Xi Jinping Attends the Awarding Ceremony and Receives Honorary Doctorate from St. Petersburg State University

On June 6, 2019 local time, President Xi Jinping attended a ceremony at which he was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Petersburg State University in St. Petersburg. President Vladimir Putin of Russia attended the ceremony.

Xi Jinping was warmly welcomed by Vladimir Putin when he arrived at the main building of St. Petersburg State University. After an exhibition on the university's cooperation with China, the two heads of state stepped into the auditorium together, where they were met with a standing ovation from the faculty members, students and guests present. The national anthems of China and Russia were played.

The rector of St. Petersburg State University read out the awarding degree resolution, and awarded President Xi Jinping the honorary doctorate certificate.

Xi Jinping expressed in his speech that he felt honored to receive an honorary doctorate from St. Petersburg State University. The university is a world-renowned and time-honored academic institution which has made remarkable contributions to the scientific, cultural and educational development of Russia and the whole world, and nurtured many sinologists excelling in both the Chinese language and culture. Cooperation in education is an important way to help enhance people's understanding and friendship. And St. Petersburg State University's close exchanges and cooperation with its Chinese counterparts in recent years have vigorously promoted the Chinese culture in Russia as well as Russian studies in China.

Recalling that he witnessed the awarding of an honorary doctorate by Tsinghua University to President Vladimir Putin in April this year in Beijing, Xi Jinping pointed out the Tsinghua University and St. Petersburg State University, respectively his and President Vladimir Putin's alma mater, are outstanding representatives of higher-education institutions in China and Russia. Their conferring of honorary doctorates on the heads of state of each other's countries testifies to the close educational and cultural exchanges between the two sides, and demonstrates the high level of China-Russia relations. It is hoped that the two countries will constantly expand educational exchanges and cooperation, promote their own fine culture, and learn from each other, so as to cultivate more talents for their respective development.

Xi Jinping stressed that the youth is the hope of human progress and future of China-Russia friendship. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia, and the relations between the two countries have entered a new era. The young generations in both countries should courageously shoulder their responsibilities and work together, encourage each other and make common progress. They should integrate their ideals into the development and revitalization of the two countries and the lasting friendship between the two peoples, so as to contribute to the development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era.

Vladimir Putin said I was honored that President Xi Jinping was conferred an honorary doctorate by my alma mater. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to President Xi Jinping. President Xi Jinping has made important contributions to advancing the profound development of Russia-China relations, launched a series of important initiatives with regard to international relations, and made personal efforts to advance their implementation. And President Xi Jinping's proposal of jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative has drawn international support and involvement. Top-notch Russian academic institutions, including St. Petersburg State University, have carried out fruitful exchanges and cooperation with their Chinese peers, and the deepening of mutual understanding between the two peoples is bound to further promote bilateral relations.

The ceremony ended up with the chorus of the anthem of the International Union of Students performed by the faculty members and students present. Following the awarding ceremony, Russian and Chinese students presented the two heads of state with oil paintings as gifts.

The two heads of state also visited the Mendeleev workshop together.

Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng and others were also presented.

On the afternoon of June 6 local time, Xi Jinping left Moscow by a special plane and arrived in St. Petersburg for the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Xi Jinping was warmly greeted by senior officials from the Russian government at the St. Petersburg Airport. When leaving Moscow, the Russian government held a farewell ceremony at the airport, with the military band playing the national anthems of China and Russia. Xi Jinping inspected the honor guard of the three services and the march-past.

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