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'National Year', 'Tourism Year' held in China, Russia

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-23 04:00

BEIJING - Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony of the "Year of Chinese Tourism" in Russia Friday in Moscow.

China and Russia have previously held reciprocal national and language years, and the Russian tourism year in China.

The "Year of Russia" in China was launched on Jan 1, 2006. The two heads of state attended its opening ceremony on March 21 and the prime ministers of the two countries attended its closing ceremony on Nov 9.

On Dec 31, 2006, then Chinese President Hu Jintao and Putin exchanged messages of congratulation to celebrate the new year of 2007 and announced the inauguration of the "Year of China" in Russia. The prime ministers of the two nations attended its closing ceremony on Nov 6, 2007.

During the two years, China and Russia held more than 500 events covering political, economic, cultural, military, education, technology and health fields.

The "Year of Russian Language" in China was held in 2009. More than 260 events were held in 22 Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, with participants and audiences reaching more than 100 million.

The "Year of Chinese Language" in Russia was held in 2010. Russia's 23 federal subjects celebrated more than 200 events. Chinese kung fu, cuisine, medicine and philosophy became increasingly popular among the Russian people.

In 2012, the "Year of Russian Tourism" in China was successfully held. The number of Chinese tourists visiting Russia during the year rose 47 percent to 343,000.

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