Ob­servers hail Xi’s Sochi trip

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHAO YANRONG REN QI

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Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s at­ten­dance at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the Win­ter Olympics in Sochi re­flects China’s strong sup­port for the Olympics and shows that it at­taches great im­por­tance to the strate­gic co­or­di­na­tion part­ner­ship be­tween the two na­tions, ob­servers said.

Rus­sia was the first coun­try that Xi vis­ited af­ter tak­ing of­fice in March, and the trip to Sochi marks the Chi­nese leader’s first at­ten­dance at an in­ter­na­tional sports event out­side China.

Mikhail Titarenko, di­rec­tor of the Rus­sian Academy of Sciences In­sti­tute of the Far East, said th­ese two “firsts” il­lus­trate the im­por­tance of Sino-Rus­sian re­la­tions.

“Global events like the Win­ter Olympics will help to en­hance the friend­ship be­tween lead­ers from the two coun­tries. The event is also a good op­por­tu­nity to strengthen bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes be­tween China and Rus­sia,” Titarenko added.

An ar­ti­cle in the Rus­sian news­pa­per Neza­v­isi­maya Gazeta said Xi’s trip to Sochi, along with the visit of Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin to Bei­jing for the 2008 Olympics, shows that co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the coun­tries has be­come more ef­fec­tive and diver­si­fied.

Com­pared with some Western coun­tries’ lead­ers, who have re­fused to at­tend the open­ing cer­e­mony in Sochi, Xi’s visit gives huge sup­port to his Rus­sian coun­ter­part, show­ing that Bei­jing and Moscow are us­ing ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to sup­port each other as strate­gic part­ners, the ar­ti­cle said.

Chi­nese Am­bas­sador to Rus­sia Li Hui said Xi’s trip to Sochi also shows China’s con­fi­dence in be­com­ing more open to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

“Xi’s at­ten­dance at the Sochi Win­ter Olympics open­ing comes af­ter China’s most im­por­tant tra­di­tional fes­ti­val, Chi­nese New Year. The trip also makes Rus­sia, for the sec­ond time, Xi’s first for­eign desti­na­tion of the year. All this shows the sig­nif­i­cance of the spe­cial re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries,” Li said.

Li also said that this year marks the 65th an­niver­sary of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween China and Rus­sia.

“We be­lieve Pres­i­dent Xi’s visit to Sochi will deepen the com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship of co­or­di­na­tion be­tween China and Rus­sia. And we wish the Sochi Win­ter Olympics great suc­cess,” Li added. Con­tact the writ­ers at zhaoy­an­rong@chi­nadaily.com. cn and renqi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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