Governments call for more exchanges between young Chinese and Russians

Updated: 2014-03-30 07:35

By China Daily and Xinhua (China Daily)

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Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong called on young people from China and Russia to combine their individual dreams with national prosperity and development and contribute to promoting friendly ties between the two countries.

Liu said in a speech delivered on Friday at St. Petersburg State University in Russia's "cultural capital" that the people of China and Russia enjoy a longstanding traditional friendship, and leaders of the two countries attach great importance to the people-to-people exchanges.

Liu was in St. Petersburg to attend the opening ceremony of the China-Russia Youth Year of Friendship Exchanges.

According to Liu, humanitarian cooperation, together with political mutual trust and economic and trade cooperation, serve as the three pillars of China-Russia ties. And the humanitarian cooperation between the two countries covers various fields, including youth, education, culture, sports, tourism and media.

The launch of the China-Russia Youth Year of Friendship Exchanges is a new start, Liu said, expressing hope that the youth of the two countries could safeguard and maintain friendly ties, pass on tradition, and make contributions to world peace and development.

The Chinese and Russian governments have been making great efforts for a long time to promote the exchanges between the youth of both countries.

In December 2012, China and Russia announced at a bilateral conference that the two countries will jointly carry out a student exchange program, which aims to bring the total number of Chinese students studying in Russia and Russian students studying in China (both long-term and short-term) to 100,000 by the year 2020.

Incomplete statistics from the Ministry of Education showed that by the end of 2012, there were 15,000 Russian students studying in China while there were 25,000 Chinese students in Russia.

To achieve the goal, in 2013, the Ministry of Education made a detailed plan, which consists of a series of measures and will be implemented by education authorities and institutions across the country.

For example, the plan mentioned that the Hanban, or the Confucius Institute Headquarters, as well as 18 Confucius institutes in Russia, will make use of their scholarship programs and language training programs during summer vacations to attract more Russian scholars and students to attend Chinese-language training classes and summer camps in China.

Chinese universities are also encouraged to open Russian courses, establish exchange programs and run joint schools with their Russian counterparts. Chinese students are called on to learn the Russian language and take part in visits or summer camps in Russia.

The ministry said it will boost the number of Chinese students who apply to study in Russia at their own expense to reach 10,000 by 2020.

Following the opening ceremony, a series of activities, including a youth exchange program that involves 100 schools and 10,000 students from both countries, are expected to take place throughout the year.

 Governments call for more exchanges between young Chinese and Russians

Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets hold the signed minutes of their meeting on Friday, during which they discussed a youth exchange program, among other topics. Lu Jinbo / Xinhua

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