China-Russia cooperation blossoms in St. Petersburg
RUSSIA - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived for a visit in the Russian city of St. Petersburg last weekend, which has witnessed more and more joint economic and cultural projects between the two countries as they are deepening cooperation in various fields.
In 2005, the 1.3 billion-US dollar Pearl of the Baltic Sea project was launched in St. Petersburg’s southwest Krasnoselsky district. Shanghai Industrial Investment Co, Ltd. and seven other Chinese companies participated in the project, which has become China’s largest non-energy investment project in Russia. The Pearl of the Baltic Sea is a modern multi-functional residential and commercial zone, with a total construction area of 1.94 million square meters. More than 10 years later, the Pearl of the Baltic Sea has become a well-known local brand. At the project’s 10-year anniversary ceremony, St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko said the Pearl of the Baltic Sea had broken local stereotypes of residential districts by creating an environment comfortable for living, work and leisure. In 2015, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) completed a 13.8 million-cubic meter dredging operation project in the Bronka port in St. Petersburg. The cost of the work was approximately 110 million dollars. This is not only the first dredging project in Europe undertaken by China, but also an important part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road Initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and aspires to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes. In order to ensure the completion of the project, the CCCC gathered eight dredgers from five countries in the Bronka port. The CCCC managed to finish the dredging operation ahead of schedule, and the quality of work was highly estimated by Russia. On July 3, 2016, Beijing Jiaotong University, in collaboration with St. Petersburg State Transport University and Moscow State University of Railway Engineering, created the China-Russia High-Speed Rail Research Center headquartered in St. Petersburg. Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong said the center would accumulate knowledge from higher education and research institutions, well-known enterprises and experts from the two countries. The center will focus on key issues of high-speed rail development, and develop the sharing of research results and joint training, she said, adding that it will also provide technical and intellectual support to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). On the same day, Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine established the first legally recognized Chinese Medicine Center in Russia -- also in St. Petersburg. It has already become very popular among local residents. Cultural exchanges are also successful: Peking Opera and theatrical performances can be seen in the most famous theaters of St. Petersburg, notably Mariinsky and Alexandrinsky, and they are praised by the Russian audience. (Xinhuanet.com)
Premier Li attends symposium on Sinology research, pedagogy in St.Petersburg, Russia. (Photo: Xinhua)