2019 and 2020 to become cross years of friendship between Ulyanovsk region and Hunan Province
The agreement was reached during the meeting between Governor Sergey Morozov and Xu Dazhe, Governor of the Hunan Province. The event took place within the Third Meeting of the Council for cooperation between regions of the Volga Federal District and provinces of the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River.
“Friendship of the Ulyanovsk region and the Hunan Province has lasted for about 13 years. We have strong historical and cultural connections. Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong, our great compatriots, were born here. Cooperation between the Lenin Memorial, a Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and Liu Shaoqi Museum has been developing for more than five years. During the meeting, Mr. Komarov has talked about the exhibition dedicated to the Chinese leader. I have personally attended this exhibition, and have met Mr. Cao Yushan, Mao Zedong's grandnephew, many times. I am proud that our regions have developed good relations through education and sport. I hope that athletes from the Hunan Province will come to the Ulyanovsk region in September to take part in the First TAFISA World Martial Arts Festival”, - Sergey Morozov said.
It is planned to hold a number of business, cultural and sporting events within the cross year. The head of the Chinese province was excited to support this initiative and, in turn, suggested that the programme should include the Sixth Volga-Yangtze Youth Forum, which will take place in the People's Republic of China in July 2019.
During the negotiations, heads of regions discussed future development of the trade turnover and investment cooperation, as well as establishment of direct contacts between business communities and associations of industrialists and businessmen.
“I am very happy to meet Governor of the Ulyanovsk region on the bank of the Volga River. I think that our meeting will strengthen the sister city partnership. 2019 is the 70th anniversary since establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia, and the 10th anniversary since establishment of the twin-city relations between our regions. In addition, this year we will celebrate the 126th anniversary of the birth of Mao Zedong. I am sure that all this will promote cultural and humanitarian exchanges between the Hunan Province and the Ulyanovsk region. There are 73 million people in the province. In terms of economy, our province takes the eighth place in the country; it made 3.6 trillion yuan last year. This is a huge market. We can deepen our trade and economic cooperation in such industries as automobile and aircraft construction, food, and many others”, - Xu Dazhe commented.
During the meeting, the parties agreed to update and renew the agreement between the Ulyanovsk region and the Hunan Province, as well as to approve the plan of joint activities, which will be implemented within cross years of friendship.
The interregional cooperation in the Volga-Yangtze format, which was initiated by Vladimir Putin following the results of his trip to China in 2013, was resumed this year after a two-year hiatus. The Council's third meeting took place under the chairmanship of Igor Komarov, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Volga Federal District, and Wang Yong, Vice-Chairman of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The event was attended by 200 people – heads of fourteen Russian and six Chinese regions, as well as representatives of Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Culture, Tourism and Business from both countries.