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Xi, Putin attend opening ceremony of 'Tourism Year of China'

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-23 02:24

MOSCOW - Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, attended here on Friday evening the opening ceremony of the "Tourism Year of China" in Russia.

The "China-Russia Tourism Year" program, which began last year with the "Tourism Year of Russia" in China, aims to foster tourism ties and humanistic exchanges between the two countries.

It is the third theme year following the "China-Russia National Year" and the "China-Russia Year of Language" held in recent years in the two countries.

The "China-Russia Tourism Year" would not only deepen mutual understanding and strengthen friendship between the two peoples, but also consolidate the social basis of the China-Russia ties, said Li Hui, Chinese ambassador to Russia.

Both rich in tourism resources, China and Russia boast distinctive features to attract tourists, with China renowned for its oriental elegance and Russia famous for Eurasian-style architecture.

"I believe the goal to raise the total number of visits (between the two countries), 3.3 million in 2012, to 5 million by 2015 will be likely realized in advance," said Alexander Radkov, head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism.

Xi arrived in Moscow earlier in the day for a state visit to Russia, the first leg of his maiden foreign trip since he took over the presidency last week.


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