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Moscow, Beijing set out path on cooperation

By REN QI in Moscow | China Daily | Updated: 2020-12-09 10:03
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Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin attends a wreath laying ceremony to mark the anniversary of a military parade in 1941, when Soviet soldiers marched towards the front lines during World War II, in Moscow, Russia, Nov 7, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and his Beijing counterpart Chen Jining signed a program of cooperation between the two capitals covering the next three years, the press service of the Moscow mayor's office said on Monday.

According to Russian state news agency Tass, the cooperation program for 2021-23 will continue to see officials exchange best practices between the two cities in efforts such as fighting the coronavirus pandemic, developing their subway systems and enhancing tourism.

The signing ceremony was held as part of a video conference within the framework of the Moscow-Beijing-25: New Time-New Opportunities online forum. The event was convened to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of a partner relationship between the capitals of Russia and China.

Both cities have witnessed the rapid development of relations between China and Russia during that time, Chen said.

"Beijing is willing to continue to share unreservedly its experience gained in fighting the epidemic in accordance with the needs of Moscow," Chen said.

According to the agreement, the main direction of cooperation between Moscow and Beijing for the period to 2023 will be the exchange of best practices and implementation of joint projects in fields such as trade, economic and innovative cooperation, scientific and technical innovations, education, urban planning, transportation, public health, tourism and culture, and media, the press service of the Moscow mayor's office said.

The press service said the program includes the creation of a database of industry-specific experts in order to facilitate the exchange of scientific and technical talents; the development of cooperation in humanities by means of exchanging instructors, students, and schoolchildren; organizing joint study and research; and sharing best practices in city transportation management, as well as transportation planning for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. The program will also foster exchanges on coronavirus control, the treatment of COVID-19, and diagnostics work.

The Moscow government said trade between Moscow and China rose 10 percent, to $20.5 billion, for the first nine months of 2020 from the same period last year. Of that figure, exports from Moscow were valued at $1.46 billion, with $19 billion in imports from China.

The two city governments also plan to sign an agreement on cooperation between the Moscow and Beijing subways for another five-year term, Sobyanin said.

Within the framework of this agreement, the specialists will share their expertise in infrastructure development and on the implementation of cutting-edge technologies in the subways, he said.

Aside from the signing ceremony, the forum was set to culminate in an online gala concert with the participation of the Bolshoi Theatre Chamber Orchestra, the Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra, and the Beijing Symphony Orchestra. It was due to be aired by Russia's Culture TV channel and China's BTV.

In September, an agreement was signed between the Moscow Innovation Cluster and the Zhongguancun technology hub, also via video, on cooperation for innovations and research and development in leading-edge science and technology.

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