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  Thursday, June 4, 2020
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Major cultural event about Russia in China this year encourages warm relations between the countries
A major cultural event about Russia in China this year encourages warm relations between the countries, Russia's first deputy prime minister said Tuesday. Proposed by China and coordinated in 2004, the Year of Russia in China was designed to promote cultural ties between the neighbors, which had a fractious relationship in the Soviet-era over territorial disputes and other issues. And Dmitry Medvedev, who is on a visit to Beijing, said, "The Year of Russia in China is creating the most favorable conditions for the development of friendship between the two nations." Out of more than 200 events planned during the year-long festival in China, Medvedev singled out the 13th international book fair, which is scheduled to open in days and features Russia as the main guest. Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Wu Yi said the festival had encouraged unprecedented activity putting Russia in the public highlight. She said a roundtable of Russian and Chinese lawmakers, to be held in the northwestern city Harbin on September 18, will be of utmost importance for the development of inter-parliamentary and regional ties. The festival also includes such events as a business forum, a Russian cultural festival and weeks of Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia's largest cities. The Chinese official said the meeting of the Russian and Chinese premiers on November 9-10 would be the climax of the Year of Russia in China and that a Russian exhibition and investment forum would be held then. Relations between the Soviet Union and China reached a nadir in 1969 with armed clashes over a disputed border. But Moscow and Beijing have improved ties in the last few years with a border-demarcation treaty signed in 2001 and energy projects, such as a multi-billion dollar oil pipeline from Siberia to the Pacific, under development.
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