Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin Jointly Attend and Address the Opening Ceremony of the China-Russia Years of Culture and Special Concert Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of China-Russia Diplomatic Relations

On the afternoon of May 16, 2024, President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin jointly attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the China-Russia Years of Culture and a special concert celebrating the 75th anniversary of China-Russia diplomatic relations at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

Amidst enthusiastic applause, Xi Jinping and Putin entered the venue together.

Xi Jinping delivered a speech first.

Noting that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations, Xi Jinping said that the history of China-Russia relations over the past three quarters of a century shows that consolidating and developing enduring good-neighborly friendship, comprehensive strategic coordination, and mutually beneficial cooperation serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, conforms to the expectations of the international community and the trend of the times, and holds irreplaceable importance. Holding thematic years in each other’s countries has become a fine tradition of the people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Russia, and a feature and highlight of bilateral relations over their course of development, which has been widely applauded by the two peoples. Xi Jinping said that last year, he and President Putin agreed to make 2024 and 2025 the China-Russia Years of Culture, and the two sides officially launched this cultural event today. The two countries will organize a series of colorful cultural exchange programs to further unleash the potential of bilateral cultural cooperation and jointly open up a new future of China-Russia cultural exchanges. Xi Jinping expressed the belief that this will inject new impetus to the two countries’ effort to carry forward the China-Russia friendship from generation to generation and promote mutual understanding and amity between the two peoples.

Xi Jinping pointed out that both Chinese and Russian folk music are beautiful flowers in the garden of world civilizations, and that tonight’s music feast will become a splendid chapter in the cultural exchange and mutual learning between China and Russia. He called on both sides to take the China-Russia Years of Culture as an opportunity and the celebration of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations as a new starting point to work together to enrich the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era and open up a bright future for bilateral friendship.

Putin said in his speech that he fully agrees with President Xi Jinping’s positive assessment of the Russia-China relations. The peoples of Russia and China are as close as brothers. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The Russian people have sincere admiration for the great achievements the Chinese people have made under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 75 years ago, Russia-China relations have accumulated a lot of valuable experience and are now at their best in history. Built on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual trust, Russia-China relations have contributed to the development of their respective countries, benefited the two peoples and set a good example for international relations. Holding the Russia-China Years of Culture on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries is of great symbolic significance. Russia is ready to deepen the people-to-people and cultural exchanges with China to enhance mutual understanding and promote the continuous upgrading of bilateral cooperation.

The two heads of state jointly watched the wonderful cultural and artistic performances presented by artists from both China and Russia.

About 1,000 friends from various sectors of China and Russia attended the event.

Cai Qi, Wang Yi, and Shen Yiqin, among others, were present.

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