cooperation in education is an important way to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples. In recent years, Saint Petersburg State University has enjoyed close exchanges and cooperation with its Chinese counterparts and promoted the spread of Chinese culture in Russia as well as the development of Russian studies in China. He encouraged young people in both countries to answer the call of the times, work with and inspire each other, and make personal pursuit part of the great cause of the development and vitalization of the two countries and the everlasting friendship between the two peoples. This will be the contribution of the young people to the development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era.

Sound state-to-state relations rely on friendship between the peoples as well as personal bond between the top leaders. Two presidents sharing each other's alma mater, as President Xi and President Putin do, is very rare in the political world. This not only testifies to the long-standing, deep personal friendship between the two presidents, but also bears witness to the ever-growing China-Russia relations over decades. There is every reason to believe that under the leadership of the two presidents, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era will surely be brought to a higher level and make even greater progress.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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