On the evening of March 23, 2013 (local time), President Xi Jinping met with Russian sinologists, Chinese-learning students and media representatives in Moscow.
Among the Russian participants, there were octogenarians, vigorous youths and college students, who all have a common experience and aspiration - to promote China-Russia friendship. President Xi shook hands and exchanged greetings with them at the start of the meeting.
Xi said that the Russian friends present at the meeting included people of all ages, among whom there were respected "China hands" as well as youths trying to become "China hands". President Xi, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, expressed sincere respect to them for their long-term devotion to the cause of China-Russia friendship. He expressed his interest in hearing their views and suggestions.
Rector Bazhanov of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vice President Lukyanov of Russia-China Friendship Association, Chief Editor Abulkhatin of ITAR-TASS, a researcher from the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of Russian Academy of Sciences, Director Ivchenko of the Confucius Institute of Russian State University for the Humanities, and a student representative from Moscow State Institute of International Relations took the floor to express their friendly feelings to China as well as their views and suggestions on strengthening the teaching of the Chinese language and the studies on contemporary China and promoting media and cultural exchanges.
Having listened to their observations, Xi made some remarks. Xi said that he was deeply inspired by their observations, indicating that what they felt was a result of emotional accumulation and their hearts were filled with affection to China. Xi also indicated that he had high expectations for China-Russia relations and he would look into their expectations and insights.
Xi said that the cultural exchange is an undertaking to win people’s hearts and the future. Russia is one of the world's earliest countries to study sinology and Russia is leading the world in this area. Precisely because of the long-term bilateral cultural exchanges and convergence, China-Russia friendship is flourishing based on its deep root in people’s hearts.
Xi said that Gogol, a Russian writer, once said that the youths are happy because they have the future. To develop good bilateral relations, the two countries need to be future-oriented and cultivate the friendship between young generations. Let the young people understand each other's yesterday and today, learn the language and culture of the other country, and engage in soul communication. Only through more exchanges and more contacts, can they obtain more comprehensive and more profound understanding of each other. China and Russia agreed to bring the total number of Chinese and Russian students studying in the two countries to 100,000 by 2020. To develop the successors of China-Russia friendship, the two countries should start from young people.
Xi stressed that the Chinese nation and the Russian nation are both ancient civilizations with a long history and splendid cultures. As two great nations, the two countries should be more intimate and friendlier to each other. The two great nations should stay friendly from generation to generation and never become enemies. The Chinese dream of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is highly compatible with the Russian goal of achieving national development and revitalization. Let China and Russia join hands to develop side by side.
The same day, Peng Liyuan, Xi's wife, visited a local boarding school for orphans and children estranged from their parents in Moscow. She visited their classrooms and dormitories. Having watched the students singing, dancing and performing acrobatics, Peng said to the kids that she represented hundreds of thousands of Chinese mothers to come to see them. Children are the future of mankind. She passed on her wishes for the children to lead healthy, happy lives and contribute meaningfully to society.
Subsequently, Peng came to visit Alexandrov Red Flag Song & Dance Ensemble, which is a prestigious song and dance ensemble of the Russian army and has visited China many times. Russian performers sang the famous songs of the two countries respectively in Russian and Chinese and performed wonderful dances to welcome the arrival of the Chinese guests. Peng said that music has no borders. She welcomed the ensemble to perform again in China and make greater contributions to promoting bilateral cultural exchanges and enhancing the friendship between the two peoples.