Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov to visit China

At the invitation of the Chinese government, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov will visit China from March 23 to 25 and attend the opening ceremony of the 2012 Sino-Russia Tourism Year in China, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Monday.

Hong made the announcement at a regular press briefing.

He said, China and Russia will hold “Tourism Year of Russia” and the “Tourism Year of China” in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

“The visit will be Surkov’s first to China and the first inter-governmental high-level visit between China and Russia in 2012,” Hong added.

Vice President Xi Jinping will meet with Surkov, Hong said. And Vice Premier Wang Qishan will hold talks with him, exchanging views on bilateral ties, Sino-Russia Tourism Year, and pragmatic cooperations in various fields between the two countries.

Wang and Surkov will attend the opening ceremony of Sino-Russia Tourism Year and Sino-Russia Tourism Cooperation Forum together, he said.

Hong said, the “Tourism Year of Russia” and the “Tourism Year of China” as grand national-level events, will promote personnel exchange, deepen mutual understanding and friendship between two countries. The events also have important significance in expanding economic and cultural cooperation, while boosting China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.

Over 200 events are scheduled to be held during the “Tourism Year of Russia”, the spokesman said. The year is to further expand tourism promotion and investment, as well as beefing up communication and cooperation in strengthening tourism safety protection.

Xinhua