President Hu Jintao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin participated in the opening ceremony of the "Year of China" in Russia in the Kremlin Monday evening.
The two heads of state vowed to take the chance of the event to further promote the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation in all aspects.
Addressing the opening ceremony of this theme year, which is a reciprocal event of the "Year of Russia" in China last year, Hu hailed the history and achievements of Russia and its people as well as the friendship between the two peoples.
"Headed by President Putin, Russia has witnessed political stability and fast economic growth. The Russian people are leading a better life, too," Hu said.
Russia has played an important role in international and regional affairs, which enabled Russia to gain respect from the international community, Hu noted.
"As a friendly neighbor and strategic partner, the Chinese government and people are sincerely happy about that," Hu added.
Since the establishment of the strategic partnership, the cooperation between the two countries has been keeping growing and fruitful, Hu said.
China and Russia decided to mark the theme years during Hu's visit to Russia in 2005, for the sake of enhancing the mutual understanding and friendship, as well as ensuring the sound and steady long-term development of the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation, he noted.
Hu spoke highly of the "Year of Russia" in China, during which over 300 events were presented to hundreds of thousands of Chinese people. While in the coming "Year of China," 200 events covering politics, economy, science and culture will be held in Russia.
Besides showcasing its splendid culture and history, China is also expected to present the fruits of its reform and opening-up policy in the theme year, which will promote the cooperation in various fields and strengthen the people-to-people contact in the two countries, so as to further revitalize the growth of Sino-Russian relations.
China is ready to continue working with Russia to further implement the Sino-Russian Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation and strategic coordination, promote common development and contribute to the building of a harmonious world featuring lasting peace and common prosperity, Hu pledged.
Putin also hailed the successful "Year of Russia" in China, by saying that the decision to mark the theme years is of "strategic significance."
"The theme years will uplift the bilateral relation to a new level and serve as a foundation for the future cooperation between the two peoples," he said.
He spoke highly of the strategic partnership of cooperation and foresaw a promising development for bilateral relations in the future.
(Xinhua News Agency March 27, 2007)