On March 23, 2012, Vice President Xi Jinping met with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov, who is also the Russian chairman of the organizing committee of "China-Russia Tourism Year", at the Great Hall of the People.
Xi expressed welcome for Surkov's visit and attendance at the opening ceremony of the "Year of Russian Tourism". Xi said China and Russia are each other's important strategic cooperative partners. The healthy and stable growth of bilateral relations serves as a key positive factor for speeding up the development of both countries, as well as a positive factor for promoting a multi-polar world and maintaining regional and world peace and stability. He hailed the current growth momentum of China-Russia relations, citing political mutual trust and support, frequent high-level visits, rapid trade growth and close coordination in global affairs. China is willing to work together with Russia to implement the 10-year plan on the development of China-Russia relations as well as a range of important cooperation consensus reached by the two heads of state. Xi also urged both sides to maintain the continuity of the development of bilateral relations, strengthen cooperation in scientific and technological innovation and other areas and promote the comprehensive Sino-Russian strategic cooperative partnership to a new level so as to better benefit the two peoples and safeguard regional and world peace, development and stability.
Xi said the decision to hold the tourism year was an "important consensus" made between the two heads of state by focusing on long-term development of bilateral ties. The "China-Russia Tourism Year" is the third theme year to be held following the "China-Russia National Year" and the "China-Russia Year of Language" held in 2006 and 2009, respectively. "The year is of great importance for revealing the two countries' natural and cultural landscapes, boosting personnel exchanges, deepening the two peoples' traditional friendship and facilitating economic growth," Xi said. China is ready to work closely with Russia to encourage people from all walks of life to participate in and make arrangements for the activities that will be held as part of the tourism year, he added. He expressed his confidence that the upcoming "China-Russia Tourism Year" will be a "full success" with joint efforts from both countries.
Surkov extended congratulations to China for the success of annual sessions of its legislature and political advisory body. Surkov said the whole world, including Russia, is paying close attention to China's development and achievement. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made it clear in an article that China's development is an opportunity to Russia and is conducive to the development of Russia. Surkov fully agreed with Xi's views on China-Russia ties and the "Year of Russian Tourism". He said Russia is committed to developing its strategic cooperative partnership with China and boosting bilateral pragmatic cooperation in areas such as technological innovation and tourism so as to push forward bilateral ties.
Vice Premier Wang Qishan, also the Chinese chairman of the organizing committee for the tourism year, and other officials accompanied Xi during the meeting.