At their third China-Russia sister city meeting delegates held warm discussions on how to develop friendly relations. Some also formally established new sister city links during the event.
Representatives from over 30 Chinese and Russian cities gathered in Beijing on Tuesday to further cooperation and agree on the promotion of multi-level exchanges.
Chen Haosu, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), said that along with the deepening of relations, examples of cooperation and exchange between the two countries' cities are increasing.
At present, 66 pairs of cities have been linked as sisters between China and Russia. They co-work on various areas including the economy, science, technology, culture and education.
Chen said the partnerships have played an active role in promoting mutual understanding and extending bilateral cooperation. The development of China's western region and rejuvenation of old industrial bases in northeast China have also offered new opportunities.
During Russian President Vladimir Putin's China visit earlier this month, he co-chaired a symposium on the expansion of regional cooperation with Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi. Russian ambassador to China Igor Rogachev said that, during this visit, representatives from more than 60 Russian localities had concrete exchanges with Chinese regional officials, helping to consolidate work in many fields.
The capitals, Beijing and Moscow, set up links in May 1995. Beijing Vice-Mayor Zhang Mao said that since then, they have cooperated extensively in many areas, even in bidding for the Olympics. His Moscow counterpart M. Men said that partnership with Chinese cities is a priority of Moscow's international exchanges.
The first and second China-Russia sister city meetings were held in Moscow in 1997 and 2002.
(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2004)