Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan met Russia's Alexandrov Ensemble at the National Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 4, and watched their performance. Peng said Russia and China are friendly neighbors with a profound cultural exchange, and the two nations' relationship will be strengthened and enhanced. Russia's Alexandrov Ensemble, the country's largest military choir, has visited China nine times since the founding of the People's Republic of China. On December 25, 2016, the ensemble lost 64 members in a plane crash. Chinese President Xi Jinping and first lady Peng Liyuan responded by sending their condolences to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the choir.