President Xi receives honorary doctorate from St. Petersburg University
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday received an honorary doctorate from Saint Petersburg State University.
Expressing his gratitude at receiving the honor, President Xi said Saint Petersburg State University is well known worldwide and has cultivated many talents. He said the university has made great contribution to science, culture, and education development in Russia and the world.
Education cooperation is an important channel to enhance the understanding and friendship of the two peoples, he added.
This April, President Xi awarded Putin an honorary doctorate at Tsinghua University in Beijing, saying Putin is "a good friend and old friend of the Chinese people, and has made historic contributions to deepening political mutual trust between China and Russia and promoting bilateral cooperation in various fields."
"The fact that Tsinghua University and Saint Petersburg State University respectively awarded Putin and me honorary doctorates is not only a proof of close bilateral educational and cultural exchanges, but also an embodiment of the high level of China-Russia ties," noted Xi.
He called on the two countries to expand cooperation in education, learn from each other and cultivate more talents for the two countries' development.
Putin congratulated Xi on the honor, and said Xi has made important contribution in pushing forward bilateral ties.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by President Xi, has won world wide support and participation, Putin continued.
Some top academic institutions in Russia including Saint Petersburg State University have conducted effective cooperation with top academic institutions in China, said the president.
St. Petersburg State University is the oldest university in Russia. It was founded by Peter the Great in 1724.
The university now features seven Nobel Prize winners among its faculty and has Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Lenin among its alumni.
President Xi on Thursday left Moscow and arrived in St. Petersburg.
Xi is now on a three-day state visit to Russia. During his stay in St. Petersburg, he is scheduled to attend the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The Chinese leader will address a plenary session and explain China's stance on sustainable development.