On April 26, 2012, Vice Premier Li Keqiang who just arrived in Russia met in the hotel with representatives of friendly personnel from the academic, educational, cultural, science and technology and industrial communities of China and Russia and held cordial talks with them.
Li said that the friendly feeling between the people is crucial to state-to-state relations and forms the basis and guarantee for the sustainable development of relations between countries. China is Russia's largest neighbor and vice versa. One important reason that the bilateral relations develop so well today is that a large number of friendly personnel have been dedicated to protecting, promoting and developing the bilateral friendship in different historical periods. They are committed to the undertaking of China-Russia friendship and have left us many moving stories. Today, representing thousands of promoters of China-Russia relations, we meet old friends and make new ones. What we talk about here fully demonstrates the profound and long-standing nature of China-Russia friendly exchanges. He expressed gratitude and respect to the friendly personnel for being committed to the bilateral friendship over the years.
He pointed out that China-Russia friendship has a wide social and mass basis. Raising the bilateral relations to the level of comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership builds a broader stage for the non-governmental exchanges between the two countries. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the non-governmental exchanges and supports the various friendship activities between China and Russia with the purpose of making the bilateral friendship deeply rooted in the two peoples. We need both to consolidate and carry forward the non-governmental friendship between China and Russia. He encouraged more young people to join and push forward the undertaking of China-Russia friendship and pass on the friendship from generation to generation.
Chairman of the China-Russia Friendship Association Chen Haosu and first Vice President of the Russia-China Friendship Association Galina Kulikova also spoke during the meeting. They extended gratitude to Li for meeting with the Chinese and Russian friendly personnel immediately after arriving in Russia and expressed agreement upon Li's remarks. They said that China-Russia friendship goes back to ancient times and people of both countries always have friendly feelings for each other. China and Russia are both facing important opportunities of development. The two great nations should strengthen mutual understanding and support each other on the road of revitalization. It is the call of the times and the desire of the people to deepen China-Russia non-governmental exchanges. Many of them have dedicated their whole life to promoting the bilateral friendship and feel proud of participating in and boosting the process. They will continue to assume the historical mission, join the cause of friendship and sow the seed of friendship in different positions. The sprout and blossom of friendship will further consolidate the social foundation and boost the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.
At the meeting, Chinese and Russian youth performed songs of the two countries to express their enthusiasm and aspirations of carrying foward China-Russia friendship.