Dmitry Medvedev’s remarks:
Mr Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang, friends, let me cordially congratulate all of you on today’s event. We have successfully completed one joint project and are launching another. There are very many young people in this room and one even feels sad at the thought that the Year of Friendly Youth Exchanges is coming to an end. This year is part of the large-scale humanitarian cooperation between our two countries. Supporting these projects at the state level facilitates interaction between people, no matter what they were doing – studying Russian or Chinese, enjoying a period of rest, or promoting their business. As a result, very many contacts – creative, scientific, business – have been generated. The Russians and Chinese spend more time together and better understand each other. This opens up new opportunities for rapprochement between our countries and peoples.
By all estimates, the project of the year and the youth exchanges held have been a success. I’d like to thank everyone who took part in this project and helped organise it. I’d like to thank separately the two vice premiers of our countries – Ms Liu Yandong and Ms Olga Golodets.
Direct ties have been established between universities and schools. We support this movement, this is quite fine, this creates opportunities for young Chinese who would like to get an education in our country, and vice versa. Obviously, nothing brings people closer than student years spent in the company of each other. This, in fact, is a potential of our relations and a pledge for good relations in the future.
There are participants in the Friendship Train campaign here. The train travelled from St Petersburg to Beijing with stops in major cities. Upon my word, I sincerely envy you: It would be very interesting to take a ride of this sort. The train was everywhere met with sincere interest.
Generally, we have provided an impetus for youth contacts. Now it is your turn to display an initiative. And your task is to preserve these ties for years ahead so as to be able to communicate freely, promote our relations, and just cherish this friendship.
I am absolutely certain that the Russian-Chinese Media Year, which we are opening today, will be held in a similar friendly atmosphere. Young people’s energy will be complemented by the openness of media and their specific journalistic view. Practically all media have signalled their desire to participate; book publishers, producers and film directors involved in making quite different products, both feature films and documentaries, are ready to join them as well.
This project is distinguished by yet another important trait – the icing, as we say in Russia. Thanks to journalists, the events will be within reach of any audience, while media forums will involve major Chinese and Russian TV channels, news agencies, radio corporations, newspapers and magazines.
The coming year, the Year of Media, will also be special because the mere volume of the media, the media market, as they call it, is largest in China – both print media and over half a billion Internet users; the Russian media market is also significant. Thus, the coverage will be just fantastic.
We discussed the prospects of the world wide web’s development at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen. The joint projects of our media may turn into an example of a quality media product, and moreover, help in creating the best information exchange system.
I would like to address Chinese mass media representatives to thank them for the high level of professionalism that we all – the Russian delegation – feel as we visit your beautiful country. We expect China’s media representatives will take a very active part in the coming events hosted by Russia.
Dear friends, friendship always comes from the heart. It is related to mutual sympathy, respect and trust, and it is exactly these feelings that a great number of people in China and Russia have towards each other. Please do not doubt that these people can always count on mutual support arising from the feelings that their friends hold. I would like to wish you new friends as friends make up a considerable part of what we take pride in, the environment in our lives, and just a large part of them. All the more so as our predecessors always treated friends as a foundation to build one’s life upon. This is the reason one of the renowned Chinese proverbs says, “When people are friends, even water seems sweet.”
I wish you success. Thank you.