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Relationship Blossoms
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Weeds grow by themselves, whereas a blooming garden requires effort.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov is in town, pulling efforts with Chinese leaders to take care of the garden.

The grand ceremony and show at the Great Wall of the People last night dropped the curtain of the Year of Russia in China. The one for the Year of China is to be raised in Russia next year.

The events are part of the flowers in the garden, which the two countries have been tending to well.
The idea of the Year of Russia in China, and the Year of China in Russia, was generated by the merging of two trends - the multiple old contacts and an amazing growth of the new ones.

The Year of Russia in China, which opened with Russian President Vladimir Putin's China visit in March, was not merely an intensive cultural program. Impressive as it is, the cultural festival was only a small part of the events.

The Year of Russia in China, including events within the framework of programs on political, business, inter-regional, science and technology co-operation, and humanitarian interaction, was a showcase of the diverse interactions between the two countries.

The efforts do not stop when the curtain drops. The two countries have made plans for activities for the next two years, with a vision for the future.

The launching of the Year of Russia in China was not a routine event, but a massive response to moving the bilateral relations to a higher level.

The approach was to nurture more communication at the grass-roots level.

The two countries are free from political issues. This has facilitated the smooth development of their relations.

The experience of the 1950s when millions of citizens of the two countries communicated with one another was a precious experience still relevant today, when both countries have changed beyond recognition.

The event - both the Year of Russia in China and the upcoming Year of China in Russia - made it possible for Chinese and Russians to know each other better.

The communication at the top level is smooth. President Hu Jintao met his Russian counterpart Putin four times last year.

Those in Beijing and in the Kremlin believe that relations between China and Russia are the best that we have ever seen.

A strong bond between the two countries does not die with the retirement of the generations in both countries that used to understand each other well.

The Year of Russia in China is part of the joint efforts to keep their great friendship flourishing.
It appears that the leaders of the two countries bless the development of bilateral ties on all fronts, especially the people-to-people contact.

Only when the peoples of the two countries appreciate the importance of their ties, can they serve as good "gardeners."

(China Daily November 10, 2006)

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